There are many reasons why you should study abroad: meet new people, discover a new culture, new educational system, or learn to speak another language. But I will argue that when compared to other world regions, studying in Europe will give you the most incredible experience of your life. Here are five reasons why Europe is the best destination for your studies.
Drinking Age? 18
This first point should be highlighted and it is that the drinking age is set at 18 years old in all countries of Europe. That means that if you want to go out with your friends, you definitely can, as nothing will stop you from entering a bar or a club to have fun. This means that you will not be “left behind” as is the case in countries like the U.S., where the drinking age is 21. And this surely helps to make new friends!
Of course, a major point is the quality of the food. European countries are well-known for their “gastronomy”, especially France (although I admit I may be just a bit biased). You can find typical fine meals and drinks in Germany (good beer, Sauerkraut), Spain (paella), Italy (pasta), or Belgium and Holland (“French” fries). These specialties are surely something you’ve read about or even seen on a restaurant menu in the states, but the best ones will be found where they were created: in Europe.
Lot of travels
If you study abroad, it is also to travel. And Europe’s Schengen Area permits you to travel easily in and out of 26 countries in Europe. Indeed, once you have your passport and the visa of the country you are studying in, you don’t have any other paperwork to do. You can cross through the borders of members of the Schengen Area as if they didn’t even exist (which to some is a very bad thing and this may not be the case forever- best to enjoy it now!), which saves you time and money. Traveling has never been so easy, so if you are an adventurer, Europe is made for you.
The opportunity of being in Europe and of traveling easily allows you to discover many new countries, new languages, and new cultures after only a couple of hours in a car or a plane. Europe is an extremely diverse continent and the distances are not as long as in other big countries such as the US, Canada, Australia, or Russia. Therefore, you can end up in a totally different world only a hundred miles from your place of study. Diversity is one of the main assets of Europe, especially for travelers who wish to see different things in a short period of time.
It is cheap
But what is travelling if you can’t afford it? Don’t worry, going around in Europe is actually very cheap. The distances are short, so the price is not so high. The train, the car, the bus, or the plane; each possibility is a good one. In terms of housing, you can stay at a youth hostels or try Airbnb to find the best deals. In the long term, this allows you to travel more and visit every European country to learn about each’s distinct culture.
These 5 reasons make Europe the best destination for your studies if you want to go abroad. Only in Europe can you find so many varied opportunities to eat good food, go out, travel a lot and for cheap, and see as much diversity in such a small area. For the adventurous spirit, Europe is the best place to go. You now just have to choose in which country you want to study!
photo credit: European Parliament The French and EU flags at half-mast in front of the European Parliament following last night’s terrorist attack in Nice. The #Parlamentarium display the message #JeSuisNice via photopin (license)
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Marie Terrier is a French exchange student at Georgetown University in Washington DC in the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters. While her home institution Sciences po Lyon provided classes in all social sciences disciplines, she specialized herself in the United States in history and international relations. When she comes back to France, she is going to start a master’s degree in journalism, as she wants to be a journalist in international relations. Marie is using her year abroad to travel to many places across the US and even in other countries such as Canada and Cuba. She also loves track and field and helping people by given them advice, therefore, she can’t wait to share her own amazing experience!