Young Romanians continue to choose to study abroad and are not discouraged by the pandemic or Brexit. According to FINS, a non-banking financial institution that offers loans to young people wishing to study for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Europe, applications for funding studies abroad have doubled compared to the last two years.
The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark and Belgium are the top 5 preferred countries for students applying for FINS study credits, and costs are often a factor in influencing young people’s decision on their chosen destination.
Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland are the countries where there is no tuition fee, followed by Austria, Belgium and Germany, where it costs less than 1,000 euros a year for state universities. At the opposite pole is the United Kingdom, where the tuition fee varies between 9,250 and 34,000 euros per year.
However, lifestyle in the Nordic countries means the highest spending, unless the students choose to live in the dormitory, in which case the money they have to pay can be halved. The same thing happens in countries like Switzerland, France or Germany. On the other hand, the average cost of renting a studio apartment starts at 550 euros per month in Spain and can reach 1,450 euros per month in Switzerland.
Transportation and food
Italy is the country where the monthly expenses for food can be made with only 150 euros, while in Switzerland, the monthly average is 400 euros. The cheapest transport is in Germany (35 euros/ month), and the most expensive is in Switzerland (100 euros/ month), followed closely by Denmark (80 euros/ month).
“From the discussions with the young students, we realize that they often omit important costs they may have in the country where they want to study. For example, most of them focus on the fact that some countries offer them free education and, with enthusiasm, do not fully consider the cost of rent or living in that country, sometimes even with unrealistic expectations. FINS encourages all students to plan responsibly all the expenses they may have during their studies. That’s why we give everyone a budget template as part of the FINS credit application, free financial counseling sessions and free counseling from an educational counselor to guide the student through the entire application process. When a student applies for a FINS loan, he must build his budget according to his specific needs, destination, other income that he has or will have (family support, scholarships, a future job), there is no such thing as a one size fits all approach”, says Alexandru Ghiță – FINS President.
If we draw the line and calculate the average total amounts, which include the tuition fee, renting a room in a dormitory, food, transportation, personal expenses, books, unforeseen costs, but also the return plane ticket, then the cheapest cost life is in Italy, Sweden, Austria and Belgium, and the most expensive in the UK, followed by Switzerland and Ireland.
In 2021, the European Investment Fund and FINS signed a second guarantee agreement under the EFSI Skills & Education pilot project. It allows EU students who want to study for a Bachelor’s degree in an EU Member State to take credit without co-debtors and without real estate collateral. The guarantee agreement allows FINS, a non-banking financial institution, to provide loans amounting to 5.5 million euros and provide support for approximately 300-350 students who want to pursue Bachelor’s and Master’s programs in European Union countries. Students who receive funding do not need a bank or financial history, do not need an employment history and are covered even in extraordinary situations, as FINS loans are not transferred to relatives or heirs.
Moreover, the study loans offered by FINS are built with maximum flexibility, in order to adapt as well as possible to the real requirements of the students, benefiting from a long grace period (loan repayment starts 6-12 months after graduation and can be structured for 5-10 years). Thus, students will not generally have the pressure of loans, but will be able to repay the money when, most likely, they will have a job and a salary level according to their experience.