A UK parent's view on her son's overseas adventure
My son gave up a place at a UK University in order to go to a University in Amsterdam and it was the best thing he ever did! Here’s why..
Excitement – he was able to do something different to the norm and that was far more exciting than staying in the UK - I noticed it made him so much more ambitious.
- Becoming a world traveller – being in central Europe hugely increased his global understanding of people and cultures. Compared to his sister’s Scottish University (which was basically an extension of her hanging out with her school friends) he had to adapt and understand much more about different cultures. It’s certainly given him a much greater level of confidence and social skills.
- Better course content, internships and links to jobs – his course was not theoretical, it was linked to the latest job market. He visited organisations, talked to MPs, experienced team work for entrepreneurship and undertook 4 internships to prepare him for work, all whilst studying his degree - I think European Universities are far more specific about that.
Structured and personalised lectures – he had 30 hours of contact time in his first year, his lecturers knew him really well and he was not allowed to miss anything. As a young adult this kind of structure and culture helped him manage the gap from sixth form to university. Without the constant going out, skipping lectures mentality, he thrived and focused on his studies.
- Preparing him for work – he had to find accommodation, a social life, open accounts and understand a different health care system - all in a foreign language. You don’t do that in a British university!
Cost – he only pays the equivalent of £1,500 a year for his overseas university tuition and even with his flights home (which take only 50 mins) and most living costs it does not add up to anything near the £9000 tuition fees of British Universities.
As a parent I can see that he made an amazing and brave life choice that has now really paid off. He has spectacularly grown up and is now far better prepared for work, he has very little debt and best of all he is happy and confident.
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