Young Romanians continue to choose to study abroad and are undeterred by the pandemic or Brexit. According to FINS, a non-bank financial institution that offers loans to young people wishing to study for a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Europe, requests for funding for studies abroad have doubled compared to the last two years.
The Netherlands, UK, Germany, Denmark and Belgium are the top 5 countries for students applying for FINS study credits, and cost is often a factor influencing young people’s decision on chosen destination.
Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland are the countries where there are no tuition fees, followed by Austria, Belgium and Germany, where it costs less than 1,000 euros per year for public universities. At the opposite pole is the United Kingdom, where tuition fees vary between 9,250 and 34,000 euros per year.
However, the lifestyle in the Nordic countries means the highest expenses unless students choose to live in the dorm, 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 starts at 550 euros per month in Spain and can reach 1,450 euros per month in Switzerland.
Transport 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 discussions with young students, we realize that they often miss important costs that they may have in the country where they want to study. For example, most of them focus on the fact that certain countries offer them free education and enthusiastically do not fully consider the cost of rent or living in that country, sometimes even with unrealistic expectations. FINS encourages all students to responsibly plan for any expenses they may have while studying. That’s why we give everyone a budget template as part of the FINS credit application, free financial counseling sessions, and free advice from an academic advisor to guide the student through the application process. When a student applies for a FINS loan, he must build his budget according to his specific needs, his destination, the other income he has or will have (family support, scholarships, a future job), there is no one size fits all approaches,” says Alexandru Ghiță – President of FINS.
If we draw the line and calculate the average total amounts, which include tuition, dorm room rental, food, transportation, personal expenses, books, contingencies, but also ticket return plane, then the cheapest living is found 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 out credit without co-debtors and without a real estate guarantee. The guarantee agreement enables FINS, a non-banking financial institution, to provide loans amounting to 5.5 million euros and support approximately 300 to 350 students who wish to pursue bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in the countries of the European Union. Students who receive funding do not need a bank or financial history, do not need a work history, and are covered even in extraordinary situations, as FINS loans are not transferred to parents or heirs.
In addition, the student loans offered by FINS are built with maximum flexibility, in order to best adapt to the real needs of students, benefiting from a long grace period (loan repayment begins 6 to 12 months after graduation and can be structured for 5-10 years). So students will usually not have the pressure of loans but will be able to repay the money while most likely they will have a job and salary level according to their experience.