Relations between Europe and Vietnam are on the rise. The business sector buzz is that the Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and the European Union is looming on the horizon for next year. This will mean increased opportunities for trade and exchanges. Vietnamese graduates with a European experience will be a hot commodity on the labour market. At the same time, the European Union is making it more attractive for students from abroad to come to our prestigious universities. Now is really the right time for the brightest and best of Vietnam's young students to enrich their knowledge in Europe.
The breaking news is that we are improving conditions for students from outside Europe, including Vietnamese students and researchers. There are three key changes which will be in place by May 2018, in time for the intake for the next Academic year. If you are thinking about studying in Europe, here's what you need to know:
In short, this means studying in Europe will become more flexible, more affordable and give more opportunities to gain professional experience in the European labour market.
I should also point out that we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Erasmus Programme in 2017. This popular programme offers scholarships and grants to students to study in different European countries. It's a highly prestigious scheme, and over 1000 of the best Vietnamese students have benefitted from Erasmus schemes up to now. We are hoping for many more this coming year!
Of course, this is about what is new. But let's not forget that Europe has plenty to offer on top of this:
European heritage and culture. Wherever you go in Europe, you will immediately stumble over history, culture and beauty. Historical buildings and private houses from early centuries abound, rich museums are to be found everywhere in Europe with the most amazing collections. On the edge of innovation and technology, Europe remains the cradle of philosophy, literature, music, architecture, arts and sport. Many of our universities were founded in the 11th Century and are still housed in buildings dating from the Middle Ages. This is not something which can be found elsewhere.
Language learning: In the 28 countries of the European Union, we have 24 official languages, and many more regional languages on top. Of course, most students choose to study in English, and European universities offer courses in Shakespeare's mother tongue. Outside of lessons, there are also opportunities to pick up a new language. Again, this can be a real bonus to make students stand out on the labour market as employers increasing value language skills.
Did you know that 9 out of 10 Erasmus+ participants say that their experience has helped improve their language skills?
Attractiveness and affordability: in current the top 10 of "Most affordable cities for Students" you have 6 European cities: Berlin, Munich, Toulouse, Valencia, Vienna and Warsaw. Beautiful, historic and enjoyable cities which are also affordable.
Studying in Europe is generally quite affordable, as tuition fees are very low compared to the top quality education that you will receive. Europe provides more scholarships compared to other continents, which makes studying in Europe even more attractive.
Choice and academic mobility: thanks to Europe's harmonized higher education systems you can now pursue studies at several universities and transfer your credits, giving you more choices and flexibility. You can start your studies in Madrid, continue them in Copenhagen and finish them in Dublin, with credits and diplomas which are recognized across the continent. European-wide possibilities are nowhere else available. It is absolutely unique for Europe.
I wanted to give you a taste of what Europe has to offer to students. If this has whet your appetite, you can learn more by joining on of our "Study in Europe" events in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City or checking our websites for more!
By H.E.Mr Bruno Angelet, Ambassador – Head of EU Delegation in Vietnam