Author: Jennifer Weingarten
There are thousands of new cell phone models every year. And choosing the right cell phone for you to buy can be a difficult decision. Compared to the tough decision of choosing the right place to study abroad it is a walk in the park, though. However, there are more similarities between those two decision processes than you might expect! Before going into detail let me start by saying this: People who decide to study in Europe are on average way more satisfied than the average iPhone user!
Spoiled for choice
Lets come back to the question of how to choose the right phone for you. Usually, first of all you will make up an idea of how your phone should be like and which functions it should have. You start searching in the internet, asking your friends or maybe you remember a nice phone from an advertisement or your working colleague. You will most likely end up with a short list containing a couple of phones which could meet your needs.
With your studies, it works similar. Before you start searching, you might already think about certain locations and fields of studies which would be of interest for you. After that, you have to look for programmes and universities fitting to your profile. For study programmes in Europe, great places to go are BachelorsPortal, MastersPortal and PhDPortal for example. Now it gets tricky. Out of the universities who made it to your short list you have to decide which to apply to, and if you get accepted, which one to choose (there are over 18.000 Master's programmes to choose from alone in Europe!).
How to make a decision?
Choosing the one phone you gonna buy is rather easy now. You can compare technical data like battery life, weight, price etc. but most likely, a big portion of your final decision is based on experiences of friends or reviews in the internet. Those reviews are one of the reasons that Amazon.com is so successful, by the way! Reviews are like hundreds of friends who tell you if they would recommend that product to you or not. And whom to trust better than your friends who actually used the product you are thinking to buy?
Of course, for when choosing a university there are way more things to compare and way more efforts to be spent. However, procedures are again similar! You can compare rankings, reputation, offered courses, tuition fees etc. and consider recommendations of friends or read reviews. Since studying abroad is a very complex construct of thousands of experiences made over several months or even years, comparing is not as easy, though. In the past, especially when looking for reviews of study experiences in Europe, most of them tended to be lengthy, subjective or they just focused on a certain aspect or topic. But most importantly it was really hard to compare them and to get an all-over impression of the study experience and have something like the 1-5 stars rating for each product on Amazon.com.
Check out what other students experienced!
Thats exactly what was done during the STeXX project, resulting in the report Key influences of international student satisfaction in Europe. Several thousand students from all over the world and who studied in Europe answered the question Would you recommend your study experience to your friends by rating it on a scale from 1-10 and had further the chance to state a reason for their rating.
Analysing the answers showed, that international students in Europe are highly satisfied with their study experience. 77% of the students highly recommended their studies in Europe by choosing a 9 or 10 on the scale from 1-10. This number even outranks popular companies such as Apple or facebook and shows that studying in Europe comes nearly with a satisfaction guarantee!
Find out what's important
To get further insight into what matters for a great study abroad experience, the student's answers were categorized into different topics. Looking at the results, it seems that academics, city & culture and personal & professional development are equally important for a good study experience abroad. How about your preferences? Have a look at the graph to see in detail what influenced the students satisfaction and get an idea about what factors can influence your personal study experience!
You want to know all details about student's satisfaction in Europe? Have a look at the full report (PDF). Besides, also you can benefit from over 10.000 student experiences helping you with your study choice! Just check out STeXX.eu to find hundreds of reviews of the country or city you're interested in!