As someone who wants to be an Automotive Engineer to stay on the technical side – instead of just managing an engineering company – I always wanted to step out of India for higher studies.
To pursue my dream, I knew I had to be in the heart of the global automobile industry, where motor racing is a part of the culture, and technology is ever-advancing. I decided to start looking for opportunities in the European Union, a place that increases one’s scope of the study, work, and travel across 27 countries, opening up various permutations and combinations of opportunities for an international student like myself.
I found a brilliant opportunity to suit my needs – a program that would allow me to pursue my first year of Master’s in Automotive Engineering in the Czech Republic, and second year in the Netherlands. After my studies, I want to work in the global auto hub – Germany. I’ve completed language level A1 in Deutsch and am learning further, which would later enable me to find work opportunities in Germany. And to pursue my higher studies in the EU, I bear an average cost of ₹12 lakhs!
My journey of finding the right course that suited my budget started with research and ended at research. I am a big fan of Porsche, and one day, I was reading up on the company’s history when I came across Czech Technical University (CTU) that the company had collaborated with for research in 1996. I immediately went to the university website to find more about their course structure for automobile engineering.
As with most of the European colleges I was considering, CTU had a well-laid and vast course covering all aspects of automobile engineering, including all the aspects from design and development to the economics of automobiles. Interestingly, its five-university-partner structure allowed students to choose a university and country of their interest according to their specialisation (for the second year). I opted for CTU for the first year and HAN University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands for the second year, based on my preferred language of learning and aim to specialise in Vehicle Dynamics.
What helped me with zeroing in on the right college and course was looking for course alumni, and getting in touch with them over LinkedIn and Facebook. It wasn’t a shot in the dark, because a lot of them did reply to me and asking them about the faculty, living expense, and local communities and their customs really helped me make my decision.
I didn’t require guidance from external, private counselors, as information was easily available online. I just needed to ensure that the websites I was looking at were authentic.
Most universities have a very straightforward application procedure that is easy to follow and complete. For CTU, I filled a simple application form, submitted my semester transcripts from college, my choices of universities, the preferred medium of learning and wrote a Statement of Purpose.
With my course plan and application research in place, I moved to the next big step: planning the finances for my degree.
The college website mentioned the course fee, which can help students decide if the course is falling within their budget. For this course, my fee was ₹11-13 lakhs for two years, to be paid in two installments.
The next piece to figure out was living expenses. The university website had an estimate of the accommodation and monthly living expenses as well. My hostel rent at CTU fell to about €100-110 (around ₹8,700 per month).
In the Netherlands, over the second year, I would be paying more, nearly ₹25,000 per month. With the living costs and a general monthly budget for necessities, I was able to set a budget of ₹8-10 lakh for my two years of study. However, the tuition fee and living expenditure may vary for each person and the opportunities that you’re looking for.
One of the things I really like about the EU is their approach towards education. Universities in the EU are well-funded by their governments, and unlike most of the other places, the EU doesn’t consider education a commodity or a business. Here, universities want to educate people who are interested in studying. In fact, many universities don’t charge any tuition fees, even from international students.
Moreover, the exposure to so many cultures in the EU is a huge part of the experience here. I’m getting to explore and learn about new cultures and their languages. As an Indian, the way of living of the people in this part of the world is quite refreshing and interesting to experience, although it takes time to adjust to the shift.
The culture of communities here is quite different from that back home, and it’s best to be open to experiences and these changes to experience Europe to its fullest. And at the end of the day, a human must embrace diversity and change and must not shy away from it and seek his comfort zone.
Popular opinion might say that studying in Europe is quite expensive, but the truth is, with a little research, you can find many courses and colleges that can help you find the right opportunities in the right budget range, and in the English language. From affordable education and better work opportunities to many beautiful cultures out there to learn from, every bit of my research and investment has been worth it.
If you’re thinking of shipping off to the EU for higher studies, following a thorough planning process is a must, just like Tushar! What are the things you need to keep in mind? We’ve got a checklist for that. Head to this link to plan your study smoothly!