Cultural Intelligence and Study in Europe- Great Study Abroad Destination

Cultural Intelligence and Study in Europe- Study in Europe is the Great Study Abroad Destination which is also known as Exciting Career Tools in the world

Cultural Intelligence (CQ) is very important for career development. Study abroad is a great tool to imbibe CQ. If you choose Europe, then you are going to have an exciting & dynamic study abroad experience.

Students and parents might wonder that Overseas Education is overhyped. Well, if you choose a good program and a strategic study destination, then it can pave the path of a student for an excellent career and having a much open-minded and confident personality. The key is to choose a program and country from the point of view of your career and personality development; and not merely think about stay back and immigration matters. Embarking oneself on a study abroad program could be beneficial by developing a global and cross-cultural perspective and thereby diversifying resume while building lifelong memories. Louise Dobson (the International Recruitment Officer at Nottingham Trent University, and a former international student herself in the United Kingdom) stated in her blog: Why Study Overseas – it was not the things that were learned in the classroom, but the skills that the experience of studying outside her comfort zone taught her about life was the greatest asset of studying overseas.

Cultural Intelligence and Study in Europe
Cultural Intelligence and Study in Europe

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What is Cultural Intelligence? Why students need to develop it?

There are lot of articles and blogs on Why Study Abroad. Apart from the traditional key attributes of studying abroad, I would like to put more focus on developing Cultural Intelligence. This is something that employers ask a lot these days from their employees. Back in 1970s, stenography was something that used to be a great skill to get jobs. Twenty years down the line the demand of having computer knowledge (MS-Office, Windows etc.) and IT skills took dominated the job market in India and worldwide. Technical skills are still very much important. But, students also need to have an excellent set of communication skills, inter-personal skills. Recruiters look for personal attributes like motivation, creativity, intelligent quotient, emotional intelligence, pro-activeness; and the latest addition is cultural intelligence. So, what is this Cultural Intelligence – read the Harvard Business Review blog from 2004 – yes the concept is not too new. Recently Forbes described the importance of cultural intelligence in today’s workplace in the article – Why You Need Cultural Intelligence and How To Develop It. In short, cultural intelligence is all about knowing yourself, knowing others and leading altogether. It is an evolution of intelligence as described by Common-Purpose in the blog What is Cultural Intelligence. Even the entrepreneurs need to lead with cultural intelligence in order to make their ventures a real success. Investors consider CQ as a big competitive edge. Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft also emphasized about importance of culture at workplace as quoted by Smart-Company in Nine Takeaways from Satya Nadella. In the modern age of globalization, working and learning with people from diverse backgrounds and nationalities presents a huge boost to cultural intelligence. CQ is as important as knowledge, technical skills, business intelligence and emotional intelligence to become a great and effective leader. Hence, there is a lot to gain from study abroad.

Cultural Intelligence and Study in Europe
Cultural Intelligence and Study in Europe

Cultural Intelligence and Study in Europe:

Europe – A Dynamic Study Destination

When it comes to abroad education, there is lot of exciting destinations – USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Korea, Singapore and many more. The institutes in these countries across all fields of education fall in the top hundred universities of the world, mostly owing to their strong credentials in academics and research. But, I would like to put Europe as one of the most dynamic and exciting Study Abroad Destinations. Europe as a whole is still quite unexplored by Indian students.

Where to Study in Europe

There are many students across the globe (including India and US) are trying to establish in educating themselves in Europe. Europe has always been a place to be for the intellectuals. Europe is beautiful and a very fun place to live. Students can choose from a wide range of options depending on interests, individual profile and expenses. The cost of education is very competitive; and the standard of living and education are very high. The highly acclaimed fields of study are engineering, science, humanities and business. The most popular destinations in Europe are United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Finland, Switzerland and Sweden; followed by France, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Belgium, Italy and Spain. Few less popular but good destinations include Austria, Georgia, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia and Czech Republic.

Europe Is the Great Destination to Study Abroad
Europe Is the Great Destination to Study Abroad

Customized and Flexible Study Programs:

The beauty about European education is that students can choose one or more major (specialization) in their courses (described later) or highly specialized programs (Nano-Engineering, Microsystems Engineering, Information Systems, Mechatronics or MBA in Technology and Innovation Management). It is possible to study Bachelors or Masters in Electronics-Computer Science, Electrical-Electronics, Nano-Electrical, Mechatronics, Embedded Systems or Engineering Management. Likewise in the Life Sciences domain, it is possible to pursue Molecular Biology and Molecular Chemistry in one single course if you study M.Sc. in Molecular Medicine or M.Sc. in Molecular Science. You can find similar programs in the fields of Business Management, Media and Communication studies.

European Union’s Schengen Agreement

Another incentive for international students (and Indian students) would be the availability to study in the Schengen Area. The Schengen agreement is to scar the borders of some European countries. There are total 26 countries within the Schengen zone, and needs a single visa to enter and/or reside in any one of those countries. Details about Schengen countries could be found here.

That means traveling around through all those countries would require only one visa. It is also useful in terms of looking for employment. Suppose a student finishes a degree from Italy, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic or Spain, will have the opportunity to look for jobs in other Schengen countries like Germany, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden or Norway without too much of problems regarding visa or work permit. The universities located in those countries do fall in the top hundred universities of the world and offer state-of-the-art facilities and advanced research scopes.

Low and/or No Tuition Fees in Europe

Higher education in Europe is really cost effective. Comparing to countries like US, Australia or Canada, Europe is three to four times cheaper in terms of higher education. Majority of European universities do not charge any tuition fee (or maximum a nominal fee for administrative purposes). The popular countries for free education are:

  • Norway: International students capitalize on the aspects of studying in Norway as there is nearly no education fees for students at the state universities. For higher education the government of the country sponsors for the international and the national students from the tax payer’s money for them to study for free.
  • Finland: One of the favorite study destinations in Europe and a student’s heaven is Finland. Apart from the availability of excellent quality education, Finland is also famous for not having any tuition fee in their higher education. For students studying in Finland it does not matter the nationality, as the tax payers and the Government bear that responsibility.
  • Germany: It is very recently that the German universities have started charging tuition fees for education in its universities. Out of sixteen major German State Universities, only four charge fee – but they are as low as 500 Euros per semester. All the other federal states do charge a fee of 50 Euros, but no tuition fees.
  • Poland: It is one of the most emerging study abroad destinations in Europe. The quality of education is excellent and the research culture is top notch. The cost of education is really competitive as tuition fees (around 3000 Euros per year) and living expenses (around 1800 Euros per year) very low.

Besides these three countries, Ireland, France, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Estonia, Austria, Belgium also offer quality courses at very affordable costs as there are a lot of scholarship schemes available for the international students.

Post-Study Work Opportunities

After finishing studies, it is very possible to stay back and work in Europe. Countries like Germany, Netherlands, Ireland, France, Norway and Sweden offer excellent post-study work (PSW) schemes for international students. United Kingdom is not offering the PSW scheme at the moment (stopped in April 2011), but with the number of available options it is not too hard to get a good job for a genuine and good student. In case you want to get an idea about the job market in the UK and know the tips and tricks for getting that job in the UK please refer to one of my previous blogs on Tips and Tricks for Graduate Job Hunters with Technical Backgrounds in the United Kingdom.

Also Check: Post Study Work Opportunities in UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany and Ireland

Generous Scholarship & Exciting PhD Opportunities

Few courses in the countries like UK, Switzerland, Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark and Sweden might look quite expensive. But, there lot of scholarship schemes available for international students. If you have got very strong academic track record, possess all-round personality and apply well ahead of the application deadlines, then full scholarships are there for you. The research in Europe is excellent and the European universities encourage diversity and cross-cultural thinking. So, candidates who are looking for PhD and/or Post-doctoral fellowships – Europe is calling you guys. In Europe, you can earn approximately in the range of 1,400 to 2,500 Euros per month after tax as PhD students. Post-docs can take home 2,400 to 4,500 Euros per month. Therefore, the monetary perks are also there on the top of good work-life balance. To get the latest and regular updates, subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter on Scholarships and PhD.

Excellent Study and Career Options for Indian Engineering Students

There are some excellent MBA programs throughout Europe; and the top-ranked B-Schools are literally on par with American B-Schools. A huge chunk of engineering students in India opt for MBA programs with the objective of progressing towards a career in the management role. But, most of the MBA programs could be very expensive anywhere. Secondly, the good MBA programs ask for 2 – 4 years of work experience and high GMAT (or GRE) scores. Most importantly, they might have to switch from Engineering to Management subjects all of a sudden – and that might not go too smooth with everyone. It is also a common scenario that a B.Tech student is really passionate about the core engineering field, but just for the sake of popular trend s/he switches to MBA program. There is another section of students who are confused between MS and MBA. For those people, do watch this YouTube videoWhat to do after Engineering: M.Tech/MS or MBA? Europe will be an ideal place to study for them as well.

Students can study engineering and management modules in a single study program. Moreover, there are excellent opportunities for internships (6 – 12 months) in a company. There are also programs where a student will study each in two or three different countries. After finishing such programs, the career options are really lucrative in both academia and industry worldwide. Few best programs on Engineering and Technology Management at Masters Level are:

  • M.Sc. Management & Engineering in Electrical Power Systems (MME-EPS)
    RWTH Aachen University (Germany) in collaboration with Maastricht School of Management (Netherlands)
  • M.Sc. Industrial Engineering and Operations Management
    University of Nottingham (UK)
  • M.Sc. International Technology Management / Process Industry Business Management (PIBM)
    University of Warwick (UK)
  • M.Sc. Global Management of Innovation and Technology (GMIT)
    Lappeenranta University of Technology (Finland)
  • M.Sc. Industrial Engineering and Management
    Tampere University of Technology (Finland)
  • M.Sc. Industrial Engineering and Management
    Aalto University (Finland)
  • M.Sc. Energy and Environmental Technology
    Telemark University College (Norway)
  • M.Sc. Global Manufacturing Management
    Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway)
  • M.Sc. Product Management
    University of Oulu (Finland)
  • M.Sc. in Telecommunications Engineering and Management
    Polytechnic University of Catalunya-Barcelona (Spain)
  • M.Sc. Management of Technology
    Delft University of Technology (Netherlands)
  • M.Sc. Production Science and Management
    Graz University of Technology (Austria)
  • M.Eng. International Business and Engineering
    SRH University Heidelberg (Germany)
  • M.Sc. Engineering Management
    Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)
  • M.Sc. Engineering with Business Management
    Kings College London (UK)
  • M.Sc. Industrial Management
    University of Vaasa (Finland)
  • M.Sc. Manufacturing Engineering and Management
    University of Nottingham (UK)
  • Master of Engineering in Technical Management
    University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer (Germany)
  • M.Sc. Systems Engineering and Engineering Management
    South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences (Germany)
  • M.Sc. Industrial Engineering and Management
    Linkoping University (Sweden)
  • M.Sc. Management and Engineering of Environment and Energy (ME3)
    KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden)
  • M.Sc. Management, Technology and Economics
    ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland)
  • M.Sc. Engineering – Technology Based Business Development
    Aarhus University (Denmark)
  • M.Sc. Operations and Management Engineering
    Aalborg University (Denmark)
  • Master in Innovation and Technology Management
    FOM University of Applied Sciences (Germany)

Another majority of Indian engineering students are those who are studying IT or Computer Science. In case of being confused between core options and consulting or management roles, it would be wise to study any one of the following programs:

  • M.Sc. Software Engineering and Management
    Heilbronn University of Technology (Germany)
  • Masters in Software Engineering for Industrial Applications
    Hof University of Applied Sciences (Germany)
  • Master Internet Technology and Architecture
    EIT ICT Master School (pan-Europe)
  • M.Sc. International Information Systems
    Friedrich-Alexander University (Germany)
  • M.Sc. Management of Technology – Information Systems
    ESIEE Paris (France)
  • Masters (M.A.) in International IT Management
    IUBH (Germany)
  • M.Sc. Global Information Technology Management
    University of Turku (Finland)
  • M.Sc. in Information Systems
    WWU Munster, University of Munster (Germany)
  • M.Sc. International Master in Management of Information Technology (IMMIT)
    Tilburg University (Netherlands)

The IMMIT program is a multiple degree program jointly offered by IAE Aix Graduate School of Management, Aix Marseille Université (France), Turku University (Finland) and Tilburg University (The Netherlands). So you will study one single program and will receive degrees from three university. You will spend one semester in one of those three universities and the 4th semester will be a 6-months internship.

The above two lists are just to give the readers an overview about the flexible programs that available in Europe. There are a hundreds of other quality courses in all over Europe. These courses are very flexible, practical-oriented, research-based and industry-focused. As mentioned earlier, quite often students will spend their time in more than one country for studies and internships. The importance of these educational programs are to get the enthusiastic students get acquainted to an international style of learning for development of an international approach towards their respective subject. Most of these programs will cost around INR 3 – 6 Lakhs (total course fees). Few of them will cost maximum 14 – 18 Lakhs (scholarships available though), while few of them have not got any tuition fees at all. So, that is a real bargain for a lucrative career. Last but not the least, all such programs are taught entirely in English. The European universities are world class and they do cater openness towards foreign students.

Cultural Intelligence and Europe

By now I believe you have understood the importance of cultural intelligence and the advantages of Europe as a study abroad destination. Whether you are undertaking studies or research work, you will live in a cosmopolitan and dynamic place and sharing space with intellectual and friendly people. You will have the opportunity to experience various cultures and traditions. Every part of Europe has got something unique. Apart from studies and jobs, lot of excitements are there – travel, sports, food, drinks and the buzz. So, do think about exploring the Europe; and of course MeetUniversity Counselors will get it done (Jugaad) for you.