To put it bluntly, doing a masters degree is expensive. With tuition fees generally falling somewhere between £3000 and £6000, the sheer cost is often a deterrent to potential postgraduates. However it may surprise you to know that studying abroad could actually be a more cost effective means of completing an MA, as in several European countries studying is free for EU citizens.

A prime example is the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, which offers a wide range of MA programmes. Widely regarded as Scandinavia’s finest city, Copenhagen is a vibrant and metropolitan area. With a history dating back to the Middle Ages there is no shortage of sights to see, ranging from cathedrals and royal palaces to a sculpture of Hans Christian Andersen’s mermaid. The city is also home to the brewery of the world famous lager, Carlsberg, where you can learn how the beer is made as well as sampling some for yourself. The city has an excellent transport system with a metro service running throughout the early hours of the morning meaning getting home after night out is easy even if you have had one too many Carlsbergs. Copenhagen is clean, the people are friendly and it offers the largest market share of organic food in any capital city, and if you want even more persuasion, the rest of Scandinavia is on your doorstep with Sweden and the beautiful city of Malmo just a 30-minute train ride away. What more could a student want?

In many ways studying abroad kills two birds with one stone; allowing you to see a different part of the world and expand your horizons, whilst still completing your education. However before you pack your bags and head for the airport a few words of warning. Copenhagen’s high standard of living does not come cheap with the city ranked as the 7th most expensive in the world for the past two years. Expect to pay between £400-450 a month including bills for accommodation and around £4-£6 for a pint. If you can spare the time a part-time job might ease the financial burden, as the minimum wage is staggeringly around £10 an hour. The Danish language is also rather difficult to learn, although the university does offer several Danish courses aimed at international students. Finally, being in Denmark, the weather can get a little chilly so it’s advisable to always wrap up warm. 

So if you’re looking to do a masters and are fretting over the cost, perhaps it’s worth looking into the prospect of studying in Copenhagen. Living costs will be high, but the experience of life in a different culture and the chance to meet fellow students from across the world may well be priceless. What’s more you will be studying at one of Europe’s elite institutions (the university is usually inside the top 50 in the world) and furthermore the MA itself doesn’t cost a penny!

James Martin

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