Can you study abroad after Brexit?
As a result of the British people’s decision to leave the European Union, taken in a referendum in June 2016, a number of questions suddenly arose about the continued functioning of numerous areas of life that had until then been regulated as part of the Community.
Indeed, Brexit, which finally, after many transitions, took place in early 2021, dramatically changed the relationship between London and Brussels. Above all in the political arena, but not just – a number of solutions had to be reviewed in connection with the fact that the United Kingdom was leaving the European Union in which it had operated for several decades. As a result, for many of the country’s citizens, the conditions (educational, commercial, travel related, etc.) in which they have lived a significant part of their lives have undergone momentous changes. Among other things, the provisions on trade and the free movement of people, including students taking courses at universities in continental Europe, in EU Member States, have been revised.
Studying abroad for British students was one of the most important issues of the post-Brexit reality. After all, thousands of students from the UK were studying in Europe and thousands more were considering travelling to the continent to start or continue their studies. The key question then became: will British young people be able to study seamlessly at continental universities? What about students who have been caught off guard by Brexit while undertaking such studies? We will try to answer these and other questions in the following guide.
How many British students study in the EU?
There are obviously two sides of the Brexit coin when it comes to students, as it can be seen from both sides of the English Channel. It created a new reality for British students studying on the continent, but it was also a challenge for students from European Union countries who were studying or wanted to study in the UK. Here, however, we will only deal with the first case mentioned above.
It should be mentioned that just as British universities were popular among citizens of the continental European Union countries, European universities were also a frequent choice among British students. For example, let’s highlight the fact that over 200,000 British students studied in EU countries under the Erasmus programme between 1987 and 2013, and over 90,000 studied on the continent between 2014 and 2016 alone. The Erasmus programme, which allows students to gain experience and learn about new cultures and languages while studying abroad, was a great opportunity which was eagerly embraced in the United Kingdom. Will anything change in this respect? In many ways, no, but British students will have to pay particular attention to certain things. Let’s look at the details.
Extremely important issues for British students are undoubtedly the conditions and costs of studying in Europe, which consist not only of the rules of a given university concerning admission to particular courses, but also the related fees, documents and even such issues as the costs and type of accommodation. In the case of BaseCamp dormitories, it should be noted that they are located in European Union countries, including Germany and Poland.
BaseCamp, which is modern student accommodation with extensive study and leisure facilities, does not itself, of course, have any restrictions on accepting UK applicants. If a student has the possibility to stay in a particular EU country and is studying at a particular university, they can rent a flat in BaseCamp without any problem.
Studying in the EU for UK citizens
The issues of accommodation and study are inextricably linked. As for the latter, it should be noted that students who have studied as part of the Erasmus programme are simply continuing their studies and are not subject to any Brexit restrictions. Those who lawfully resided and studied in an EU country before 1 January 2021 have the same opportunity to study (and pay the same tuition fees) as students of Community member states.
On the other hand, students who are just planning to study on the continent (after 1 January 2021) must expect to apply for residency in the country. In addition, you should remember to have the necessary travel insurance (including, above all, health insurance) for the duration of your studies in an EU country. You should get these while you are still in the UK and make sure that they cover you for anything you might need insurance for.
In general, each case should be analysed individually with the help of government guides, which are available online. All additional information for those studying or intending to study at universities in EU countries can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/study-in-the-european-union.
It should be borne in mind that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students going to study abroad or returning from the continent may be required to take additional safety and health measures. You can also find information about this on the above website.
In conclusion, Brexit will cause some problems for UK students wishing to study at universities in European Union countries, but it will certainly not seriously limit opportunities to study on the continent. With the necessary information and formalities in place, it is easy to enrol in courses at a particular university in an EU country.
While many levels of cooperation between Brussels and London are bound to change, in the end, the European Union and the United Kingdom are destined to cooperate in one way or another. It will certainly continue in the field of student exchange – there is no doubt about that.