Rediscover the old world

With a size of a good ten million square kilometers, Europe is the second smallest continent in the world. Despite the comparatively small size, Europe is known for its cultural diversity. This is mainly due to its dense population: there are almost 750 million people in Europe who speak more than a hundred different languages. According to Countryaah, the 47 countries that currently belong to Europe can look back on their very own cultural history. See full story and glossaries on

Europe is the only continent that is not completely surrounded by the ocean. In the east of Europe borders the Ural Mountains, to which Asia joins. Some countries, such as Russia or Turkey, are partly on the Asian continent and partly in Europe. The European landscape is varied and impresses with its wealth of forms. Studying in Europe does not mean studying in Europe, because every country has its own cultural and landscape characteristics.

Country Public expenditure on education as a share of GDP (per cent) Public expenditure on education as a share of the state budget (percent)
Albania 2.5 (2018) 7.5 (2017)
Andorra 3.2 (2018) 19.0 (2017)
Armenia 2.7 (2017) 10.2 (2016)
Azerbaijan 2.5 (2017) 8.2 (2016)
Belgium 6.5 (2016) 12.2 (2015)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bulgaria 4.1 (2013) 11.4 (2013)
Cyprus 6.3 (2016) 16.3 (2015)
Denmark 7.6 (2014) 13.8 (2014)
Estonia 5.2 (2016) 13.0 (2015)
Finland 6.9 (2016) 12.5 (2015)
France 5.7 (1999) 9.7 (2015)
Georgia 3.8 (2017) 13.0 (2017)
Greece 4.0 (2005) 8.7 (2005)
Ireland 3.7 (2016) 13.1 (2015)
Iceland 7.5 (2016) 18.2 (2015)
Italy 3.8 (2016) 8.1 (2015)
Croatia 4.6 (2013) 9.5 (2013)
Latvia 4.7 (2016) 14.1 (2015)
Liechtenstein 2.6 (2011)
Lithuania 4.0 (2016) 12.3 (2015)
Luxembourg 4.0 (2015) 9.4 (2015)
Northern Macedonia 8.6 (2002)
Malta 5.2 (2015) 13.2 (2015)
Moldova 5.5 (2018) 18.5 (2016)
Monaco 1.5 (2017) 7.0 (2017)
Netherlands 5.5 (2016) 12.0 (2015)
Norway 8.0 (2016) 15.7 (2015)
Poland 4.6 (2016) 11.6 (2015)
Portugal 4.9 (2015) 10.1 (2015)
Romania 3.0 (2016) 9.1 (2015)
Russia 3.7 (2016) 10.9 (2015)
San Marino 3.1 (2017) 10.6 (2011)
Switzerland 5.1 (2016) 15.5 (2015)
Serbia 3.7 (2017) 9.0 (2016)
Slovakia 3.9 (2016) 10.3 (2015)
Slovenia 4.8 (2016) 11.2 (2015)
Spain 4.2 (2016) 9.8 (2015)
UK 5.5 (2016) 13.9 (2016)
Sweden 7.7 (2016) 15.5 (2015)
Czech Republic 5.6 (2016) 13.9 (2015)
Turkey 2.8 (2006) 12.8 (2015)
Germany 4.8 (2016) 11.0 (2015)
Ukraine 5.4 (2017) 12.4 (2016)
Hungary 4.7 (2016) 9.2 (2015)
Vatican City State
Belarus (Belarus) 4.8 (2017) 11.1 (2017)
Austria 5.5 (2016) 10.7 (2015)

Northern Europe

To the north of Europe, the Scandinavian peninsula is counted with the countries Norway and Sweden, but also the countries Finland, Denmark and Iceland. The landscape here is characterized by varied coastlines, picturesque fjord landscapes, extensive lakes and vast forests. The metropolises of Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki and Copenhagen contrast with this often lonely and rugged nature.

Eastern and South Eastern Europe

Alternatively, studying in Europe is also possible in an Eastern European country. Eastern Europe generally includes countries as diverse as Belarus, Estonia or Hungary. Given the cultural and scenic diversity of the region, this summary definition is controversial. The following countries geographically fall under the term Eastern Europe: The European part of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Estonia and Kazakhstan.

Eastern Europe is home to some of the continent’s most interesting cities. Therefore, more and more international students are studying in Europe in cities like Prague, Riga, Krak√≥w or Budapest. Like the individual countries, the flair is completely different. What they have in common, however, is the great wealth of historical buildings and the lively pub and cultural scene.

In the broader sense, the umbrella term Southeast Europe includes the countries of Albania, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Hungary.

Southern Europe

Spain, Portugal, Italy and Malta are among the most popular holiday destinations and some of the most popular destinations for studying in Europe. They tempt you in summer with fantastic temperatures and sun-drenched beaches. In view of the rich cultural history, the famous regional kitchens and their southern lifestyle, these countries are also worth a trip away from the high season.

Central and Western Europe

Germany and its neighboring countries, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Belgium and Austria are included in Central and Western Europe. Northern Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium are best known for their flat landscapes and rough coastlines. The Black Forest in southern Germany or the high mountain ranges of the Alps in Switzerland and Austria are quite in contrast.

To study in Europe on the “island”

A special position takes the UK , with the three nations England, Scotland and Wales one. In particular, the English, known for their black humor, sometimes jokingly differentiate between “the continent” and “the island” and stick to left-hand traffic and British pounds.

The British Isles also includes Ireland, whose northern part, Northern Ireland, belongs to the United Kingdom.

Urban Europe

The majority of Europe’s population lives in cities, but with vast differences between countries; in Belgium over 95%, in the Netherlands 90%, in Denmark, Sweden and Germany approx. 85% and in Portugal and Albania 35%. The majority of states’ production and consumption is linked to a small part of the area. Here the urban industries are concentrated, and here the vast majority spend almost all their time. Urban growth caused housing to disappear from the city center while more suburbs and garden and sleeping villages emerged; a development that gained momentum in the 1950s and continued into the following decades. New areas were built and many were given a long journey between residence and work. The European metropolises are all characterized by colossal road and rail systems to cope with this task.

Especially from the 1980s many central urban areas again got housing construction. The living areas of cities have very different ages, standards and population. Old and poorly maintained high-rise buildings turn into slums and sometimes into ghettos. Neighborhoods and suburbs can vary from wealthy neighborhoods to suburban ghettos with major social problems, depending on standard, price, location and infrastructure.


European nation states still matter less because of the interaction between business development, urbanization and internationalization. Workforce competition is moving jobs to the east and south of Europe and away from here. Migration from country to city, from south to north and now from east to west affects the composition of the population. Every corner of Europe senses changing currency, borrowing and sales conditions in major European or overseas countries. Urban regions such as Paris, Frankfurt, Milan, Copenhagen or Moscow function increasingly with Europe and the world market. The existence of cities is largely based on service, information and knowledge. These information and service societies are characterized by functional and power shifts, often rapid shifts, between regions, cities and catchments. The EU’s core area is like a banana, reaching from the English metropolitan area over the outskirts of Holland and the Belgian metropolitan areas, the German urban bands on the Rhine, Main and Neckar and to northern Italy. The area has close links to the east (Berlin) and the north, and its infrastructure and urban links to the SV along the Franco-Spanish Mediterranean coast and the SE of Italy are strengthened. Other urban zones develop at some distance from the “banana”: around Paris, in southern Italy and Spain-Portugal, and in the Oresund region. These patterns reflect both the changes in the cultural landscapes and the framework that the natural basis determines.

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