Educational opportunities in Europe

Working abroad
European Union (EU) nationals have the right to live and work in other member states without a work permit. You will need:

  • a 10 year passport
  • normally, a residence permit if you intend to stay for more than 3 months

You have the same rights as nationals of the country you’re working in on:

  • pay
  • working conditions
  • access to housing
  • vocational training
  • social security
  • trade union membership

The International Jobsearch Advice Team can give you advice on working abroad. Contact your local Jobcentre for more information.

You can also find out if there are any suitable vacancies by calling into your local Jobcentre and asking a member of staff to search the database for you.

If you’re looking for work outside the EU, you might need a work permit or residence permit. Employers outwith the EU generally have to prove that vacancies can’t be filled from within their own country.

Contact the Embassy or High Commission of the country you want to go to. Most vacancies are dealt with by recruitment agencies and specialist journals. You can get information about employers and opportunities via the Internet.

You’ll want to know if your qualifications will be recognised in the country you want to go to. Your local Jobcentre has factsheets on many countries which could help. EU countries have agreed that qualifications leading to a regulated profession and obtained after at least three years study should be considered of equivalent value. Not all professions are included.

You can have your qualifications equated by contacting the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC).   

Phone NARIC between 9 and 5 Monday to Friday - tel: 0871 3307033 .  There’s normally a charge which depends on how much research is needed. You’ll be told in advance if there’s a charge.

Studying abroad
You’ll find that many of the questions about studying abroad are the same as for studying in the UK:

  • what you want to study
  • where you want to study
  • finance, or accommodation

You might go abroad as part of your UK course, or you might want to take a course in another country. Some UK universities may have links with exchange programmes.

It’s important to be fluent in the language of the country you want to go to, although universities may use English for teaching purposes. You should also find out as much as you can about the country and the university or college you have in mind.

It takes a long time to go through the application process for a course in the UK, and the added considerations in wanting to study abroad can make it a longer process.

University Careers Advisory Services stock a range of useful publications, particularly for postgraduate study. Resources include the Petersen Guides (for study in the USA) and publications for Commonwealth universities.

A vast amount of information is available via the Internet (universities may restrict access to their own students).

Useful links about studying and working in Europe:

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