Q: Why should I apply to the College of Europe in view of Brexit?

A: Despite Brexit, the UK remains a European country and its relationships with the EU and and its European neighbours remain of fundamental importance. European expertise is therefore arguably even more valuable than before. Moreover a good understanding of European law, politics and economics is an excellent foundation for international work more generally.

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Q: What scholarships are available for UK applicants to the College of Europe? 

A: The Scottish Government offers up to three scholarships for applicants based in Scotland. Brunat offers scholarships (covering around two thirds of the cost) to students who are accepted by the College but are not able to raise their own funds. Serving UK civil servants can apply for a limited number of scholarships requiring a commitment to EU/international facing jobs for three years after graduation.  The College’s campus in Natolin offers a few Geremek scholarships to students with a historian background and planned dissertation topic.  The College also offers European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) scholarships to candidates who indicate that they have a plausible ENP-focused dissertation topic. 

Q:  Why study European law?

A: UK-based companies, NGOs, and citizens will continue to be affected by the reach of European law.  Much remains to be determined in a settlement for the longer term, but we can be sure that the need for lawyers well versed in the intricacies of European law will increase, not diminish. A good understanding of EU law is useful for many international careers more generally, including in international organisations such as the UN, WHO, WTO, OSCE, OECD, etc. Moreover, law firms and political consultancies in Brussels frequently seek out talented law graduates, particularly those from the College of Europe, who are able to bring together legal and political perspectives on EU policy.

Q: How good does my French have to be? 

A: To study law at the College your French needs to be pretty good, and reasonably so given that the Court of Justice of the EU retains French as its primary working language.  For the Politics, IRD and Economics programmes some knowledge of French is needed for some of the modules and a willingness to improve is desirable.  There is also the option to do an intensive French course during the summer before your MA begins, or during your time in Bruges or Natolin. There are plenty of opportunities for improving your competence in other languages as well.

Q: What message should I send to my undergraduate university to urge students to apply to the College of Europe? 

A: The College of Europe offers a unique experience, both professionally and personally.  Just look at the feedback from former students. Moreover, European expertise will be needed more, not less, as we adjust to the post-Brexit situation and the need to establish new international trade agreements, standards and cross-border partnerships. Through the various modules available, and the chance to write a Masters thesis on a topic of their choosing, the College prepares students to work on and tackle the many shared global challenges we face which do not respect individual country borders, including climate change, global poverty, and ensuring a strong global economy. And the learning does not stop when you graduate. The College has a strong, global network of former students and thousands of alumni hold high-profile positions in politics, diplomacy, law and business, both in Brussels and around the world. In addition to Nick Clegg and Stephen Kinnock, prominent UK alumni include current SNP MP, Alyn Smith, former Lib Dem MP, Simon Hughes, and former Conservative MP, Andrew Tyrie.

Q: What are my prospects for employment with a Masters from the College of Europe?

A: The outstanding skills and international network you get from studying at the College will undoubtedly help to boost your career prospects. Look at the record of former Brunat scholars and their varied and interesting careers. Their experience is widely shared by other UK alumni of the College. The need of UK organisations for European expertise is set to increase as a result of Brexit, not to diminish. There are numerous organisations in Brussels – as in other international hubs – where talent and EU expertise is the requirement, rather than nationality. A lot of work goes on around the EU institutions (NGOs, think tanks, consultancies, trade associations and academia) and EU expertise and language skills are also useful in international organisations (e.g. UN, World Bank Group and OECD). Native English speakers are particularly sought after in international organisations and by law and consultancy firms in Brussels, especially if they also have some competence in French or German. For competitive jobs, this has helped give College alumni an edge in the competition for interesting jobs.


Q:  What makes the College’s Masters programmes so distinctive?

A: The College is a unique experience both personally and academically. To begin with, the curriculum is taught by both top-level academics and highly experienced practitioners who travel from all over the world to teach at the College. You will learn soft professional skills and core competences as well as substantive expertise. For example, the IRD programme at Bruges features aspects of diplomatic training, such as conflict resolution and negotiation training, and a practical simulation exercise. You will also get the rare opportunity to live in one of two great cities, Bruges or Natolin (Warsaw). Both offer a unique cultural experience and have beautiful surroundings and sights for you to explore when you are not head down in books! The programme is hyper-intensive, with courses also necessarily taking place during evenings and weekends in order to accommodate the College’s “flying faculty,” most of whom hold other full-time positions elsewhere.  The experience of living and studying alongside fellow students from some 50 different countries is a European “microcosm” will also teach you a lot outside the classroom. Student life is active and varied, and includes a student bar, so-called “national parties” organised by students to celebrate the culture and gastronomy of their home countries, as well as a wide-range of events, parties and conferences organised by the College itself. There will never be a dull moment!

Q: What immigration requirements will I need to fulfill to study in Belgium or Poland?

A: College students with UK passports need the relevant visa approval and appropriate health insurance cover in either Belgium or Poland. More information will be provided to students accepted for places at the time of selection.

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