MemberJune 25, 2016 at 3:06 pm
I can tell you how I see it from my viewpoint, I’m Austrian and studied in both Austria and Finland.
The procedure would be the following:
1. You apply to the university/-ies of your choice. Depending on institute and study program you might have to do an entrance exam. Some unis do these abroad in cooperation with other institutes, so depending on where you apply you would have to check where you can do the entrance exams. Application processes are early in most cases, for example for Finnish universities application processes end in early spring for the autumn term.
2. Once you are accepted by the university you apply for a residence permit based on study for that country at the nearest embassy of that country. You can also contact them beforehand with any kind of questions about the application procedure.
3. Either before or during the RP applicaton processs you will be asked to prove that you have the necessary means to support yourself during your studies, normally for the first 12 months. This could be money in your bank account, study grants, work contracts, some countries also accept sponsorships by friends and relatives. Each country has its own understanding of how much money you need to support yourself, in Finland it is for example 560 Euro a month, so you have to show 6720 Euro for 12 months to get your residence permit. Residence permits are normally given 12 months at a time, so after your first 12 months you apply for another one, you have to prove that you reached certain goals in your studies, and you again need enough money to support yourself for the next year.
4. Once you get the residence permit, and this might take quite a while, you can plan your move and start planning your stay.
More and more European universities ask for tuition fees, also Finland is starting with this soon.
For finding a job, that could be difficult if you don’t speak the native language. In Finland you nowadays need to speak Finnish even for cleaning jobs. There are a lot of unemployed foreigners as competition. But if you learn Finnish a bit the best chances might be restaurant jobs. Otherwise you can get by with only speaking English easily, most official forms exist in English, and everybody speaks it.
In Austria/Germany it is harder to get by without speaking German, dealing with authorities in English can be frustrating, though that’s slowly improving. On the other hand it’s easier to get cleaning jobs without the language, and German is easier to learn than Finnish.
For France I can say that you really need to speak French, almost nobody there is willing to speak English, very often even university professors refuse to talk anything but French, and international renowned researchers rely on translators for their publications.
I hope I could help a little, be welcome to ask further.