Comparison of Masters in USA vs Europe

Comparison of Masters in USA vs Europe


Europe and North America are two places that come to people’s minds when they think about studying abroad. While both the places offer a great deal of value to students, they have their own pros and cons. This article focuses on these differences and helps you make an informed decision. A survey conducted by the International Institute of Education’s (IIE) Project Atlas suggests that, the US is the leader in hosting over 24% of all the international students in the world. But this number used to be 28% in 2001. This proves that even though the US leads the charts, an increasing number of students are considering other options.

Cost of Tuition

Cost of education in the USA is very expensive compared to Europe. Studying in Europe gives the flexibility to choose from countries that offer 100% tuition waivers to countries and universities such as the UK that are similarly priced as the US for those of you who can afford it. Here are the country-wise average tuition fees.

Country Average Tuition Fees/year
USA 5000 - 70,000D USD
UK 6,000 - 10,000 GBP
Germany 0 – 40,000 EUR
France 1,500 – 35,000 EUR
Netherlands 5,000 – 30,000 EUR
Sweden 7,500 – 25,500 EUR
Italy 3,000 – 35,000 EUR
Switzerland 7,500 – 43,000 EUR
Ireland 4,000 – 30,000 EUR


US universities beat every other nation in this category with 4 universities in the top 5, 5 in Top 10, 19 in Top 50 & 29 in Top 100 universities in the world are from the USA according to QS World rankings. What does this prove you might ask? Well, even if you get into a Top 40 university in the USA, it has a very high standard of education, research facilities and campus. This gives you more options to choose from.But this isn’t the case with European universities. For example, the fourth ranked university in Germany according to QS is ranked 120 in the world.

Language Barrier

Most of the European countries aren’t english speaking. This requires you to go out of the way to learn their language to survive. Even though many courses are taught in english, People proficient in the official language of those countries are given preference when a job is offered. Also, oftentimes the specialization you are looking for isn’t offered in english.This narrows your course options. Moreover, it is difficult to network with the natives or drop a cold message on Linkedin. Even though people are friendly, it would be very difficult to survive if you don’t know the language of the land. This isn’t the case with USA, UK or Ireland.

Living Expenses

Country Average Rent/Month in the city centre (1 Bedroom) Average Rent/Month outside the city centre (1 Bedroom)
USA 800 - 2500 USD 700 - 1954 USD
UK 500 - 1300 GBP 410 - 1000 GBP
Germany 500 - 1200 EUR 400 - 900 EUR
France 500 - 1300 GBP 380 - 900 EUR
Netherlands 701 - 1650 EUR 600 - 300 EUR
Sweden 5000 - 15,000 SEK 4000 - 10,000 SEK
Italy 400 - 1000 EUR 320 - 750 EUR
Switzerland 1000 - 2300 Fr 800 - 1800 Fr
Ireland 800 - 2000 EUR 650 - 1700 EUR

Source : Numbeo

     Although national averages are mentioned in the table, Keep in mind that the cities like New York, London, San Francisco are way too higher than the national average.


In general, European countries are comparatively cooler than the USA. cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco have pleasant weather throughout the year and New York and Boston are comparatively cooler.

Country Average Yearly Weather in oC
USA 8.55
UK 8.45
Germany 8.5
France 10.7
Netherlands 9.25
Sweden 2.10
Italy 13.45
Switzerland 5.5
Ireland 9.30

Source : Wikipedia


Country Cost of Student Visa
UK 348 GBP
Germany 75 EUR
France 50 EUR
Netherlands 311 EUR
Sweden 1000 SEK
Italy 50 EUR
Switzerland 55 EUR
Ireland 60 EUR

Application Requirements

Most of the Universities in the USA ask for GRE mandatorily and TOEFL/IELTS is also a mandatory requirement. European Universities require only TOEFL/IELTS with a few universities having a mandatory GRE requirement. Many European Universities set a minimum required undergrad grade/marks. A very few universities like TUM also asks for GATE scores mandatorily from Indian students. Some universities in the US require WES credential evaluation whereas some German universities accept applications through Uni Assist.


There are a lot of Indian Stores in the USA along with a variety of other cuisines. This isn’t the case with european countries. There are a few Indian stores in London,Berlin & Munich but these stores are restricted only to a few major cities and a lot of times it gets difficult for vegetarians to find good places to eat. The situation better in the USA compared to Europe with a very few exceptions.

Payscale after Masters

Below is a list of Average Starting Salary by country and domain. Average salaries are higher in the USA compared to the UK.

Domain USA UK
Business $79,663 £44,000
Computer Science $72,080 £25,000
Engineering $73,871 £25,000
Mathematics and Sciences $67,891 £26,415
Communications $55,727 £20,017
Social Sciences $52,333 £21,137


Public universities are tuition-free in Germany and many scholarships like Erasmus Mundus scholarships are offered to students planning to study in Europe. Scholarships aren’t offered in high numbers to US grad students. Most private universities do not offer any scholarships to international students. Public universities in the US waive off a portion of the fee if you get Research Assistant(RA)/Teaching Assistant(TA) positions. But there are plenty of on-campus job opportunities in the US Universities that students can take advantage of.

Extracurriculars & Campus Life

College sports are a big deal in the USA. College level football and basketball have a huge following and coverage. As opposed to this,in European colleges, college sports aren’t given as much importance. Also, many undergrads in the USA live in dorms and on-campus living isn’t a popular choice in europe. But graduate students live off-campus in both the USA and Europe alike.

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