In an Interview with InDiplomacy, H.E. Iwona Piórko invites Singaporeans to explore the study options in Europe
How has Study in Europe evolved over the years?
The EU in Singapore’s flagship higher education fair has had an uninterrupted run. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we went fully digital and broadened our reach in Singapore and in the ASEAN region. Last year, we reached out to an audience of 15,000. We bring back the fair in a physical format (after 2019) integrating fully digital aspects as the future is Digital. www.studyineurope.com.sg provides a comprehensive insight into the diverse study options available across Europe.
Would you be able to share more about the Study in Europe 2023 and what can both prospective students and parents expect?
There has been a long pause for an in-person fair because of the pandemic. During this time, Study in Europe has evolved and built a strong digital aspect, as seen in our website – www.studyineurope.com.sg On 30th September 2023, we will have many European countries, higher education as well as university representatives and student alumni. Prospective students and their parents can expect guidance and to learn more about the many study options available across Europe. Admission is FREE and no registration is needed. Our education fair, among the most popular ones in Singapore and well-established in the region, reaches out to students and their parents, connecting them with universities and education specialists from across Europe. They also get to learn about the EU’s flagship higher education mobility programme, Erasmus+, which is part of the EU Global Gateway initiative that connects people, goods and services around the world in a sustainable way. For the first time, Study in Europe 2023 benefits from the presence of EIT (European Institute of Innovation & Technology) Digital, an organisation co-funded by the EU. It’s Digital Masters School is a successful collaboration between 15 European universities offering several Masters programmes in digital disciplines. These include: Data Science, Autonomous Systems, Embedded Systems, Fintech, Cybersecurity, Cloud and Network Infrastructure, and Human Computer Interaction and Design. We are excited to present this to prospective students. The programmes offered by this school are a natural match for Singapore’s ambitions to boost digital skills.
What makes the EU an attractive and unique destination to study, especially for Singaporean students?
The EU offers world-class education, extensive opportunities for personal and professional growth, bond-free scholarships, diverse cultural experiences, a chance to learn many languages and ease of travel make universities across the EU an attractive and unique destination for Singaporean students.
What kind of opportunities are made available to students when they study in Europe?
Research opportunities: Europe is a hub for cutting-edge research and innovation. International students from Singapore can engage in globally competitive research projects, gain valuable experience, and connect with leading experts in their fields.- Travel opportunities: The chance to travel to many countries in the EU make it easy for students to explore different cultures and regions during their studies. – Cultural enrichment opportunities: Beyond academia, living in Europe offers opportunities for cultural enrichment through art, music, history, and cuisine. Students can engage in a wide range of extracurricular activities and cultural events.
Are there scholarships or financial aid options available for international students in Europe?
Yes. These range from:- Government scholarships: Many European countries offer scholarships specifically for international students. These scholarships may be based on academic merit, need or a combination of factors.- EU Programmes: The EU offers several scholarship programmes for international students. One of the most well-known is the Erasmus+ programme, which supports international student mobility within Europe. – University scholarships: European universities also have their own scholarship programmes for international students. These scholarships may be offered based on academic excellence, specific fields of study, or other criteria. It’s a good idea for prospective students and parents to check with the individual universities during the fair if they are interested to learn more about the scholarships offered.
Could you share about the EU’s flagship higher education mobility programme, Erasmus+, and how Singapore can students be part of it?
Erasmus+ enables university students to study or intern in a European country. It offers students a chance to broaden their horizons as they explore European cultures and gain insights into Europe. Erasmus+ funding includes support for education and training of staff, youth workers, and partnerships between universities, colleges, schools, enterprises and not-for-profit organisations. Erasmus+ offers a unique opportunity to study at multiple higher education institutions across Europe.To be a part of it, prospective students can refer to: https://erasmus-plus.ec.europa.eu/about-erasmus/how-to-take-part
What are some of the benefits of this programme?
With a budget of some €26 billion, Erasmus+ 2021-2027 offers more mobility and cooperation opportunities than ever before. Some benefits of this programme are:- Higher education- Vocational education and training- School education (including early childhood education and care)- Adult education- Youth- Sport
What advice would you give students and parents when they are considering furthering their education in the EU?
Be open to experiences and enjoy the journey.