Europe is the second smallest continent in the world by surface area measuring approximately 10 million km2, or 2% of the surface area of the world. There are approximately 50 countries in the continent with Russia as the largest country and Vatican City is the smallest country.
Europe offers many of the best institutions in the world. In the QS World University Ranking 2014/2015 there are a total of 336 universities in Europe included in the Top 800 (around 42%).

Of the 50 countries in Europe, some countries such as Italy, Switzerland, and the Netherlands become the popular education destinations of choice for international students. Italy is famous for design school, Swiss for the hospitality schools that are in the top five (5) best hospitality schools in the world, and Netherlands with high standards research universities.


Italy is a country in the south of Europe which shaped like boots. The extent of area is approximately 301,338 km2 and has a Mediterranean climate. With 61 million inhabitants, the country of Casanova is the fourth most populous in Europe. Italy is one of the developed countries with the third largest economy in the Eurozone and the eighth largest in the world (IMF 2014).

Italy plays an important role in higher education in Europe : as one of the four (4) states declaring “European Area of Higher Education” (Sorbonne Declaration, May 1998), as the basis of the reform of higher education “Bologna Process” (Bologna Declaration, June 1999) which is applied throughout Europe.


  • Italy is in the forefront in every field of higher education, particularly in the fields of design, architecture, applied science, and the arts.
  • Scientific research is highly appreciated in this country, especially concerning energy, environment and transport.
  • Studying in Italy is cheaper because there are many scholarships and financial aid as well as discounts for food and accommodation for students.
  • There are more than 32,000 international students so that the network will be expanded and students can learn the culture of other countries.

The amount of daily spending in a tourist town and big city, especially in the northern part of Italy, will be more expensive than in a small town. Students need to prepare approximately EUR 1,000 to EUR 1,500 per month depending on the city they live in. This amount covers the cost of accommodation, meals, transportation, telecommunications, and other daily necessities.

  1. Visa & Insurance

Student Visas are required only for those who will undergo the course of more than 90 days during the study period lasting effect. Insurance must be owned by international students except for those with a study period of less than six (6) months.

  1. Accommodation

Students can choose to stay in accommodation or in off-campus. If you choose to live off-campus, consider the distance, price, and facilities offered. The cost of renting a place to stay outside of the city ranges from EUR 450 to EUR 800 per month and EUR 600 to EUR 1,200 per month for those who live in the city.

  1. Part Time Work

Students who can do part time work are only the Italian students and students of members of the European Union. As for international students, they are required to have a license to work and it is very hard to obtain. The Company must submit a letter of intent to the Italian Police Station “Questura” but bureaucracy makes this process a long time and your visa may not allow you to work in Italy.

  1. Primary & Secondary Schools

Generally started by three (3) years of preschool, it is then followed by elementary school that continues for five (5) years. The Junior High School period is three (3) years, while High School lasts for five (5) years. There will be a test at the end of each level, called esame di maturità, which is required to enter university.

  1. Higher Education

Universities in Italy, including the oldest university in the world, such as the University of Bologna (founded in 1088), University of Padua (founded in 1222), and the University of Naples (established in 1224). Bachelor degree program in Italy usually lasts for three (3) years, Masters for two (2) years, and Doctoral between three (3) and five (5) years.



Country Italia map

Located in the Southern Europe, Italy is a peninsula extending to the middle of Mediterranean Sea. Italy is neighbouring to France on its west side, Switzerland and Austria on the north, and Slovenia on the east. Rome, its capital city, is located on the west coast of this pasta country.


In contrast to other European countries, Italy has different climates depending on the area. The northern part has cold winters and very hot summers. In the south, autumn, spring and summer seem to blend together and differ slightly. The climate in central Italy is lighter and has an average temperature throughout the year.

  • Winter : December – February
  • Spring : March-May
  • Summer : June-August
  • Fall : September – November

Italy has the standard time GMT +1 which means the country’s time is five (5) hours slower than Indonesia. In addition, the country also has Daylight Saving Time that makes time goes one (1) hour earlier than usual. DST is applied from late March to late October at which time then going back to normal.


People in Italy, commonly called Italian, are the resident of the Republic of Italy, regardless of ancestry or country of residence, and are distinguished from those of Italian descent and Italian ethnics staying in the area adjacent to the Italian peninsula.


Going around Italy is generally easy and efficient because of their excellent rail networks, such as the high-speed train (Elettero Treno Rapido), inter-city train (Eurostar and InterCity), and regional trains (Inter Regionale, Regionale and Diretto). Italy also has a large number of ports for the transport of goods and to take passengers to some of the main island in Italy.

For travelling on land, you can use the bus, metro, and taxi. For bus and metro tickets, tickets must be validated when you have already stepped in. Ticket purchases can be made at the shop of cigarettes, a newspaper shop, or ticket machines at bus and metro station. Tickets usually cost around EUR 1.30 to EUR 1.80.


Italy initially used the monarchy system during the second half of the 19th century until 1946. On June 2, 1946, the system was abolished and replaced with a democratic republican system. Executive power is exercised collectively by the Council of Ministers, chaired by Prime Minister, officially known as the Council President (Presidente del Consiglio).

  1. Canal of Venice

Venice is a romantic city with gondolas that float over small canals down this small town with the singing gondoliers. The city now has more tourists than residents.

  1. Colosseum

The Colosseum that is located in Rome is the largest and famous amphitheater since Roman times. This building can accommodate about 50,000 spectators and has no less than 80 doors.

  1. Pompeii

The city that was affected by Mount Vesuvius eruption and got buried under ashes and soils has now become one of the famous tourist sites in Italy. There are approximately 2.5 million visitors each year.

  • The capital city of Rome since 1871 is as old as almost 3,000 years old.
  • It is said that Italy has more masterpieces per square mile than any other countries in the world.
  • Many famous inventions are made by Italians such as espresso machines invented by Angelo Moriondo, car by Francesco Di Giorgio Martini, eye glasses by Salvino Armati, and translation dictionaries by Ambrogio Calepino.
  • Italy is also known for high fashion with well-known brands such as Gucci, Benetton, Armani, and Prada, Versace, and Dolce & Gabbana. Famous car brands such as Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati are also produced there.


The quality of higher education in the Netherlands is well known because of their national quality control system and a code of conduct that must be signed by the university. There are lots of research universities in the Netherlands who always get acknowledged as the best universities in the world.


  • The Dutch are entrepreneurs and inventors and the country became the birthplace of Nobel Prize winners, philosophers, and artists, as well as scientists.
  • Higher education in the Netherlands has a worldwide reputation thanks to its high quality.
  • Cost of living is affordable when compared to other English-speaking countries. The cost of studying is also relatively affordable.
  • Dutch already absorbed in Indonesia language. Indonesian food is also easily available in the tulip country.

Daily expenses include food, public transport, books, accommodation, and insurance that must be owned by all citizens and international students in the Netherlands. Generally, students spend about EUR 800 to EUR 1,100 a month. Students have the advantage of getting student discount for movie tickets, food in the bar and restaurant, as well as museum entrance tickets. They only need to show their student card upon purchase.

  1. Student Visa & Health Insurance

Students will need an entry visa (MVV) plus an institution resident permit (VVR) in the Netherlands. Later, students need to collect the visa at the Netherlands Embassy or nearest Consulate. Residence permit is valid for the duration of your course, as long as you get 50% of your study credits each year. After having VVR visa, you are free to travel from the Netherlands to other Schengen countries for up to 90 days within 180 days.

The Dutch government provides work opportunities for students who have completed a Bachelor or Masters program. The requirement is to ask Zoekjaar Permit / Search Year Permit which permits a one (1) year orientation period in which students can work without a work permit. This orientation can be changed into a stay permit for highly skilled immigrants / Residence Permit for Highly Skilled Migrants.

  1. Accommodation

The Netherlands does not have a tradition of on-campus accommodation. Most students live in or near the city where their university is located. The average cost of rooms in the Netherlands is about EUR 300 to EUR 600 per month. Accommodations in big cities like Amsterdam are usually more expensive than in small towns.

  1. Part Time Work

If the study program requires that you do the internship or apprenticeship, then you do not need a work permit. If you plan to work outside, then you must apply for a work permit that is limited to a maximum of ten (10) hours a week and full time during the summer which are June, July, and August.

Keep in mind that immediately after you get the job, you are obliged to obtain a Netherlands basic health insurance. If you do not meet this requirement, you risk getting a hefty fine.

With more than 1,700 programs, courses, and higher education, the Netherlands was the first country in Europe (outside the UK) which offers the first and largest education programs in English in Europe.

In 2014, there were 12 universities in the Netherlands that got to be in the Top 200 universities in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Currently in the Netherlands there are about 81,700 international students with half of them come from countries of the European Union, followed by China, and other countries. Popular areas of study that many international students take are Economics, Business & Finance, Engineering, Social Studies, and Language & Culture in either Research Universities or Applied Sciences Universities.

Binary System

Higher education in the Netherlands has a binary system which means you can choose two (2) types of education :

  • Education-oriented education at research universities;
  • Higher professional education offered by universities of applied sciences.

Many students do internships as part of their study programs. For foreign students, if you are interested, you can also do this program.


Country Netherlands map

The Netherlands consists of the Netherlands and six (6) islands of Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. The official name of this country is Nederland, which means ‘a country that is on the lower ground’, because most of the land are below sea level.

The Netherlands is located at the intersection where the culture of German, English, and French meet. This tiny country has 12 provinces with an area of 41,543 km2 (about the size of Jakarta and Yogyakarta combined) with a population of 16 million inhabitants. The capital of the Netherlands is Amsterdam, as the city for governance and where the Queen / King stays is in Den Haag.


The Netherlands has four (4) seasons of winter, spring, summer, and autumn. Snowy winter until below 00C usually happens between the months of December and February, while March to May is usually the spring, when the tulips are blooming beautifully. Summer usually happens during June to September, and that is when the hottest temperatures can reach 300C. Fall / autumn usually happens in the month of October to November and is accompanied by wind and rain.


In the summer, the Dutch use Daylight Saving Time GMT + 1 or six (6) hours earlier than the time in Indonesia. Beyond that, the time difference is the Dutch five (5) hours earlier than the time Indonesia.


Dutch society consists of more than 190 different nations. The unique relationship with Indonesia has no doubt brought the assimilation of these two countries. In the Netherlands alone the population of Indonesia who settled there are number two (2) after the EU population. Although the Dutch becomes the national language, foreign languages such as English, German, and French are also commonly used.


The small size makes this country has a very efficient and excellent transportation system, such as train, bus, tram, and metro. The bus ticket costs about EUR 1.60 one-way in the city. You can buy a 40% discount card for train tickets which can be used outside of rush hour. By train, you can easily go to almost all the cities in the Netherlands, including to German, Belgium, and France. To get information on travelling using public transport, including the direction of travel, you may look at If you want to save money, you can try using a bicycle in the bike lane. Most Dutch people, whatever their profession or status are, have a bike. Buy a used bike to save money and be sure to buy a strong lock.


The politics in the Netherlands is controlled by parliamentary, democracy, constitutional monarchy, and a decentralized unitary state. The Netherlands is described as a consociational state that is synonymous with the division of power, although technically there is only one (1) form of power sharing.

  1. Van Gogh Museum

As the name suggests, this museum is a collection of paintings of famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) which is an internationally renowned artist born in Zundert city. The museum has more than 200 paintings, ranging from the beginning of his career until his masterpiece worth hundreds of millions of rupiah.

  1. The Venice of Holland

The Netherlands also has its own Venice and is called the “Venice of the North” or “The Venice of Holland” – the river is clean and beautiful with small wooden boat houses with thatched roofs along the canal that are in Giethoorn, a village in the province Overijssel.

  1. Kinderdijk

The most known icon in Netherlands is the windmills. Kinderdijk is a village in the province of Zuid-Holland (South Holland) that has the most windmills. The windmill was originally built to move water from flooding rivers to keep the land dry.

  • Many Dutch words are absorbed into Indonesian as gratis (free), tas (bags), kantoor (office), dosen (docent in the faculty), and others.
  • Schiphol International Airport is located 6.5 meters below sea level.


Switzerland or the Swiss is the 7th richest country in the world with the highest contribution from its export trade. Monetary balance and the absence of corruption, make Switzerland as the number one (1) from 43 countries in the European Region in terms of freedom in trading.

In 2015, the (2) two Swiss cities of Zurich and Geneva are in the top ten ranking of The World’s Most Liveable Cities (the most comfortable city to live) according to the Mercer Global survey agency.


  • Four (4) universities in Switzerland are included in the ranks of the best universities according to QS World University Ranking 2014/2015 with two (2) of them are on the Top 20.
  • Researches at public universities receive financial grants from the government.
  • There are 135,000 students in Switzerland with 40% of them are international students.
  • The most popular educational programs for international students is Swiss hospitality school for its high standard

Swiss charge a high price, especially for meat, fish fry, oil, and vegetables. However, through a smart calculation, spending in Switzerland will be cheaper or the same compared to other European countries. Students in Switzerland get the facility for college and financial compensation from the government and organizations. For meals, students can take advantage of the facility’s selection of restaurants which are popular among the students due to its affordability as Mensa or café belonging to the university library.

Monthly budget amount for a student is about CHF 1,000 – CHF 1,500 for allowance and daily needs because usually the cost of housing, food, and insurance is included in the tuition.

  1. Student Visa & Health Insurance

The application process of Student Visa takes approximately two (2) – three (3) months. Student Visa obtained in Indonesia will be converted into B Permit (a kind of ID card for students) and is valid until the duration of the school is completed.

Health insurance must be owned by international students who plan to stay in Switzerland for more than three (3) months and will usually be taken care of by the school where the student will be studying.

  1. Accommodation

Most colleges in Switzerland have a Housing Office or the International Office to help students determine the most appropriate accommodation option. The types of accommodation that you can choose are:

  • On-campus accommodation

On-campus accommodation can be enjoyed with a special price thanks to the subsidy from the university. There are universities that already include the cost of accommodation in the cost of tuition.

However, subsidized housing numbers are limited so you should book well in advance. This accommodation fees typically range from CHF 4.200 – CHF 5.850 per semester.

  • Off-campus accommodation

You can choose to rent an apartment / flat or homestay (living with Switzerland family). For apartment / flat, it’s good to find a place to share the cost as well as expand your friendships. The budget of apartments / flats needs to be adjusted with the amenities, condition, and location. Prices range from CHF 1,050 to CHF 3,000 per month depending on choice of room types and amenities.

Homestay is one of the most effective ways to practice English and know the culture and customs of Switzerland. This homestay fee ranges between CHF 130 – CHF 750 per week.

  1. Part Time Work

In accordance with Swiss government regulation, international students outside the European Union (EU17) / EFTA country require a work permit to take part-time job that will be given after the students have stayed for six (6) months in Switzerland, unless the part-time job is closely related to the subject areas studied. Students are allowed to 15 hours of work per week during the school period and full time during semester breaks.

International students who graduate from a university in Switzerland are allowed to stay and seek full-time employment in Switzerland for six (6) months from the date of their graduation. Students need to pay attention to the provisions of part time work in each canton (a kind of province) in Switzerland since not all cantons allow students to take part-time job.

  1. Basic Level

Compulsory school system usually includes primary education and secondary education. Before that, children usually study in the kindergarten, although this is not mandatory. Classes are divided based on the language they use (French, German, or Italian).

  1. Intermediate

After elementary school, students will be separated in accordance with their capabilities and career interests in several areas (usually three (3)). Students who want to work in the academic field will go to high school (named Gymnasium or Kantonsschule). Students who intend to pursue a profession in trade or want to work directly only need to complete three (3) additional years before entering vocational education.

  1. Tertiary Level

Tertiary education depends on education selected during the middle level. For matura students, the university is the most common choice. Students in vocational high schools will often add a Fachhochschule or a Höhere Fachschule in their curriculum.


Country Swiss map

Switzerland has an area of approximately 41,285 km2, or one-third of the island of Java. The country is surrounded by France in the west, Germany in the north, Italy to the south side, as well as Austria and Liechtenstein on the east side which is a tourist area.


Switzerland has a maritime climate where during summer, the lower lands became cool and slightly cloudy. In addition, Switzerland also has a Tundra climate in which the area around the Alpen Mountain has low temperatures and snow.

In some parts of the city, the climate tends to be cool. For example, the state capital Bern has an average maximum temperature in July is 23,5oC and minus 4,6oC in January. Snow will fall in almost every part of Switzerland during winter time.


Switzerland is in the GMT +1 time zone where there is a difference of six (6) hours slower than WIB (Jakarta) in winter (late October to late March). Switzerland also runs the Daylight Saving Time (DST) that promotes local time of one (1) hour faster. At the time of the DST, the Swiss are in GMT +2 time zone in which there is a difference of five (5) hours later than GMT (Jakarta) during summer.


Switzerland has four (4) national languages which are used as an everyday language, namely Germany, France, Italy, and the Romans with English as the main foreign language. In addition to English, you are well advised to learn the local languages to make it easier to understand the culture in the area. The Swiss are very welcome and receive foreign visitors regardless of what language they use.


Switzerland has a highly organized transport system for mobility. Situated between the European countries, Switzerland has a dense railway line, the line between cities, mountain paths, motorways, and some large international airport. The train can be used for traveling between cities and between countries. You can easily travel to Germany, France, Austria, Italy, and go on to other European countries.

Switzerland also has an international airport that is very well known, such as EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, which is located in the border area between Switzerland, France, and Germany.


The type of governance in Switzerland is the Federation of Democratic Republic with some political parties. The country’s leadership is based on the strength of the Swiss Federal Council consisting of one (1) member of the board, the Federal Chancellor, and the Administrator of the Federal Government.

Switzerland is not included in the combined European Union and does not use the Euro as their national currency, but the Swiss Franc (CHF). Nevertheless, Switzerland has been running the Schengen Agreement regarding the freedom of mobility and the open door policy for the neighboring countries that joined the European Union so that all countries can enter Switzerland without having to obtain a different tourist visa.

  • The Castle of Chillon (located near Montreux)
  • The vineyard lavaux (located on the shores of Lake Geneva)
  • The Castles of Bellinzona (Ticino canton is located in the south)
  • The Abbey of St. Gallen
  • The Matterhorn (located in Schwarzsee, Gornergrat)
  • Switzerland is the birthplace of the Red Cross that is synonymous with the logo of the Swiss flag.
  • Switzerland is a country with the second highest life expectancy rate in the world after Sweden.
  • Switzerland is a country that is very punctual so that delays are not tolerated.
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