It Makes A Difference: European vs. American Universities

Updated: December 28, 2022

The difference a dwelling can make

Whether it be dorm room dwellings or college sports, there are clear differences between American universities and European universities.

The tiny confines of dorm life have been more so the norm of the average American college student.  It’s something viewed as a right of passage into adulthood.  

Leaving home, especially leaving your home state to attend a university elsewhere, kind of seals the deal on a young student’s independence.

In Europe, dorm rooms are considered more or less foreign.

European students tend to take up residential life off-campus; renting apartments near campus while taking advantage of public transportation.  

Whereas some American students have a lack of transportation with the dire need for on-campus housing.

Better yet, many European students never actually leave home.  Dwelling within their parental homes up to the ripe age of 26 when they have completed their masters.

Take note, that European students with only a bachelor’s degree will have a very difficult time finding a job in Europe.

The difference in athletics

If you’re an American student looking to get into a European university with an athletic scholarship-think again.  The difference between how Europeans and Americans view university sports is as wide as the oceans that separate them.

American universities and sports is a pretty big deal.  I mean it is HUGE!  University sports are viewed as a profession.  A central structure which gathers large crowds of fans, family, friends, and big league recruiters.  

Getting an athletic scholarship is like the equivalent of winning an Oscar.

Now, how can I put this?

You may find a level of difficulty finding a European university that accepts athletic scholarships. While athletics exist, the ranking of importance is pretty low on the totem pole.

Europeans have an almost amateur view of university sports, where all are welcome, but without the hard push for athletic excellence in prep for a more professional goal that you’ll find lacking in many of these universities.

Attendance, studies, and testing

Believe it or not, American students have a greater commitment to attendance in the classroom.  Mainly due to frequent in-class quizzes and assignments that are given within a semester.

European students tend to skip classes, often.  Students in Europe actually take more exams and attend fewer, yet larger lectures which really determines what their grades will be.

American students have a bit more pressure to attend classes frequently, or they just may end up running out of unexcused absences and a 10% deduction off their final grade.

The differences are clear, so do your homework if you’re considering studies abroad in Europe or America.

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