Main concern: I am looking at PhD programs in Germany and the UK (vs US programs). Ideally, I would like to end up at a small liberal arts college (I got my BA from one). So I know I want a program with teaching requirements. I think this rules out France and Switzerland, but I believe many German PhD programs have teaching requirements. I also think the UK has teaching opportunities as well.
Are there other factors I should be thinking about?
Specific Concerns I've thought of
First, am I wrong in my assumption that there are only small liberal arts colleges in the US? Or are there places in Europe, where you can get the same research, teaching, and mentorship balance?
I know that liberal arts departments are smaller. Should I be worried that a foreign school that is good in my field might not be known in the department that I am applying to?
Also, I had a friend at Oxford, who said that she would need to do a postdoc (in a field that doesn't normally require them), because US universities will not see her 2 year masters + 3 year PhD, as equivalent to a master + 5 year PhD in the US. I'm in the sciences and my field doesn't normally require a masters. Should I also be concerned?
Reasons I am currently a Master student in a European program that allows us to do research in multiple countries (theoretically anywhere that will take us, but we have specific connections to France, Germany, and Switzerland). So far I really like the science culture here. I like how easy it is to collaborate with and even work in different labs. In my experience, PhD students in the US just don't have the mobility that EU students. I have an interdisciplinary focus, so this is very attractive to me. I also am interested in a very specific topic and there is better funding for it in Germany and (I think) in the UK.
In the US, it is hard to find a school with more than one lab working on the topic, I'm most interested in, so I like the idea of applying to the lab rather than the school. I am willing to consider working on related areas, but I'm not sure if I can spend 5 to 7 years working on something that is only tangential to my main interests. On the other hand, my Master program has a general focus and I would be interested in taking more classes that are specific to my main interests.