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I'm a U.S. sophomore (junior in the fall) studying Computer Science looking to transfer. I have three questions:

  1. What schools in Europe should I look into for Computer Science? To clarify what I'm looking for out of this question, I'm not asking for schools tailored to what I'm seeking (ie, will this school be good specifically for me), but rather the shared consensus of which schools are considered respectable for Computer Science. For example, even in the states I think everyone would say Oxford and Cambridge are well respected, but beyond that most (including myself) are not aware of other schools not in the U.S.

  2. What is the timeframe for applying to these schools? In the U.S. most schools allow you to transfer into the spring or fall semesters, with the application being due approximately 6 months in advance (for example, due in March for fall semester that starts in September) and the application process starting 9 months in advance.

  3. Ballpark, how much does it cost for international students to study at these schools? I've heard that University tuition is much lower in Europe. I have tried transferring to schools in the U.S., but for both schools I got accepted into the financial strain of ~30k in loans per year made it impossible to transfer. I don't want to waste my time applying to schools across seas if the same will happen.

  • I suppose you're looking for advice related to undergraduate courses in Europe? In that case, perhaps you might want to re-frame the question title to reflect that... – TCSGrad May 30 '12 at 17:36
  • You are correct. The title has been revised, thanks. – bronxbomber92 May 30 '12 at 17:54
  • That's three questions in one - please just ask one question at a time. And please be aware that, in general, this site doesn't take questions about undergraduate study - see the FAQ: academia.stackexchange.com/faq – EnergyNumbers May 30 '12 at 18:15
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    Independent of the issue about undergrad scope, I think the first question might be better posed on cs.stackexchange.com since it's very CS specific. – Suresh May 30 '12 at 18:27
  • I grouped the three questions together because if someone knows the answer to one of these questions, they'll most likely know the answer to all three (based on the perspective of a European asking me the same questions about U.S. schools). If I must split these questions, should I farm this into three questions asked concurrently or serially? And if it is believe to better ask the first question on the CS board, I will happily move it. – bronxbomber92 May 30 '12 at 18:53
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As there are many different countries in Europe, each with many different Universities, and each probably has its own application procedures and costs. You will need to consult each candidate university's website to find the appropriate information.

As an example, I googled "International Admission University College London" and clicked around to this page. It estimates 11-14,000 pounds living costs (food, accommodation etc) per annum and, clicking further, 24,500 pounds of tuition fees (I guess, per annum). London is expensive to live in.

There's plenty of information on the web. Universities are competing for students, and are happy to take your money, so they provide good web sites to make it easy for you.

Regarding timing, I think it's good to start looking into it now. On one website (ETH, I think), they said admissions closed at the end of April, but late admissions will close at the end of July. Time is tight.

You need a strategy to get this done relatively quickly.

  • Do a bit of googling about universities and countries.
  • Select a few candidate places and find their web pages about international admission procedures and fees. Also check whether they have a program in English.
  • Perhaps make a few phone calls, though with the time difference this will be difficult.
  • Narrow down the set of candidate universities to relevant ones that fit your budget and are in sufficiently interesting places.
  • Apply!

Don't forget that you will need to obtain a visa, and that can take months (especially if you were to come from a dodgy country).

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If you believe in university rankings here is the one from QS. According to it, the following nine European universities belong to the world top 50 in Computer Science: Cambridge (UK), Oxford (UK), ETH Zurich (CH), Imperial College London (UK), Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (CH), École Normale Supérieure, Paris (FR), University of Basel (CH), University of Amsterdam (NL), London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) (UK). Basically, I would say that all universities in the world top 200 list are good.

Moreover, depending on what are in Computer Science you prefer, it might be a good decision a university outside of this top 50/200 if they are specialised in the area you like.

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