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Old 08.12.2011, 14:36
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Free grad school enrollment in Europe?

As you may know, internships with UN and UN-affiliated orgs require that the applicant be enrolled in a graduate program. Having just completed my Master's in the UK, and lacking sufficient work experience to qualify for many entry-level positions with other NGOs or IOS, this is obviously quite discouraging.

What I simply want to know is if it's possible for a non-EU citizen to enrol into a graduate program anywhere in Europe for free in order to qualify for such internships? My EU girlfriend knows of other EU citizens who have succeeding in doing this solely to be able to get a job placement.

Any experiences/info is greatly appreciated!
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Old 08.12.2011, 16:52
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Re: Free grad school enrollment in Europe?

University study is, I believe, still free in Norway for non-EU students.

(Sweden was also free until recently, but no longer. You might want to check Denmark and Finland too. Germany and France I don't know.)
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Old 08.12.2011, 17:54
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Re: Free grad school enrollment in Europe?

Thanks! Looking into it now
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Old 08.12.2011, 18:13
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Re: Free grad school enrollment in Europe?

PhD studies in Switzerland are practically free (tuition on the order of CHF2000/year) - I imagine all that jetting back and forth to Norway for exams, seminars etc. will add up to much more.

Unless you're planning to be a grad student in name only, and not actually do the work for a degree? Can't imagine many universities or advisors will take kindly to that idea but I suppose you can try.

Sorry for not mincing my words but this does sound like a harebrained plan. My background is in the sciences though, maybe it's different in other disciplines.
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Old 08.12.2011, 18:20
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Re: Free grad school enrollment in Europe?

EPFL don't charge their PhD students any tuition fees.

Last edited by porsch1909; 09.12.2011 at 09:45.
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Old 08.12.2011, 19:24
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Re: Free grad school enrollment in Europe?

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As you may know, internships with UN and UN-affiliated orgs require that the applicant be enrolled in a graduate program. Having just completed my Master's in the UK, and lacking sufficient work experience to qualify for many entry-level positions with other NGOs or IOS, this is obviously quite discouraging.

What I simply want to know is if it's possible for a non-EU citizen to enrol into a graduate program anywhere in Europe for free in order to qualify for such internships? My EU girlfriend knows of other EU citizens who have succeeding in doing this solely to be able to get a job placement.
Some UN/IO internship programmes consider applicants who have recently graduated from their Master's studies. The ILO is one of them. Several others these can be found in the UNIGE internship listings: http://www.unige.ch/international/collOI/stages.html. I'd also suggest you join facebook groups related to Geneva interns - when there is a need to find someone quickly, they sometimes post ads on these networks instead of posting them on "real" job websites.

As for enrolling into a graduate programme for free, you might want to do a search for "online studies" on the forum, there was a thread last year (or a few years ago) on different distance-based learning programmes. Some of the ones offered by the Scandinavian countries were free, but I'm not sure about non-EU students.
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Old 09.12.2011, 09:19
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Re: Free grad school enrollment in Europe?

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Unless you're planning to be a grad student in name only, and not actually do the work for a degree? Can't imagine many universities or advisors will take kindly to that idea but I suppose you can try.
Exactly what I plan on doing. Already have my MSc degree and some employers aren't actually bothered if you're doing the degree or not. The rule is applied by the UN not the individual employer. As everything goes through HR, there's no other way around it if one wants the position.

I looked into doing this in Geneva a while back and the recruiting department was fully aware of what I was trying to do, and still offering me a scholarship (I wish I had done it in hindsight).

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EPFL don't charge their students any tuition fees.
Thanks!

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Some UN/IO internship programmes consider applicants who have recently graduated from their Master's studies. The ILO is one of them. Several others these can be found in the UNIGE internship listings: http://www.unige.ch/international/collOI/stages.html. I'd also suggest you join facebook groups related to Geneva interns - when there is a need to find someone quickly, they sometimes post ads on these networks instead of posting them on "real" job websites.

As for enrolling into a graduate programme for free, you might want to do a search for "online studies" on the forum, there was a thread last year (or a few years ago) on different distance-based learning programmes. Some of the ones offered by the Scandinavian countries were free, but I'm not sure about non-EU students.
Some good suggestions, thank you. It's rare to find a UN agency that hires interns that aren't currently studying. I've been in contact with some ILO staff, so maybe something will pan out there...
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Old 09.12.2011, 09:41
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Re: Free grad school enrollment in Europe?

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Some of the ones offered by the Scandinavian countries were free, but I'm not sure about non-EU students.
Some info is available in this post: Can I study postgraduate in English ?
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Old 09.12.2011, 09:43
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Re: Free grad school enrollment in Europe?

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EPFL don't charge their students any tuition fees.
Master's programmes are CHF633 per semester.
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Old 09.12.2011, 09:45
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Re: Free grad school enrollment in Europe?

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Master's programmes are CHF633 per semester.

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Exactly what I plan on doing. Already have my MSc degree and some employers aren't actually bothered if you're doing the degree or not. The rule is applied by the UN not the individual employer. As everything goes through HR, there's no other way around it if one wants the position.

I looked into doing this in Geneva a while back and the recruiting department was fully aware of what I was trying to do, and still offering me a scholarship (I wish I had done it in hindsight).



Thanks!



Some good suggestions, thank you. It's rare to find a UN agency that hires interns that aren't currently studying. I've been in contact with some ILO staff, so maybe something will pan out there...
I meant to say PhD students. Other students are charged

Also what motivation would UNIGE have behind giving you a scholarship for doing nothing?
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Old 09.12.2011, 09:50
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Re: Free grad school enrollment in Europe?

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Also what motivation would UNIGE have behind giving you a scholarship for doing nothing?
Beats me. I suppose they're still making money as it was only a partial scholarship, which is why I didn't do it in the end. It's difficult to come to terms with paying money in order to work for free.

Also, it wasn't UNIGE.
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Old 09.12.2011, 09:59
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Re: Free grad school enrollment in Europe?

As I understand, there are a number of universities where you can enroll, sometimes for a small fee, yet do not have to take any classes (this is where more costs are involved). This is what a lot of interns do, from what I understand. I am not sure of the exact schools, but apparently this is quite common. Maybe Erasmus, or some in italy by recollection.
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Old 09.12.2011, 10:03
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Re: Free grad school enrollment in Europe?

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As I understand, there are a number of universities where you can enroll, sometimes for a small fee, yet do not have to take any classes (this is where more costs are involved). This is what a lot of interns do, from what I understand. I am not sure of the exact schools, but apparently this is quite common. Maybe Erasmus, or some in italy by recollection.
I think that will depend on what document is required by the organization, whether it's a letter of acceptance or a letter of enrolment. The latter might be tricky if I haven't signed up for any courses...

Would be great to hear how others in similar scenarios have done it...
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