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Europe - the essentials

When preparing to study and move abroad, there are many things that you will have to keep in mind.

When preparing to study and move abroad, there are many things that you will have to keep in mind. To make it easier, this page list the essential need-to-knows about Europe.

The Study in Europe website provides information about 34 European countries.

These 34 countries are part of the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme, which provides study-abroad opportunities and scholarships for students from Europe and from partner countries in other parts of the world.

The European Union is a unique economic and political partnership between 28 European countries that together cover much of the European continent. The EU member states are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

Find out more about the European Union  Choose translations of the previous link  .

Across Europe, you will hear many different languages. Within the European Union, for example, there are 24 official EU languages, and many others as well.

Most Europeans are multilingual. Over half of Europeans (54%) are able to hold a conversation in at least one additional language, a quarter (25%) are able to speak at least two additional languages and one in ten (10%) are conversant in at least three.

Most countries in Europe offer a choice of higher education study programmes in their local language as well as in English and other leading global languages. On the Country profile pages, you can see the study programme language options for each country.

Most of Europe has a relatively mild, temperate climate. The coldest places are in the far north and in the high mountains. The warmest places are in the far south and south-east. The weather is warmest and driest in summer (roughly June to September) and coldest in winter (roughly December to March).
19 of the 28 European Union countries use the  Euro  currency. These countries are: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. Other countries in Europe have their own individual currencies. Visit the  Country profiles  to find out more.
The biggest religion in Europe is Christianity, but you will find many other religions across Europe - in particular Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Sikhism and Buddhism. As well as these religious communities, many Europeans are atheist, agnostic or humanist. On campus, most universities have prayer and social groups representing the major religions, to help you make friends and stay connected to your faith.

Spanish paella, Italian pasta, French cuisine, Greek moussaka… Europe is known for its delicious specialities, but if you are missing food from home, don’t worry!

Most restaurants serve local food alongside dishes from all over the world. Big supermarkets tend to sell popular ingredients from around the world, plus in larger towns you may find stores dedicated to food from different world regions.

Many countries in Europe have large vegetarian communities – for example 12% of the UK and 10% of Sweden are vegetarian. Wherever you go, you can usually find at least one vegetarian or vegan option on the menu. If not, just ask the restaurant staff – they are usually happy to cater for you.

With large Muslim and Jewish communities across Europe, many shops and restaurants in Europe’s more cosmopolitan towns serve halal and kosher options. University restaurants usually cater for halal, kosher and vegetarian too.

Planning to drive a car in Europe? You can find out about buying and renting cars, getting insurance and checking if your licence is valid on the  Europa website .
Wireless internet access is common across Europe – especially in hotels, libraries and cafes. Most university campuses have computer facilities and many offer Wi-Fi zones too.