The number of students choosing to study in a different country has risen dramatically. In 2017, a Savills study revealed that there were a whopping 4.5 million international students at universities across Europe in 2015, with the number predicted to reach 8 million by 2025.

It’s not difficult to understand why studying abroad is so attractive: immersion in a new culture, enjoying new foods, exploring new places and making friends with people from across the world but, what is causing the huge increase in popularity in recent years?

Purpose Build Student Accommodation (PBSA) is a comparatively new concept in continental Europe. International students studying abroad will reach 7 million by 2020, bringing various expectations of what constitutes a good location, comfortable living conditions and a productive learning environment. Some students will be well travelled and street smart while others will be away from home for the first time – but all will require logistical and emotional support. English Taught Programmes and the right brand of PBSA will provide peace-of-mind that studying overseas is safe, a great opportunity and in many cases more rewarding.

In 2014, there were 8089 English Taught Masters courses abroad, growing from 725 in just over a decade. The statistics at undergraduate level are even more impressive: a growth of 2800 courses in less than a decade. Affordable PBSA with first class amenities will naturally drive demand for studying abroad.

For many students, language has previously been a barrier, but with the boom in the number of ETP courses many English-speaking students are taking advantage and exploring the world. These students are not necessarily native speakers but, with English acting as the de facto language of business it’s clear why related subjects have wide appeal.

European students raised on smartphones depend on technology. 73% of student rank high speed internet as the most important feature of their accommodation. 91% of students use social media every day to keep in touch with friends and with mental health on the top of most universities’ pastoral agenda, it is crucial that these lines of communication are reliable with a particularly important role for fast and reliable Wi-Fi. Satisfying demand for translation apps and university Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) particularly for bandwidth hungry courses like Media and Design with Wi-Fi that is ‘faster than at home’ makes studying abroad feasible.

Tuition fees rising in the UK means it is cheaper for many students to go to university abroad. But it’s not just about money. We live in an increasingly international society, so it makes sense that we are beginning to see this reflected in higher education.

In a survey by Study Portals, educational institutions listed their top reason for offering ETPs as: preparing local students for a global world. They talked about maintaining a competitive hold on the market, especially if there has been a demographic shift and a decline in local student population while numbers of international students have skyrocketed. They see this internationalism as filtering into local communities and bringing global talents and increasing the quality of education.

What’s in it for the students? Better access to funding, more diverse study options and a better chance of finding the perfect course. An international mindset in the classroom with loads of international friends living around the world, lots of new places to visit, cheaper holidays and cultural experiences! Notably, something different for the CV and possibly different connections with industry for internships.

It can be daunting moving to a new place and not having the safety net of language or cultural understanding. PBSA could fill the huge hole in the market across Europe, making sure that students have safe, quality accommodation without language barriers.Receive the Smart Block 2020 white paper by following this link.

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