Education while stationed in Europe

Adult learners in a classroom
Adult learners in a classroom

Education while stationed in Europe

by Tamala Malerk
Stripes Europe

Getting stationed in Europe offers so many opportunities for learning. From language programs to colleges on-base and online, as well as study abroad opportunities, there is something for everyone who wants to expand their knowledge while they are here.


Learning the Language

For those stationed in Italy or Germany, it is beneficial to learn the language(s) surrounding you in your new home. For Army families stationed in either of these countries, ACS (Army Community Services) offers free German, Italian and English-as-a-Second-Language courses. For DoD affiliated families in Germany, the Ramstein Community Center offers a low-cost option to learn beginner’s German and French. You can also find language courses for native English speakers in nearby communities, often held as evening classes in a community center or school. Fun fact, for those stationed in the Kaiserslautern Military Community area, you are about an hour from the French and Luxembourg borders, so you can put newly learned vocabulary to good use while exploring.


Going to College

Bases across Italy, Germany and the U.K. offer on-base and online undergraduate and graduate opportunities from the University of Maryland Global Campus and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (as of the time of writing). Central Texas College and the University of Oklahoma will stop offering on-base options in Europe as of summer 2023 but will continue to offer online options. Southern New Hampshire University and Webster University offer military-affiliated tuition discounts, and some schools also allow for credits received from military courses (such as the Army’s Captain’s Career Courses and the Navy’s Senior Enlisted Academy) to count towards undergraduate and graduate course hours for those doing online or onsite courses. Enlisted members of the Air Force can earn their Associates Degree in Applied Sciences through the Community College of the Air Force and can earn many of their general education courses online or on-base with partner universities in Europe. For the most up-to-date information, go to your on-base Education Center for guidance.


Studying Abroad…While Abroad

Many people dream of studying in Europe, but transportation costs such as expensive airfare and other related costs can add thousands to what may already be a costly educational experience. By already being in Europe, what seemed like an unlikely adventure may become a more affordable possibility. The awesome thing about studying abroad is that you don’t even have to be a traditional student and you can take advantage of short-term (as short as one week), semester, summer and year-long options. You can study topics such as language, culture, fashion, writing, business, health, science and so much more through programs offered by companies such as EF Education First, SAI Programs and CEA.


No matter what or how you want to learn, your education doesn’t have to stop just because you moved to Europe. Opportunities abound, so check out these options today!

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