3 attractive European study destinations for African students

As more and more African students seek universities abroad, the educational centers of the European Union (EU) are more and more attractive. Affordability and accessibility are two main strengths of countries like France, Italy and Germany. A Campus France publication on the international mobility of African students reports a 16% increase in African students since 2013, indicating an increased appetite for higher education abroad. Most of these students came from Nigeria, Morocco, Cameroon, Algeria and Tunisia; 43% chose to go to EU countries.

If you are part of this growing group who are considering education in the EU, you need to know about the Schengen visa. African students must obtain a Schengen visa to study in countries in this zone, which include the three listed below. This type of visa allows citizens from outside the EU to enter 26 European countries; you can stay and travel in the area for up to three months. Students will need proof of enrollment, a no-objection certification from their university, and advertisements to apply for a visa, among other documents.

For courses longer than 90 days, you will need a student visa from the country itself. Discover three countries where you can get a student visa.

Aerial view of the Seine and the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris on July 7, 2019. Source: Eric Feferberg / AFP


If you combined all the French-speaking countries of Africa, they would form a larger area than the United States. African students from countries like Congo, Cameroon and Ivory Coast would have an advantage when applying for a visa for France. The country has recently started accepting student visa applications online as well.

If you are from these countries, you must apply for a French student visa via the EEF procedure: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Gabon, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius , Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal and Togo. African students here are entitled to a short-stay visa (for courses of less than three months) or a long-stay visa.

In addition, the laws in France allow holders of a student visa to work part-time for up to 20 hours per week. With a minimum hourly wage of $ 10, you can earn at least $ 800 per month while studying. Consult Campus France for more details on obtaining a student visa.

African students

A view shows the Colosseum monument in Rome on March 27, 2021 before the lights were turned off for Earth Hour. Source: Vincenzo Pinto / AFP


Did you know that Italy is the seventh largest economy in the world? It is home to some of the oldest universities in the world – pioneering institutions in the fields of humanities, medicine, economics and architecture. In addition, the tuition fees are affordable and the cost of living is low. Masters Portal estimates that postgraduate students spend less than 2000 euros each year on tuition fees at public universities and survive on 600-1000 euros per month in student cities like Pisa, Padua and Turin.

According to Study in Italy, non-EU citizens must apply for a student visa at the Italian consulate in their jurisdiction. African students (and all other non-EU citizens) must apply for a residence permit in the city in which they will be living within eight working days of your arrival; you can apply at the city post office. Here is the full list of what you will need to apply.

African students

The Imperial Castle (Kaiserburg or Nuernberger Burg) is a monument in Nuremberg, in southern Germany. Source: Christof Stache / AFP


A leader in technological and automotive studies, Germany offers an interesting offer to international students. You see, once you have mastered German, you can study at a public university without paying a tuition fee. This model will undoubtedly attract more ambitious and qualified African students.

Depending on your studies, you will need either a student visa (if you have secured a place in a university), a student candidate visa (if you must be in Germany to apply), or a visa language courses. In addition to this, you will need a student residence permit to live in Germany. You can get it at the local residents’ office. See more of what you’ll need on the official site.

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