Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Book Review: 'College Beyond the States: European Schools That Will Change Your Life Without Breaking the Bank' by Jennifer Viemont

North Carolina author Jennifer Viemont earned her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Illinois, Chicago and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who has worked in a variety of areas including school social work, mental health, and coaching. She also works as a parenting coordinator - an alternative dispute resolution for high-conflict divorce cases. Additionally Jennifer has developed and implemented a program working with both high school and college students around time management, study strategies, goal setting, and other executive functioning skills that are needed for academic success. ‘Jennifer has a passion for traveling and made it her priority to expose her kids to other countries and cultures. She loves to get a deeper feel for the cities she visits by eating, shopping, and residing in areas populated by locals.’ Jennifer is the founder of BEYOND THE STATES, a resource dedicated to providing students and families a single source of information about the 1700+ English-taught bachelor’s degree programs in continental Europe while keeping objective by not partnering with any universities in the program.

College - tuition, living, supplies, travel to and from home – is a devastating expense to most families in this country. ‘According to the College Board, the average annual tuition for state residents at public colleges was $ 9,970 for the 2017-18 school year. Thus, if a student completed their degree in four years (which most do not), they would pay $ 39,800 total in tuition. The schools listed in this section cost around $ 20,000 and less for the tuition for the entire degree— almost half the cost of in-state tuition in the United States.’
Jennifer Viemont has worked diligently to resolve this financial burden with her experience as shared in this valuable book. As she states, ‘This book is for anyone who is looking for an English-taught bachelor’s degree program outside of their home country— either for themselves or for their children. This includes not just American high school students, but students anywhere in the world who are curious and excited to learn about other countries and cultures firsthand. Those who are seeking an alternative to the soaring cost of tuition in the United States, or who want a way to opt out of the flawed admissions process will also find this book useful. Students who are concerned about the current political climate in the United States will have the chance to learn about schools that offer the sort of education that allows one to affect real global change. And finally, this book is for all students— whether you’re on the cusp of graduating high school or you’re older, having missed out on attending or completing college the first time around. So long as you are willing to travel and step outside your comfort zone, exploring college options in Europe will show you that exciting and affordable higher education alternatives are within your grasp.’ This book offers a course in the pros and cons and the fundamentals of attending college in Europe.

In her accessible, well-structured manner of writing Jennifer takes us through the history of college tuition elevation in the US and contrasts that with the European approach to college admissions and affordability. Her choices of schools to suggest as alternative colleges in Europe have been heeding costs, educational experience, educational outcomes, and International student experience. Give this core of selection values she offers specific schools that she recommends – always looking closely at the pros and cons of each.

There are many reasons to consider Jennifer’s concept and advice – among them, hopefully, a growing appreciation for global harmony among our young people educated in other countries. This is an excellent book well worth careful study! Grady Harp, August 18

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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