I'm an EU citizen that doesn't qualify as an EU student in the UK. Where do I study?

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  12 December 2013
I'm an EU citizen that doesn't qualify as an EU student in the UK. Where do I study?

Hello, cgsociety!
I wanted to know if you guys have any information regarding schools or universities for 3D animation or animation in video games. Unlike other people I've seen posting in this forum, my situation is peculiar, to say the least.
I'm an EU citizen, but I grew up and went to school in Chile, South America. I graduated from a german high school, which means that applying for university in Germany was somewhat easy for me, as they recognize my qualifications. I have always liked the idea of working on the games industry, but I never knew what I really wanted to do (besides design, which is something I have been studying for a while now with books and... video games). I thought that programming might be my thing, and I decided to apply for Computer Science in Germany. Surprisingly, programming wasn't what I thought. I had programmed before in school, and I really liked it, but my programming classes in university were mostly theoretical and the rest of my classes were math, math, and math. I know, I should have expected something like that, but sadly I didn't. I quit university in search for something that might fit my interests better, and then I realised I had never considered 3D modelling and animation. I've used 3ds Max in the past, and loved the idea of creating stuff with it.
So here's how it goes. I created a UCAS account and started looking for 3d animation courses in the UK, and then I found out that even if I'm European, I don't qualify as an EU student because I haven't lived in the EU for the last 3 years (why that law/rule even exists is beyond me). This means that my tuition fees would be the same as an international student's and studying in the UK would mean economical suicide as I don't get support from the government either (UK and EU students don't pay until they earn more than 21000 a year while international students need to pay around 12000 in pretty much one sitting). That alone renders every single university in the UK unaffordable for me. I have thought about studying in the Netherlands too, but I don't know where (I don't speak dutch so my options are limited). Studying in Germany is still an option since my qualifications are recognized, but speaking German can make things difficult and understanding lectures in German is pretty god damn hard. I haven't looked into studying in Canada because I've heard that it's awfully expensive, and I don't know if there's any government grant or loan I could apply for.
The UCAS deadline is in like 2.5 weeks, and I don't know what to do. Can anyone help me out? Any sort of information would be greatly appreciated!
  01 January 2014
Hi there

You're in a tough situation indeed - the first thing that comes to mind is can you wait until you have lived in the EU for three years and then get the cost of the course assisted by the loan? If you have to study this year, then I don't think that a UK degree will be possible for you - everyone will charge you their international rate, and that is admittedly variable, but still an average of 12,000 per year of the course is about right. You mentioned Germany, there is a very famous animation school there that teaches in English - Filmakademie Baden-Wurttemberg - you should have a look at them. The courses are free to anyone in the world (The German government pays for it all), but I imagine it's a rather popular place to study. The UCAS deadline you mention is only really for UK students - if you're from outside the UK most universities realise that your academic studies might not fit that deadline and ignore the fact that you are applying later (obviously check that for a specific course in case there are any that are very strict). Good luck.
http://uhanimation.co.uk/ - Digital Animation Programme at the University of Hertfordshire - 3D, 2D, Games Art and VFX
  01 January 2014
Hey there

I sadly cannot wait for those 3 years to pass. However, this university you are speaking about looks pretty good, and a friend here in Germany has given me some other alternatives that seem like strong options. So that's solved, at least, and I'm incredibly happy.

There's something that still bugs me though. Once my degree in Germany is over, will I be able to get EU fees in the UK for post-graduate courses? I recall something about those "3 years in the EU" not counting full time education. Is that true?
  01 January 2014
I don't know if the German government will fund post-graduate education; I know the UK government doesn't (for anyone, UK students included). Maybe the Germans are more enlightened? As to your other question, I don't know - you are the first person that I've seen ask this question. There is a page here with some useful information that might help


Interestingly it mentions that you might be valid for the loan if one of your family members has been an EU citizen / lived in the EU for three or more years - would that help you?
http://uhanimation.co.uk/ - Digital Animation Programme at the University of Hertfordshire - 3D, 2D, Games Art and VFX
  01 January 2014
Yeah, my uncle has been living in London for 10 years now (I lived with him for some months, too). He's european, but he managed to get british citizenship some time ago. The loan would really help me. Are these rules the same for every university in England? Because I remember the folks at Cardiff saying:

"Students are classified as home or overseas for fee paying purposes based on the duration of their stay in a particular country, rather than by theirs or their families nationality or citizenship. The usual rule is that a student must have been living within the EU for at least 3 years before they can be considered an EU student - and subsequently pay Home/EU tuition fees. "

That's from an email I got after asking them about it. That pretty much rules out the option to study in Wales.

Last edited by SupremeAlfax : 01 January 2014 at 11:36 PM.
  01 January 2014
The honest answer is I don't know. I'll ask one of the staff in our admissions department to see whether we have the same response (I would expect so, but Wales does have slightly different rules for Higher Education than England, so there may be some regional variation I'm not aware of). I probably won't get a reply until next week though, many staff are still on their Christmas holiday.
http://uhanimation.co.uk/ - Digital Animation Programme at the University of Hertfordshire - 3D, 2D, Games Art and VFX
  01 January 2014
Sure! I can wait. Let me know of what you can find.
  01 January 2014
I'm sorry to say I've got bad news for you. I spoke to a member of the admissions team, explained your situation and she showed me the guidelines that all UK universities have to accept in regards to admitting students from outside the UK, and they will not accept your situation as being one that you could claim the student loan for; you would be classified as a International student for fees. The only loophole I could see around that would require you to get married to an EU citizen, who would then have to be working in the UK at the same time as your study period. That person would also have to have worked in the EU for at least three years; but they do not have to have worked in the UK, just within the EU. Sorry that's probably not going to help you, I hope you do manage to get where you want to be eventually.
http://uhanimation.co.uk/ - Digital Animation Programme at the University of Hertfordshire - 3D, 2D, Games Art and VFX
  01 January 2014
Oh, don't worry mate. I already found what I wanted and I'm REALLY looking forward to starting my course. I appreciate the help, however, and I will stick around these forums for a while. Again, thanks a lot for helping me. I will definitely consider studying a Master's programme in Hertfordshire if I get the chance.


Last edited by SupremeAlfax : 01 January 2014 at 09:39 PM.
  01 January 2014
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