How KU Leuven changed my perspective on the value of education

I’m in the home stretch of my degree now and it just occurred to me that I forgot to reblog a post I wrote for the KU Leuven blog back in February about the value of the education I’m getting through this Erasmus Mundus program. It also seems timely given the budget announcements back home in Australia, making (postgraduate) education ever more expensive and yet another step in undoing what was once a more egalitarian society. I’m often homesick these days and very much looking forward to returning to Sydney, but in thinking about support for higher education, Europe is certainly coming out in front right now.

KU Leuven blogt

BY SHEILA PHAM. It’s cost me more than $20,000 to complete two undergraduate degrees and a masters in Australia, which I’ve gradually paid off. To me, this didn’t actually seem too expensive for a good quality education. But after studying at KU Leuven for a semester, my ideas about the cost of a university education have been deeply challenged.

This piece was written by Erasmus student Sheila Pham. She blogs at ‘Elephant Woman‘. She tweets at @birdpham

sheila-portretThere are relatively few students from Australia at KU Leuven. I only met one other compatriot at the start of the academic year, undertaking a masters degree in marketing. “It’s so cheap here! 600 euros is nothing!” she said. A few days later I was surpised by how little it cost to take an Italian class at the CLT (the positive attitude to multilingualism here is one of the…

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