Q1. Is there any flexibility regarding the word count of the personal statement?
Unfortunately, there is no flexibility with regard to word count. The word count is strict and the statement must be a maximum of 600 words.
Q2. I am currently completing the final year of my undergraduate degree, can I apply for the College for the next academic year, even though I don’t have my final exam results yet?
Yes, you can apply in your final year. If selected for a place at the College, you’ll be admitted on the condition that you graduate and pending the outcome of your final exam results.
Q3. When do interviews usually take place?
Interviews for the College of Europe usually take place in March/April, or late February in the case of applicants to the MATA programme. If you are selected for interview, you will be notified at least a week in advance. Interviews take place in-person, with the possibility of virtual interviews in certain exceptional cases.
Q4. Should I apply for the ‘Access to French’ track (European Political and Governance Studies) or the Summer Language Academy (European Interdisciplinary Studies) if I am concerned that my French language ability isn’t up to standard?
It is best to contact the College Admissions Office in Bruges directly regarding specific queries about the language requirements of the European Political and Governance Studies programme. Admissions Office staff can discuss the difference between the ‘Access to French’ track and the conventional track in more detail. For questions regarding the language requirements of the European Interdisciplinary Studies programme and accessibility to the Summer Language Academy, please contact the Communications and Recruitment Office in Natolin (email@example.com). The level of French required also differs slightly depending on the course you are applying to.
Q5. Are there any special criteria applied to decide who is offered a scholarship, over and above the criteria used to decide who is offered a place at all?
If you apply as an Irish citizen, you will be automatically considered by the Irish selection committee, while being considered generally for admission, for the six full Irish Government scholarships. These are normally awarded to the top-performing candidates at interview, or are sometimes split between candidates at a similar ranking and partial scholarships are allocated to more than six applicants. There is no additional application process/criteria for being considered for these scholarships.
Q6. Can I appeal scholarship decisions?
There is no appeals process for scholarships. Students are selected for the scholarships by the panel and all decisions are final. Students may be awarded scholarships at a later date should another higher-ranking student decline their offer.
Q7. When will I find out if I have received a scholarship?
If you are successful in obtaining a scholarship from the Irish Government, you will be notified in the same email as your offer of admission from the College. This could be 1-2 months after completing your interview.
Q8. Will I be notified of the decision regarding scholarships in my acceptance email from the College?
Notification of the Irish-administered scholarships is almost always in the original acceptance email you receive, with the exception of late offers as per Q6 above. If you applied for any other scholarships separately with the College (e.g. ENP, Geremek), notification of these scholarships could come at a later date and you can enquire with the College Admissions Office directly regarding the awarding of these separate scholarships.
Q9. Can an Irish applicant be offered a place in the College without being offered a scholarship, or do the two mostly go together?
Yes, applicants can be offered a place without being offered a scholarship. While the top candidates at interview are offered Irish Government scholarships, all other candidates whom the Selection Committee deem as meeting the requirements to attend the College are also offered places. Some students attain other College of Europe scholarships administered by the College itself (details of which can be found on the College of Europe website) and some self-fund, the numbers vary each year.
Q10. Are Irish Government scholarships awarded to students applying to the MATA joint degree programme?
Yes, but students should be aware that the scholarship is to a maximum value of €26,000. As such students may need to consider additional funding to support the second year of their programme.
Further details can be found in the College of Europe’s more comprehensive FAQs here.