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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Understanding Europe: Why It Matters and What It Can Offer You by HEC Paris

224 ratings

About the Course

Regardless of where you live, the European Union not only affects your life, but may also transform it. By learning how Europe works, a new world will open up to you and discover new jobs you never heard of. The European Union has a large, yet often unnoticed, impact on many aspects of everybody’s life. We will analyze what the EU is doing for YOU regardless of where you live. We will also look at what YOU can do for and in Europe. Whether you are traveling, eating, working, doing business, shopping, surfing the Internet or breathing, all these activities are largely shaped by the EU. As a result no global citizen, business leader, lawmaker, lobbyist or student can effectively operate in Europe or in the world without a solid understanding of this unique laboratory of integration. While the EU is often depicted as a monstrous bureaucratic creature, condemned to irrelevance by the emerging economies, in 50 years it accomplished what other countries took centuries to realize. The EU remains the most accomplished experiment of economic, social and political integration in human history. Given its inherent complexities, this Course aims at empowering you on what Europe can offer and will enable you to discover jobs and opportunities you were not aware of. Indeed, throughout the whole course, participants will be confronted with real-life examples of EU action. EU affairs professionals will share their personal EU experiences and tell us about their EU jobs. You will also be able to interact with the instructor and other participants, share your opinions, question the instructor’s assumptions and hence shape the course’s content....

Top reviews


Oct 15, 2017

Absolutely loved it. I now feel that I know the basic structure and working of the EU, which is very useful to me considering I'm going to pursue my masters in France next year.


Aug 28, 2017

if you like to know more about the EU , its institutions this is a good course to understand its inner workings

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1 - 25 of 63 Reviews for Understanding Europe: Why It Matters and What It Can Offer You

By Vlad M

Nov 13, 2019

Excellent course with in-depth information about the workings of the EU institutions. Highly recommended for anyone trying to achieve a better understanding of the EU, in general. Information is current until 2014, however. Needs a significant update to match current facts. Would also gain significantly from further reading materials.

By Ron L

Oct 31, 2019

Enjoyed learning about the EU and democratic underpinnings of its institutions - definitely an amazing achievement. Since this course is a bit old it would help to have dates to better answer questions on the final exam such as who is the current President of the Commission.

By Dylan R

Oct 29, 2018

The course is a highly valuable resource for begining to truly understand the value of "Understanding Europe", studying Europe, the EU, and societal integration that combines amazing lessons, thought generating materials, and absolutely energetic and highly knowledgeable teaching by you to, thankfully, give someone like me a fundamental understanding of my native US's friends across the Atlantic, Europe, all thanks to you!

Thanks Alberto!

By Thomas K

Aug 19, 2020

Excellent course! Alberto is awesome at presenting as well as entertaining, and the content very interesting!

By Timothy H

Apr 6, 2021

This course was well presented and structured, very interesting, easy to follow and understand. Thank You

By Silvana B

Apr 24, 2016

This course is very comprehensive and covers a lot of information, videos are entertaining and Prof. Alemanno is not only extremely knowledgeable (as are other lecturers invited) but also very enthusiastic, adding a touch of humour to the lectures which make them very light to watch. Full of examples, very didactic and well designed. So, from this point of view, I strongly recommend the course, I've learned a lot about the EU and I am sure others will too. I must say I am frustrated with Coursera though, as the course quizzes are not open for students who don't opt for a certificate, worth 43€. This course was designed about 2 years ago, and although most of the information provided is still valid, there are several topics that require an update. Also, as the course seems not to be "monitored" as "live" editions, there was a very low level of participation in the discussion forum and little to no response from the supporting team to student's questions. Although I understand Coursera is a business and must generate income, it might have been more appropriate to charge, say, half the price, for those who still want the certificate despite some of the contents requiring a refresh or don't mind joining the course in "unattended" mode.

By Akanksha S

Jul 29, 2018

I really loved the course and the written assignments we got! The instructor was so engaging and it made this course easy to understand. I think my issue lay only with the structure/scheduling of the course. Another course I had completed called After the Arab Spring - Democratic Aspirations and State Failure. In this course, they had structured the course such that each week had four ten minute videos, but each was followed up with an 8 question quiz before moving on to the next video. That really helped me remember the information better, whereas with this course I found I would often forget the content by the time I reached the review. I think that adjustment would really help since there is so much interesting and informative discussion that this course has, and I would think I, as well as others taking the course, would never want to forget it, especially since it is so beautifully delivered! Thank you for such a phenomenal experience.

By Declan I

Nov 22, 2020

The course is an adequate introduction to the European "game" and a good historical and structural overview of the institutions. However much of the policymaking is high-level and lacks engagement beyond the principles. I enjoyed the course, but frequent English translation errors and poorly formed questions made participation more difficult. Thank you for this course.

By Mar I

Dec 5, 2016

Thanks so much for a solid course that covers all the main pillars for understanding the structure and philosophy of the Union. Particularly important in those time of crises in which, the raise of populism and far right political agenda is being used as a tool to assign responsibility to the EU to failures at national level. Lack of transparency and accountability in addition to a lack of leadership is the real responsible of this crisis of credibility.Is for this reason that its essential to educate people around the meaning of the EU and this course fully achieves this goal. Only one point to take it into account that is regarding the feedback from peers. In my case were not quite useful, without almost no analysis and without understanding the meaning of the assignment in itself. It´d be good to further consider this aspect and/or see other alternatives like the intervention of the facilitator.

By Masoud P

Nov 8, 2015

The course is structured in an efficient way. However, it does not offer an unbiased opinion about EU as can be seen from the title of the course. There are many things that can be improved in EU and a more critical approach would be a lot more helpful. Overall, this course has an above average quality with an acceptable level of engagement.

By Gabriele

May 11, 2022

Quizzes have incorrect answers, and the fact that answers are blocked out when you submit (particularly on the select multiple versions) leads to guessing more than a pedagogical benefit. Furthermore, the course material is outdated.

By Anya S I

Dec 13, 2020

An amazing Course about Europe. Understanding Europe was an amazing class, with a clear idea and developed in small sub-topics, on how the European Union works. An excellent course that truly helps me understand what the EU is and means.

The European Union is the third biggest economy in the world. This MOOC clearly explains how executive, legislative and judiciary work together to run a union like European union. I want to thank Instructor Alberto Alemanno, HEC Paris and Coursera for bringing this MOOC. It is highly recommended to those passionate to learn more about the systematic workings in the EU.

I gained a good understanding of the structures and working of the EU through this MOOC, and the course has increased my appreciation for the EU because, though from Africa, Europe is affecting my life positively.

"The quizzes and assignments could be difficult at times but are very useful for grasping the concepts and thinking critically". I so agree.

By Palina M

Aug 29, 2016

Excellent and well-structured course that provides learners with the key and simply-explained information about the EU, its history, institutions, policy-making, civic engagement instruments, opportunities that are available to all of us thanks to the EU, and so much more! For me it was very interesting to watch interviews with people whose work is closely connected with the EU; these videos are absolutely inspiring. Quizzes are designed just right (I think they cover the most essential facts one need to know about the EU), and peer-graded assignments touch upon some thought-provoking issues and stimulate students' critical thinking. I would say the course is truly worth taking, both for EU and non-EU citizens.


May 2, 2020

Just finishing first week course. First assignement is on-going. Find this online course yesterday trying not to waste time during lock-down at home due to COVID-19.

Can already tell today that I'm so happy with this course. Excellent. Much more exhaustive than i think when I apply yesterday.

So just a few word to conclude : "Congratulations for proposing this highly recommended and exhaustive online course"

Best Regards. Nicolas

By Petar K

Sep 10, 2017

Very simple, yet effective way to understand what Europe is, what was and what will it become.

This is an amazing course that bring opportunity for people in this area to dive once again into the matter of the EU, but it can also bring this topic closer to people that do not hold a degree in development, international relations or EU Law.

Full recommendation for anyone interested in all or at least some topics of this course.

By Andreea C

Apr 26, 2021

This is a well-made, captivating and inspiring course, with relevant and interesting information and serious evaluations. The tests and the writing tasks that made me think outside the box and use the knowledge I gained during the class in new and personalized ways. Thank you very much to all the people who contributed to making this course available to anyone interested!

By Bhanu P

Oct 10, 2020

European union is the third biggest economy in the world. It's so fascinating to know about working of European union. This mooc clearly explains how executive, legislative and judicary work together to run glorious Democracy like European union. I would like to thank Instructor Alberto alemanno,Hec paris and Coursera for bringing this mooc.

By Clara M

Apr 28, 2021

Un Mooc très intéressant pour appréhender et mieux comprendre le droit et les politiques européennes. Même si le cours est un peu ancien (vers 2013) il reste très utile. Je m'intéresse beaucoup aux institutions de l'UE donc je ne peux que le recommander. Merci beaucoup à Monsieur Alemmano, à ses élèves et aux invités pour cette formation !

By Rahul J

Aug 23, 2016

Its an excellent and thought stimulating course. I gained good understanding of the structures and working of the EU through this course and the course has increased my appreciation for the EU.

The quizzes and assignments could be difficult at times but are very useful to grasp the concepts and think critically. Highly recommended.

By Bernard D V

Nov 14, 2016

A great course about Europe. We will learn a lot about Europe, its instiutions, history, foundations,...

And above all you will learn how you can act for Europe. At the end of the course, you will have everything in hand to know how and where to begin to act.

You will need to study very seriously for this course but it worth it.

By Arsenio J L R

Jun 4, 2017

Creo que es un curso que te ayuda a entender lo que la UE puede hacer por ti, cómo funciona y qué es lo que puedes aportar tú a la UE.

Es muy instructivo, te ayuda a entender temas del día a día.

Lo recomiendo encarecidamente a todo el mundo.

Un saludo.

By Sally P

Nov 11, 2016

This course is lively and varied and I learnt a lot. The level is quite high though, and in view of the widespread lack of detailed knowledge in Europe about the EU, it might be an idea to have a 'light' version as well

By Adriana S M

Feb 1, 2017

I'd like all the information and the presentation, but actually I think it is need an actualization to comprehend the new problems that are appearing in the EU.

By Frederic C

Feb 2, 2021

Excellent content. I started to work with EU about 6 months ago. This course really helps in better understanding the EU institutions and its functioning.

By Benjamin M

Jan 28, 2016

Everything that need to be known about europe to understand it. That is a big relief to find a so clear explanation.