Best places to study Physics in English in Europe for a scientific career

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Hi there! I am puzzling over the choice of a European university where to study physics. I have to start from scratch, that is from a bachelor degree, since my BSc is in a different field, computer science engineering. Courses must be taught completely in English because I don't have any sufficient knowledge of other languages, except my mother tongue, Italian.

Since I am an experienced computer programmer with a talent for functional programming and design - think that I dislike Java and love Lisp - I would like to put my software engineering skills at work too, e.g. specialising in scientific and parallel calculus applied to physics.

That is to say that I would appreciate the chance to take one or two advanced programming courses during my physics degree as elective modules, but I primarily intent to study physics, neither applied physics, nor engineering or computer science.

I would like to study the fundamentals of physics from both a theoretical, mathematical, experimental and computational perspective so that I can gain a first-class background in this science, in an attempt to become a scientist, not a technologist.

If my BSc goes well I mean to further my education, studying towards an MSc and maybe even a PhD in some branch of physics. I don't think I have to decide my specialization from now, but rather when I know more about the subject to make an informed choice which is right for me. And, of course, I can easily change university for my MSc and PhD.

I am not interested in other kinds of career prospects physicists may have in the business world like finance, IT, etc. I want to stay firmly in the realm of science and research.

Having settled what I want, I initially thought of the International Physics Studies Program at the University of Leipzig, Germany.

I would be grateful to anyone who can provide other choices to compare this to. After I found the DAAD University Ranking statistics, it left me spoilt for choice!

Therefore I would like to hear first-hand accounts from people who have studied physics recently with almost my same objectives so I can make a choice which is good for me. Please share your experience here!

If you are a professor or assistant, why would you recommend your university to one like me?
 

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