A Comprehensive Guide to Studying in Germany
After World War II Germany was split into two countries which were informally known as East and West Germany. They were later reunited in 1994. The country’s capital is Berlin and the official currency is the Euro. Christianity is the largest religion in Germany.
Academic education in Germany emphasizes basic knowledge, theoretical background, and practical application. The first graduate degree obtained is called a bachelor’s degree. One can continue with a master’s program. Both the bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs are generally divided into modules.
Modules are academic units comprising lectures, seminars, and practical sessions. A module can take a maximum of two semesters to complete and consists of six hours of academic work per week.
Some popular undergraduate courses are Bachelor in International Business, BSc in Management, Bachelor of Business Administration, BSc in Automation Technology, BSc in Electronics, and BA in Information Engineering.
Postgraduate courses like MBA, Masters in Computer Engineering, Masters in International Management, and MSc Aerospace Engineering are given preference. The Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg is one of the most reputed universities in the world.
Other popular institutes are The Technical University of Munich, the University of Stuttgart, the University of Dresden, the Cologne Business School, the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, and the Dusseldorf Institute of Applied Sciences. They attract quite a few students from all over the world.
To apply for a Bachelor’s degree, a school leaving certificate, (e.g. high school diploma, A-level baccalaureate) is required. They are recognized as a higher education entrance qualification. Additionally, some universities may ask for SAT scores as well. Applicants for a Master’s degree and Ph.D. programs will require a university degree as well.
While applying for Master’s degree programs, one should bear in mind that in some colleges it may be mandatory to take the GRE/GMAT exam prior to admission. Courses and programs taught in English are sometimes referred to as international programs.
Applicants wishing to pursue an international degree program do not necessarily have to take a German proficiency test. An English language certificate like TOEFL or IELTS is often required.
Each university/college decides on the minimum score required to secure admission. A prospective international student also needs to provide proof of financial resources.
At present, foreign students must prove that they have at least 8000 per year at their disposal.
This document will need to be submitted with the visa application or when one applies for a residence permit. Other documents that may be asked are a resume, letters of recommendation, letters of motivation, and a copy of the passport.
Requirements are college/course specific and may vary accordingly. Germany has two intakes in a year — one during winter which begins in October and one during summer which starts in April. Generally, the deadline for the winter admissions is July 15, and for the summer admissions is January 15.
These may vary from college to college. Although one need not know German for academic reasons, it is important to know the language for life outside college.
German public institutions of higher education normally waive tuition fees for many bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs. However, some institutes may charge approximately 500 per semester for tuition, between 150&250 as semester fees, and about 50 per semester for registration.
Certain Master’s degree programs charge higher fees which can be more than 10,000 per semester approximately. It’s best to check with each institute about their fee structure before applying.
Financial aid, grants, and scholarships can be competitive and may be granted on the basis of study of subject/research, academic achievement, and economic background. Funding can be in the form of financial scholarships which generally cover the applicant’s entire living expenses.
Many institutions also offer non-monetary scholarships where recipients are invited to workshops, lectures, and scientific conferences. However, grants for undergraduate students are limited. The aids and funding are mostly awarded to Master’s and doctoral students.
International student services offices and helpdesks in colleges assist students with accommodation, insurance, administrative procedures, etc. There are programs to promote academic, organizational, social, and cultural integration.
Source: This article was originally published in Mid-Day newspaper – PDF File: Studying in Germany
Frequently Asked Questions related to studying in Germany:
Q1: Why should I consider studying in Germany?
A1: Germany offers high-quality education, a wide range of programs, tuition-free or low-cost education, and a diverse cultural experience.
Q2: What are the language requirements for studying in Germany?
A2: While many programs are offered in English, some may require proficiency in German. Language requirements vary by institution and program.
Q3: How can I apply for admission to German universities or institutions?
A3: The application process typically involves submitting an online application, academic transcripts, a statement of purpose, and any required test scores.
Q4: Are there scholarships available for international students in Germany?
A4: Yes, Germany offers various scholarships and financial aid options for international students. Check with specific institutions and government programs for details.
Q5: Can I work part-time while studying in Germany as an international student?
A5: Yes, international students are usually allowed to work part-time during their studies. There are restrictions on working hours, and work permits may be required.
Q6: What types of visas are required for international students in Germany?
A6: International students typically require a student visa or residence permit, depending on the length of their studies.
Q7: How much does it cost to study in Germany as an international student?
A7: Tuition fees vary depending on the institution and state in Germany. Some states offer tuition-free education, while others have low tuition fees.
Q8: Are there English-taught programs available in Germany?
A8: Yes, many universities in Germany offer programs in English, especially at the master’s and doctoral levels.
Q9: Can I extend my stay in Germany for postgraduate studies or employment after completing my degree?
A9: Yes, you can extend your stay for postgraduate studies or seek employment opportunities in Germany after graduation.
Q10: Are there opportunities to learn the German language while studying in Germany?
A10: Yes, you can enroll in language courses, and immersion in daily life in Germany will also help you improve your language skills.
Q11: What is the cost of living for international students in Germany?
A11: The cost of living varies depending on the city and lifestyle, but it typically includes accommodation, food, transportation, and other expenses.
Q12: How do I find accommodation in Germany as an international student?
A12: Accommodation options include university housing, private rentals, and student residences. Many universities assist students in finding suitable housing.
Q13: Can I apply for a post-study work visa in Germany after completing my degree?
A13: Yes, Germany offers a post-study work visa that allows graduates to work in Germany for a specified duration to gain professional experience.
Q14: Are there opportunities for research and internships in Germany for international students?
A14: Yes, Germany has a strong emphasis on research, and many institutions offer research opportunities and internships for international students.
Q15: How can I adapt to German culture and daily life as an international student?
A15: Engage in cultural activities, participate in local events, and make an effort to learn about German customs and traditions to adapt effectively.