Study abroad: Do you want to study in Germany?
Suchitra Surve, counsellor, Global Education Counsel says Germany is popular among engineering students, but is fast emerging as a destination for other streams as well.
Germany is an amazing country to live in and is also an outstanding academic destination for International students with enormous prospects for international degree programmes.
Germany has about 82 universities with 132 prominent educational institutions and several other institutions. It has great variety, geographically, historically and artistically.
Studying in Germany will have plenty to offer -- from exciting cities, culture and museums to a variety of major festivals, music and film.
Most of the universities in Germany are self-governing and emphasise on research and teaching. German universities provide special care for their international students and have a foreign student office that caters to their queries and concerns.
German qualifications at all levels are regarded as being of the highest quality, based on a system of education that blends thorough hypothetical knowledge with cutting-edge research by modern technology and discoveries.
Higher education in Germany for Indian students is one of the most rewarding impacts of the mutual cultural relationship between the two countries -- India and Germany. What makes higher education in Germany so accessible for international students is the availability of scholarships and grants. Most of these grants are regulated by the German Academic Exchange Service.
For those of you who are looking to explore post-education employment opportunities in the country, be aware that the employment prospects closely depend on the economic situation at the time. However, there is an increasing need for highly trained and qualified employees, which are also increasingly being recruited from the international labour market.
Education in Germany
At present, Germany offers about 330 institutions of higher education and is one of the leading countries in the field of science and technology and research for the international students.
The federal government of Germany plays only a minor role in this sector. Secondary education is all about school education and higher education refers to graduation, post-graduation and all of this is offered at German universities.
Education in Germany is public, i.e. most schools, colleges and universities are paid by their taxpayers and therefore they charge low tuition fee from them. Educational programmes are organised, financed and administered at the state level.
Many universities, colleges and business schools offer their courses in both German and English language. So, if an international student is interested in applying to universities in Germany then first he/she has to check with the admission team about the medium of instructions whether it is in English or not for the selected course. However there are some universities which offer university courses in German language only.
In Germany, universities offer few seats for international students for undergraduate programmes and for post graduate courses, the opportunities for admissions are more.
International students should possess qualifications that are equivalent to the requirements of German education systems. Foreign national students have to apply directly to the foreign students' office and from there on the universities of their Choice. Students have to pass DSH -- the German language proficiency test if required by their respective university before they apply for a visa.
Once the international student receives the acceptance letter from the university or college they applied to, he/she has to register with the concerned university registrar's office for submitting all the required documents. After reaching Germany students should register at the international office and then further at the Resident's Registration office and Alien's Registration Authority as well.
German Universities yearly has two major intakes.
January -- for studies beginning in summer semester.
July -- for studies beginning in winter semester.
Both the above mentioned intakes are suitable for the prospective international applicant, but students should apply to the universities only after considering the courses offered and future prospects.
German sholarships you can consider
In order to attract the attention of international students and researchers to study in Germany, the German government is taking an active plan for this by offering scholarships to deserving students.
The scholarship assists higher education in Germany for international students in various fields of interest including music, art and performing arts. Some important scholarships offered for the higher education in Germany for international students are:
- DAAD-Scholarship Database
The scholarship funds international students, graduates and post-docs and also contains the overseas programmes for foreign students.
- Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft -- DFG-German Research Foundation
This is one of the centrally funded organistion providing scholarships to those foreign academics and researchers in Germany who aim to work in Germany in research or academic at a later stage.
- Capacity Building International, Germany(InWEnt)
Under this organisation, courses are provided for professionals, executives, media persons from foreign countries in industry, politics, administration and civil society.
Cost of education
The study expenses at Germany are comparatively affordable. The study expenses include a health insurance premium, tuition fees and semester contribution.
Some universities, which are financed publically, are liberal enough to cancel the fees altogether while some other universities charge relatively low tuition fees, around 500 Euros per semester.
All students have to pay a semester contribution which is meant to cover public transportation expenses. This varies according to the university chosen.
Usually it costs about 200 Euros per semester. Eligible students can avail of scholarships provided by the German government. This will serve as an additional support to meet the tuition expenses. Tuition fees of approximately 500 euro per semester.
Additionally, to these 500 Euros students have to pay 42 Euros administration fee (altogether 542 Euros each semester). German universities now charge 1000 Euro enrolment charge per year, regardless whether the students are from EU or non-EU countries.
Accomodation in Germany
Accommodation for international students in Germany are quite high (individual flats/apartments); best economical option would be sharing a flat.
International students if possible should obtain information about accommodation before landing in Germany.
University residences also provide accommodation to international students. Anyone looking for a flat through an estate agent must keep one thing in mind i.e. two months' rent as advance is usually obligatory and it's expensive too.
But if you deal with an estate agent it's important to remember that the agent should be a member of the Ring of German Estate Agents which in Germany called Ring Deutscher Makler (RDM).
Student dormitories are also available which are indeed often very small, but on the other hand the cheapest available.
Hall of Residence (depending on the size of the room) cost approx € 140 to € 250 and individual apartment (depending on size, location) cost approx € 250 to ?.
Leading universities to study in Germany
- Ruprecht-Karls-Universitat Heidelberg
- Technische Universitat Munchen
- Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen
- Freie Universitat Berlin
- Universitat Freiburg
- Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin
- Eberhard Karls Universitat Tubingen
- Rheinisch-Westfalische Technische Hochschule Aachen
- Universitat Karlsruhe
- Universitat Hamburg
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons