As we step into the month of October, there is no better place to explore than the land of Oktober Fest; Germany. This country is known for dominance in the field of technology and proudly homes some of the preeminent car manufacturing companies like Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Opel, Porsche, Volkswagen, Pegasus, etc.
Germany is the heart of Europe, not just due to its location, but also because of its technological and economical stronghold. Today, Germany is also being counted among the best education destinations due to the exceptional reputation of its universities regarding transparency, innovative study methods and quality of education.
Germany has successfully captured the attention of us Indians, and there has been a steady rise in the number of Indians heading towards this country. Today, over 150,000 Indians are residing in Germany and out of these, around 50,000 people have German citizenship. Several factors, like International degree programs, tuition fee waivers, and huge career opportunities after graduation, make education in Germany the best study destination in Europe. There are more than 3 lakh international students studying in Germany this year, which includes around 12,000 Indian students.
Education in Germany is preferred mostly by students who are looking for deep subject knowledge and practical, hands-on experience. However, just like all good things come with a bit of hardship, you’ll have to cross some hurdles while pursuing an education in Germany. It is of paramount importance to be prepared and have a clear understanding of the requirements and challenges of education in Germany. In this article, we’ll discuss some crucial things that all international students should know about studying abroad in Germany:
Things you Should Know
Education System and Top Colleges
The German education system is lauded all over the world as it incorporates subject knowledge and research orientation in all its courses. Germany is equally known for a virtuoso in technological studies as well as humanities. There are two types of public universities in Germany.
The first type is the general university that emphasizes on teaching science and research. The other type of university is called Fachhochschulen, these universities specialize in applied sciences and believes in preparing the students for practical and professional work. The later can be compared with the Polytechnic colleges in India.
Apart from these, there are many private universities in Germany that conduct courses for international students. However, before choosing a private university, it is imperative to make sure that it has state recognition. The German Universities have fared well in the QS world ranking, and there are more than 35 universities in the top 500 list. The following are some top universities in Germany:
- RWTH Aachen
- TU Berlin
- TU Braunschweig
- TU Darmstadt
- TU Dresden
- University of Hanover
German Language Proficiency
Although a grip over the German language can be beneficial, it is not compulsory. Most of the universities offering International Degree Programmes (IDP), don’t ask for proficiency in German language and English is the medium of instruction.
However, you’ll have to demonstrate proficiency in English through language tests like TOEFL or IELTS to get admission in IDP. For pursuing regular courses in other universities, German proficiency is must, and you’ll have to clear German Proficiency tests like Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH) or TestDAF. You can give the TestDAF from India while the DSH is only conducted in Germany.
Irrespective of whether you need to know the language to get selected in a University or not, knowing the language can make your life in Germany significantly easier. Although a large population in the urban areas can speak English, you might need a basic knowledge of the German language to blend in with the natives.
Fees and Living Expenses
Education is free in Germany! Well, this s not always true, and it depends on the state in which your university is present. The reigns of universities in Germany are in the hands of the prospective state governments. Most of the Federal States have abolished tuition fees, and the student has to pay only for some additional expenses incurred on infrastructure and other facilities like laboratories or libraries.
This fee ranges from 200 to 500 Euros per semester, which is equal to around 15,000 to 36,000 INR. According to DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), the tuition fees are required only in the state of Lower Saxony and the fees collected for a course are around 500 euros per semester.
When it comes to living expenses, it can be a bit costlier than most of the other European countries. However, it is significantly lesser than the leading education destinations like the USA, UK and Australia. In Germany, an international student might need to pay around 800 Euros (59,000 INR) per month for rent, food, travel expenses, clothing, health insurance, learning material, phone and internet connection.
Work During and After Studies
Given the high cost of living, it becomes very necessary for most of the international students to find part-time work while studying in Germany. Most of the states in Germany allow international students to work part-time while pursuing a course.
An international student can work for a maximum of 120 full days or 240 half days in a year. If a student wants to work more than this, he/she will have to seek permission from the Federal Employment Agency “Agentur für Arbeit.” Once you are done with your graduation, you are allowed to stay in Germany for a year to look for a job. If you find a suitable job, you can apply for a residence permit and work for a minimum of 2 years before applying for permanent residency.
Studying in Germany can be very competitive, and if you are not comfortable with the German language,it might take some time to make friends and have a social life. However, once you overcome these hurdles, your student life can be fun-filled, and you’ll notice that your native classmates can be very warm and helping. Germany can be the best platform for you if you are looking for hands-on practical knowledge and virtuoso in the field of your expertise.