Germans are formal and professional even during social visits and gatherings but don’t go with the first impression. Germany is costly in terms of living expenses if you choose to live in a big city, and it is reasonably affordable in the 2nd 3rd Tier cities. Germany has a unique social welfare system that provides pensions, free education, subsidized health care and other benefits. You need to consider many things before you decide to study abroad and in this great country!
1. Cost of living
The first criterion you should consider before choosing Germany for studying abroad is the cost of living. You might already know that German cities such as Berlin, Hamburg and Munich are among the most expensive places. Why it’s the first criterion even as an international student, you are eligible for state-financed education if you wish to study in a public university in Germany. That means that you don’t have to pay tuition fees for post-secondary-level studies in a German university funded by the public.
Germany has a strong economy with a high standard of living; its cost of living is relatively expensive in the big cities, as mentioned above. The cost of living in these cities may come around 861 EUR per month as per the German Immigration Department, and that is why the visa office demands evidence of funds for 12 months cost of living; 10,332.EUR.
Whereas in other smaller cities, international students maintain themselves within 500.EUR per month. A room in a shared apartment costs 200-300.EUR per month, and another 100.EUR for their monthly living expenses. University students need to pay 250-300EUR per semester as their semester contribution to the student union in their university, and in return, they receive a semester ticket. Students can travel free in all public transports within the state where their university is situated using their semester ticket. It is a key for free entry to public libraries, museums, and student discounts in many commercial establishments.
2. Extensive application process
The second criterion you should consider before studying in Germany is the extensive application process. If you are interested in learning in one of Germany’s famous universities among international students, be prepared for a lengthy and detailed application process! It typically involves many documents, such as transcripts from previous schools, reference letters, language proficiency test results etc. In addition, some university programs require a recorded interview either through video or audio.
To study in a university in Germany, you would need to apply in advance through uni-assist and indicate the university and program of your choice. Another article mentions that international students must prove their language skills when applying for a course or program. For undergraduate applicants, you would need to provide proof of a secondary school certificate or equivalent along with your previous education. If you intend to pursue a postgraduate course, you should have already received an undergraduate degree in the same field. Additionally, it would be essential to show detailed information about your previous studies and grades. For more specific requirements, you should visit the website of the institution you’re interested in studying at.
3. Academic difficulties at German universities
The third criterion you should consider before studying in Germany is the academic difficulty of the courses. The language barrier might be a severe challenge for international students pursuing their degree at a German university in German medium because all lessons and lectures are in German. If you are not keen to learn German before the commencement of the degree course, it won’t be easy to keep up with your system and comprehend classes. You need to have at least a C1 level proficiency, and if not, you will lack confidence in-class discussion or group work. Therefore German universities accept international students conditionally for degree courses taught in German. A serious student will find it an excellent opportunity and challenge as knowing German will have many significant advantages in your future career and life.
4. German language proficiency
As mentioned above, the fourth criterion you should consider before studying in Germany is your German language fluency level. Although many universities offer intensive German language courses or semester-long programs, they may still challenge non-native speakers. The ability to communicate in German will open many opportunities, and you will have a smoother experience while studying in Germany.
As an international student, you would need to pass a German language test before being accepted into any German taught course or program in Germany. You should write a language proficiency test like TestDaF or DSH as specified by each university to prove your proficiency level in German. You should score at least 4.5 on the TestDaF and 2.0 for DSH to attend a German taught course in a German public university.
5. Mature culture and customs
Before studying in Germany, the fifth criterion you should consider is the mature German culture and customs, which might differ from your home country! If you decide to live on campus or with a German family, you will need to adjust to living. Germans are very formal and professional in social settings. They will expect you also to be on time for all appointments, events and meetings. Unlike many cultures, Germans will shake hands no matter who you meet- men or women, friends or strangers.
The system in Germany is different from that of the education system of other European countries. Since most universities are free, students would likely be attending classes more often. Also, there aren’t any written exams in German universities except for some technical or art schools where you need to pass an exam. Instead, you would usually be required to complete several coursework and projects throughout the semester to pass the class.
In addition, there are some other differences in structure, culture and requirements for studying at universities in Germany which you should know before deciding to go there!
If you are determined enough to overcome all these academic difficulties, then go ahead and get your education degree in Germany!
Photo is from Evanto Elements
Guest Author Bio
KC Raj is a career counsellor and recruiter with many years of experience. Interested in topics like human development, education, immigration, inequality, and many other international issues.
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