Study in Germany – What to Expect
Highly subsidized tuition fees combined with a high standard of education has made Germany one of the most preferred study destinations for international students. If you’re planning to study in Germany, here’s what you can expect!
The academic system is flexible and student-centred
Germany has high academic standards with programs that help in self-development. That said, some degree courses do not have a fixed class schedule as well as there is no obligation to take certain courses. Students have full independence to choose their classes and courses. Many universities have agreement with corporates to offer practical-training or internship to students, which can also lead to a job after graduation in certain cases. For most of the degree programs, the entire grade is dependent on the final exam, while some do factor in homework and participation of the students in outside-the-classroom activities. In addition to that, students are given ECTS points (European Credit Transfer System) for every exercise or lecture passed and at the end of the studies, these points are added up to the final grades. Besides ECTS, a common grade school 1 to 5 (1=excellent; 5=unsatisfactory) is used across all the universities in Germany, except law schools.
Ordered and punctual life
Germans are very punctual and doing things late or wasting people’s time is unacceptable and considered rude. They follow an ordered life yet are very relaxed and certainly know how to party. During the festivities and events, you can expect an exuberant and lively atmosphere. But once it’s over, the ordered and punctual life again takes the centre stage. So if you plan to study in Germany, be prepared to become a disciplined and organized student!
Great international environment
The big cities in Germany have a great international environment that makes the transition process easier. If you study in Germany, you will get to meet people from various countries and ethnicities. In addition to that, there are many opportunities to socialize and participate in cultural events and activities either conducted by the universities or just happening across the country in general.
The club culture in Germany isn’t as big as countries like USA, UK or Australia, but joining one is definitely one of the best ways to meet like-minded people and make friends while you study in Germany. Also, at German universities, you will find many study groups comprising of both local and international students. It is best to join the group in order to understand things better.
There’s lot to see and do
From admiring the fairy-tale castles and historic structures to exploring the Black Forest region, Alpine landscapes, natural wonders and quaint villages, there is a lot to see and do in Germany. If you’re an adventure enthusiast, the place won’t disappoint either. There is a plethora of trekking trails, extreme camping options (such as sleeping in a tent suspended from a tree), thrilling rides, and winter sports, such as toboggan, log rafting and skiing available from January to April.
Aplenty job opportunities
Germany is a technologically advanced country with plenty of jobs in the technology sector. Besides, there are jobs in medicine, science and engineering fields to boot. Even those with a vocational degree may find a good job in Germany.
Also, international students are allowed to work part-time while studying in Germany. Students from EU/EEA countries do not need a work permit and can work up to 20 hours a week. While students from non-EU/EEA countries can work for 120 full days or 240 half days per year, and if they want to work beyond these hours, a work permit from the Federal Employment Agency and the Foreigner’s Authority is needed.
The official language is German, but English is widely spoken and understood
Most universities in Germany offer programs in English, and people do understand the language, but it is always an advantage to know some basic phrases in the local language if you wish to mix with the people around you, to land internships or part-time jobs, or to seek employment in Germany after completion of your studies Also, all the shop signs, road signs and businesses are written in German, so knowing the language can help you in a lot many ways that you could have not even imagined. You can download a German language app to learn the language.
Sunday is Ruhetag (quiet or rest day)
Schools, colleges, shops, pharmacies and supermarkets are closed on Sunday in Germany (literally, everywhere). So, it’s a good idea to get everything you need before Sunday rolls around. Restaurants, cafes and some tourist attractions, however, are opened.