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UNIVERSITIES

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Germany Why?

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This is the first & foremost question any student would have. To answer this Question various aspects need to be considered. Undeniably the following factors play a key & influencing role in deciding the destination of study.

Facts

  •  There are more than 800 International Bachelor, Master and Doctoral programs.
  •  Degree programs "Made in Germany" are recognized world wide.
  •  English is the medium of instruction for many programs.
  •  Combination of theoretical and practical/industrial experience (bridges the gap between Theory and Practice).
  •  Less expensive when compared to other destinations.
  •  It is an exciting opportunity to learn a foreign language and culture.
  •  German education offers the possibility to study with students across the globe and hence establish international contacts.
  •  Numerous scholarships are available.
  •  Foreign students are allowed to stay for an year after graduation, in the event of looking for a job.
  •  Students are allowed to work 90 full days or else 180 half days during the course of study.

Quality Of Education

Germany is Synonymous with Quality. This holds true even in the field of education. Most of the Universities or colleges are state funded. So there is no concept of buying a degree as practiced in other favoured education destinations. Merit is the only criteria for admission & there is no doubt about it. According to German law, universities are not permitted to discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to persons on basis of race, ethnic group, gender, or social class.

Germany is the land of ideas. Education, Science & Research has been playing a central role in the German society. To name a few inventions - Aspirin, Phenol, MP3, Diesel Engine, Tachometer, Electromagnetic radiation, Gauss, Hertz, Ohm, Roentgen, X-ray Crystallography, Automobile, Zeppelin all come from Germany. Time is testimony of the fact that Germany has produced 103 Noble laureates.

What is the worth of Education which lacks application of knowledge to solve real world problems? German Education guarantees practical knowledge in addition to solid theoretical foundation. Above all it provides a platform to launch a career by making internships compulsory & Bachelor/Master Thesis in an industrial environment.

Cost

Don't be afraid! German Education won't cost you a fortune. Neither you have to be born with a silver spoon in the mouth nor do you have to live the rest of your life repaying study financing debts.

1. Tuition fees (if applicable)
Historically, German Federal Government has been funding primary to University Education at public institution. In 2010, 5 of the 16 states of Germany charged tuition fees at state funded institutions while 11 out of the 16 states still provide tuition free of charge.
  •  No tuition fees in some states
  •  €500 for second degree or prolonged study duration
  •  €500 even for the first university degree in some states
  •  Look at the university portal for exact details of the tuition fee for the relevant course. This may vary even from course to course in the same University.
2. Semester contribution

Semester contribution is to be paid by all University students depending on the services it includes. Again, this is university specific ranging from €200 to €350. Refer the respective University portal for exact information.

For an overview, semester contribution may include:
  •  Social fees
  •  Towards social services such as Student dining halls, Student residences, athletic facilities & administrative fees
  •  Liability insurance
  •  Covers & compensates unintentional damages to 3rd party
  •  Student Union contribution
  •  Membership fee to the Student Union
  •  Semester ticket
  •  This ticket permits unlimited usage of public transportation, in & around the university town.
  •  Depending on the city & range of ticket the price of this ticket may vary from €25 to €150
  •  Look at the university portal for exact details of the tuition fee for the relevant course. This may vary even from course to course in the same University.
3. Basic living expenses

Though Germany enjoys one of the highest standards of living, still the expenses are comparable to countries in Western Europe. Living expenditure depends largely on the lifestyle, city and type of accommodation. Statistically Germans spend 1/3rd of their income towards accommodation rentals. In summary, a very conservative estimate of €450 is what a student would need for an economical & modest living.

Living expenses include (Conservative estimate)
  •  Rent & Utilities — €200
  •  Private accommodation > €300
  •  Shared flat or Student residence around €200
  •  Internet & Mobile phone — €30
  •  Mobile flat rate — €15
  •  Internet DSL flat rate — €15
  •  A separate section is dedicated for a detailed analysis of mobile & DSL contracts
  •  Health insurance — €60
  •  A separate section is dedicated for a detailed analysis of popular health insurance options
  •  Food & Drinks — €125
  •  Miscellaneous expenditure — €50
  •  The above estimate does not include tuition fee, semester ticket, social contributions, traveling, allowances for dining, sports and anything except anything listed above.

Financing Studies

1. Scholarship

As there is no tuition fee or a nominal tuition fee, Universities do not provide any scholarships. But International students can apply for scholarships from numerous organizations such as:

  •  a. DAAD
    •  DAAD provides scholarship only to Graduate students pursuing Masters, Doctoral students pursuing PhD, for Post doctoral work/ research etc. Unfortunately
    •  DAAD does not provide any financial support to students for undergraduate studies.
  •  b. Politically affiliated foundations
  •  c. Religious institutions
  •  d. Business related organizations
    •  Check with the relevant organization for eligibility criteria & apply directly.
    •  Google to find scholarship databases.
2. Part Time Work ⁄ Student Job

International students are allowed to work for 90 full working days or 180 half working days in a year provided it does not exceed 20 hours a week during the lecture period. The objective of this permit is to allow students earn while they learn without hindering or distracting them from the primary goal which is completion of their course of study.

Typical student wages range from €10 to €15 an hour. Student could work in campus or outside the campus. A typical campus work could be taking up tutorship or teaching assistantship under the guidance of a professor. An example of work outside campus could be in McDonalds. Though there is no assurance but there are good chances for the one who keeps trying.

Paid Internship

Many courses have a mandatory Internship. Internship period could be between 3 months to 6 months. Students may apply for internship to companies in their field of study. The onus of finding an internship is purely on the student. Professors could be approached for recommendation letters or references. Typically companies pay students ranging from €600 to €1000 per month. If internship is part of the course curriculum & explicitly mentioned to be mandatory then the student could do an internship in addition to part time job during the same financial year.

Paid Project Work ⁄ Master Thesis

Good number of Industries sponsors Bachelor⁄Master Thesis & some also support project work financially. Students doing Master Thesis at companies get paid around €600 — €800 per month for a period of 6 months. Numerous portals (such as stepstone, jobpilot) are available to search & apply for Thesis work.

Job Prospects

Germany is home to many of the fortune 500 companies. With a robust economy & world leading position there is a constant demand for qualified & skilled labour force. Aging population & market diversification has only added fuel to the demand supply gap. According to "The German Engineer's association (VDI)", vacancies for engineers had risen over the past year by nearly 30 percent. Non-EU students are allowed to stay up to 1 year after the completion of the study to search for a job.

No matter which part of the world you go to, German qualification will surely find preferential treatment. Top notch Universities with focus on research & practical oriented study is unparalleled. In addition no employer can neglect the unique advantage.

  •  Work experience through Internships
  •  Bachelor/Master thesis in an industrial setup
  •  High quality education
  •  Multicultural & multinational student body
  •  Language skills

Social Life

Climate
Germany has a temperate seasonal climate. In the west winters tend to be mild & summer cool whereas in the East, winter can be severe & summer can be very warm.
Environment
Almost 33% of Germany is covered by forest. Germany is very much conscious of preserving the environment. Clean energy is widely promoted through incentives, subsidies & public awareness initiatives.
Geography
Germany is ideally located in the center of Europe sharing borders with nine European countries: Denmark in the north, Poland and the Czech Republic in the east, Austria and Switzerland in the south, France in the southwest and Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands in the west.
Demographics

Federal statistics office estimates that the current population of 82 million will shrink to between 65 & 70 million (by 2060) assuming a net migration of 100,000 to 200,000 per year. As of December 2004, about seven million foreign citizens were registered in Germany, and 19% of the country's residents were of foreign or partially foreign descent. The United Nations Population Fund lists Germany as host to the third-highest number of international migrants worldwide.

In spite of the black history, Modern Germany is welcoming & progressive thinking. Democracy, Equality before law, globalization have all resulted in a free & open society giving dignity, respect, opportunity & level playing field even to foreigners.