Universities, courses, cost of living, visa, jobs and more!
Germany is a name that is synonymous with innovation. Contact lens, airbags, X-rays, MP3, glue stick…Germany’s contribution to making our day to day life simpler goes on and on. In consonance with its zero-emission mobility vision by 2030, the country aims to become the lead market and provider for electric mobility. That’s good news for electrical, chemical, ICT and allied sectors and great news for prospective job seekers, many of whom are international students.
Let’s take a look at why, of late, Germany has emerged as one of the favourite study-abroad destinations among Indian students.
Germany has more than 400 autonomous institutes of higher education that are state-accredited and offer comprehensive high-quality education. German education system has two types of institutes:
- Universities– Universities include Universities of Technology (abbreviated as TU) and colleges of education (typically with prefix PH). They are academically oriented and offer bachelor’s, masters and doctorate degrees. Engineering sciences, mathematics, information technology, tourism and hotel management are the most preferred streams among Indian students.
- Universities of Applied Sciences– Known as Fachhochschulen (FH), these universities offer practice-oriented education in engineering, business administration, social sciences and design. These have strong industry linkages and offer possibilities of doing a master’s thesis under the joint supervision of professors and an organization. FHs do not offer doctorate degrees but once you get your master’s, you become eligible to pursue a doctorate from any university in the world.
No tuition fee
Public universities in Germany offer free tuition to both domestic and international students. However, you do need to pay administration charges that lie around €250 per semester. In addition to that, you also need to pay a nominal amount for Semesterticket which covers your public transportation expense for one semester (six months). You should also have student health insurance that covers your stay in Germany.
Top research destination
Approximately 89 billion euros are invested in research and development in Germany every year. (Source: research-in-germany.org) Universities, both in public and private sector, support international researchers with fellowships and postdoctoral jobs. Look out for these universities if you’re exploring research opportunities in Germany:
- Ludwig Maximillian University
- Technical University of Munich
- Heidelberg University
- Humboldt University of Berlin
- University of Freiburg
Good universities in Germany have a great industry-academia connect. Most universities have career centres which give you career advice and organize job fairs. This is the best way to get your CV to the companies and get an interview opportunity.
Career centres can also help you find work while you are studying. A student visa allows you to work for 120 full days or 240 half days per year. The pay is generally good, from 12 to 20 euros an hour, and even better is your chance to make out-of-college connections that can help you get a job once you graduate. Know more about work placements here.
International students who wish to work in Germany after completing their studies should begin the process of securing a resident permit in their final year. The German residence permit is issued to students who have completed their education and are still looking for employment opportunities. It has a validity of 18 months. Check for requirements to apply for work permit here.
Student cities in Germany offer rich opportunities and experiences to international students. Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Nuremburg, Frankfurt, Aachen are notable student-friendly cities with a high quality of life, affordable costs and liberal atmosphere.
Learn a new language
Do I need to know German to study in Germany? We get that question a lot. The answer is yes, you do! Even though Germany offers more than 1,800 international programs which are in English, it would do you good if you have basic knowledge of German. To prove your proficiency in the German language, you would need to take tests like the TestDaf or the DSH. Check language requirement on the website of the universities that you are applying to. Know more about language requirement here.
Academic life in Germany is challenging. Professors are merely facilitators of education; they promote self-learning. This helps students develop life-skills like critical thinking, teamwork, resourcefulness, etc. The connections you build during your coursework become important networking tools in your future.
Need more info? Register for ‘Research in Germany’, a free webinar that brings together German universities and research institutions interested in recruiting international PhD students and researchers.