Germany is one of the best options if you decide to move abroad for studies but there are a few things that you should know before you book your tickets. The prior knowledge of these things will help you to settle in better in the country and plan for your journey ahead.
In the following article, we have compiled a list of things that are going to help you adapt to the country as an international student. And don’t worry, every year thousands of international students flock to this country. Germany has inculcated several measures to make this transition smooth and easy for the students. Of course, there are positive things and then some not-so-easy things but as you will soon realize, the good outweighs the bad.
The “free education” situation
Germany is famous for providing free-of-cost education to its international students. Now, while that is indeed true, there are a few things that you should know. The free education part only applies to the tuition fee of the university; you will still have to pay for the administrative cost of your course. The free education part only applies if you decide to get enrolled in select courses in public universities. The private universities will charge you all their cost without any exemption. But also know that German education, in their public universities, is world-class so you stand to lose nothing even if you opt for one of their free courses.
Knowing German as a language
Although the program requirements do not ask that you are to be fluent in German but you need to have some understanding of the language. As Germany is a popular hub for international students, you can get around the university and talk to people in English. Knowing German will be a plus point for you as it will make your stay in the country easier. You can enroll in a program at your university to learn the language. Or join a local club for international students; they help you out with the basic language skills that you require to interact and get along with the community.
One of the biggest challenges as an international student lies in finding a place to live in. Many German universities do not offer lodging facilities for their students, and some do only have single-person accommodation available. You need to start looking for a place to live soon or there will not be any options left. International students generally live in shared flats or dormitories. They form their networks for finding places to live. As a foreigner, you are bound to find your community; sharing living space with them can be of assistance to a newcomer. As you slowly begin to find your roots, you can move out and find your place.
Low cost of living
As a student, you might find that it is easier to live in Germany than in most other education destinations. Part of the reason is that as a student you don’t have any expenses and university towns always provide services and facilities at rates that are affordable for students. Finding a shared living space is also one of the ways that you can cut down on the cost. If you want to afford your living, then you can work part-time. There are plenty of work opportunities for students looking to supplement their stay with a little bit of income. You will find plenty of students doing the same, not only does it help with the living expenses but also teaches you the local customs and work ethics.
Grants and scholarship opportunities
Whatever your course may be, you will surely find many grant opportunities. You can get in touch with your faculty if you want to find out about new avenues to apply for these grants. Along with them, you can also apply for college scholarships to ease the financial burden of your education. Being good at your studies does have its benefits. And don’t think that you are alone in this. We get that being alone in a foreign country can be a daunting task but if you look around, you will find plenty of people who are riding in the same boat. There are thousands of other students who share your journey!
Docente - Investigadora Educativa.
Doctora en Cs. de la Educación, Magíster en Desarrollo Curricular y Licenciada en Relaciones Industriales.