12 Useful Tips for Studying in Germany
Germany’s higher education is slowly attracting a lot of foreign attention because the curriculum instills numerous important values needed in many countries. Added to this is the fact that 19 of the country’s universities have been constantly ranked in the top 300 universities in the world. If you are planning on studying abroad, take a look at the following pointers. We have here a basic guide on how to study in Germany effectively and avoid the common pitfalls of foreign students.
Learn the local language
Foreign applicants are required to have at least A1 German proficiency in order to start application. English is a universal language, but there will be times when you need to talk to people who might not know English at all. For better communication, you have to learn basic conversation skills. Being in a foreign place also gives you the best opportunity to expand your language proficiency. Apart from books and lessons, take the initiative to go out and converse with the locals. The best way to learn a new language is to use it in actual conversations with local people.
Obtain Qualifications Equal to German Higher Education Standards
All German students are admitted to higher education if they pass the entrance qualifications. This rule also applies to outside students. Check the embassy’s website for possible qualifications you can obtain and then do your best to get some for your application.
Choose your school
While getting a student visa is standard for all learning institutions, each school has their own admission requirements. In order for you to save time looking up what documents to prepare, choose a school in advance and inform them of your intent. They might also assist you with your visa application, so it is a good opportunity.
Take advantage of student guide websites
Both sites contain important information for all your university needs.
Coordinate with the German Embassy in your area
You need to prove to the officers that you have a strong urge to obtain education in a German institution. To prove this, you need to be proactive with your application. Make sure to always come to the embassy prepared whenever you are called for.
Forget about free tuition
Although Germany is known for free higher education, it does not apply to all courses and schools. It would be best you kept this intent a secret during your admission interview. If you really want to get into the program, search for schools that offer this and see if there is a course you would like to take. Only then can you try to apply to qualify for the program.
Never work under-the-table
While it might be tempting to earn extra income from many part-time opportunities, only work in a registered agreement and comply with the maximum hours per week. If you feel that your income is lacking, the government provides a student loan to help with your financial needs.
Take advantage of grants
Find out if your school of choice is supported by grants. If they are, take advantage of these if you are qualified. They will make your life as a student easier since some grants give you privileges. Also they cover some of your expenses so you won’t need to get a student loan.
Be diligent with paperwork
All types of applications require paperwork, so expect to do a lot of it. The upside is, you will be successful if you are diligent with the requirements. Make sure to take note of all the documents you need to prepare and submit them on time.
German institutions won’t spoon-feed you
This means you won’t be treated like a VIP just because you are a foreign student. You might get some privileges from your grants, but what you see in your papers is what you get. Everything else like your living arrangements, your food and the like is up to you to figure out.
Living arrangements should be determined in advance
Due to the rise of enrollment statistics in the past years, housing has become a rather difficult commodity to obtain. You might be able to fit into a 10-person student apartment, but do not expect much in terms of comfort. If you really want to live in a good area, search for living quarters in advance and settle it so you won’t have to worry.
You’re one of many.
Other people have done it, so you can too. Be confident, believe in your capabilities and get that German diploma of your dreams.