Becoming an international student
No matter what country you are from, how good education may be in your country, a student should get an opportunity to study abroad, if not a whole degree, at least a semester or a couple of semesters. Studying abroad isn’t just about studies, it is about the entire character or personal development. It takes you outside your comfort zone, puts you in an alien country where everything must be started from scratch. It makes one realize the importance of networks, friendships, relationships and teaches a great deal about life.
Deciding on where to study
I was in the same dilemma a couple of years back: I had my mind set on pursuing a Master’s degree abroad right after my bachelor way back in my penultimate year of Bachelors’. But the conundrum was where to go. There were numerous options to choose from – UK, USA, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, Singapore, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, UAE, and so on.
My first filtering was major and relevance of major, and since my major was Computer Science, I was left with UK, USA, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand.
My second pruning was based on a personal preference, since I lived my entire life in a tropical hot country, I was leaning towards going to a cold country, and based on that my new pruned list of options was UK, USA, Germany, Switzerland, Canada.
Then based on the current affairs (Brexit), I further pruned it to USA, Germany, Switzerland, Canada. The next filter was the Return of Investment and travel and based on that it was either Germany or Switzerland. I finally chose Germany as it was one of the leading countries in the field of engineering and technology and the importance is given to research and being in the heart of Europe, also it provides an option of traveling to the nearby European countries during the holidays.
Reasons I chose Germany to study
You might not become a millionaire the moment you finish your studies or 2-3 years down the line and though you might not mint money (as in the USA or Canada), Germany offers a good balance be it Work-Life-Balance or Study-Leisure-Balance. After coming here, I found out that I’m getting ample free time here whereas it was an unattainable luxury back in my home country. It allows a person to spend time on their hobbies and other interests. So, if you prefer experiencing some balance during your stay abroad, Germany is your best choice.
Power & Safety
Germany is one of the largest countries in the European Union and leads in many fields from Automobiles to IT and Finance to Healthcare. It is a leading force in many fields and offers ample opportunities for both work and research in the latter. Apart from being one of the global leaders in various fields, it is incredibly safe. Comparatively, Germany has a low crime rate.Thievery, mugging, racial discrimination, and sexual harassment are strictly dealt with and as a result, Germany boasts of a low crime rate in almost all types of crime.
One of the main criteria while choosing a place is “Money”. Luckily Germany doesn’t accede to the capitalistic prerogative of capitalizing on even the basic needs of society. Most of the public universities in Germany have no tuition fees and just have a small semester contribution. So, if you are looking for top-class education but possess a bit of a money crunch, look no further away from Germany.
One of the biggest advantages of studying in a European country is the ability to travel across entire Europe at affordable rates. The added advantage of studying in Germany, in particular, is, given its geographical location it is closer to many top European destinations. So, studying in Germany offers a 2 in 1 package deal where a student can experience top-class education and affordable travel to other European countries.
Apart from travel, Germany has an excellent system of health insurance in place which ensures that even citizens of other countries studying here get access to the best healthcare facilities and don’t have to shell out large sums of euros for the same.
Germany essentially is a very liberal and welcoming country with diversity in all areas be it ethnicity, language, race, or sexuality. It is a very open secular country that treats everyone equally regardless of their race, gender, ethnicity, or sexuality.
Low Cost Of Living
Compared to the other major study abroad destinations in and around Europe, Germany has one of the most affordable costs of living making it the icing on the cake for students who are planning on coming to Germany for their higher studies. Apart from it, Germany has robust public transportation systems in place and students can use it for commuting with their respective student identity cards.
Scholarships & Part-Time Work
Germany offers a lot of scholarships to meritorious international students to help them financially manage their studies or their stay in Germany. They are offered both by private institutions and the state government.
The German Student visa allows a student to work for 240 half days or 120 full days in a year to sustain themselves financially or to earn a few extra bucks on the side. It helps the students to gain some work experience before they graduate and enter the job market.
Some of the common jobs are tutors, bartenders, werkstudents, interns, research assistants, and administrative staff at universities.
Culture & Language
Germany possesses a very rich diverse culture and has been home to many famous writers, artists, scientists over the years and a lot of ground-breaking scientific research has taken place here, so studying here allows students to witness and visit the old knowledge-rich museums and learn a great deal about German culture. Apart from that, it allows students to learn a new language (German) which is one of the most spoken languages in today’s world.
Career Opportunities & Work
German companies across many fields (fashion, automobile. IT, or finance) employ a lot of international graduates. There are immense career opportunities for international students when they graduate from their respective programs. There’s also a provision wherein students can apply for an extension of their residence permit (18 months) for seeking a job after they have completed their degree.
These are just some of the reasons I felt which might help decide why to study in Germany, there are a lot of reasons apart from this and it varies from student to student as almost everyone has unique and different expectations.
It’s my 4th month as an international student in Germany and I’m loving every bit of it, so personally, I would recommend you strongly consider studying in Germany!
Good luck with your future endeavours!!
Chirag N Vijay (India)