Double degree: Two is better than one
It is always exciting to study abroad. For graduates, an additional or double degree from the host country also means a major step towards building an international career.
Studying abroad is not easy. However, a student who overcomes the organisational, financial, cultural and linguistic hurdles of attending a distant campus is usually rewarded, for instance with better opportunities in the labour market. Students who have successfully completed a course of study abroad have shown that they can cope in an alien environment. In addition to learning about their particular course of study, now they are also familiar with the culture, mentality and language of the host country. International experience is important for personal development too.
Double degree: A lap of honour or a double recognition of one’s achievements?
Most students organise their stay abroad themselves. They look for a suitable programme, enroll, and take care of their own accommodation. Yet a course of study abroad is not always recognised by the home university. This is why a semester abroad is often seen as an optional add-on. Aside from the experience, it is in no way reflected in a student’s transcript.
Whether in Munich, Rome, Bangkok or Seattle, many of the world’s universities are offering double-degree programmes to make it easier for students to study abroad. For example, a student who is accepted into a double-degree programme at the Technische Universität München (TUM) is helped with the search for affordable accommodation and pays only EUR 42 instead of EUR 500 towards tuition fees. After completing two to four semesters, double-degree alumni return to their home universities to complete their degrees. What makes the programme special is the fact that the study abroad programme is recognised by both universities. The students are awarded two degrees: a bachelor’s or master’s degree, or a diploma from the home university; and a corresponding degree from the German university.
Home and host: a double degree benefits both
It comes as no surprise that the double-degree programme is popular with students. The number of applicants far exceeds the capacity of the universities. Nevertheless, the growing exposure to international competition makes the double-degree programmes attractive for universities, too. Collaborations with partner universities abroad help the host universities broaden their own educational programmes and gain international recognition.
Double degree: It is important to do your own research
A student wishing to apply for a double-degree programme should obtain detailed information about the course of study from the universities involved. A double degree, a dual degree, a double diploma, a double master’s, a joint degree, or an international degree – these terms have a range of definitions that can differ widely. The programmes are highly diverse because the content is negotiated on a course-by-course basis under cooperation agreements with the respective partner university abroad.
There is, unfortunately, no one-stop information centre that provides an overview of all the programmes on offer. Only the Franco-German University has a centralised website with information about all the Franco-German double-degree programmes.
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