Studying in Germany
Anyone thinking about studying in Germany needs access to adequate information. Friends can be a good source of advice, but most prospective students rely on the website of their preferred university to provide them with all the facts they need.
However, if the website does not give them clear and easily accessible information, or if it lacks the personal touch, they may well look elsewhere. What was your experience with your chosen university’s website?
Top marks for quality
More than 80 per cent of the foreign students and graduates interviewed for the International Student Barometer and Student Pulse surveys mention academic excellence as a key factor guiding their decision to study in Germany. The qualifications conferred by German universities are also regarded as outstanding. With such a strong reputation, German universities appeal to young people all over the world. Indeed, Germany is ranked as the fifth most desirable country to study in after the UK, the US, Australia and Canada. What kind of reputation do German research and education enjoy in your country?
Most foreign students see Germany as a country where they will enjoy a high level of personal safety and freedom of movement. This sense of personal safety carries considerable weight with young people deciding to study in Germany. Does this reflect your own experience?
Foreign students are high achievers and are keen to use the opportunity to study in Germany as a way of developing their full potential. They expect to find outstanding facilities and state-of-the-art equipment. They also attach importance to detailed appraisals from lecturers, to guide them towards the right courses. They want a clear overview of what they are expected to achieve, with a detailed study plan and regular feedback from lecturers so their studies remain on track for success. According to the surveys, these are the areas where foreign students would like more guidance and support from their German host university. So let’s imagine that a new foreign student asks for your advice. What tips would you give them?
Studying in Germany: it’s results that count
In future, study programmes in Germany will focus more strongly on outcomes – in other words, becoming more results-oriented – and less on input, with less emphasis on straightforward transmission of content. This will require the universities to provide learning support that is tailored towards international students. Foreign students and graduates also need clear guidance about German university culture, which is shaped by a tradition of critical discourse and expects students to show a certain amount of independence. This can cause occasional misunderstandings. Has this been your experience, too? Why not write to us and share your views?
Once they have passed their final examinations, foreign students appreciate some support during their job search. More than 50 per cent of foreign students and graduates would like to work in Germany after they complete their studies here. They would like the universities not only to draw attention to employment and career opportunities but also to provide practical help with entry into their chosen profession.
The International Student Barometer
The International Student Barometer is the largest annual survey on student mobility worldwide. It provides comparative insights into the expectations and decision-making of this much-courted group. Almost 160,000 international students were interviewed in 2010, including around 17,000 young foreigners at 46 German universities. The first survey was carried out among 12,000 foreign students at 45 German universities in 2009. The third survey will start in autumn 2011.
These results are supplemented by a second survey, known as ‘Student Pulse’: 14,000 students and graduates who are not yet studying at a German university or have opted for a different country to study in were asked about their views of Germany.
Discussion about universities and studying in Germany
The community group ‘Study and Research' discusses the chances of succeeding as well as the advantages and disadvantages of studying in Germany. It also contains a lot of Alumni statements on universities in Germany and asks the question ‘Why did you decide to study in Germany?’ . Share your experience with the community, too!