How is it like for students in Germany?
I believe Germany for most students, is as best as it gets with its own downfalls. It really depends on how you look at it.
Let’s look at the pros
Except for a few courses like MBA, some Law course etc. Education is literally free for both citizens and non-citizens. Not only free tuition but also subsidized health insurance and travel costs. The cost of education is approximately 200–300€ per semester which includes free public transport within the region.
If you would like to know how to apply at a German university please follow read this blog post.
Quality of education
Even though Germany is painfully slow at adopting new technologies, it is one of the leaders in research and development. Thanks to close collaboration between the industry and university. For example, the institutes like DFKI (Institute for Artificial Intelligence), Max Plank Institute, CISPA etc. are well funded by the German government and companies. Thus providing state of the art infrastructure and opportunities for students.
While talking about this, I would also like to burst a huge myth that relates to education in Germany.
IT’S NOT JUST A MECHANICAL ENGINEERING MECCA.
Germany doesn’t just produce cars. It has technical expertise and research going on in dozens of other fields. For example, Computer Science, Bio-informatics, Chemistry, Physics etc.
If you have not read up about institutes like DFKI, CISPA, MPI, HIPS, INM etc. please do before making any conclusions. You would be surprised.
As a student, you would be allowed to work for 20 hours per week with a minimum payment of about 8€ per hour. Finding a job in your field of expertise can be difficult but if you do speak German and if enough jobs are available in your field, it’s relatively easy to find a part-time job. For example, in computer science, since language isn’t really a barrier, it is easy to find a well-paying job to pay for your living expenses.
Now here are some cons
Longer graduation time
When compared to other western countries, in Germany it takes a longer time to graduate. The average graduation time at my university for a two-year masters course is about 3–3.5 years. Don’t get me wrong, you can graduate even in 1.5 years too, I have friends who have done that, but if you are an average student it would take a bit longer. Also, since the tuition is almost free, students do take time and do not rush through.
Finding a job
To be very frank, finding a job after you finish your masters’ study is a pain. For citizens and foreigners alike. For foreigners even if you have had learned German, it is comparatively difficult to find a job in Germany than other countries.
Unless you are in skilled labor shortage fields. You would further have trouble getting a job, since, in other fields, the law says, a foreigner can be employed only when there is no competitive candidate who is a citizen or an EU national.
The above list in the infographics is not complete. Check the official DAAD website for the complete list.
Relatively low pay
The full-time salaries in Germany are relatively low, especially when compared to what you would get for the same job in USA. Thus less money in your bank account after expenses.
However, the cost of living in Germany is much less than in USA. For example, rents are lower. Public transportation is easily accessible hence you don’t necessarily need a car. You don’t have huge college loan to pay for every month. You also don’t need to worry too much about losing the job, since you have unemployment insurance that pays your expenses while you are unemployed and universal healthcare.
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FAQs about Studying in Germany | Airports | Preparation and Arrival | Masters | Bachelors | PhD | Student in Germany | Life in Germany | Part-time Jobs | Working in Germany | Driving in Germany | Housing in Germany | Integration | Comparisons between Countries | Traveling in Europe
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