We are keen for our son to study in Germany. What are the advantages? He doesn’t speak German, should he learn the language?

Of late there seems to be significant interest for pursuing higher education in Germany primarily as parents and students have recognized the quality and brand equity of studying at German Universities.

The German higher education system is dominated by Public Universities which are funded by the State and do not charge tuition fees either to domestic or international students thereby drastically reducing the financial burden on student and parents. The medium of teaching in the Public Universities is predominantly German and a prescribed level of proficiency is required for admission.

After 12 years of high school you are required to do 6-9 months of German (C1 level) before you can start the 12 month foundation or “Studienkolleg” at the University prior to commencement of the degree program. In the Foundation program along with academic subjects students will be required to study some more German to reach the B2 level. Students finishing 13 years of high school or equivalent may not need to the foundation program and need only study German for 9-12 months and achieve B2 proficiency. Similarly graduate students applying for Masters require B2 level of proficiency in German to gain admission.

Depending upon the choice of the program, Undergraduate studies tend to be 6-7 semesters while Masters range from 2-4 semesters. As a student you can benefit from a choice of undergraduate and postgraduate interdisciplinary programs including but not limited to History of Art, Psychology: Cognitive-Affective Neuroscience, Micro-systems Engineering, Energy and Raw Materials, Pedagogical Science, Geothermal Engineering and many more.

Due to its practical foundation German university degree is highly respected by employers around the world. Universities have agreements with German companies and a mandatory ten week internship is included in the undergraduate curriculum. These may not always be paid but will lead to a great job in the future.

At eight thousand Euros per year the cost of living is fairly reasonable when compared to other western countries. For visa purposes you would need to open an account before you travel with the designated German bank and deposit Euro 8,040/=. You are allowed to withdraw Euro 670/= per month during the course of your program.

These days studying German at school is becoming increasing popular and I would strongly advise students to pursue the language especially if they are contemplating going to Germany for higher studies.

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