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Study in Germany – the Best Education Bargain in the World
More and more college-bound students from the U.S. and around the world are traveling to Germany to study, some for a semester or a year, but others to pursue a two- or four-year degree at one of the country’s many prestigious universities.
The reason? Part of it is pure quality – the university system created in Germany after World War II has a well-earned reputation for excellence – but another, more pragmatic reason is cost. Students who in the United States would be facing over ,000 in student loans after four years of college can attend a public German university for an average of 0 a semester, plus between and 0 in registration fees. Tuition itself in the public universities is free; the 0 covers the cost of arranged lodging and other official expenses. Even adding food, transportation, and other daily costs to that, the German university is an incredible bargain. And to sweeten the offer, the German government offers scholarships to help defray the costs of fees, lodging, and any number of other daily expenses associated with study in Germany.
Engineering students in particular are making a beeline for Germany, choosing to pursue a degree at one of Germany’s excellent technical universities, while other students decide to experience the country’s rich cultural history while earning a degree in humanities at one of the centuries’ old traditional establishments. Many courses of study leading to a wide range of career paths are available to foreign students at more than 300 colleges and trade schools. Some students limit themselves to a single semester or a year in Germany, largely for the experience of living abroad, but more and more students are deciding to stay and earn an undergraduate or advanced post-graduate degree.
Learning the language
While some courses at German universities are taught in English, the vast majority of instruction takes place in German, and the federal government requires foreign students to pass a DSH exam to prove their proficiency in the German language before being accepted for university study. The government licenses a number of private German language schools to provide intensive instruction in German; students live in German towns, sometimes with German families, and shop, travel, and attend movies, concerts and restaurants in a total immersion experience that serves to develop remarkable skill in speaking and reading the language in an amazingly short period of time. Scholarships are also available from the German federal government for these courses.
Beyond Cost Savings and Course Work – the Ultimate Value of German University Study
The current climate of commercial and political globalization offers an advantage to students with fluency in a second language, and particularly to those who have a deep familiarity with another culture; graduates who boast a degree or even a semester at a foreign university will probably be looked upon with high interest by recruiters for large corporations. But beyond that kind of pragmatism, living in a foreign country and studying elbow-to-elbow with students from Europe, the U.S., Japan, China, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, and other geographically and culturally diverse corners of the world offers students a unique opportunity to develop diverse friendships and an understanding of other cultures and world views. And perhaps this opportunity to connect on a meaningful level with individuals from other, often profoundly different, cultures is the most important benefit, in this complicated and troubled world, of study abroad.
About the Author: Sam Vogel writes about German language and Study in Germany .