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Everything You Need to Know About Studying in Germany

Published by Afterschool.my on Dec 06, 2019, 03:04 pm

With the United Kingdom (UK), Australia and the United States (US) being the more popular study abroad destinations for most Malaysians, why not venture to travel to a different foreign country, such as Germany? Well, for starters, most of the things you see every day is made in Germany! For example, Adidas and Puma are both German brands that are sported by pretty much everyone. Besides that, we’re sure you’re familiar with car models like Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche, all of which are German brands.

In this article, we’ll cover the basics on studying in Germany so that you may want to consider packing up to pursue your studies there! We’ll touch on the benefits, cost of living, student lifestyle and possible future in Germany. Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Why Germany?

Now, why would one want to travel halfway across the world to continue their studies? On top of that, why Germany? Well, if you didn’t already know, education in Germany is absolutely FREE! And no, it’s not too good to be true. From the degree level onwards, the education is completely free for public universities. Though some private universities may charge fees, they are still generally quite low when compared with other countries.

As we’ve mentioned before, engineering is definitely the field that Germany is best known for. According to Hurairah Muhamad, a fellow alumnus from Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences and General Manager at StudyGermany, “Railway engineering is also largely offered in Germany and is currently rising in demand. Though this particular course is not offered in Malaysia, graduates of this programme in Germany can return to Malaysia and contribute their skills. With our development of MRT and LRT railway lines, railway engineering is a field that should be in demand in our country.”

Besides engineering, medicine is also a growing industry in Germany, and more and more of the local students are pursuing it.


How much does it cost to study in Germany?

As we’ve mentioned earlier, from the university (degree) stage onwards, tuition fees are FREE for all students regardless of their nationality or origin. However, this is ONLY from the degree stage onwards, which means any pre-university programme or foundation programme prior to the degree would have to be paid for.

In terms of your day-to-day life, you’ll find that living in Germany is much more reasonable compared to other European countries as well. On average, you would need approximately 850 euros a month to cover your living expenses. Many have expressed that the highest cost goes to rent (up to 350 euros per month), so it’s important to research the best place to live before you plan out your finances. Health insurance is a requirement for all students, so rest assured that you will be covered in terms of clinic visits and hospitalisations.

Generally, scholarships may not be available as education is already free nation-wide. However, there may be sponsorships available to students in terms of living expenses. For more information on scholarships, click here.


How do I get into a German university?

Of course, studying in a foreign, non-English speaking country would usually mean having to pick up the language. One of the basic requirements of studying in Germany is the ability to speak German. Although there are courses available in some German universities that are offered fully in English or half-English and half-German, all universities require you to sit for a German language test before going to Germany to study.

Applying to a German university may be tricky if you don’t know much about it. UniAssist is an online system that helps students apply to universities directly (similar to UCAS for UK universities). However, most of the website is in German, as well as the documents required to upload. Thus, students may require experts’ help to apply via UniAssist. For postgraduate students (Master’s and above), students can apply directly to the university itself.

The basic education pathway for German universities is as such:

  • Germany requires 13 years of schooling before enrolling in university. As the Malaysian education system only provides 11 years of schooling, two years of ‘bridging’ is required.
  • Some examples of bridging programmes recognised by German universities include A-Levels or STPM. International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is also accepted.
  • Diplomas from UiTM or Kolej MARA/Politeknik are also accepted, but a 1-year Foundation programme is still required before entering the degree stage.
  • The Freshman Programme (upon completing SPM or O-Levels), provided by the private education centre StudyGermany, is accepted followed by the Foundation course in Freshman Institute Aachen in Germany.

What is the day-to-day life like in Germany?

The German language would not only be helpful in your studies, but it will also be very beneficial in your day-to-day life. While most Germans are familiar with English, it can help you greatly to speak in German with the people.

“In terms of your daily life, it can be said that Germans are perhaps more reserved compared to those from other European or even Western citizens. They may be less openly friendly at the beginning and may be perceived as cold or unfriendly, but they are genuinely nice and can even be good friends once you get to know them better,” says Hurairah Muhamad.

On top of that, you can rest assured that you will be able to enjoy your freedom in the country in terms of what you want to do in your own time and the places you wish to explore. Hurairah Muhamad says, “As education is free, there is not a lot of pressure from the lecturers on the students i.e. attendance is not mandatorily taken and there is no excessive monitoring by the lecturers.”

However, when we say ‘freedom’ there is also independence, and your results at the end of each semester would be reflected based on your studies in your own time. There is a lot of self-study involved in the programmes so you must know how to balance your study and free time.

As we’ve mentioned before, the cost of living entirely depends on where you choose to live. According to those who have studied abroad, the top three student cities in Germany are as follows:

  • Berlin, the capital and largest city in Germany. While living in Berlin is quite expensive due to its thriving commercial hubs and lifestyle, it is undeniably a city that prioritises safety and healthcare. Berlin is also one of the world’s most diverse cities, thanks to its large presence of international students from various countries.
  • Frankfurt, Germany’s cosmopolitan city. Living in Frankfurt is fairly affordable despite its metropolitan comforts and conveniences. Often considered Europe’s financial capital, international students can also easily look for employment or internship opportunities in Frankfurt.
  • Munich, Germany’s third-largest city. Munich houses some of the most prestigious universities including Technical University of Munich (TUM), Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, and the Munich University of Applied Science. These universities offer many English-taught programmes for those who are not fluent in German.

I’m in! But… where do I start?

Now that you’ve grasped the basics of studying in Germany, where should you begin?

StudyGermany Sdn. Bhd. is a private education centre that helps students enrol into German universities and accommodate them in Germany. Recently established in 2018, StudyGermany provides various preparation and language classes for students who are planning to further their studies in Germany.

StudyGermany provides more than just professional consultation on Germany. They also provide intensive German language classes to prepare you for your journey to study in Germany. On top of that, they also provide programmes such as the Freshman Programme, accepted by most, if not all, German universities. This programme acts as a ‘fast track’ option for you to pursue a degree in Germany.

For more information about StudyGermany and the programmes that they offer, click on the link below.

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