Study In Germany

Germany is the second largest country, according to population, in Europe and located in the center of the continent with as many as 9 bordering European countries. The fact that almost ten percent of the 1.8 million international students that choose to study abroad each year picks Germany for their study destination (source: www.study-in-germany.de) surely implies that the country offers something out of the ordinary. The German landscape is very varied as it stretches from the coastline in the north, over the green hills in the center to the Alpes in the south. Since Germany used to be divided into smaller states, the country has a lot of different large and important cities with their own local traditions and atmospheres. In the southwest you will find the beautiful cities of Freiburg, Heidelberg and Tübingen. And in the west the French influenced cities of Bonn, Düsseldorf, and Cologne – just to name a few. The standard of living in Germany is amongst the highest in the world. This is to a large extent a result of the successful German industry. The car production industry in Germany is for example one of the world’s largest. The financial centre of the country, as well as of the entire European Union, is found in Frankfurt, a truly cosmopolitan city with the largest airport in Europe. If you want to get a glimpse of German folk traditions and culture, Munich is the place to go. Although it is one of the most expensive ones in Europe, the 800-year old city is truly worth a visit. Make sure not to miss the world famous Oktoberfest, beginning at the end of September and lasting up until the first week of October.

The German Higher Education System

Although the ongoing reforms stemming from the ‘Bologna Declaration’ – aimed primarily at establishing internationally accepted degrees, enhancing the quality of study courses, and increasing employability – are in the process of doing away with stark contrasts that have existed between education systems of the European countries that have adopted it, certain distinctive features of individual systems are bound to remain in place. The German Federal Government, federal states, and higher education institutions are, within the ‘Bologna Process’ context, undertaking the largest higher education reform in decades; there’s a lot to the German higher education system however, that is time-proven to produce excellent results and should stay in place. The German higher education system is widely regarded as being one of the best in the world; it is fairly diverse, with a variety of institutions that cover a wide range of academic profiles and confer different types of degrees. As a general rule, German universities are recognized and held in high esteem worldwide – they perform very well in the international university rankings (usually right below the most prestigious American and British universities). One reason why German universities under-perform in rankings, relative to some of their famous American and British counterparts, may be the fact that some of the most famous independent research institutes such as ‘Max Planck,’ ‘Leibniz,’ and ‘Fraunhofer,’ which although embedded within university clusters, are seldom if ever included as integral parts during university rankings.

International Students In Germany – Statistics

Germany is one of the world leaders in terms of being the country of choice for international students to study or continue their education in; and the reasons for this are many: from the desire to acquire specialized knowledge and improve their language skills, to the expectation that after completing their studies they will have more career opportunities back in their home country or in Germany. Quality teaching, security, great standard of living and low tuition fees, alongside the appeal of the local culture have made Germany an attractive study destination for people all over the world; it is currently ranked fourth in the world, after the US, Great Britain and Australia. Young students from developing countries, Eastern European countries and countries in transition are particularly interested in studying in Germany and are more likely to recommend their friends pursue studies in Germany after having a great experience in Germany themselves. One of the strongest motivators is the financial one; tuition fees in German universities are very low compared to North America and other developed countries, so it’s liberating not to have to mortgage their future. In a survey on the internationalization of German universities conducted by the German National Association for Student Affairs (in German: the Deutsches Studentenwerk or DSW for short) the number of students from abroad coming to study in Germany has increased every year since 1997. The number of international students rose from 100,033 in 1997 to 189,450 in 2006. German students find studying abroad an attractive option as well and are more likely to study overseas than their peers in other industrialized nations. According to the DSW survey there were 75,800 Germans studying abroad in 2006.

Where Are The Students Coming From?

Most students in Germany came from the rest of Europe (51%) followed by Asia (31.9%), while a small percentage came from Africa and America. Only 0.2% came from Australia.