Studying in Germany can be highly rewarding for students because Germany is home to some of the best universities in the world. People from all over the world throng for studying in Germany due to the quality of the education it offers. However, the employment market substantiates the quality of education provided. Therefore, students are left wanting for nothing if they chose for education in Germany. One must remember that it is not all about Oktoberfest, or the castles that pave the scenic landscapes. There’s more to Germany than that. If you wish to study in Germany, here are five things to know.
Appreciate the Culture and the Language:
While most public universities teach courses in English, tuition-free courses are usually taught in German. Therefore, ensure that you learn the language. In fact, to become eligible for tuition-free courses in Germany, one should have had a certification in the German language. Also, you should learn to be respectful towards the culture. Things like giving the Nazi salute would be considered cultural appropriation and would be frowned upon severely. Germans are sticklers for etiquette. Their dining etiquette inevitably includes a lot of forks. If you’re in the student fraternity, a lot might be let pass, but stay mindful of the dining etiquette. The same goes for drinking in public places. It would not be brushed off as college childishness. Public place nuisances would be strictly frowned upon, inviting legal actions as well.
German Punctuality and Bureaucracy:
Germans are known for their punctuality. That being said, they don’t really like you imposing on them half an hour before the time. Most of the European Union is known for being there right on time. So if you have some important places to be, such as the visa office, or the office for disbursal of your student loans or scholarships, ensure that you reach there on time. Be prepared for a lot of paperwork. Despite their meticulousness, Germans burden you with a lot of paperwork. So, whether it is that postage stamp, or the receipt for entry pass, ensure you have them all filed in an organise manner. Ensure that you can pull them out at a moment’s notice. They also don’t like lags in bringing out the documents
Insurance and Work Timings:
This is probably the most important of the five things to know. Every student studying in Germany must have access to an insurance policy. But don’t go about buying the fancy policies. Get a generic policy until you get to know what the aspects are that need to be covered in a policy. Get in touch with your university. They might have some tie-ups etc that offer students policies at discounted rates too. Germany also offers about 120 full days or 240 half days of work permits for work. Anything more, and you’ll have to contact the federal agency for employment. This is particularly important because while education is free in German universities, the cost of living is still considerably higher. Because of this, students would need that to supplement their expenses. Average expenses would range between 400-700 Euros a month depending on the location.
Students studying in Germany find out that universities are not as helpful as they are portrayed out to be. Either the contact person is unavailable or is too busy to handle your queries. This is not a reflection of their educational system. Universities are underfunded due to the lack of tuition fees. Therefore you’d find one person handling multiple verticals. Therefore, your seniors are the best way to approach any queries.
Typically, Germans don’t live on-campus or in separate rooms. They live in student accommodations. In your first weeks there, there are several student accommodation organizations that can help you find accommodation. Sometimes the rooms can be shared by multiple people. That is one thing that people should get used to.
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