Perhaps you are not interested in a full degree course and would only like to use this opportunity to study one year abroad. Or perhaps even this one year sounds too expensive. What then? Let us look at some alternatives.
Summer school s
One great and less expensive way to get a taste of what your life as a student at a German university can be is to enroll on a four week summer school. These short programs are provided and organized by various universities and usually offer language and other courses for different levels in the mornings and workgroups as well as excursions in the afternoons. They are meant to give participants a comprehensive and practical understanding of German culture and traditions and to contribute to the fostering of international friendships. At the end of such an international summer course, students will receive a certificate assuming regular attendance and the completion of a written examination.
Who can attend and how much these summer courses cost, you can find out by visiting the website of your desired university. Here is just one example. The Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelm University of Bonn has been organizing an International Summer Course for more than half a century. Such a program consists of language courses (all levels), seminars on German culture, literature and linguistics, and supporting programs including concerts, German culture excursions, international meetings, guided tours of the town and visits to German companies. The cost of this summer school, excluding accommodation and other living expenses, amounts to 630 euros, and includes events and excursions. The final costs can total some 1,000 euros.
If you are interested in such a program, then the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers a search option for summer schools at www.daad.de. Here you can search for a summer course that suits your needs and wishes throughout the whole of Germany. Just enter the place and/or topic focus and the more specific your criteria, the more and better results the search will provide. Of course, here too you can choose the language of instruction between German and English.
A year at a German university
If you think that the German language is more of a problem for you than the financing of your studies, this would be one solution for you: two full time semesters of learning the language at a German university or FH. These are pre-study preparatory courses held by the Studienkolleg of the respective university or FH. At the end of the second semester there will be an exam, both oral and written, which is essentially a higher education entrance examination.
This assessment test, or Feststellungsprüfung as it is called in German, can sometimes be mandatory and required by the university or FH, depending on your country of origin or on your previous degree or qualification. You can check with the International Office of the university if this is necessary in your case, or visit the DAAD website and use the search tool provided there, with “ Studienkolleg” as a key word. The same website will help you with more information and links on how to find a scholarship or other financing possibilities for these preparatory courses.
It is important to remember that passing the assessment test will not necessarily lead to your admission at the university, since there are limited places for certain study subjects. On the other hand, studies are not restricted to the university where the assessment test was taken, and you can always enroll on another program at another university or FH.
For more information about Studienkollegs throughout Germany, admission criteria and conditions, examinations, addresses with contact details, as well as useful tips on costs and living possibilities, go to the following website: www.studienkollegs.de. Please note that this information is only available in German.
Programs for developing and transformation countries
Programs for developing and transformation countries are mainly English instructed postgraduate programs completed with internationally recognized degrees. They are aimed at offering young professionals from these countries, like university staff, key experts and executives, funded initial and continuing education and training. Some of these programs are available either at a German university or in the home country
This article is an extract from Study in Germany - A comprehensive guide for foreign students. Click here to get a copy now.