Germany is located in the centre of Europe sharing borders with nine other European countries: Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The North Sea and Baltic Sea are located to the north, while the southern half of Germany is covered by mountains (the Alps).
Germany or the Federal Republic of Germany is made up of 16 states (also called lands) organized under a federal parliamentary republic. Germany was first unified as a nation-state after the Franco-Prussian War in 1871.
Presently, Germany has the highest population of any state in the European Union, totalling 82 million citizens and is the fourth largest economy in the world. It is one of the founding state of the European Union and it is a NATO member state.
German citizens benefit from the world's oldest universal health-care system.
Germany has a temperate seasonal climate. In the west, winters tend to be mild & summers cool. In the east, temperatures can reach higher extremes. Almost 33% of Germany is covered by thick forests.
Germany offers international, highly-qualified PhD students, junior researchers and senior scientists outstanding working and career conditions. Some branches are looking for highly-qualified foreigners who can, under certain conditions, immediately receive a residence permit. In this context, highly-qualified means academics, scientists and researchers with particular subject or specialist knowledge plus academic and research staff in key positions. In the field of research and development, in particular, the proportion of foreign staff is already very high at 8% to 10%.
Although the Germany economy is historically based on industry, the service-oriented sector is growing exponentially. In the past thirty years, the service industry grew from a 40 percent share of the gross national product to 65 percent. The German government has been slow to recognize these shifts, and many German industries, such as IT and sales and marketing, are now scrambling for qualified employees.
The national government has begun to reform the general framework of its policies to solve Germanys lack of skilled labor. The Bündnis für Arbeit, or German Federal Labor Office, seeks to decrease non-wage labor costs, promote company tax reform, and reform salary policies to support the growth of employment. The top five German industries are biotechnology and genetics, information technology and multimedia, finance and marketing, general service, and health services.
Despite the countrys lack of trained employees, unemployment rates in Germany are high. Although the average rate is ten percent, the Eastern portion of the country sustains an unemployment rate of 18 percent. This discrepancy is due to the economic gap still present more than a decade after the Berlin Wall fell.
Every year, over 250,000 international students choose to study in Germany. That is more than 10% of the entire student population attending German Universities. Whether you plan to visit Germany as an exchange student or enrol on a full-time degree, you will benefit from low tuition fees and quality German education. 409 officially recognised universities and colleges offer more than 14,500 international degree programmes.
Germany is the birthplace of many famous physicists such as Einstein, Planck, Hertz, Ohm and Gauss and influential writers and thinkers such as Kant, Nietzsche, Marx, Hegel, Goethe, Mann or Hesse.
The German education system has produced 103 Noble laureates.
There are three main types of higher education institutions to choose from in Germany: universities, universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschulen) and specialized universities.
Teachers usually require mandatory attendance. Students who miss classes may not take the final examination at the end of the semester.
A great deal of academic work in Germany is done in groups. Students often get together to revise for exams, write papers and work on class assignments.
Most degree programs require compulsory internships. Students have the opportunity to get accustomed to the industrial environment well before starting their career.
German federal states set their own education fees. Presently, only two federal states charge tuition fees: about 500 € per semester (Bavaria and Lower Saxony). All other federal states do not charge tuition, though a semester fee of 150 to 250 € is usually required.
Industries sponsor bachelor and master students. Students attending industry relevant master programmes may receive around €600 to €800 per month from companies for a period of 6 months.
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD: Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst) provides scholarships to international students and researchers coming to Germany. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung) also hosts a site dedicated to scholarships in Germany.
Admission to most study programmes in Germany require you to take all or part of the following steps:
Be sure to check the German Academic Exchange Service or DAAD for any questions regarding international study in Germany.
Germany is home to many top international companies such as BMW, Volkswagen, Deutsche Telekom, Adidas, Bayer, Deutsche Bank and many more.
The German economy has great demand for qualified & skilled labour force. Vacancies for engineers have risen over 30 percent in recent years. Companies are always looking for German language skills.
Germany provides a wide range of English-taught as well as German-taught higher education opportunities in diverse academic fields. If you want to study abroad in Germany, you should know that knowing the German language remains a main prerequisite for admission. Recent studies show that Germany is one of the most supportive countries for international students, especially when it comes to English-taught Master’s programmes. In 2013, Germany has placed second in the growth of international English-taught programmes in Europe.
German universities tend to encourage long-term higher education for international students by providing more English study opportunities to students who plan to take their Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Germany, as a continuous study experience. As a result, students who plan to study abroad in Germany for only one semester will have a more difficult time finding universities which offer English-taught courses.
Some international students may not be able to attend a degree in Germany because their previous studies do not match the academic system of the country. To be allowed to take an undergraduate or graduate degree in Germany, they will need to enrol in a one-year pre-Bachelor or pre-Master offered by a local university.
Popular foundation degree studies in Germany include pre-law degrees, pre-MBA courses, pre-medicine, pre-nursing studies, or other types of international foundation programmes in engineering, economics, finance, social science, science and other types of university pathway programmes. Preparation courses in Germany include academic English language training to help international students meet university language requirements for future undergraduate or graduate studies.
Foundation degrees in early years in Germany are perfect for increasing your chances of getting accepted to a German university. Pre-university business schools, law schools or med schools make sure international students develop the skills they need to succeed in the German academic system. Pre-university education also includes cultural integration classes that help students feel more at home. Some pre-university programmes guarantee enrolment to the institution if students complete the preparation with high grades.
Where can I study a foundation course in Germany?
The top German cities where students can take a foundation year programme include: Munich, Bremen and Aachen.
For detailed information about visa and residence permit requirements, contact the German embassy or German consulate in your home country.
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