You don’t have 12 years (10+2) of formal education In Germany. The surprising part is that you have 13 years of study. Therefore, one extra year must be studied. This is known as ‘studienkolleg’. After the successful completion of that year, you can acquire admission to the university. However, you can get direct admission to German universities if you have cleared JEE Advanced.
Since Class 8, my brother and I wanted to study abroad. We formulated our plans and finally, we narrowed it down to Germany for our study abroad programme. So, we applied to FH Aachen for Mechanical Engineering after class 12.
I am Nikunj Agarwal and I have a twin brother named Utsav. We hail from Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. The two of us are currently pursuing our education in Germany and this is our life in an abroad university.
Differences in German Education
You don’t have 12 years (10+2) of formal education In Germany. The surprising part is that you have 13 years of study in Germany. Therefore, one extra year must be studied. This is known as ‘studienkolleg’. After the successful completion of that year, you can acquire admission to the university. However, you can get direct admission to German universities if you have cleared JEE Advanced.
Studienkolleg – What it is all about?
Studienkolleg offers around 4-5 courses:
- T-kurs (T-course) for technical courses
- M-kurs (M-course) for medical courses
- G-kurs (G-course) for subjects under literature, history, social studies, law and statistics
- W-kurs (W-course) for subjects under economics, mathematics, business studies and sociology
- S-kurs (S-course) for language subjects
You have to first apply to a university, to study in the studienkolleg. You must then get a conditional letter from them. You can apply for the studienkolleg once you get that. You must give an exam there in order to get admitted into it. You have to study for one year after getting a studienkolleg. Later on, you have to sit for an exam. You can study at the university once you clear the exam.
I and my brother are enrolled on T-kurs. This is because we want to be mechanical engineers. We study at FH Aachen. This is the only studienkolleg that teaches in English. In Germany, engineering colleges are divided into two groups
- Applied science universities (FH)
- Technical universities (TU)
We sent our documents to the university for admission. Such documents included;
- Class 10 mark sheet,
- Class 11 mark sheet
- A mail stating class 12 results.
Also, we did not require any language certificate. This is because we were going to study English to German. Each subject consists of teachers – one helps us in problem-solving and the other teaches us theory.
Way of studying in Germany
The Edupage app shows the time-table, uploaded, grades, homework, payments, curriculum, and photos that have been uploaded. A social team interacts with students. It also helps them deal with their problems.
I can also become a student mentor once I graduate from studienkolleg. This helps students with their problems and helps them in earning money as well. International students, in Germany, can work up to 20 hours a week. However, while you are in studienkolleg, you can not work.
As we have registered with a public university in Germany, we did not apply for scholarships. The tuition fee there is negligible. Therefore, you are required to only pay for the semester contribution along with your living expenses. This value is different for each university. It ranges between 200-400 euros. This student contribution offers various benefits such as concession in travel among other things. However, this is offered at the university level.
Why was Germany our preference?
Since we were teenagers, we have been planning to study in Germany. Therefore, we did a lot of research about the country, the courses offered there among many other things. We zeroed it down to this country. This is due to the fact that we chose to be mechanical engineers. Moreover, the curriculum offered in the universities here is more advanced than most colleges in India.
Moreover, Germany is the owner of the biggest automobile companies which possess the most advanced technology. The states, in Germany, are small. Thus, the cities are close by. By train, You can even travel across different countries. Moreover, it does not even cost a lot. We stay in Geilenkirchen. This is a border town and we have been to the Netherlands already. The nature of the people here is pleasant, polite and welcoming.
Differences between India and Germany
The level of education is almost similar to the one we are studying right now. However, in the level of exposure, there is a huge difference. When it comes to studying in a foreign country, you must manage everything on your own including cleaning, cooking, expenditure, etc.
However, making friends outside of your culture is the best aspect. In addition, you get to meet new people, learn a new language and more. The teachers in Germany treat you as friends when compared to Indian teachers and are close to their students.
As many Asian reside here, when it comes to food, enough grocery stores are present in which all the Indian items can be purchased. However, the prices are high. We have decided on a weekly budget of 50 euros per week in order to manage our expenses.
We generally cook our food over here. The food is cooked in large quantities and thus, we eat it at least twice. We, mostly, don\’t make chappattis as it is time-consuming. Our general preference of food is rice along with a curry and we cook the same.
We depend on frozen foods on the days we have to give more time to our studies. A lot of options such as frozen pizza are available. Such foods can just be heated and eaten. Moreover, It is fairly affordable.
Moreover, the surprising fact is that water is more expensive than beer. For example, water is around Rs 200 while beer is around Rs 80. As of now, I don\’t miss India as I came to Germany in October. This newfound independent life is something that I love. This gives me the feeling that I am closer to my goal.
Advice for the students
I would like to suggest the students who wish to study in Germany that they take an initiative and learn the local language. This helps in connecting you with the Germans. Moreover, it also opens up more avenues when it comes to job prospects.
Moreover, you should try and study abroad if you have the means. This widens your perspective. Also, it gives you an insight into a lot of things. Moreover, it helps you understand people better.
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