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FAQs on Study Abroad Plan

Overseas Education

The main difference is in the focus for more theoretical or practical orientation. Also, universities in general are older and bigger. You have to decide if you like more theoretical (research) or practical studies and which major you are interested in. Then have a look for the appropriate university.
Computer Science is broader and covers more software, user and application orientation, while Computer Engineering is the technical and electronics view.
The final grade of the bachelor degree, practical or social experiences and outstanding recommendations from universities and/or companies. One thing that counts for all universities are the language skills. International students need to proof their English language skills (English, German) with German basic language proficiency.
Some Universities of Applied Sciences have cooperation with other universities to provide special PhD possibilities. In general technical universities are better equipped for doing research.
That is a single decision of each department. The departments decide on acknowledgment of other courses only after students have already enrolled at the university.
Universities pay attention to working experiences when students apply. During the studies there is no special recognition of that.
Of course, Computer Science is a good career option in general and in Germany in particular.
There are some universities, e.g. the University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt, that offer a deepening in Computer Graphics during the Master’s programme.
Currently IT Security, Database systems and mobile computing.
Universities do not look for operating systems as criteria. If you want to become a Software Engineer, you need to have more general knowledge of Computer Science Engineering.
One example is University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt, offers a deepening in IT- Security. Network security is a part of it.
You can search online in the DAAD Database for International Programmes or the general database on www.study-in.de/en/ where you can search for universities offering these programs.
There is no best university, it is more depending on your own preferences. The main criteria to choose a university should be your interest in theoretical or practical direction. Other criteria are: the degree you would like to gain, the university’s location, the city you would like to study in and the size of the university. There is a ranking provided by CHE (Centre for Higher Education) where you can find some more details: www.daad.de/deutschland/studienangebote/ranking/en/.
The main difference between these two opportunities lies in the differences of the German and US universities and their structures. You have to know what your interests are and then search for the university that suits your interests.
This question is not easy to answer. Costs are very different. We would recommend to have a look at the websites of the chosen university. They should provide more detailed information about the costs. Another option is to make an advanced search in the DAAD database where you can select by costs.Most of the universities don’t have the tuition fees for MS in Computer Science Engineering.
Well, for starters, you’ll get first-class education (German universities are among the highest ranking in the world – right below a few of the American Ivy League and prestigious British universities) and a formal degree to show for it, that is recognized all over the world. On top of that, the guiding principle of the German higher education being ‘The Unity of Teaching and Research’ (also the cornerstone of what is referred to as the ‘dual education system’), there is strong emphasis on ‘apprenticeship’ and hands-on involvement on the part of the student, in both the practical application of a large part of what gets learned theoretically and in researching novel ways of problem-solving (at many universities and ‘Fachhochschulen’ access to cutting-edge research facilities is available). Finally, Germany is an important country and culture, so every international student stands to benefit greatly from familiarity with it (to say nothing of the ton of fun they are certain to have in the process).
It is a one-year preparatory course which has to be joined by individual candidates who wish to study at a German higher education institution but whose school leaving diploma is deemed insufficient to apply for a degree program. The course covers full-time education in the subjects of a degree program as well as the German language, for five days a week. A passing score on the final Assessment Examination qualifies you to apply for a degree program that is suitable for you at any German university.
Yes. There’s plenty of International Degree Courses taught in English (in the first semesters, at any rate) for students whose command of the German language isn’t sufficiently good to warrant their studying be done entirely in German. Both before and during the program there are German language courses offered. A large number of postgraduate courses (Master’s and Ph.D.) are designed and taught entirely in English. Go to https://www.daad.de/deutschland/studienangebote/international-programs/de/ and select “English” from the field “Course Language” to find all programs in English!
International Degree Courses have been introduced by institutions of higher education in Germany with the express aim of facilitating the process whereby international student applicants realize their educational objectives in Germany. The medium of instruction is primarily English, with gradually increasing usage of German. These courses, which have been designed to high academic standards and are available to not only international but German students as well, cover both undergraduate (6 to 8 semesters resulting with a Bachelors degree) and postgraduate (3 to 5 semesters resulting with a Masters degree – in some courses, 6 additional semesters lead to a Ph.D.) studies.
Yes, as a general rule, you need TOEFL or IELTS in order to apply for a program that is entirely taught in English at a German university. If, however, you’re applying for a postgraduate program and already hold a Bachelors degree with English as the language of instruction, you do not need TOEFL or IELTS; it goes without saying: no need for TOEFL or IELTS if you’re a native speaker of English.
Let’s first mention what they have in common: they both lead to Bachelors and Masters degrees (or their equivalents in Germany). However, ‘Fachhochschulen’ do not award Ph.D. titles; in order to earn a Ph.D. a postgraduate course at a university has to be attended. Universities of Applied Sciences (a.k.a. ‘Fachhochschulen’) are so conceived as to maximize the practical utilization of theoretical knowledge; they are suitable for candidates who have no intention of pursuing academic careers, but are rather interested in the acquisition of as much practical experience as possible. Hence, the vast majority of degree programs taught in them are in the fields of engineering and hard sciences; programs in business administration get taught at ‘Fachhochschulen’ too, but to a lesser extent, whereas courses in humanities and social sciences are rarely offered.
As a general rule, all higher education institutions in Germany provide Internet access and set up email accounts for their students. In addition to that, they have libraries and archives that are very well stocked and that supply many of the titles that are mandatory reading for students so they don’t have to buy a lot of the reading material for their study courses.
The entrance application must be submitted by January 15 each year for the summer semester (beginning on April 1) and by July 15 for the winter semester (beginning on October 1). Students from outside Germany now have the opportunity to apply to several universities with only one set of documents through the Application Services for International Students (assist). assist will check that all necessary documents have been included and that they meet the necessary formal requirements, and will then forward them on to the respective universities.
As a general rule, the assessment of degrees and academic credits for admission purposes is the responsibility of universities. In assessing foreign higher education qualifications and degrees, the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) of the Conference of German Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) assists with provision of recommendations that are country-specific. Pursuant to ‘The Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Professional Qualifications Act of 2012,’ the certification authorities of the federal state of residence (or the state in which he/she intends to reside) of the applicant are responsible for the recognition of foreign higher education and degrees earned for the purpose of enrolling on an advanced study program.
Tuition fees are pretty much a non issue in German higher education; only two out of the 16 federal states (Bavaria and Lower Saxony) allow their higher education institutions to charge tuition fees – and even when they do, they are fairly low (up to €500 per semester) relative to what they are in other western industrialized countries. Postgraduate courses (Master’s and Ph.D.) however, are liable for some extra costs, varying between €650 and a few thousand Euros per semester; it is advised that prospective foreign postgraduate students do their due diligence.
The fact that there are no tuition fees mustn’t lead you jump to the conclusion that studying in Germany will be cheap. Yes, there are creative and commonsensical ways to significantly reduce your overall cost of life there, but first and foremost you need to realistically assess the resources at your disposal – take good stock of yourself financially. Don’t delude yourself thinking that working part time while studying in Germany, will take care of all your financial worries, as that’s highly unlikely to be the case – your student visa and residence permit entitle you to 120 full (or 240 half) days of work only. A scholarship and/or support by a sponsor (parent, relative, etc) may be necessary, in which case the sponsor has to explicitly state their intention of supporting you.
A good place to start out is the German Research Foundation http://www.dfg.de/en/index.html Also, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) https://www.daad.de/deutschland/stipendium/datenbank/en/12359-finding-scholarships/
A foreign (not a citizen of an EU or EEA member country – with the exception of Bulgaria and Romania which face restrictions until 2014) student studying full-time in Germany is legally allowed to work a maximum of 120 full (or 240 half) days within a year, without having to obtain a permission from German employment authorities. The legally allowed number of working days (half days) for foreign students also includes voluntary work placements, regardless of whether the placement is paid or unpaid. Also, foreign students face an additional restriction: while working the legally allowed number of days (or half days), they cannot be self-employed or work on a freelance basis.
Spouses/Husbands accompanying foreign students may, under certain conditions, be permitted to work. If you are planning on having your husband or wife accompany you during your studies in Germany and hope they’ll be allowed to work, they must fully disclose their intention to work when applying for the visa.
It is the amount of money you’ve earned working as well as the duration of your stay in Germany, that determine whether you have to pay taxes or not. You are exempt from having to pay taxes if your stay in Germany doesn’t exceed six months and/or if you haven’t made more than €450 per month (considered to be income from a so-called ‘mini-job’ and therefore tax and pension contribution exempt) working in Germany. If your annual gross income is less than €8,130 you will get all the taxes you paid refunded back to you at the end of the year when you file your tax return with tax authorities.
It would be recommendable to open a German bank account because if you are going to rent a flat or if you are going to apply for an insurance you have to provide the bank details so that they would be able to debit the money because it is not possible to pay it cash. If you have a credit card of course you can also use it but cash cards are more common.
If you have a residence permit in Germany and if the duration of your stay is expected to be longer than one year, than family reunification is possible. However, in order for them to join you in Germany, you have to be able to support them without burdening social assistance in any way.
That depends on what your nationality is; citizens of EU or EEA member countries do not need a visa – only a valid ID card (once they settle and find a place to live in, they only have to register with the local authorities at the city they’ll be studying in – the ‘Einwohnermeldeamt’ – get the certificate confirming they have the right to reside in Germany, and they’re good to go). Even if you’re a national of a country the passport-holders of which don’t need a visa to enter Germany and stay for up to 90 days, you have to exit the country after 90 days just as anyone who has entered on a Schengen visa has to, unless you are a citizen of a small number of countries (Andorra, Australia, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Canada, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, South Korea and the United States of America) who can apply for a residence permit within three months of entry. So, if you’re not a national of an EU or EEA member country (or of any of the above-mentioned countries the citizens of which can apply for a residence permit while still in Germany) than you need to be issued a national type visa before leaving for Germany if your intention is to stay there for longer than three months. You apply for a student visa well in advance of planned departure for Germany at the German embassy or consulate general in your country.
You have to inquire at the German embassy or consulate general in your country in order to be certain; usually the following documents need to be submitted: proof of your previous studies (and a higher education entrance qualification recognized in Germany), proof of admission from your university (or confirmation that you are soon to receive a letter of admission), proof of your health insurance coverage, proof of possessing sufficient financial resources (income or assets of roughly €8000 per year) and proof of your language skills in German (or plans to attend a language course while in Germany).
As a general rule, a full scholarship is sufficient financial proof in order to apply for a visa; whether the embassy requires additional proof or not, depends on your country of nationality.
No, if the exclusive language of instruction will be English you don’t need to know the German language; however, a little knowledge of German will take you a long way in your everyday life as a student.
Persons who are coming to Germany with a visa and who intend to stay for a longer period in Germany have to have a residence permit. The responsible authority therefore is the foreign office. For the residence permit you need a certificate of the enrollment from the university, the registration from the authorities, a proof of financing and a valid health insurance contract. A residence permit for the purpose of studying is issued for a period of two years and have to be extended before the two years run out. When you are going to extend your visa you always have to show them a valid insurance contract.
Assuming the degree currently held qualifies him/her for a doctoral program in Germany, the typical path a candidate would have to follow to a doctorate, in a nutshell, would be as follows: once the area of study is selected, the candidate needs to find an academic supervisor/mentor a.k.a. the “Doktorvater” or “Doktormutter” in German, who will guide the doctoral candidate through the research phase leading to the writing of his/her dissertation. There are different ways of going about finding an academic supervisor in Germany: either through personal contacts your professors may have in Germany or through online research of various scientific publications, e.g. www.hochschulkompass.de/en/ Once an academic supervisor is found, the doctoral candidate has to enroll at a university program for several semesters, where he/she will be gaining scientific experience and working as an assistant, all the while researching and writing the dissertation. Another increasingly popular (especially among foreign students) way to earn a Ph.D. in Germany is through one of the so-called ‘structured doctoral programs,’ wherein a team of professors supervises a group of doctoral candidates.
If you wish to gain a Ph.D. in Germany, then you definitely need to hold a university degree which is equivalent to a degree gained at a German university. Equivalency is decided by the university in question and you should contact your chosen institution directly. You can find more information at www.hochschulkompass.de/en/doctoral-studies.
As soon as you have chosen a topic area, you need to find a professor, who will act as your academic supervisor. Once you have an academic supervisor for your doctoral thesis, you will be required to enroll at the relevant university for a number of semesters and attend certain courses. Please inquire as soon as currently hold is qualified for a doctoral program. German universities are increasingly creating special programs for foreign doctoral candidates which have been specifically designed to meet the needs and interests of international applicants. These special measures primarily involve preparation, guidance-counselling and the provision of favorable research conditions. Not only can the thesis often be written in English or another world language, but study-integrated German language courses also help students overcome the language barrier. Such program includes: PhD support programs, Binational doctoral arrangement, Graduate Schools. Information on these programs as well as the addresses of all HEI and all doctoral programs and doctorates can be found on the following website: www.hochschulkompass.de/en/
In Germany, a prerequisite (and also the traditional route) to enrollment into a tertiary level education institution (university, university of applied sciences a.k.a. ‘Fachhoschule,’ college of art and music, etc) is a passing score on the final examination whereby a certificate called the ‘Abitur’ (or Fachabitur) is obtained. As a general rule, Abitur – formally enabling students to attend a university – is necessary for enrollment into most universities, but exceptions to this rule are not infrequent (one of the alternative routes is a passing score on the ‘Begabtenprüfung’ a.k.a. ‘the aptitude test’). As an international student, however, you need to apply well in advance in order for the International Students Office (Akademisches Auslandsamt) to consider your application – including previous academic record – and determine whether it meets all admission requirements; for this purpose you will need to produce proof of completion of secondary education (e.g. high school diploma, ‘Matura,’ ‘A-Levels,’ or if required in your country, proof of having passed a university entrance examination) that is an equivalent of Abitur. As to whether your high school diploma gets accepted for purposes of studying in Germany, depends on what country it was issued in; if your high school diploma was issued in a EU or EEA member country, then it is accepted for direct application at a university, otherwise you may have to undergo (again depending on the country of issuance of your high school diploma) a ‘Feststellungsprüfung’ assessment examination, after having attended a Studienkolleg (preparatory course). For further details go to www.daad.de/deutschland/nach-deutschland/voraussetzungen/en/6017-university-admission-andrequirements/?id=1&ebene=1 Certain universities of applied sciences a.k.a. ‘Fachhoschulen,’ may require that you complete a working internship prior to enrolling. In order to be admitted to a post-graduate (Master’s or Ph.D.) program, a formal recognition of your university degree is required, from your home country or another country.
As a general rule, you only send certified documents; certain additional documents, however, such as proof of internship, etc. are exempt from that rule.
Your German language skills need to be at the B1 level (proof thereof is required), which is considered an equivalent of roughly 600 hours.
In order to be allowed to study in Germany, you need a ‘Hochschulzugangsberechtigung’ (university entrance entitlement): this simply means a school-leaving qualification that entitles you to study at university. In Germany, this is the ‘Allgemeine Hochschulreife’ (Abitur) or ‘Fachhochschulreife’. So how do you find out if your qualification is also recognised? On the Anabin website (only in German) you can select both your homeland and the qualification you have obtained. When you have entered this information, you will receive a detailed explanation of whether or not your qualification is adequate for direct university entrance.
You have to show them a valid insurance in Germany, You have to show them the notification of admission, You have to have a receipt of the payment to the student organization, You have to give them a passport picture, You have to show them your passport with the valid visa.
Studentenwerk is an organisation which acts in the interest of the students of each particular region in Germany. Each German region has its own studentwnwerk, but they cooperate closely on the national level. Studentenwerke generally organize and run cafeterias, restaurants, housing units, the BAföG for the government, and even psychological and low level health services. Some regions and universities mandate a certain yearly fee by each student for the studentenwerk, making it legally a very close cooperation between the semi-independent organisation and the local governments.
Most universities in Germany offer the so called “Duales Studium”. This special way of studying makes it possible for students to study theory at a traditional university and at the same time practice what they have learned at companies who partner with the university or program. Depending on you visa you will most likely be able as a foreigner to work only 120 days out of the year. As long as this is in agreement with your university’s program you can participate in the highly successful Dual Studium program.
As a general rule, the validity of foreign driver’s licenses is limited to six months. If, as a full-time student you claim residence in Germany, and after six months your driver’s license expires, the only way for you to continue to drive legally would be to transfer your license. Whether the transferring of your license requires you to undergo the theoretical and driving tests administered by driving schools, depends on the country of issuance of your driver’s license (find out what regulations apply to your home country by contacting the local dept. of motor vehicles/driver’s licenses). For the purpose of transferring your driver’s license in Germany you will need to produce the following: Your original driver’s license (has to still be valid), Passport-size photograph of you, Proof of residency in Germany and Your passport or ID card.
Each year, the Center for Higher Education Development (CHE) publishes Germany’s most comprehensive ranking of higher education institutions. This multidimensional ranking uses up to 40 different indicators to provide a differentiated and detailed view of the strengths and weaknesses of German higher education by subject areas. This is complemented by a research ranking published every fall to provide specific information on the research contribution of German higher education institutions. On the CHE website you can find out what the top-ranked German universities are in every subject area.
The most important formal requirement is a very good university degree that is recognised in Germany. Generally, your degree must be equivalent to a master’s degree, awarded after at least eight semesters of university study. There is one exception: Especially qualified international applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree may be admitted to a doctoral programme in what is called a “fast track programme”. In such cases, applicants are usually required to pass an examination. Each German university is responsible for admitting candidates to its PhD programmes and recognizing prior academic achievement. This is why candidates must apply directly to the Dean’s Office or the faculty’s doctoral committee to have their past degrees recognized. In certain cases, admission to a PhD programme is determined by an additional examination which assesses whether the candidate’s knowledge is equivalent to that of a holder of a degree from Germany. You can obtain more information from the professors who are responsible for the subject in question. It may also be helpful – and in some cases, necessary – to include letters of recommendation from your university professors at home. Source: DAAD!
It would be recommendable to open a German bank account because if you are going to rent a flat or if you are going to apply for an insurance you have to provide the bank details so that they would be able to debit the money because it is not possible to pay it cash. If you have a credit card of course you can also use it but cash cards are more common.
In Germany there are two kinds of health insurance, the public insurance and the private one. Without an insurance it is not possible for you to matriculate at a university. Up to the age of 30 years or until your 14th insured over a public insurance company. But you also have the possibility to exempt yourself from the public insurance company if you would like to be insured over a private insurance. For getting this exemption you will have to go directly to the public insurance company before you are going to matriculate yourself at the university. But please note, if you exempt yourself from the public insurance company you can’t be term of study you normally have to be insured over them as long as you are a student.
If you would like to register for a room or an apartment in the student accommodation you should contact your local Studentenwerk directly. On their website you can also find the offers of accommodation, information on the prices and also for the furnishing. The offers are varied and range from simple rooms to flats for couples, for students with children and also for students with disabilities. The furnished rooms are mostly equipped with a writing desk, a bed, a wardrobe and shelving. But pillows, blankets, bedding and towels are not provided. But this can be bought or rented as well. If possible do not arrive at the weekend or late at night, in case there is no other choice you have to inform the Studentenwerk so that you can discuss with them where you can get the keys from. If you still don ́t have a flat after your arrival in Germany, please go as soon as possible to the Studentwerk they often have an emergency accommodation available at the beginning of term.
Persons who are coming to Germany with a visa and who intend to stay for a longer period in Germany have to have a residence permit. The responsible authority therefore is the foreign office. For the residence permit you need a certificate of the enrollment from the university, the registration from the authorities, a proof of financing and a valid health insurance contract. A residence permit for the purpose of studying is issued for a period of two years and have to be extended before the two years run out. When you are going to extend your visa you always have to show them a valid insurance contract.
If you have a residence permit in Germany and if the duration of your stay is expected to be longer than one year, than family reunification is possible. However, in order for them to join you in Germany, you have to be able to support them without burdening social assistance in any way.
As a general rule, the validity of foreign driver’s licenses is limited to six months. If, as a full-time student you claim residence in Germany, and after six months your driver’s license expires, the only way for you to continue to drive legally would be to transfer your license. Whether the transferring of your license requires you to undergo the theoretical and driving tests administered by driving schools, depends on the country of issuance of your driver’s license (find out what regulations apply to your home country by contacting the local dept. of motor vehicles/driver’s licenses). For the purpose of transferring your driver’s license in Germany you will need to produce the following: • Your original driver’s license (has to still be valid), • Passport-size photograph of you, • Proof of residency in Germany and • Your passport or ID card.
If you absolutely have to, you can bring your pet to Germany, as long as you can prove that the animal has been duly vaccinated against rabies (30 days at least prior to crossing the border to enter Germany, but not date back more than 1 year for dogs and six months for cats). You also have to reckon with a tax being levied for dogs, to be paid after you’ve registered the animal with local authorities.
It is fairly easy; although you don’t need a car to get around in Germany – owing to its outstanding public transportation network – driving on German autobahns is sheer pleasure. On the other hand, the ICE high-speed trains, Deutsche Bahn AG, the suburban S-Bahn network, tram and subway lines cover together the entire territory of Germany. Domestic flights between all major cities are also available and are increasingly being used. Buss and taxi services are also readily available. For those who enjoy cycling, special cycling lanes and suitable places for parking are widespread.
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