Rather than saying it dark sides of MS in Germany I will call it difficulties one face during his/her MS in Germany. I have seen the list of persons who are following these particular question are Indian. As an Indian, I will highlight that particular section too.
In Deutschland spricht man Deutsch
Back home we were used to speaking in English with our colleagues and friends at the university as mostly higher education specifically technical education is offered it in English. But here in Germany, you might get admission in English speaking course but other than your classrooms most of the time you will hear more German words around you. All the instructions on the mailing list are in German, now they have started for some official information in dual language emails. If you don’t have good German skills than it might not affect your grades assuming English taught course, but your social circle would be limited.
In the supermarket, you need German to get the right product for you or you to have to always translate product name inside the market, which will cost your time a lot in the beginning. Then at the counter, if you have some queries than again language comes as Barrier as you can’t expect Counterperson to answer in English. On a day to day life, there will be so many incidents where you will feel left out if you don’t know the language, you might not find some activities to do in your free times.
It’s not at all the dark sides as you can always overcome it by learning the language, which might require some effort but it’s worth doing.
Pünktlichkeit ist wichtig
In your Home country, it can be different, that people can be late sometimes or most of the times and no one will argue or get angry over it. People will accept it. But in Germany, it’s not tolerated. You can’t be late in your class. Maximum tolerance to get in your class is 5 minutes. if you are late than that it will make your Professor angry or disappointed. I have seen many people including me missing the class if they are 6 minutes late, I especially have spent my time in the Library because I couldn’t make it in time to the class. That also applies to German friend circle and all the social events. You can’t be late to any, that’s why many Germans arrive earlier than the given time and make a roundabout the target destinations. It’s part of their cultural belief they are having zero tolerance on it for most of the cases. You might get rejected for the interview before asking any question if you were late. Be careful.
Studium ist nicht einfach.
This can be the dark side if you are used to be late all the time.
For MS Students professors are having expectations from you that you know your field as you have done your Bachelor study. In master, you just need the guidance and you will do the work yourself. Class durations are 2*1.5 hours for each subject plus tutorials and Laboratory extra. In this 3 Hours, you might see the 60–70 slides covered. The speed of teaching is faster, the material is self-prepared by the professor and if you miss some explanation of one slide you can’t find it most of the time solution to it other than professor him/her self. People like me will have a hard time being concentrated for 3 hours continuously. Getting an appointment with the professor is also a tough task, on open visit hours there will be many other students waiting outside his office. So it becomes more complicated getting your doubts solves, it’s not impossible but it’s not easy at all.
Other than those organizational issues the course content is high quality and deep into the particular field. Exam based on that material will not ask you to write 3 types of Pumps or some other kind of questions where you need to mug up the text. Exams can be oral and you need to explain the core concepts of the particular topic to pass, for good grades you need to understand the Concepts really well, so you can answer all the counter questions correctly.
Everything has a proper process and you need to follow it within the given deadline. Many students need to wait for a year because they didn’t register for the exam on time. Once the deadline is gone no one can help you not even the professor. If you don’t follow the rules then you will face bad consequences. Examples like Registering for the exam, Deregistration of the exam, taking a free semester, thesis submission and registration. These all things have proper document work to followed by students, and they are strict about it. It can be online or offline depending on your university.
Other than that it’s hard to finish your study in regular course duration also for locals, as doing internships, writing project reports and performing good in Exams need more preparation in comparison to another country. So it’s normal even for bright students to take one or two extra semesters to finish the Course.
Geld wächst nicht auf Bäumen
Money can be a big issue if your family is having the finanicial issue and are depends on you financially. As a student, you get some exemption from taxes up to a certain limit. But in that certain limit, you can not cover your expenses and also support your family. Even if you are only looking after your self it will have some money shortage. Working hours are limited to 20 Hours/week during Semester time, and at that time you also need to study as well. Other than that yearly limit of 120 full days or 240 half days a student is allowed to work. In that duration on an average if someone uses 100% of this days then average 10/hour one can earn around 9600 Euro. Which is slightly above the tax limit of students (8130 Euro), the tax rate is roughly 10 percent which means if you earn more you pay more taxes. You also need to have compulsory health insurance which costs you around 100 Euro per month. Depending on your City monthly rent starting from 250–600 Euro has to paid by you. Food, Travelling and all other extra costs will make your budget tight if you are too careless. The system supports the student with different incentives but you can not grow that much to afford a luxury life, you will survive for sure, but just survive. All your high-class luxury hobbies will make a big blow on your budget.
Another aspect I assume that one got the job here for part-time, or in university as Help staff. But not everyone will get it, for Jobs at Mac-D and other restaurants will demand fluent German. Again language will be a hurdle if you don’t know it. In that case, you will depend upon seasonal labor jobs at Amazon and other packaging and manufacturing plants where you don’t need to speak much, just repeat the task at your assembly line. It’s not fun, as timings are too bad and locations of Amazon warehouses too. You will waste some more time commuting and affect your health. 9600 is decent amount though if you are not living in Expensive cities like Munich, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, etc. Again it also depends on individual needs.
These are the major aspects which can be irritating for a foreign student. But that doesn’t make MS in Germany a bad option for your higher studies. It’s still worthy to face these complications for better career possibilities. I hope I have served the question properly, I am thinking about writing an answer to the Bright side of MS In Germany. I will surely post the link once I am done with that.
Author: Ankit Sheladiya