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How to select universities in Germany?  

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Should I select univerities based on research or rankings?

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Choosing the right college or university is extremely important because :

    A university decides course content and delivery which determines your learning levels.

    Universities in a way shape your personality as they mould you with the environment they provide for a good number of years, this develops your character and personality.

Choosing a college is different in different countries and the criteria of choice differ according to various pre-set standards.

In Germany, unlike just looking at the rankings, one has to assess colleges through various lenses before concluding on a decision.

For students going to Germany, It provides several university choices to students, some of the universities are known worldwide for their education quality, however, one cannot rely completely on the general ranking procedure for deciding their university. University rankings are based on the quality of delivery of all the departments and hence one needs to be specific and check as to which department caters to his/her needs before application.

The next question arises how do we do that and if there is a specific reliable source. It is suggested one can logon to a website CHE Rankings and check for different colleges and rankings available there. The rankings here are divided into four categories- top group, middle group, bottom group and not grouped. One can see the rankings based on different criterions and choose universities accordingly.

Secondly, other criteria are to choose a university-based on courses offered. There are some universities which do not have international seats for certain courses and some which do have. One needs to choose accordingly.

Choosing universities according to financial aids available. Germany provides the cheapest education. Some public universities are ranked higher than private universities and provide free education to international students as well. So choose wise!

Checking the admission requirements is another important step while choosing your study destination. Whether the colleges accept and recognize the current qualification, To study in Germany you need to have a recognized Hochschulzugangsberechtigung (HZB), meaning ‘higher education entrance qualification’. DAAD has a database of information on admission requirements for selected countries. Students with qualifications from outside Europe may have to sit the Feststellungsprüfung entrance examination after attending a preparatory Studienkolleg, although high-achieving students may be able to bypass this. In Germany most of the courses are taught in German, hence a check on the language requirements becomes mandatory. International students need to present a proficiency certificate in German.  Two main tests are available for this purpose: the Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH, meaning “German language examination for university entrance”) and the TestDaF.

Likewise, if your course is taught in English, you will need to prove your knowledge of the language with a test such as IELTS or TOEFL. .There are exceptions for native speakers and for students who have studied in English previously. For each course, there is a score requirement or entry requirement which is mentioned in details on the university website.

Sorting out your finances is a major step before deciding on to study in Germany. Although many Germany universities are cheap for student’s convenience, there are certain mandates to be followed for visa regarding show money before one gets admitted to a college or university in Germany. In order to fulfill student visa requirements, you will need to show proof that you have, or have access to, around €8,700 per year (~US$10,000) to cover your living costs, although you may find you need more, depending on your lifestyle and spending habits (the average student spends €850/US$975 a month). Living costs also vary depending on the location; according to Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey, Munich is currently the most expensive city in the country.

There are various kinds of scholarships available to cover the costs of studying in Germany which can be explored.

Checking the course curriculum is a mandatory step before even thinking of applying or exceeding the application procedure Have a thorough look at their curriculum. See the type of courses, distribution of credits, other things like Internships and Master or bachelor thesis need to be completed to get your final degree.

Make sure that the curriculum is aligned with your interests. Discard the ones which do not fit.

One of the best ways is to enquire with people who have studied or are currently residing in Germany and inquire in facebook and WhatsApp groups. Lastly, you can consider these factors to arrive at the final list.

    The city or the location because it has a major influence on average monthly expenses and other facilities.

    Research facilities at the university

    Student Job opportunities

    Accommodation facilities

Another important aspect to be considered while choosing the university to study is the return on investment. We always have to consider this point as a top priority as to how much we are getting back from our investments as course fees. The prospects for the course determine the return on investments as course fees. One must select universities by keeping In mind the opportunities the university provides I terms of the course placement. In case one has a higher study plan of a research degree or a PhD, one must also consider the type of university they are applying to.

The question arises how do you check which university is good for your courses selected which we have discussed initially in this article. Additional to this some people also rely on accreditation of colleges or universities. Accreditation is a process of validation in which colleges, universities and other institutions of higher learning are evaluated. Some universities have won German awards of excellence for their research departments and so on, hence while choosing a university, this point also needs to be considered.

We are sure you do not land up In any surprises once you go through our article. Checking the location of the university is important while shortlisting German universities because some places in Germany have extreme climates. One must surely check the climatic situation of the town or city in which the university is located and whether it is suitable for you. The prices of accommodation and cost of daily necessities would also vary depending upon the size of the town or city you choose. Other facilities like library, administration, unions, student networks, faculty quality and qualifications also need to be considered. In some cases, one might have to consider and reconsider applications to universities which require entrance tests to be mandatorily given. Entrance tests might include GMAT, GRE and many more standardized universal examinations. It might be that you have the perfect score and the exact course when it comes to your academics but somehow lack in the competitive scores of the entrance exams, you might need to rethink your application, my friend!

Additional to the courses offered by German universities they also offer some amenities like study groups, workshops, working in the library opportunity a time management skills enhancement opportunities. Its always good to exchange knowledge and study groups give you this opportunity.

Lastly, we would like to add that getting through a university is not a single-faced decision, an application is processed through various lenses and we recommend to not stay limited to a single university or be overwhelmed with multiple universities on your card.It's good and advisable to have 7-10 universities on your application checklist choice.

 

Good luck!

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