Planning the semester or degree abroad includes a lot of work. There are many questions to be solved and most different kinds of things to be considered. Beginning with the application for the university and going to health insurance and apartment. To cope with all these it is good to have a detailed plan and work on this step by step. It’s the best way to be sure that nothing important has been forgotten and then the time abroad can come.
Those who play with the thought of doing a degree abroad have to know that it is a long way to the end. First one has to decide for a country and even this isn’t always easy.
The preparations for the time abroad in Germany should be started about one year before leaving.
One year before the department the following points have to be considered:
Information about opportunities in Germany
This includes the choice between university and technical college, the choice between private and public universities and the different exchange programs or partner universities in the home country.
What requirements have to be reached?
Is it enough to have the final degree from one’s home country to study in Germany? Is the final degree from one’s home country accepted in Germany? What other requirements are there? Average degree, language requirements, certain tests,
What costs do occur and how can I pay for the time abroad?
Opportunities of support, scholarships, help from parents, own savings,
If these basic questions are answered and the wish fully developed the specific planning can begin. It is important that all participants are sure about it. Oneself needs to be sure about the meaning of a time abroad and has to ask if he or she is suited for this. The parents or guardians should give their agreement to help with the planning or the finance.
Half a year before the departure there are more points to be considered:
Decision for subject and university
From numerous offered subjects one has to find the suitable program for himself and because the programs also differ from university to university the decision of it is also important. Differences can be found in content, practical and research orientation as well as in consultative offers of the university.
Contacting the university
Every German university owns a foreign office, which one can consult when having questions as international student. It is now important to ask how much places there are for international students, what kinds of subsidies and scholarships there are and if they have residential homes for international students.
After one has decided for one or more universities the actual application can begin.Every university has its own application rules and own deadlines that have to be hold. The subjects medicine, pharmaceutics, animal medicine and dentistry have a central organization of the applications and nationwide requirements. It is also important for all the other subjects to get information about degree requirements and upgrade one’s chances with internships or social work. The numerous clauses meaning the average degree with which one is accepted is the requirement for most universities. For some programs there are yet other regulations.
After the application forms have been sent to the university there is only waiting. Waiting for the place. And waiting for the ticket to the time abroad.
If the acceptance finally arrived the joy is great and one can show all the anticipation and excitement. But besides there are other tasks that shouldn’t be forgotten.
Application for residential homes
The apartments next to the university are always wanted badly. An early application is therefore very important to get a place. In the residential homes one can live quite cheap and because the flats are shared with other people one can meet new people fast.
Request a German Visa
Citizens from non-EU countries need a visa for the entry and the stay in Germany. For some countries there are specific regulations. It is good to get the necessary information in time. To apply for a visa different documents like the acceptance from university and a proof for the health insurance have to be shown.
Apply for a German Health Insurance
In Germany it is requested by law that everyone has to have a health insurance. During the specific planning of the time abroad it is therefore necessary to check the actual insurance and its benefits abroad. Maybe it is necessary to close a further private insurance for Germany.
The time to the department is now flying. Last steps of the planning and a rising anticipation spread out. One to two weeks before leaving there are some things that should be checked.
Checking the documents
Do I have all necessary documents for entry and stay? Visa, acceptance from university, students card, possibly acceptance for residential home, …
Fix the accommodation
Those who didn’t get a place in the residential homes should organize an accommodation for the first nights. Some students organizations offer couch places for such cases and in the big cities there are cheap hostels in which one can life for some days till an own apartment is found. The inspection dates for possible apartments should be done earlier per e-mail. One can then also look how to get from the hostel to the apartment. In cities where only few apartments are offered it is good to make many dates to rise the chances to find a flat.
Are all questions answered and the travel to Germany finally starts, one of the biggest adventures of one’s life begins. It is a time full of new experiences and impressions. Especially the first days in the new home are often bustling and not unorganized but this should not worry oneself too much.
It is also important to check things like the resident permit and finance after arriving in Germany. Help can be found at the foreign office of the university or one can ask older students that have been in the same situation.