American students have given their interviews for different articles based on their experience in Berlin. Through their interview, we are given a clearer picture of Berlin’s educational system and the overall experience of international students studying in Berlin. Additionally, Germany has a reasonable cost of living, and international students pay the same tuition fees as local. The public universities in Germany do not charge any tuition fees. Berlin is home to thousands of international students from across the world. Studying abroad always comes with huge responsibilities and challenges.
Difference between studying in US and Germany
Alexis, a US student studying in Berlin, talked about the difference between studying in Germany and the US. The major difference she talked about was the tuition fees because the tuition fees in Germany were less expensive than in the US. Berlin is one of the most affordable cities to study in western Europe. Therefore, they also provide fewer resources and assistance, and every student is in charge of their studies. The students are given a chance to take up the responsibility of choosing their class, finding out their deadlines, etc. This helps students create a community and help each other out and gives them a sense of freedom in choosing the direction of their program. Every student in America is assigned an advisor who recommends classes based on their interests and gets mail reminders for class enrollment deadlines.
The cultural difference in academic life
According to the experienced of some US students, in Germany, all the students are allowed to make three attempts to pass an exam. This system can help many students to do better, work harder and learn the required material for the exams. In Germany, students are not given any suggestions to prepare for the exams by the professors. However, in the US, professors give suggestions to students, or they are told to skip certain chapters and focus on others for the exams.
The cultural difference in non-academic life
No matter where you go, especially to another country, you will see many cultural differences from big to small. Some cultural differences we can easily adapt to, but some we will need to give time to ourselves to adapt. Some of the cultural differences the US students experienced was how Germany was incredibly well-organized and efficient. In Berlin, even the smallest process is to be made efficient, such as registering to take Covid rapid test with a QRcode. Smiling to strangers on the streets and small talk happens less in Germany than in the Midwest USA. There are so many stores in Berlin that give discounts to students.
Universities in Berlin offer you part-time job opportunities to finance your studies. The university will help you gain some experience and, at the same time, help you earn money. According to university rules followed by many of the universities in Germany, students are allowed 20 hours a week to do their work during term time, and they can take up full-time employment in the holidays. This system helps many students to pay their tuition fees and, at the same time, buy their basic needs.
Some US students studying in Berlin have openly discussed the challenges they face. Most of their classes were conducted in German, even though there were many international students. So, it would help if you spent time on intensive language preparation. But you can still survive the semester because your classmates and professors will be there to help you out. The language barrier is a big challenge for many students studying in Germany.
More than speaking, writing in German is another challenge for many international students studying in Germany. However, even if you get through DSH, TestDAF, and other standard examinations to get into universities, you can’t guarantee that you’ll be able to catch the pace, tone and accent of the native speakers. However, everything is possible to deal with if you have made sufficient preparations and research about your destination and if you keep going with your dreams.
And no matter where you go, you will always face some challenges, and it’s inevitable. Finding accommodations in your preferred university and the courses have become easier because of some genuine social network platforms like Admissify Edutech.
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