How to Choose German University That Is Best for You
How to choose German university where to study? This decision will define the rest of your life, so I suggest you put some serious thinking into this. You will need to decide where you plan to study and what will be your field of study.
When you are an international student dreaming to study in German university, the crucial question to make a life-changing decision: “what university is the best for me?” Let me be absolutely clear, that this choice will define the rest of your life. This is your professional future we are talking about. As well as your social connections, friends and possibly future family. What university you choose today will make you a man or a woman of tomorrow.
Like in any life-changing situations, it is the best to approach the matter systematically. You need an University that will lead you to your best future. Therefore, you need to understand your current situation and your goals. Thus, consider (1) your resources and (2) your ambitions.
(1) What resources you have that will be useful during your study time in Germany?
Resources are anything and anyone that can provide you with material goods, non-material connections, emotional support and knowledge. Do you have any family members or friends who had already studied in a German university? Then drill them about their experiences. Those whose opinions we value (like our parents or siblings) will provide a valuable insight into what to expect when studying abroad. If you mother or / and father had studied in a German University, you might want to follow their steps. They will be able to provide you helpful knowledge about their Alma Mater. And surely, they might have studied somewhat 20 years ago, but German institutions are rather conservative, their experience will still be relevant.
If you have friends or some other family members right now studying in Germany, then of course it will be only rational to follow their steps into the same school. It is always easier to stick together with the friend or family in the foreign country.
If you are the first from your family or social circle to apply to German university, then start by making a very honest and realistic evaluation of your material resources or money in general. Though there is no tuition per se in German universities, costs of living vary. München is so much more expensive than Bremen. I know that personally, I lived in both of the cities. If your budget is really tight, make sure you compare the cities and living costs before applying.
(2) What are your ambitions, your dreams and visions for your future? What do you aim to achieve by studying in German university?
Money is important, but your dreams are even more so. You are still young, so you can still take a risk (even if it is calculated) and follow your dreams. Do you have any idea what fields of studies suits you best? If so, then go for the best university in that field. You do deserve the best, because you are working very hard. If you still do not know where to apply yourself, then check the forecasting of the best career trajectories. Choose a carrier in the field that will be booming on the job market within next 5-10 years.
It is very important to make this balance: of what you can afford and what you aspire to. You have to realistic about your circumstances and take every opportunity to improve them. Such as apply for the financial aid and scholarships. And at the same time you have to allow yourself to dream bigger.
We will see you in Germany!
Talk to your friends and family, read about different study programs and don’t be afraid to make your decision!
Maria Ka, Decode21 team leader
"It takes lots of courage and self-determination to make a decision to change your life. I know it, because over a decade ago I was in the similar position. Choosing study program, applying to the university, securing scholarship - I have done it all. On Decode21 website I share my experience and opinion. I am here to give my advice about every step in application process. Contact me with your questions and doubts. And see you in Germany!"