Germany is one of the top ten destinations for US students that study abroad. It should be one of the top 3 study abroad destinations.
Germany is a unique study abroad destination – one which you really need to experience to appreciate.
Germany is a federal republic consisting of 16 “Länder,” which are similar to US states. The German government has a chief of state (president), head of government (chancellor), cabinet, legislative branch (Bundesrat), and judicial branch.
Germany plays an important role in both European and world events. It has one of the world’s largest economies (think business, jobs, opportunities…) and is notable for its academic institutions and technological prowess, among others.
The German language is spoken by more than 95 million people (divided primarily between Germany, Austria, and Switzerland), making it both a useful and important language in the world not only because of its usefulness in business, education, and other arenas, but also because of the simple fact that many people speak German.
Studying Abroad in Germany
One of the most unique and beneficial features about study abroad in Germany comes from the Germans themselves. Modern Germans are a socially aware, environmentally conscious, and politically active group.
It can be an eye opener for those who decide to study abroad in Germany and can have many positive effects on what you gain from your study abroad experience.
Study abroad in Germany, learning a language in Germany, living in Germany – it all means interacting with Germans in educational, professional, and personal settings (as with any study abroad experience). Among the citizens of industrialized nations, few will enhance the educational benefit of your study abroad experience as the Germans will.
While the Germans are aware and vocal, the same could be said of the French, or of the Italians. Yet study abroad in Germany, and living in Germany among Germans results in a great deal of learning both by comparison and by example.
German students, for example, are very responsible with money, energy consumption, water consumption, etc. – surprisingly so, in fact. They spend less, consume less, and seem to be ever-conscious of the real benefit they get in exchange for their money.
The examples may seem trivial. But when we study abroad in Germany or learn German in Germany, we quickly realize how American we are – we spend more, save less, use more electricity, use more water, are less aware of and less sensitive to prices. In Germany you may well instantly feel “different” and suddenly be much more aware of your American roots.
Add to that the political and social awareness that you may be confronted with when you interact with German students not to mention the impressive knowledge many Germans have about the US) when you interact with German students and, well, that’s an educational experience in itself. You’ll see!
STUDY ABROAD OPPORTUNITIES IN GERMANY
Regardless of whether you want to study abroad in Germany with a US-sponsored study abroad program, snatch up German in a German immersion program offered by a German language school, spend a semester or a year at a German university as a visiting student (direct enrollment into the university), there are ample opportunities for study abroad in Germany.
- Colleges of Art, Film, and Music
- In-country German language schools (German immersion programs)
- German Universities
- German Technical Universities
- German Fachhochschulen (Universities of Applied Sciences)
- U.S.-sponsored Programs
There’s practically nothing that you can’t study in Germany.
The Utility of German
German’s important economic role European politics, the European economy, and the world economy make German a very useful language. For that reason, you will find Spanish students, South American students, Korean students, Japanese students, Chinese students, Polish students, Ukrainian students, Italian students and many other students from throughout the world in Germany to learn German.
Being able to speak German, like being able to speak Spanish, enables you to bridge the language gap with international students and, in your professional life, with educated foreigners who are also fluent in German. Might you find yourself speaking German to someone in China or Japan or Brazil? You might. The utility of certain languages, including German, offers advantages you don’t normally think of.
In addition, fluency in German gives you quick and direct access to German newspapers and televised German news – you don’t need to wait for the translated versions to get important info (such as when you are working for an international organization). If you need or want to research something and the best data is in German – you have access to it. If you wanted to complete a graduate degree in Germany at a fraction of the cost for a similar program in the U.S., speaking German allows you to research programs with ease, not to mention making you eligible to enroll in the program.