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Why American Students Are Flocking to Germany

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Replies to: Why American Students Are Flocking to Germany

  • alcibiadealcibiade Registered User Posts: 585 Member
    @dietz199 offers good advice, I agree with most of what he says. I have a little I could add.

    At undergrad level, German unis are essentially diploma mills, similar to US state schools in some respects or, say, the Sorbonne. It can be hard to get contact with profs, classes can be very large, and grading tends to be by exam with little opportunity to write. THere is little or no handholding. It works for students who are focused and have clear goals, i.e. it is not for liberal arts exploration or "finding yourself". They do not have a parallel super-elite system like in France or the UK, but have relatively open admissions.

    I studied in Freiburg in 78-79 and was not particularly impressed with the facilities, but they were more than adequate. The emphasis is on economies of scale. Students tended to study there for a long time at a leisurely pace, way beyond 3 years, but that may have changed. The city was so attractive and safe that I would recommend it.

    They are a really a good deal financially, I would just worry about quality in your chosen field.
  • kjevelynkjevelyn Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    Super glad I ran across this thread, because I've been looking for masters programs for communications and also doing a study abroad trip this summer. Now I'm interested to see if Germany is a good option postgrad, because I'm not about that burdensome student loan life $$$$ It also seems like studying abroad opens open your mind and prepares you as an individual. Does anyone know what the German culture would be like for an English speaking student?
  • insanedreamerinsanedreamer Registered User Posts: 1,536 Senior Member
    For those looking for undergrad programs in Germany, here's a university I found (when researching this for my D) which offers all its undergraduate programs in English. It's a new university, not too large, and with a very international focus. Looks quite nice though the number of majors offered is limited. Decent location too.
    http://www.hochschule-rhein-waal.de/en

    If searching for masters programs, use this: http://www.mastersportal.eu
  • dietz199dietz199 Registered User Posts: 3,053 Senior Member
    A Hochschule is NOT a university! It is a completely separate track of education not comparable to the US.
  • insanedreamerinsanedreamer Registered User Posts: 1,536 Senior Member
    @dietz199 Actually it is the equivalent of a BS degree in the US (as per the Bologna Process) - just has a very practical focus (primarily technical) rather than more theoretical at university, and usually less majors, and no doctorate programs.
  • dfbdfbdfbdfb Registered User Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    Hochschule is more like a community college, really (particularly those offering an A.A.S. degree)—cf. the "very practical focus (primarily technical)".
  • TigerleTigerle Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    Hochschule/Fachhochschule is not at all a completely separate track of education, that was a long time ago if ever. They are comparable to directional colleges with a preprofessional focus and an emphasis on coops. Unlike universities, they offer admission to students having graduated from vocational high schools, not just college prep track students, but many students who have completed the admissions requirement for universities prefer them because of the preprofessional emphasis. Some schools and programs have gained national recognition and admission is more competitive than at most universities. Hochschule/Fachhochschule graduates have the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, lower than university graduates, though university graduates have an edge in level of salary.
  • TigerleTigerle Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    Adding that many now have well regarded masters programs, and a few have managed even to start doctoral programs IIRC, though that one remains controversial. Classes are smaller, advising tends to be better and the drop out rates are fairly low as well.
  • TigerleTigerle Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    @kjevelyn, you will find that most people in Western Germany and most younger people in Eastern Germany have conversational English, so surviving is easy, but if you speak very little German, you will probably socialize mostly with other foreign students and not find so many opportunities to broaden your mind. Carefully consider what PPs have said about the lack of shiny facilities, housing, handholding, advising...it is hard to wrap your mind around how different systems can be who appear to have the same origin and purpose.
  • dfbdfbdfbdfb Registered User Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    So (Fach)hochschule vs. Universität as the CSUs vs. the UCs, maybe?
  • insanedreamerinsanedreamer Registered User Posts: 1,536 Senior Member
    @dfbdfb No. For example, RWTH Aachen is technically a "hochschule" (thus the H in its name) and is the largest technical university in Germany and ranked #2 in Engineering (after TUM).

    Hochschule is not at all like CC in the US. (That's not to say that all of them all high quality, there's a range just like anywhere else.) For all intents and purposes they are universities and that's why they use the word "University" in their English names.
  • dfbdfbdfbdfb Registered User Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    @insanedreamer: Right—that's why I was asking about whether the (Fach)hochshulen are along the lines of the CSUs, not CCs. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, for example, is a CSU, but certainly highly regarded (in its case, also for things like engineering).
  • TigerleTigerle Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    @dfbdfb, @insanedreamer, yes, CSU to UC is actually very much like Fachhochschule to Universität, including the small number of very highly regarded Fachhochschulen comparable to Cal Poly (not that any school in Germany is actually very much like a school in the US). Insanedreamer, Hochschule simply means institute of higher education and as such comprises all types. There is a big difference between schools that style themselves Technische Hochschule, which is comparable to institute of technology and which have always had admission and education standards at least as high as universities, and former Fachhochschulen which have dropped the "Fach" (meaning restricted to preprofessional subjects) in an attempt at better branding.
  • magellan26magellan26 Registered User Posts: 176 Junior Member
    https://www.daad.org/en/

    That's the expert site on education in Germany. Excellent info site.
  • WhoTouchedMyTacoWhoTouchedMyTaco Registered User Posts: 131 Junior Member
    Because the women are beautiful
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