German universities… Well, it’s been 6 months already since we started studying in Germany. And all our friends and families keep asking how it is.
It’s quite hard to explain everything in words. But if you are interested in studying at German university or just started your semester here – this article is definitely for you, as I’m going to tell you about the studying process.
Yeah, I know it’s not the most interesting topic, but anyway it’s really important. Some of the facts I faced here were confusing for me, so I’m excited to share them.
Let the journey begin!
Types of Higher Educational Institutions (Universities) in Germany
– Germany is a home to more than 200 000 international students from all over the world. There are almost 400 universities here and commonly they are classified like this:
As we were quite bored with tons of theory, so decided to go for university of applied science (you can read here, what you can study at THM), as it proposes you more practical approach of studies with projects, case studies etc.
Also, keep in mind that state German universities do not charge tuition fee (great, yeah?)!
Differences between Summer and Winter semesters in German universities
– Let me explain, that in German universities there are: Winter semester and Summer semester, which actually don’t include examination period. The Winter semester officially starts in the beginning of October and lasts till mid-January. Summer semester begins in April and usually ends in July. The dates vary from university to university, so you better contact Administration Office of the specific institution. Here are the comparisons:
- In Universities of Applied Sciences. Summer Semester: April to July. Winter Semester: October to January.
- In traditional Universities. Summer Semester: April to September. Winter Semester: October to March.
- Non-lecture period (overall). Summer Semester: end of July till September. Winter Semester: end of February till mid-April.
So it’s a little bit different to some countries.
Grading system in German universities
– Okay, now goes the most interesting part (read strange) grading system. So 1 – is “Excellent”, 5 – is “Sufficient”. You need to score at least 50% on an exam, to pass the subject.
– By the way, you need to register for an exam, which is really great – you can decide if you are ready and according to that if you want to take this exam now or later.
– For your projects, your department can provide you with cameras, laptops and special equipment if you need it.
– In some universities, the students’ ticket is also a travel ticket for Deutsche Bahn (find out more at your department).
– German Law System requires all students to have health insurance, so you are obliged to take it out. What’s more, in some countries (e.g. non-EU countries) health insurance is one of the mandatory conditions of getting German student visa.
We warn you that these facts are based on personal experience of studying at THM, so it may be different in other German universities.