In your search for a worthy study destination to achieve your academic and professional goals, you must have seen Germany and its prestigious schools popping up everywhere as a prime study location that promises to make a significant difference in your academic aspirations. As an international student, you most likely have also been on the lookout for the perquisites that are attached to choosing this country.
To answer your questions, allay your doubts, and buttress what you might already know, Germany is no doubt a nation of surprises and eye-opening experiences. When you think you’ve had it all figured out, something keeps coming along to rekindle the interest you had in the German way of life in the first place. Well, there is more to German culture than meets the eye!
In a nutshell, since your education and choosing the right school is your priority in this choice, it would serve you well to know that Germany is a vibrant educational hub that packs some of the best universities in Europe and the world at large in its bosom. According to rankings around the world, this mighty nation has taken the lead to be one of, if not the most, popular and revered study destination for international students who troop there to enjoy more than just the educational experience it promises.
Also, the structure of its school system is geared to serve your best interest, with opportunities for work and internships that test the mettle of what you have learned within the four walls of whatever German university has produced you. This is not to talk about the flexible nature of the requirements for international students to study in any public school in Germany, the uncomplicated structure of the student visa, and a number of top-notch scholarship opportunities and programmes like the Erasmus+ to ease your entry into German academic and cultural life.
To stamp your decision to study in this wonderful country and why you should stick with this choice, we have compiled 10 reasons why your choice of Germany is a felicitous one.
Ten Benefits Of Studying In Germany As A Nigerian
- Among the top most popular study destinations for international students
In a 2018 country ranking, Germany was among the most desirable study locations in the world, both generally and particularly by international students, second only to the UK by a little margin.
More recently, the nation still fluctuates at the top, with most regarding it as the number one study destination for international students. One of the particular reasons for this is explored in our next point.
- Low or Tuition-free Universities
When some German universities are not totally tuition-free, they are at least quite low in tuition. This particular reason has been largely responsible for the place that Germany holds in being the most popular study location for international students.
The German higher education authority understands the demand and necessity for higher education, and one of quality at that, and therefore waives the tuition for a majority of its universities. This is coming at a time when it’s getting harder to get an advanced education around the world by virtue of astronomical tuition fees. It is therefore not surprising that Nigerians and international students around the world are drawn to Deutschland to have a crack at getting a quality higher education in any university.
This so much so that a survey conducted in 2018 showed that 35.3% of all prospective international students had chosen Germany for their advanced studies specifically because of the tuition-free policy of most of its universities. Before this, Germany had made a monumental decision to make its public universities tuition-free for all international students coming into the country for school.
- Cultural diversity and acceptance
The country in question has surprisingly grown over the past decades to be a country of diverse people and cultures, setting an immersive atmosphere for a multi-cultural experience for any who wishes to visit the country.
For an international student such as yourself, you would be delighted to find that the native German culture locks you in its embrace and accepts you in all totality. For one in a strange land, this can be the difference between relishing your stay and hoping to leave as soon as possible. In Germany, you don’t have to worry about the latter.
The international community in Germany (asides native Germans) comprises:
- Polish nationals
- Chinese nationals
- Sub-Saharan Africans (Nigerians and the like)
- Vietnamese nationals
- Turkish nationals, who form the largest non-German ethnic group.
- Work experience after studies
For Germany, there is no structure in place to have you in a rush to return to your home country. The German higher education system gets you ready for the job market, even within Deutschland, after your studies, regardless of the school you've graduated from.
However, if you plan to stay back for job opportunities, it is important for you to start planning for this right from your time as a student.
If you wish to work in Germany, all you have to do is extend your resident permit for up to 18 months to allow you ample time to seek a job related to your degree. Here are some things to have to make this work:
- University certificate or document proving the completion of your studies
- Health insurance document
- Financial support proof for the period of job search
Interestingly, even after you have found a suitable job, you can subsequently apply for a German resident permit, also called EU Blue Card which allows you to live or work in any country in the European Union.
- Educational standard (Highly ranked universities)
German universities are among the highest-ranked universities in the world, offering a world-class education that places you at a vantage point in the competitive job market.
In the recent QS World University Rankings 2021 release, it is found that 46 out of 1029 compiled universities are of German origin, with 12 German universities found in the top 200. It simply serves to show that with a German degree, you can easily vie for a comfortable place in the job market.
- Work opportunities while studying
Even while still a student, international students can maximise the opportunity to sustain themselves through part-time work. The structure in place stipulates that international students can work for 120 full days or 240 half days in a year.
As an incentive to take up work while studying, whatever is made during this period is tax-free and you can make up to 450EUR per month. However, there is a reason this is a limit because if you earn more, then tax deductions will apply through the income tax number which you will be given.
You should also note the following:
- Mandatory internships from your studies do not count as part of your work limit.
- You cannot work in a self-employed or freelance capacity while studying.
- You need a good working knowledge of the German language as your ticket to finding work fast and also finding a good-paying job.
- The versatility of its student visa
The German student visa is beyond just a student visa. Usually, student visas come with certain limitations and restrictions. Not with the German version.
With this student visa, coupled with your residence permit (both of which you apply for in that order), you are afforded the opportunity to travel visa-free within the whole Schengen area, which indicates a territory of 26 European countries.
It is truly an advantage to know that you are free to explore the wonders of Europe through just your student visa and residence permit from Germany. Now, nothing is truly stopping you from initiating and revelling in a true and diverse multicultural experience across the borders of Europe.
- Affordability of Cost of living
Asides from the benefit of free or very low tuition, another advantage for a Nigerian to study in Germany is the cost of living which is quite affordable compared to other European countries. And this cost of living index is more favourable to students (international or otherwise) as the affordability veers towards students more.
According to a worldwide comparison of students cost, the most affordable cities in Europe are Berlin and Munich, despite being urban districts which are usually more expensive.
Even when rent is the usual source of concern for people in Germany, student accommodation has also been made to be relatively cheaper. In all, when you are a stickler for the proper management of your finances while you study in Germany, everything should be in tip-top shape.
- Cultural and Historical Heritage
Germany is home to a number of ruins and historical structures that are indications of a rich, complex, and sometimes dark past. Indeed, the country has played its part in contributing to the important stages of humankind’s history.
The result of this is historical sites and landmarks that have become major tourist attractions for people visiting Germany. Once you’re there, you can check out some of these landmarks:
- Brandenburg Gate
- Old Town Hall in Bamberg
- Berlin Wall
- Heidelberg Castle
- The Holocaust Memorial
- Flexible language barrier
Studying in Germany as a Nigerian offers you the chance to learn a new language; not just any language but the exciting German Deutsch. As a result of Germany being one of the most powerful economies in Europe, German is also one of the most spoken native language in Europe.
Nevertheless, there is an amount of flexibility that applies here. While Germans are proud of their language, many of the locals speak English and there are many English-taught courses in quite a number of the universities. But, as earlier mentioned, there are perquisites to learning the German Deutsch like getting a job faster and endearing the locals as they love it when non-Germans can speak their language. Imagine the reaction when a Nigerian speaks the language proficiently!
With all these in mind, there’s very little doubt about the validity of your decision to study in Germany. As long as your study and visa requirements are met, you are well on your way!