GERMANY

Germany is a developed country with a very high standard of living sustained by a skilled and productive society in central-western Europe. It includes 16 constituent states, with a largely temperate seasonal climate. With about 82 million inhabitants, Germany is the most populous member state of the European Union. After the United States, it is the second most popular immigration destination in the world & ranked 4th out of 148 Global Competitiveness Report (2013-2014). Germany is known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential artists, philosophers, musicians, sportspeople, entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, and inventors.

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION

Germany is Located in the centre of Europe, bordering the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France on the west; Switzerland and Austria on the south; the Czech Republic and Poland on the east; Denmark on the north; and the Baltic Sea on the northeast. It covers an area of 357,021 square kilometres (137,847 sq. mi).

The official capital and largest city is Berlin, but many administrative functions are still carried on in Bonn, the former capital of West Germany. Other major cities include Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Düsseldorf. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.

CLIMATE

Most of Germany has a temperate seasonal climate dominated by humid westerly winds. The country is situated in between the oceanic Western European and the continental Eastern European climate.

There is no consistent dry season winters are cool and summers tends to be warm; temperatures can exceed 30 °C (86 °F). The spring is during the months of March-May in Germany. Summer is from June -August. Autumn is during the months of September, October and November and winter is from December to February. The average January daytime temperature is 3 °C (38 °F) and in July is 22 °C (72 °F). Extremes commonly reached to -10 °C (5 °F) in winter and 35 °C (95 °F) in summer months.

LANGUAGE
The official language of Germany is German, with over 95% of the population speaking German as their first language. Minority languages include Sorbian, spoken by 0.09% in the east of Germany and North Frisian spoken in Nordfriesland by around 10,000 people, or 0.01%, who also speak German. Most Germans learn English as their first foreign language at school. Main foreign languages are English (56%) and French (15%).
CURRENCY
The Deutsche Mark (DM) was the primary currency of Germany until 1 January 2002, but the Euro (€) replaced the German Mark and became the official currency of the European Union. All Euro coins have a common side showing their value, while the national side shows an image chosen by each country.
Euro coins from any member state are valid in all states throughout the Euro zone.
The Euro notes, front and back side, are the same in all countries.
ECONOMY
Despite the challenging economic environment within the European Union, Germany continues to be one of the world’s most powerful and dynamic economies. Business freedom and investment freedom are strong. Long-term competitiveness and entrepreneurial growth are supported by openness to global commerce, well-protected property rights, and a sound business regulatory environment.
The German economy has gradually emerged from the effects of the global financial crisis, which had an acute negative impact both on Germany’s public finances and on its economic growth. Actions required to hold the Eurozone together have taken a toll, and the more recent migrant crisis has had huge political, economic, and societal impacts within the country.

ECONOMY DATA

2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
Population (million)80.380.580.881.181.4
GDP per capita (EUR)33,59934,22834,98036,00337,156
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)3.70.40.31.61.7
Unemployment Rate7.16.86.96.76.4
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)2.12.01.50.90.2
Inflation (PPI, annual variation in %)3.51.4-0.5-1.7-2.3
Exchange Rate (vs USD)1.301.321.381.211.09
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)1.391.291.331.331.11

ETHNICITY AND IMMIGRATION

In Germany, there are student applicant visas and student visas. The former can be applied for when the admission to a university is not yet completed, and lasts for three months, which can be extended up to six months.

When a student visa is granted, the application for an extended residence permit should follow at the respective university office. This is relevant for non-EU citizens and all students who intend to stay longer than 90 days. While applying for a German national visa it is necessary for foreign student prepare in advance with documents that need to be submitted. In general, public German universities don’t charge any tuition fees. This usually also applies to foreign students as well as they treat both local and foreign students at the same level.

After graduating, graduates from other countries can extend their residence permit for up to 18 months to look for employment. While many employers prefer proper German-language skills, there is also a great variety of English-language and globalized jobs in Germany, especially in multinational companies, many startups and in research fields. According to a study of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), around 54 percent of foreign students in Germany decide to stay after graduation.

HIGHER EDUCATION IN GERMANY

Higher Education System

Germany is well positioned as an academic hub. The reforms of recent years have taken effect; research has a more international focus than ever before. In a globalized world in which knowledge is regarded as the most important resource, the country, with its long-standing tradition of research and development, is well positioned in the international competition for the best minds. In Germany there are a hundreds of institutions that allow the opportunity for advanced degrees and other types of professional and vocational certification. There are state run universities and colleges, private universities and colleges and cooperative universities as well as other schools offering a full range of course studies through full time and part time participation. And, as in most of the rest of the world, it is possible to pursue degrees through online courses

International Recognition

Germany is one of the most popular countries for studying abroad, and with good reasons. In fact, it has been cited as one of the most supportive countries for international students. For one, it tends to be a very inexpensive country to study, as overseas students pay the same tuition fees as local students, and many universities do not charge any tuition fees at all.

Safety

Germany is a safe country as per international standards. The police are trustworthy and offer help whenever they are needed. There is no reason to be overly worried about criminality in Germany. You can move about freely through German villages or large cities, day or night, without taking special safety precautions. The police are not the only ones who can assist foreign students in emergencies. Almost every country in the world maintains an embassy or consulate in Germany. If you run into problems, you can contact an official representative from your home country.

Accommodation

Unlike in many other countries, German universities do not automatically provide their students with accommodation. Instead, students must make their own housing arrangements based on their own taste and requirements. There are a variety of different options near the campuses, ranging from dormitories to privately arranged flat shares.

Germany for International Students

International students have had shared very positive comments about the cities and culture atmosphere in Germany. In fact, Germany placed a greater importance on the city and living environment than the European average. The big German cities maintain an international environment, attracting people from all over the world. Students were also pleased with the fact that universities in Germany provide English-taught courses, but still there are many opportunities to learn German as well. There are numerous opportunities to socialize and take part in fun activities either organized by universities or just happening in the cities in general. Most students also enjoyed travelling around the country.

AFTER GRADUATION

A degree in German Studies opens up many different career opportunities. German Studies offers huge potential for jobs in fields as varied as the arts and journalism. German Studies graduates are generalists and have lots of transferable skills.

Germany is one of the leading nations in the world when it comes to research, with a highly renowned and respected scientific research sector. German institutions and facilities have great infrastructure, are well-equipped and offer a wide range of research opportunities. Many institutions provide scholarships and grants for international graduates; studies are taught in English and not only universities and scientific institutes, but German companies too welcome international researchers as future employees. All these advantages combined with a high standard of living, have understandably made Germany an extremely attractive place for international graduates.

Some German studies graduates combine teaching German as a foreign language with translation or interpreting. German Studies graduates are versatile generalists, with skills and expertise in a wide range of areas. If they don’t go on to teach German, they often work in areas that revolve around communication or where they will be researching and disseminating information, such as corporate communications or journalism. German Studies graduates also tend to be successful in the fields of advertising, publishing and PR as well as at research institutes, media companies or libraries.

GERMAN STUDIES DEGREE COURSES

‘German Studies’ covers a wide range of subject areas. Students read classical literature and study the German language, but may also familiarize themselves with more contemporary literature and aspects of linguistics

They usually decide during the course of their studies to specialize in one particular area, and most decide before they embark on their course whether they want to train as teachers or obtain a more general Bachelor’s degree. Whichever they choose, one thing is clear: a degree in German studies means reading – and lots of it!

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EDUCATION TEAM – OZ CONSULTANCY

Australian Education, Migration and Business Consultants