Germany for education

……that you must be really good to get a scholarship, but you don’t need to be perfect. You don’t need to be God to get a DAAD scholarship……”

Thinking of studying abroad for your master or doctoral degree? Some countries like US, UK, Australia, Japan, France and Singapore might have appealed you. But what about Germany? Have you included it into your list? Well, here’s a bit information which might help you to know more about German education.

Yesterday, I and my friends went to the first German Higher Education Fair in Yogyakarta held by DAAD. Yogyakarta was so crowded and sizzling hot when we went there yet we finally safely arrived in the place.

Entering to the exhibition room, we were welcomed by the ushers from DAAD giving us questionnaires to fill in. Most of the questions are about what universities and programmes that we’re interested to. Having no knowledge about German education, I randomly chose two of many universities in the list which sound quite familiar to me.

Without a further due, we visited almost all university booths in the room. It was really difficult to have university representatives for consultation because many people were in line for a similar purpose. Fortunately, we had a chance to consult with some university representatives, including from University of Cologne, Marthin Luther University and University of Goettingen. We got lots of information from each booth, but we got more than enough from Marthin Luther University. There are two things that my friend may never forget. The first is the university representative who was utterly appealing to him and the second one was her answer for one of his questions during the consultation.

……that you must be really good to get a scholarship, but you don’t need to be perfect. You don’t need to be God to get a DAAD scholarship……”

In addition, I also visited DAAD booth. Although I don’t have any ideas about German education, I asked a lot about some German universities offering International Relations, Media and Journalism, Political Science or Economic studies and of course about DAAD scholarship. Before answering my question about DAAD scholarship, the staff gave me a piece of paper containing detailed information about tuition fees and remarks in 16 German states. What surprised me most is that many German universities in some German states exempt university tuition fees for local as well as international students. All universities in Postdam, Bremen and Wiesbaden for example, they only require students to pay for Euro 75 (about IDR 825,000) for administrative charge per semester. Meanwhile, universities in Berlin and Dresden hold an administrative charge for Euro 50 (about IDR 550,000) or less per semester. For your information, in one of private universities in Australia, local students need to pay for about AUD 6,000 (IDR 48,000,000) per year or AUD 24,000 (IDR 192,000,000) for a degree and international students must pay for about AUD 8,000 (IDR 64,000,000) a year or AUD 32,000 (IDR 256,000,000).

So, how can it be so different to study in the two countries which are both included as developed countries? Well, it’s all about the role of the state. Germany adopts a system called welfare state where the state ensure and guarantee the welfare of its people. Moreover, education is one of the most important sectors that German government put much attention on (for those studying politics, you must know the concept of social capital by Friedrich List-a German social scientist). Before, German students actually enjoyed free education from kindergarten until university. But when Merkel was appointed the Prime Minister, the regulation was changed.

Back to the scholarship, DAAD scholarship covers accommodation, meals, transport and health insurance, and according to the previous beneficiary you can still save. In addition, you can also do part-time work as long it won’t disrupt your study.

One more thing, at the end of the conversation, the staff told me that the scholarship requires at least two years work experience and good German proficiency because most of programmes use German as the language of instruction. So, are you interested?

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