Now I look back, I see that I was uniformed about a lot of things when I first applied for a German university.
I think if I knew these before, I wouldn’t have that many hardships and feel safer.
So here is a detailed checklist I prepared for students who consider to study in Germany or in general, another country:
– You should start checking the application deadlines at least 8 months before your trip. Even though German applications begin on 31st May(and end on 15. July- but beware event though it is mostly like this, a few universities have different deadlines!), e.g. Swiss universities accept applications only till 30.April.
– Contact the International Office of the universities of your choice! It may be by mail or telephone, but even though a bit expensive, I advice you telephone. The given Information on E-Mail is usually too general.
What should you ask?
-Ask if your report card and university exam certificates/results are eligible for the university. If not, ask what kind of procedures are necessary. A lot of universities would ask you to pass a special exam which is prepared by university self. Ask for detailed info.
(Keep in mind that if you are required to enter such an exam, it usually takes place a few months ago before the enrolments. Make sure you are able to travel to that country, have a valid pass and visa if necessary at that time.)
-If you don’t have the knowledge of the language of the university programme you want to study, or don’t have a language-test certificate like TOEFL or SprachDiplom, you need to first apply to language courses of that university. It takes almost a year to complete these courses.
– NEVER EVER apply only to single university. Make sure you meet the necessary requirements and apply at least 5. I have applied to 10 universities and got accepted only by half of them.
-During application, read the modules of your desired Subject! Every University has different modules. For example if you are going to study something which includes math, but you are actually not that good at it, choosing a northern university would be wiser in Germany. Because southern part of Germany, especially Bavaria is known for having the hardest math-science curriculum for their overall education system.
-If your citizenship requires a visa, make sure to apply as soon as you get your acceptance. UK and USA student-visas are pretty easy to obtain, if you prove that your parents’ welfare is fine. But German student-visas may take up to 5 weeks, while Austria takes up to 3-4 months in extreme situations. If you are going to apply with a blocked account, ask for the application documents the day you decide for your university. Because the process usually takes a week or more.
-Start looking for an accommodation, as soon as you are done with deciding. If you decided later than June, it means you probably will have a lot of hardships finding a dorm. So if you can’t find one, just start looking for a WG/Shared flat. Every country has a very popular website for that. Ask your student office about that. For Germany, my life-saver was www.wg-gesucht.de .
-Do not hesitate to call/e-mail the Student record office! They are there for you and they want to help you! I have e-mailed them numerous times, for many reasons, but each time they were very kind and helpful.
-When you are done with the major stuff, like enrollment, blocked-account and visa application, start looking for the programmes the university offers to their First-year Students, because some of them may have time limit/attending quota!
Well, these are the major points you should consider before application and absolutely not miss before the arrival!
Just do everything you can and then start thinking about your luggage. Trust me, thinking how you are going to take all your favourite pieces with you with such a baggage-limit takes a lot of time, and occupies your mind (:
Do you have any other tips I should have written? Or any questions?