Student Blogger, Luke tells us about study and work opportunities in Germany.
Studying at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology – exchange students
My time here was spent having a little look around KIT, which was formed by the merger of the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH and the Universität Karlsruhe (TH) in 2009 and combines the roles of a research centre and a university in research, teaching and innovation.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) gives exchange students the opportunity to attend a three-week intensive German course before they start, while other universities also offer similar orientation services. There is also the chance to find a German partner (and other language partners) through the International Student Center’s tandem service where you can learn the language by sharing your knowledge of English. If that doesn’t take your fancy there are also many other private language schools in the area.
Tuition fees in Germany
In October 2014, Germany’s 16 states abolished tuition fees for undergraduate students at all public universities, which means that both German and international (EU and non-EU) undergraduates at these universities can currently study for free, with just a small admin fee and some other costs each semester. However, the state of Baden-Württemberg, which includes Karlsruhe, has announced that it will be reintroducing tuition fees for non-EU students from autumn 2017, and the country’s private universities also charge tuition fees.
But free/cheap doesn’t always mean good, right? Well, KIT, for example, is ranked 107th in the QS World University Rankings 2018 and joint 144th in the The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016–17, putting it in a similar position to the University of Southampton in the QS ranking and the University of Nottingham in The Times Higher Education ranking.
If you need financial support for your studies, there are various scholarships available based on things like the subject you’re taking, your academic achievement and where you are from. You can find out further information from the DAAD website.
Do I need to speak German?
Of course, like most European countries, you can get away with just speaking English (as a lot of the courses are offered in English and for many jobs, particularly in IT, German is not required). You will, however, miss out on a lot of the culture, a great chance to learn a new language you can use as you learn and perhaps many new opportunities and friends!
The living costs in Karlsruhe are reasonable compared to many other European cities. To help give students an idea the likely costs, KIT provides a handy guide to the average cost of living for a student in Karlsruhe.
To get a feel for an institution and the surrounding area I’d always recommend visiting a university open day, not only to get a feel for the local town or city, but also to view the student accommodation on offer as well as meeting other potential students.
Karlsruhe is the second-largest city in the state of Baden-Württemberg, in SouthWest Germany. It is close to the French–German border, with a population of a little over 300,000, and boasts a vibrant student life, being home to Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), one of the largest research and educational institutions in Germany, along with a number of other institutions, including the renowned Center for Art and Media (ZKM).
The region spans over 3,000 square kilometres with a population of 1.24 million, and has become one of the most successful business and innovation locations in Europe. KIT tops a list of over 40 universities and research institutes in the region – check out the KTR website for information and advice about the business, science, engineering, innovation and technology courses and opportunities available in the region.
Summer jobs at Europa-Park
Perhaps studying for three years abroad isn’t your thing, but you still want the chance to experience living and working in a foreign country?
Maybe you’re looking for somewhere to use as a base to explore Continental Europe or as a taster to see whether you’d like to move abroad? If so, then Europa-Park’s European Summer Programme could be for you!
Europa-Park’s Summer Programme
The programme is run by students for students – it’s designed as a once-in-a lifetime experience where students from all over Europe come to Europa-Park to work. Not only does the programme provide accommodation and an hourly wage, it also includes free training opportunities for you to learn additional languages such as German, Spanish and French (plus you’ll be able to test many of them out on the job!).
Whilst with the programme, you’ll be working for a maximum of four days a week with three days out of work. One of these three days is spent on an arranged trips exploring somewhere in Germany with the other members of the programme. To Baden-Baden for example, a spa town on the western border of Germany sitting inside the Black Forest, about 45 minutes’ drive from Europa-Park. The area is well known for its thermal waters, which were discovered by the Romans who named the springs Aquae (‘The Waters’). The area became particularly popular after the visit of the Prussian queen in the early 19th Century and, in its heyday In the ‘Roaring Twenties’, Baden-Baden was a cultural and artistic centre frequented by royalty and celebrities alike, which earned it the nickname of ‘Europe’s summer capital’.
The remaining two days are yours to explore or relax! For more information on the programme and to apply, check out the Europa-Park website.
#FLYBADEN to the Black Forest from London Stansted to Karlsruhe / Baden-Baden Airport. Follow @fly-baden’s #SummerSeries for six weeks of specials on this stunning destination or for more information visit fly-baden.com.
The benefits of working and studying abroad
Studying or working abroad provides you with many opportunities and skills you simply don’t get in the UK. Not only does it widen your cultural horizons, but it can give you hands-on experience using and learning another language as you go. It puts you in challenging situations and ultimately gives you valuable experience for whatever you decide to pursue as a career – and wherever in the world you choose to do it!