There is a proverb about Germany– “Einmal Deutschland – Immer Deutschland”. In other words, If one can set himself once in Germany, he cannot adjust in any other country of the world!
However, at the beginning you may have difficulties with some of these following things:
- Language problem
- Adapting to new study patterns
- Part time job
Language problem: All of you mostly face the language problem & it’s very real, especially at the beginning. To cope with the language, you can participate with some basic courses of German language that are offered almost in every University & it’s mostly free for international students. Also, there are lots of online sources where you can find video/audio/text tutorials. e.g.
Homesickness: As we are far away from our parents and family, so it’s normal to feel homesick. But Remember that….You are not alone! Homesickness is experienced by most foreign students. Give yourself enough time to adjust with the new environment. you don’t have to get everything right straight away. Nor do you have to rush into making major decisions about staying or leaving. If you are engaging in negative thoughts about yourself, your new environment, and your life in general, more than likely your symptoms of homesickness will intensify rather than subside. Try to make new friends by talking with those on your apartment/floor or in class. Participate in all activities designed for students to meet one another.
Adapting to new study patterns: Based on my experience I will write how should one proceed on with the Master studies in Germany. At first, students should make a plan in which topics (s)he wants to do her/his Master Thesis. Normally, Master program carries 120 credit points, that is, for each semester one needs to complete at least 30 credits. In the first year of Master studies, there are some mandatory course with some specialization & in 2nd year there are additional specialization courses, Homework, Seminars related to Master Thesis and most importantly at the last semester one has to complete her/his Master Thesis. With the mandatory courses there are no option to chose but for specialization courses, one should take those subjects that are closely related to Master thesis. Students can take any course exam for 3 times & exams could be written or oral with/without projects depend on courses and Professors. But the best would be, if one can pass at the 1st time. The first questions are set in such a way that most of the students can pass in exam, because if maximum students fail in exam at 1st time, then Professor need to clarify about the exam question to the Examinations Board of the Master program. In 2nd time, normally the exam will be more tougher than the first time. So, if one cannot pass in 2nd time & then need to go for 3rd exam, it’s hard to grape a good grade even for a better exam.
Master Thesis: The main motivation of your course work divert to your Master thesis. Normally, Course exams are comparatively not so difficult to pass, students mostly suffer with the Master thesis. You have to be very careful and selective in that case. At the end of your 1st year, you should select your Thesis Supervisor. Otherwise, it will be difficult for you to find a well-known supervisor after 3rd semester, as most of the Professors busy with their PhD students, publications and they take a limited number of Master & Bachelor students to supervise on Thesis. Presumably, rather than choosing high profile Professors, it’s more wise to find out a supervisor who is flexible with you & can give continuous support during your Master Thesis. Your Master thesis is really important for your further studies. You can get more information about your proposed supervisor from your fellow students. But the truth is, a supervisor can show you the way how to proceed on, you have to give the maximum effort to get success. Lastly, I would like to remind you a quote from Swami Vivekananda that influence me greatly:
“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, that is the way that great spiritual giants are produced.”
Part time job: When I used to pick up students from airport, the first question I was asked often by them: “Brother- What is the job condition!!! ….. Any scope to do job!!! …. Are there jobs available!!!…….”
Please don’t be so silly. Be realistic. Ask yourself, If one can’t understand the official language of a country & can’t communicate with people, then what kinds of job you can suggest for him! Take your time to adjust yourself in new environment. Try to realize what’s going on, how to cope here.
I would simply say, German is the paradise for students. Students enjoy here such kind of facilities that you can’t expect in any other countries in Europe! Job provider prefers students to assist on their work, as they pay a fraction amount of taxes to government, if they can recruit students by offering job for 20hrs/week, Minijob.
You need at least 3 basic things to get job here:
- German language proficiency
- Working ability in a certain field
- Strong motivation
You will find some job advertisement like “Studentische Aushilfe(m/w) Gesucht” in the website of your University Career Center, pin board at your faculty, local newspaper.
When you have the language proficiency & working ability, you can easily find out a job in companies/industries for 20 hrs/week & may be for more times. But try to respect the laws. Apparently, it’s quite easier to find out a job for those students who has experience in Programming, Web developing, Database, Networking, CMS, Graphics design, MS-Office etc.
If you don’t have language proficiency but you have a strong background in a certain field, you can apply for the position research assistant, tutor etc in your flexible time at University/Research center. Sometimes, Professors also look for students for this kinds of job in their class. You also can send mail to Professor about your interest.
If you don’t have the opportunity to do research work & you don’t know the language, what kind of job you can do? …….. I don’t know ….. maybe you can try to give labor in industries, companies, supermarkets, night guards, newspaper delivery, hotel, restaurants, bar, pizzahut, mcdonald’s etc. But I presume that, if you do this kind of job, in returns of some money it will drastically affect on your mind & studies.
Finally, I would suggest you not to depend on others for Job searching. Try heart and soul by yourself, definitely, you will be succeed. Here people can give you information- how can you find out jobs, but no one will interfere directly. You should have the ability to find it out.
N.B. This doc. is based on my experience. It could be varied from subject to subject, University to University. The main motive was to give you some information, how the education system works here. To get exact information about your course, discuss with your fellow students/ Professors. written by, Krishna Ghosh.
Be confident , Victory is a must.
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