Education System in Germany
The Education system is controlled by the Länder (states), which in turn is monitored by the federal government of Germany. Once the students finish with the primary schooling, they are admitted to secondary schools. There are various options available to choose, among the secondary schools – Gymnasium (grammar school), Fachoberschule (admission for higher secondary), Realschule (until grade ten), Mittelschule (elementary school) and Gesamtschule (comprehensive school).
After the higher secondary schooling, the students enroll for the Berufsschule (vocational school). During Berufsschule, students are allowed to work and also attend school twice a week or it’s generally three and half years of apprenticeship. Through this apprenticeship, students can gain real-time experience as well as knowledge about the work they do. As a part of secondary school curriculum, every student gets to learn one or many foreign languages, however learning English is optional.
Germany attracts hundreds of international students right from pre-school, primary or secondary schools, where the entire syllabus is taught in English. Today there are many schools which offer International Degrees. Germany higher education system is also known for its excellent syllabus, modern teaching methodologies and good infrastructure etc., all of these at absolutely no tuition fees. The German universities offer courses at Bachelors, Masters or Ph.D. levels each year. These universities can be categorized into TU (Technical Universities), Universities of Applied Sciences, Universities of Fine Arts and Non-University Research Institute and Church-maintained Colleges.
There are also some private universities that charge tuition fees anywhere from 1000-5000 euros/ semester. These Universities have tie-ups with the various companies for providing internships and future employment opportunities for their students. These universities set some credit points, which a student has to fulfill before the completion of his chosen degrees.
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Different categories of Universities in Germany:
TU (Technical Universities):
The Technical Universities are research oriented and concentrate more on theory. Here a student gains in-depth knowledge on each subject; as a result, the Master’s degree has a relaxation period of 2-4 years during which the student can complete his/her course. These universities also provide facilities for students pursuing their Ph.D./ Doctorate studies.
Universities of Applied Sciences:
The Universities of Applied Sciences are more practical oriented. Here a student learns each subject based on real-time scenarios and thus has more lab work as compared to Technical Universities. The Master’s degree must be completed in 2 years. These universities train their students according to the needs of businesses and those of industries.
Universities of Fine Arts:
These universities offer a degree course in fine arts. Students can choose from wide variety of topics like film direction/ editing, visual arts, performing arts, sculpturing, painting, creative writing, poetry and music, playwriting for theatres/ films, digital media, printmaking, computer animation, photography, pottery and ceramics, graphic media, furniture design etc., The students get to work in 2D, 3D studios which are fully equipped to cater to their needs. A few universities have a pre-requisite that the student must have a degree in an artistic subject for admission acceptance. For some fine arts degree courses, candidates are required to pass an aptitude test conducted by these universities.
These universities offer a degree in the field of social work, education, nursing and health care, church choir singers and musicians. The students graduating from these universities also have a bright future, as they are trained in the service industry. These jobs form the backbone of the society and to help in the smooth functioning of the society.
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Stay Back Facility for Students
With each passing year, the number of international students moving to Germany for pursuing their higher studies is constantly increasing. The reason for this is that German Universities are well known for their quality of education, a globally accepted German degree certificate and finally low/ no tuition fees. Usually international students after completion of their education are unsure about staying or working permanently in Germany. Such students are given an opportunity to stay back for 18 months so that they can apply for a suitable permanent employment there.
Eventually, these students can apply for permanent residence after two years. The stay period starts once a student has completed the final exam and the results have been issued in writing. So it is better for students to secure a job through job fairs, employment agencies, campus requirements by the end of their final semester. Once they get a Job, they should apply for a work permit at the Employment office.
Initially for international students, a resident permit for six months is issued which allows them to stay anywhere across the Schengen countries. Once a student meets the criteria of permanent employment, he/she can either apply for a permanent residence permit or for the EU Blue Card. In order to get a Blue card, the annual salary of the student should be a minimum of $ 59, 000/p.a and the student must have a job offer. If the Student meets these two criteria, then they can obtain a permanent residence permit after two or three years. If not, they have to take an approval from the Federal Labor Agency for continuing their employment in Germany. The EU Blue card is issued to international students who have completed their degree in Germany and those who are yet to get their Germany citizenship. This card is issued to highly qualified individuals and it allows them to live and work in Germany.