Studying Abroad in Germany Full Advice
Are you thinking about studying abroad in Germany? Look no further for study abroad tips and advice from a Swedish student who has done it before! If you want to learn how to meet people as an international student, or maybe you just want to know how long a lesson is in Germany, Johan Jonssons’ experience at Aachen University will give you the necessary insight into what it’s like to study. in Germany.
Classes in Germany
Make sure you come to class well fed and hydrated to stay focused during long sessions!
At my university in Germany, the schedule was the same every week throughout the semester. Some classes were super long – up to four hours with a short break – while most classes were two hours without a break.
There was minimal student interaction before, during and after the lecture, so it might be an adjustment depending on what you’re used to. Lectures usually had around 1000 students and smaller courses had around 20 students. Higher level courses could have even less.
Lecturers usually present their materials using a PowerPoint presentation with minimal interaction between the student and the teacher during the lesson. However, teaching assistants often organize exercises where students could practice what was discussed in the lecture. I definitely recommend attending more sessions to make sure you continue your studies!
I come from a Swedish education and there were noticeable differences in formality between the German professors I worked with. When you study in Germany, it can seem that the student-professor relationship is very formal and that the lecturers have full authority. If you are used to a more egalitarian style, get ready for a change!
The good news is that most professors have office hours or their teaching assistants hold sessions where you can ask questions about the material. When studying abroad in Germany, attend office hours to understand what your professor wants you to learn and what he or she thinks is important. Knowing this will help you get a better grade and also help you get on your professor’s good side.
German classification system
Make sure you study, attend class, and be completely prepared for the big exams. Some courses include projects or a lab depending on the subject of the course, but most courses only have one exam on which your entire grade is based. Most courses are not compulsory, so the responsibility is yours.
In a classroom in Germany, the learning material was graded 1-4, with 1 being the best. Since a 4 is the average grade in difficult courses, you will have to work hard on your grades while studying in Germany!
Unless you are in a specific program where courses are taught in English, you will need German to study in Germany. While this seems like a more obvious point when giving study abroad tips, it is important to know that students will be expected to be fluent in German when they enroll in programs taught in the German language.
Even if you’re in an English program while studying abroad in Germany, learn a few German phrases to show that you’ve put effort into the language for the best experience. Although you can speak English, people may not always be willing to speak English with you, especially at your university. There are plenty of resources to help you learn before you go.