60 per cent of international students in Germany prefer to stay in the country even after graduation, a survey including at least 1,200 international students has unveiled.
The survey was conducted by the relocation platform Expatrio and the non-profit network for international students Deutsche Gesellschaft Internationaler Studierender in July 2020, Erudera College News reports.
Among the top deciding factors for choosing Germany as study a destination were tuition-free study and German universities’ reputation, while employment opportunities were the third most important factor among international students.
10 per cent of respondents said that employment opportunities were the main factor that attracted them to the country.
33 per cent of respondents said that no study tuition fees was the factor which has fully convinced them to move to Germany whereas 31 per cent claimed that the reputation of German universities was a strong pull factor.
The survey has also found that 59 per cent of students chose Germany as a study destination, without even considering opportunities offered by other countries.
13 per cent of respondents considered the USA before choosing Germany while 11 per cent Canada.
Among others, the study focused on international students’ challenges in Germany, outlining the language barrier as the main issue, finding accommodation as well as dealing with German bureaucracy.
Yet, international students are highly satisfied with experiences in Germany as 54 per cent of them picked a satisfaction rate between 8 and 10, which is the highest over German society inclusiveness towards international students.
Whereas, 75 per cent of those included in the survey gave satisfaction ratings of between 8 and 10 on their city of residence in Germany.
Co-founder of Expatrio Tim Meyer said that survey’s findings are promising, taking into account the demographic change that Germany has been facing as well as the shortage of skilled labour in the country.
“We believe that German institutions should keep fostering international student mobility towards the country,” he said.
According to the survey, the biggest challenge during the visa process is the long waiting period for visa appointments, as nearly half of respondents said they had to wait between one or nine months for an appointment.
“Results show that the duration of the entire visa process varies from country to country, and even in embassies and/or consular offices within the same country,” the study reads.
Although there were not enough respondents from all countries participating in the survey, the top five countries within the group that faced long periods of waiting include:
As per students’ living costs, data show that Munich, Berlin and Cologne have the highest average monthly expenses rating of €770 to €874, whereas Dresden has the lowest average monthly costs rating of €627.