What COVID-19 Has Taught Us About Germany as a Study Destination

The higher education sector worldwide has been facing its challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The German education sector, as a popular study destination for international students, has also been going through its fair share of challenges ever since the outbreak of the pandemic. However, Germany has managed to properly tackle the issues and provide efficient solutions for its students, even in the middle of a global crisis.

German universities are widely renowned for providing students with the crucial skills required in the job market and numerous opportunities to enhance themselves professionally. Expats from all over the world see Germany as an ideal destination to pursue a degree as well as find employment. Due to its developed economy, numerous job opportunities, and its affordability in comparison to other countries, Germany has become a renowned destination for thousands of international students.

Ever since the coronavirus outbreak, there are certain things that have caught our attention regarding Germany as a study destination amidst a pandemic. See what makes Germany so special for international students:

1. Germany Has Free Education 

No matter how difficult things get, knowing you will not be required to pay thousands in tuition fees is always reassuring. Many international students have lost their part-time jobs in Germany due to the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions that follow. This means these students have lost the bit of extra income they earned in order to live comfortably in Germany while they study away from their home. Losing their part-time jobs is one of the main challenges international students have been facing as a result of the pandemic.

Luckily, students of public universities in Germany do not have to pay large amounts in tuition fees in order to get an education. More specifically, in 2014, Germany abolished international fees in all public universities. Some states, however, have reintroduced these fees, the cost of which still remains lower than in other countries. Currently, all students have to pay in public colleges in Germany, is a small semester contribution which ranges somewhere between 150 EUR and 250 EUR per semester. 

2. Living Costs Are Affordable

Germany is known for its affordability, especially for students from abroad. According to the latest estimations, an international student would need around 800 EUR/month in order to meet all the living expenses. German affordability has been a perk, especially in the past few months, since many students have been faced with financial challenges due to the pandemic. 

Generally, one of the largest living expenses a student faces in Germany is the cost of rent. However, for students who choose to live in student dormitories or flat-shares, the cost of rent is significantly lower than those who live in rented apartments on their own. This means that international students in Germany have numerous options of accommodation which are both affordable and comfortable. 

3. Health Care System Is Excellent

The German health care system is one of the best in the world, and largely recognized as so by doctors and specialists. Healthcare in Germany is funded by public contributions, which ensure that everyone is entitled to free healthcare. Germany has a dual healthcare system consisting of private health insurance and public health insurance. Typically, German residents are entitled to public health insurance while non-residents have to take up private health insurance.

If health insurance has not been among top priorities until now, it surely has become. The coronavirus pandemic has shown us that healthcare is one of the most important things people should consider when going to a new country to travel, study, or work. Essentially, Germany’s healthcare system meets all the crucial needs of the public, this way, providing them with the feeling of safety and security when it comes to health. 

4. Notable Pandemic Management

International students have started to become more and more interested in the countries that have shown a proper management of the coronavirus pandemic, and Germany happens to be one of these countries. Ever since the pandemic outbreak, throughout it, and up until now, Germany has shown to be highly prepared to respond to the virus. This does not mean that Germany had a low number of coronavirus cases, but its prevention protocols were among the most successful. 

Knowing Germany can manage a pandemic quite notably is especially convenient for international students who aim to pursue their qualifications in Germany and maybe find employment here. It is important to be part of a community that protects the needs of the public, pays close attention to the health care system, and can manage a global crisis in a significant manner, while providing support not only for its residents but non-residents as well.

5. Students Are Supported at All Times

Higher education students in Germany, and especially those from abroad, have been faced with numerous challenges due to the pandemic. From having to go through online classes, to being faced with travel restrictions, and all the way to financial issues. Higher education providers have been making sure that these students are informed and updated at all times with regards to the university, classes, and how things progress. Their student services have also been available for any student who was going through difficulties or concerns.

The Federal Ministry of Education has also announced that financially affected students in Germany, including foreign students, are eligible to apply for an initially interest-free loan from KfW. What this means is that students will be able to get financial aid, in the form of a loan, which is interest-free up until 2021. The loan is an amount of 650 EUR/month, which students will have to repay. This, however, is a good opportunity for students to manage their financial challenges until they get back on their feet again. 

Germany has proved that apart from its benefits in education, it is also well-prepared to meet the needs of international students in other areas of expertise as well. The coronavirus pandemic has offered the world an insight as to how well certain countries can manage unexpected situations like the one we are currently facing. This virus is a threat to both health as well as economic well being, therefore it is crucial to pay attention to how the current situation is being handled around the world before choosing a study destination.

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