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Study Abroad Programs in Germany

Rohit (name changed for privacy) as an undergraduate student had always dreamt of studying at a leading public university in the US. So when, after a long preparation, he was offered an acceptance from a leading public university into a program of his choice, Rohit was beside with joy and was very excited to be able to get a new experience in his learning spiral. Also, what made him choose his institution was the opportunity to study abroad for a semester at a university in Germany. In fact, the dual opportunity of pursuing a graduate study of choice in the US topped by an opportunity to study abroad for six months at a premier German university was a potent mix for Rohit’s choice of university. It gave him the opportunity to fulfill one of his latent loves to explore German culture and its people and expand his knowledge and his view of the world. In retrospect, Rohit thinks that the experience, later on, was reflected in his academics in his dissertation and essays. Also, it gave him enough confidence to be independent of himself.

What Is ‘Study Abroad’? Why ‘Study Abroad’?

Undertaking an overseas education is the aspiration of millions of Indian students. However, merely acquiring ‘just a foreign degree’ is no longer the aspiration of many among them. Whatever may be your field of study or your level of study, you must be wanting to get the most out of your overseas education experience and the opportunity of studying abroad in a second country is one such remarkable and highly transformational experience. Getting to know new environments, languages, and cultures generates an appreciation for your own culture and roots.  Also, it gives you a first-hand experience of the global landscape. Instead of pouring over pages in books, the experience of engagement, speaking in a foreign language, or seeing cultural heritage can bring about a paradigm shift in your thinking. So for those of you who aspire to potentially open new avenues – academically and personally, read on to get started searching for study abroad college programs.

Studying abroad programs are fundamentally experiential learning, where the whole world is your classroom and each destination can be your virtual textbook. You experience geography, landmarks, institutions, history, art, culture, fashion, food, and the arts in real-time! Also, it gives you the opportunity to acquire vital skills, both hard and behavioural. Perhaps you are studying mechanical engineering and want to understand the application of AI in automation. What would be better than to seek a semester at a top German technical university? Or maybe you are a student of architecture and want to understand the architecture of gothic cathedrals. A summer abroad at a university in Italy or France could be a revelation for you.

Students explore opportunities to study abroad for many reasons. Here are a few.

  • Explore the world and navigate new surroundings
  • Gain vital skills and increase employability
  • Travel and be globally mobile
  • Explore the chosen field of study from a different perspective
  • Acquire new language skill(s)
  • Mix academics with adventure
  • Develop confidence and self-reliance
  • Earn credit to degree
  • Develop a career network

What Are the Ways Students Can ‘Study Abroad’ as a Student at a US University?

Students can explore several different routes by which they can avail opportunities to be globally mobile during their undergraduate or graduate study at a foreign university. Study Abroad opportunities come in different forms. These include:

  • Semester or year-long: Spend a full semester or an academic year abroad at a partner university as a part of the degree
  • Summer Programs: Earn credit over the summer break
  • Winter (J-Term) Programs: Earn credit over winter break
  • Study Tour
  • Student Exchange Program
  • Internship

Germany as a Study Abroad Destination

Germany as a favoured educational destination has long attracted the best of talents from around the world. The most prosperous member of the European Union, Germany is the fourth-largest economy in the world and is widely regarded as a scientific, technological and innovation powerhouse. As incubators of such excellent pedagogy and technological advances, German universities – which are of different kinds – have emerged as some of the world’s finest universities, attracting students from all over the world. Also, no tuition fees and the opportunity to study in English, as well as German, have attracted a large number of international students to these universities.

US Universities Study Abroad Program in Germany

Indian students who head for the US to undertake advanced study and aspire for study abroad opportunity in Germany should research the individual university of their choice regarding such opportunity. Many US universities offer many such opportunities. Here is a brief list of some of the programs:

US University German University Type of Study Abroad Program Discipline Language Requirement Intake
Boston University Technische Universität Dresden Dresden Engineering Program Engineering English German language knowledge not required Spring semester
Dresden German Studies Program Many German Fall and spring semester/Full year possible
Dresden Internship Program Many German Fall and spring semester/Full year possible
New York University New York University, Berlin Undergraduate semester/Academic Year Away Many German Fall/Spring/Full Year/Summer/J-term
Drexel University Ruhr University, Bochum Drexel Engineering Spring in Germany Mechanical, Chemical, Electrical, Biomedical, Computing Engineering English and German Spring semester
Jacobs University, Bremen Drexel in Germany Exchange Program Business and Entrepreneurship, Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Computing and Informatics English and German Fall semester
University of Mannheim Drexel in Germany Exchange Program Business and Entrepreneurship, Humanities, Social Sciences English and German Fall semester
7 German universities of Applied Sciences at Hamburg, Berlin, Cologne,  Muenster, Bremen, Osnabrueck, Munich Drexel in Germany: Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS7) Exchange Program Business and Entrepreneurship, Engineering Biomedical Engineering Computing and Informatics, Natural Sciences Humanities, Social Sciences English and German Fall/Winter/Spring semester
Berlin School of Economics and Law (BSEL) Drexel in Germany: Summer in Berlin Business and Entrepreneurship English Summer
University of Massachusetts, Boston Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich
University of Mannheim, Mannheim UMass Boston Exchange Many English and German Fall, Spring, and Summer
University of Pittsburgh 7 German universities of Applied Sciences at Hamburg, Berlin, Cologne,  Muenster, Bremen, Osnabrueck, Munich University of Pittsburg UAS7 Exchange Program Business, Computing and Information Science, Economics, Engineering, Film and Media Studies, Nursing, Sociology English and German Fall/Spring/Full year
University of Cincinnati Heidelberg, Mannheim, Munich Faculty-led 10-day study abroad program English Spring
University of Arizona Leipzig University Arizona Summer Study in Leipzig German Language and Culture German Summer
Rutgers University Free University, Berlin Exchange Program German Spring
University of Georgia Goethe Institute Freiburg German Language and Culture German Summer
Arizona State University Horizonte Language School, Regensburg German Language and Culture Summer
University of Texas, Austin Technical University of Munich Semester Exchange Program Architecture, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering English and German Spring and Fall
Wayne State University Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich Junior Year in Munich Many English and German Full year
Rochester Institute of Technology Hochschule Mittweida, Mittweida Automotive Electronics in Germany: Faculty-led Program Engineering/Technology English Spring/Summer
University of Applied Sciences, Würzburg-Schweinfurt Exchange Program Civil,  Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering English, German Spring
University of Paderborn Faculty-led Program Computing, Game Design English Spring/Summer
School of Design, Rochester Institute of Technology Fachhochschule Anhalt FHA, Dessau Dessau Exchange Program Visual Communication, Product Design, Multimedia English German language knowledge not required March–July
University of Arizona University of Leipzig Summer Study in Leipzig, Germany Program German Language and Culture German June

The number of universities is too numerous to mention here. It is true for universities in the UK and Canada as well. The best thing for you to do is to research your university of choice for such opportunities.

Study Abroad Opportunities for Students Studying in German Universities

As much as international students at the US, Canadian and UK universities vie to undertake study abroad opportunities at German universities and institutions, leading German universities and seats of learning also offer plenty of opportunities to its students to experience life and learning abroad. These opportunities are offered chiefly through

  • Different Erasmus programs
  • Erasmus Mundus
  • German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
  • Internationale Sommer Programme (International Summer Program)
  • Direct exchange with partner universities
  • Fulbright program

For example, the Free University of Berlin has a long list of top US universities as its partners that include Columbia University, Duke University, Indiana University, Bloomington, the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Arizona, the University of California system, the University of Minnesota, and the University of North Carolina. You can find the details If you are an Indian student studying in a German university and wish to undertake a study abroad opportunity, the best thing for you to do would be research such opportunity at your university.

Those of you who want to learn in details about opportunities from students from India for studying in Germany, you might consult the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) India website.

Also, you can find details about the highly sought-after Study and Internship Program (SIP) at the top seven German Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS7) for undergraduates from US and Canadian colleges and universities.

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By Shantanu Sengupta, Senior Editor

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