“For people wishing to study in Germany, it is not difficult to get a visa. It is easier than you think. It requires filing the details or you can just go to our website,”
– Mr Bernhard Schlagheck, German Ambassador to Nigeria, July 2017
One of the legal ways to migrate to Europe is to go there to study. Femi Awoniyi, Director, Migration Enlightenment Project Nigeria, explains why studying in Germany is an opportunity worth exploring for young Africans.
The European tertiary education system is mostly based on public funding, which is why universities can provide excellent quality education for very low or even no tuition fees at all.
Germany and France, for example, offer free tuition at their public universities. Students just have to pay a small administrative semester fee, between 100 and 200 euros that covers the public transportation ticket and other student services.
There are 427 state-accredited institutions of higher education in Germany. Together, they offer a total of over 18,000 degree programmes.
There are three main types of higher institutions of learning in Germany:
- Universities offer strong theoretical and academically-oriented degree programmes
- Technical Universities or Hochschule, as Germans call them, focus mainly on technology and engineering valuing not only the art of theory but also the art of practice. In fact, the emphasis in these institutions is on the practical skills their students will gain during their studies.
- Colleges of Fine Arts, Film and Music offer instruction in artistic subjects, such as Fine Arts, Acting, Dance, Industrial and Fashion Design, Graphic Art, Instrumental Music and Singing.
Many of Germany‘s institutions of higher learning offer English-taught study programmes – about 1,000 in total (mostly post-graduate courses).
Living costs in Germany are relatively modest when compared to other Western European countries. On average, students can get by on 700-800 euros per month – for rent, food, transport, health insurance, telephone/internet, study materials and leisure activities.
More than 300,000 foreign students are currently enrolled for study in Germany. This makes the country the world’s most popular host country for international students after the USA and Britain.
Here are some of the reasons why students prefer to study in Germany:
– Free-tuition education in most universities (and very low fees in others)
– World-class education by highly qualified staff
– Hundreds of academic courses to choose from
– Cultural diversity and students from all over the world
– Endless opportunities to work in Germany after you graduate
– You can study some courses in English
Nigerians have yet to take full advantage of the education opportunities in Germany. Young people here can take a cue from their Cameroonian counterparts. While there’re about 7,000 Cameroonian students in Germany, there’re fewer than 1,000 from Nigeria. Don’t be scared of learning a new language! Learning a new language enriches your life in all its facets and gives you more career opportunities after your studies. Studying in Germany is an opportunity worth exploring.