Studying abroad is an exciting time full of new experiences. Many students may have no idea what to expect before they embark on their study abroad experience. Thankfully, Parto is here to tell EDUopinions all about her time as an international student in Germany.
EDUopinions is a unique platform where you can read real, verified student reviews about universities from all over the world as well as get free information about them.
My name is Parto Ghalehkhani. I come from Iran and I am 26 years old. I have completed high school studies in my city, Esfahan, in the National Organization for Development of Exceptional Talents (NODET). After obtaining my diploma and pre-university degrees in mathematics and physics, I resided in Malaysia for about 5 years and completed my tertiary studies at Monash University Australia and got my bachelor honours degree in mechatronics engineering.
As you might have guessed, I have had an infinite amount of love and passion for studying throughout my life; especially, all the subjects related to mathematics and physics were all-time favourites. However, in the last semester of my bachelor studies and while choosing an elective subject, I was introduced to management studies. As I have never had given a chance to any subjects from other university departments, I challenged myself to take business and management courses. To be honest, I started going to the lectures with the utmost reluctance; however, it only took me two sessions to fall in love with this subject. It felt like management introduced me to a whole new world and I could never enjoy any subjects more, during my entire years of studies. This was when I decided to pursue a master’s degree in international management.
Studying in Germany
This decision was, in fact, absolutely life-changing; as I have already planned to start working and residing in Australia immediately after graduation. But, again, I had to plan everything from scratch – finance as well as the choice of country, university, residence, to name but a few. However, for me, the real challenge began after graduation and while searching for international universities that offer master of management for non-business graduates in the English language. This was the time when a god-sent friend who has been living in Hamburg, Germany for decades, introduced me to a private university located in North Rhine-Westphalia state, called IUBH (International University of Applied Sciences Bad Honnef-Bonn).
After contacting the IUBH international admission office, I realised that not only the courses are offered 100% in English, but the university offers a business preparation course (Path2Master) for non-business graduates to transit smoothly from non-business bachelor studies to master studies in business and management.
Later, I was fortunate enough to receive an offer letter and started my studies at IUBH university in Bad Honnef, Germany. In August 2018, I finished the business preparation program with flying colours. Despite living in a new environment and studying some not-so-familiar subjects, the calm and welcoming atmosphere of the town as well as the university, helped me feel at home and increased my concentration on studies. I am currently in my first semester of the master course and I could not be happier with the education quality and life standard levels in Germany.
Tips for Future Students
Now, I would like to mention 2 points which I hope will be helpful to future students studying in any foreign country:
1. If you are planning to study in a country that does not use English as the official/national language (e.g. Germany), make yourself prepared by taking crash language courses at home. These classes are not only cost-effective but also a great boost of confidence for all the small and everyday talks after reaching the destination; starting from the airport to your very first grocery and home appliance shopping at your local market.
Unfortunately, I had neither the time nor the opportunity to take any classes prior to coming to Germany. However, after reaching here, I was informed that my university holds free German language classes for interested international students. I joined the classes and, now, I am able to make small conversations with my German friends. So, even if you do not know much about the new language and have not yet participated in any language courses, do not worry as there are definitely many classes being offered by both the universities and the language schools. You just have to find them and join their courses as soon as possible.
2. Unlike many countries, Germany is extremely strict about its official and administrative processes. A person who enters the country for the first time, has to purchase a sim card and register/verify it (normally via video calls), register his/her address (Anmeldung) in the local town hall (Rathaus), open a normal bank account (Girokonto), open a blocked bank account (Sperrkonto), contact a public health insurance company, and last but not least, apply for a residence card at the nearest foreigners office (Ausländerbehörde).
To Sum Up
As can be seen from the list, the very first week in Germany is going to be extremely tiring, hectic, and at times, confusing for many. Which is why IUBH offers its international students a package to help with all the processes. I am positive that not all countries require international students to go through so many steps, but if you are planning to study in Germany or similar countries, please remember to ask for special packages offered by your university. If there are no packages available, you can be just fine with the help and guidance of the university student office, international office, and international admission office.