When I started searching for information about studying abroad, I felt overwhelmed sometimes since there is a big pool of information and I didn’t know where I should begin. Sometimes, it is helpful to have guidelines to know the starting point and what to expect. And I found that guideline on the website of
. The steps can be summarized as follows:
Searching for the ideal programs
Get an IELTS certificate & learn German (optional and depending on your university)
Get an APS certificate (send out an application, pay fee, review for the exam)
Send out applications to Uni-assist (after receiving APS)
Open a bank account & blocked account (after receiving the matriculation from any university)
Buying travel insurance (until you can register for public/ private insurances, it is compulsory to have travel insurance to cover your stay)
Apply for a visa and buy a flight ticket
The above steps are for students who already graduated from a university in Vietnam, but they can vary depending on your home country. The DAAD often has its own website in different countries, however, you can also check their worldwide page in case you can’t find one from your country. The preparation for the journey to Germany can take from six months to a year depending on the list of requirements you need to accomplish.
For me, the journey to Germany was not always easy. However, there was also a lot to learn during the process and the result is totally worth it.
The first and the most important thing to do is to find the ideal programs that suit your interest and motivate you. Thousands of programs either in English or in German or in both languages are offered for international students. Besides the content of a program, you might consider the location of the university, requirements, languages, deadlines, etc. All mentioned information can be founded via the
for international programs. Be aware that the field of study can include many different majors. For example, the field of Law, Economics, and Social Sciences can also include finance, business administration, management, etc. Therefore, don’t be surprised if you can’t find a specific major in the field of the study section, all you need to do is to fill keywords into the blank.
This is the starting point of my journey. After spending days digging into the website to filter the programs that suit me most, I gathered information as seen in the below table to manage the information easily.
During this process, I read about how things work in Germany, including necessary paperwork, transportation, leisure activities, etc. One of the websites that I spent a lot of time reading is
. The website not only provided information about the process of applying for scholarships, part-time job opportunities, etc. from local experts but also gave me a lively picture of student life in Germany through different blog posts of international students who are living in Germany. Undoubtedly, the treasure information from these websites prepared me for my student life in Germany. Until now, even I have been already living for two years, these two websites are still the first places that I think of when I have any questions regarding studying and living in Germany. Besides, I also joined communities on Facebook for Vietnamese students in Germany. These are unofficial groups which are created by students from my country who are living or studying in Germany. The groups are great places for emotional support sometimes since I can connect with students who have been on the same roads and have faced similar challenges. I believe that you can probably find some similar groups created by students from your home country.
Many international students have been asking me whether they should apply for a program in Germany by themselves or through an agency. In my opinion, both have their advantages, and it is totally depending on your own decision. When you apply through an agency, you can save a lot of time to learn languages and do other things, but you have to pay a higher cost. I preferred to prepare everything by myself since I was on a low budget. And I think it was the right decision since it prepared me well for all the processes and paperwork that I had to handle in Germany. For me, the journey to Germany was not always easy. However, there was also a lot to learn during the process and the result is totally worth it. Keep in mind that this is my experience for application since 2019, there are a few things that may be changed. It is always better to keep yourself updated by recent posts.