As a student, you undoubtedly wish for a chance to get qualified with a minimum cost for the best quality of studies - which in most countries providing top-class universities is a very hard battle to win. Especially, at a time when economic, political, and technological development is growing at a rapid pace, you cannot easily distance yourself from the tools and skills required to own in order to prosper in the local or global market. But this is also where it gets complicated as financial resources are the very reason why the privilege of study is not a possibility for every interested student. Only a few nations have so far seen the importance of free access to studies - and Germany stands out among its peers! Germany has maintained a long tradition of offering free education for local and international students while the quality of studies is placed among top-universities of the world. It has particularly become a major destination for students from countries where tuition fees are the highest - such as the US and the UK.
Ivy League universities in the US have tuition fees reaching over $50,000 yearly - money that as a student you do not have. In front of the situation you are left with only two options - either spend parents' savings or get drowned in debt, which will be difficult to balance out in the years to follow. The total US student debt has reached its peak at $1.2 trillion, while the cost of living is also high. When you add to that the car possession requirement - the overall cost rises off the top of your head! Earning a scholarship would be a bit of a relief although the number of scholarships is limited and you would still pay more than students in Germany do without one!
The difference between US, UK and Germany is in the luxurious dormitories and campuses - which contributes to the high cost of study. In Germany there are no such luxuries offered! As you would also reckon, these are not contributing factors to the general knowledge and certainly not something you could not do without, although comforting to have.
During 2006, German authorities got entrapped for a while in the idea of higher tuition fees and decided for an increase of up to 1,500€ per year. The decision, however, did not last as German citizens opted to pay higher taxes in order to allow free education and encourage development vis-à-vis neighbors, which has proved a great benefit in the long run. Therefore, falling back to tradition, German universities continued requiring no tuition fees.
Offering a thousands of degree programmes for all academic levels, language is not a restriction - a great number of English-taught classes are available for international students. Albeit, it is a good idea to learn the language for use outside the university and as a helpful skill to keep under your belt for future employment. Many language courses are accessible and easy to find: DAAD - the German Academic Exchange Service or Goethe Institute amongst others. You can also find good scholarships that would practically serve a good deal in covering for your rent and food expenses - either way the cost of living in Germany is generally not high!
Another differentiation is that classes are held at larger numbers of students, serving as a good introduction to the culture of listening for internationals; and having no debt pressure is aspiring towards the pursuit of study instead of learning just enough to pass exams, as is usually the case with costly universities.
Worthy to mention is the fact that most graduate students - local and international - decide to stay and find work in Germany because of convenient work environment and good possibilities offered for start-up companies. Being a powerful nation along the fields of engineering, industry, production and having trade benefits with strong companies of the time make the German market very attractive for new entrepreneurs. Subsequently, by contributing to tax payment ex-students help the study-system solidify and maintain its appeal. To complete a great experience abroad also contribute its rich history and vibrant cultural scene.
Clearly not easy, but if competent authorities around the world would take a moment to understand and analyze the German model as well as its local and international influence, change would be inevitable!
As per Germany - as long as there will be free education of standard, it will continue to be a top choice for students in the global-scale and a leading representative hard to beat!