Foreign Universities

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    Hey everyone

    Is anyone thinking of applying to a foreign university this year? How do we go about it? And is it a good idea to go to a foreign university? (will UK employers look less favourably upon a degree from abroad as opposed to a UK uni?)

    I'm thinking of applying to Groningen, Holland, or to German universities with courses taught completely or mostly in English (I did German A Level). I plan to study either English or English and German.

    Thanks in advance for any replies
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    This is something I have been thinking about for a while now. I have just finished yr 13 (also did german, and maths, phsyics and chemistry), but I didn't apply to any unis as i was unsure what I wanted to study. I was initially attracted to it because of the free or very low tuition fees, as having £50k of debt didnt appeal.

    I have realised now that although it is 'affordable' to go to uni (due to how it's repaid) but however you look at it, you will have a lot of debt.

    I looked at unis in denmark, sweden, germany, holland where courses are in english. But now I have found an amazing place using the website studyportals.com - it is in the italian dolomites, in south tyrol, where german and italian is spoken (used to be part of austria until WW1). The uni is called uniBZ - it's in a town called bolzano, or bozen in german. the bachelors are taught in ⅓ english, ⅓ german, ⅓ italian, and you only have to know 2 of the languages to B2 standard initially; you learn the 3rd as you go. There are loads of internationals so you wouldnt feel like the only one who didnt know the language.

    It's quite a small uni - i think less than 5000 students. It just looks amazing - reading textbooks on the library balcony looking over the balcony to the snow covered mountains, skiing before lectures, having good pizza nearby!!!

    The tuition is about €1500 a year, but i think you get a refund depending on your parents' income, and there are scholarships. It is the richest part of italy, with the highest quality of life in italy. student accomodation costs €290 a month (no idea how that compares to UK unis)

    It seems in the UK that everyone is obsessed with rankings, or whether somewhere is part of the russel group. I am expecting to get As and A*s this year, so part of me is nervous of not going to somewhere prestigious. The italian place is by no means bad, and is well respected for having an international outlook and good quality of teaching. I personally think that in your case, if you wanted to study german, employers would be more impressed if you learnt it naturally in germany because it shows you are brave and willing to take on new opportunities.

    That was a bit rambly - hoffe, es hilft!
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    (Original post by Joeboyshop)
    This is something I have been thinking about for a while now. I have just finished yr 13 (also did german, and maths, phsyics and chemistry), but I didn't apply to any unis as i was unsure what I wanted to study. I was initially attracted to it because of the free or very low tuition fees, as having £50k of debt didnt appeal.

    I have realised now that although it is 'affordable' to go to uni (due to how it's repaid) but however you look at it, you will have a lot of debt.

    I looked at unis in denmark, sweden, germany, holland where courses are in english. But now I have found an amazing place using the website studyportals.com - it is in the italian dolomites, in south tyrol, where german and italian is spoken (used to be part of austria until WW1). The uni is called uniBZ - it's in a town called bolzano, or bozen in german. the bachelors are taught in ⅓ english, ⅓ german, ⅓ italian, and you only have to know 2 of the languages to B2 standard initially; you learn the 3rd as you go. There are loads of internationals so you wouldnt feel like the only one who didnt know the language.

    It's quite a small uni - i think less than 5000 students. It just looks amazing - reading textbooks on the library balcony looking over the balcony to the snow covered mountains, skiing before lectures, having good pizza nearby!!!

    The tuition is about €1500 a year, but i think you get a refund depending on your parents' income, and there are scholarships. It is the richest part of italy, with the highest quality of life in italy. student accomodation costs €290 a month (no idea how that compares to UK unis)

    It seems in the UK that everyone is obsessed with rankings, or whether somewhere is part of the russel group. I am expecting to get As and A*s this year, so part of me is nervous of not going to somewhere prestigious. The italian place is by no means bad, and is well respected for having an international outlook and good quality of teaching. I personally think that in your case, if you wanted to study german, employers would be more impressed if you learnt it naturally in germany because it shows you are brave and willing to take on new opportunities.

    That was a bit rambly - hoffe, es hilft!
    Thank you for this, it was very helpful! I will definitely take a look at uniBZ - sounds really cool, and different. Do you reckon this is the place you've got your heart set on, or are there a few other universities you're considering?

    I completely agree that it's the fees in the UK that are making me think so carefully about my decisions. Like you, I keep being told that the fees are paid off gradually, that I won't even notice the money coming out, but I can imagine that knowing in the back of my mind that I'm £70,000 upwards in debt could make me feel very bleak.

    Did you do the AQA A2 German paper by any chance? I thought it was a terrible paper! When my teacher got hold of it and did it herself, she couldn't answer about 40% of the questions because they seemed to be so vague and odd, with more than one available answer in many cases. Will have to wait and see on results day.

    Really appreciate your reply Joeboyshop I wish you lots of luck with your exam results and uni applications. Quite surprised to have found another German A Level student to be honest, we are an endangered species
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    (Original post by LaikaIsInSpace)
    Thank you for this, it was very helpful! I will definitely take a look at uniBZ - sounds really cool, and different. Do you reckon this is the place you've got your heart set on, or are there a few other universities you're considering?

    I completely agree that it's the fees in the UK that are making me think so carefully about my decisions. Like you, I keep being told that the fees are paid off gradually, that I won't even notice the money coming out, but I can imagine that knowing in the back of my mind that I'm £70,000 upwards in debt could make me feel very bleak.

    Did you do the AQA A2 German paper by any chance? I thought it was a terrible paper! When my teacher got hold of it and did it herself, she couldn't answer about 40% of the questions because they seemed to be so vague and odd, with more than one available answer in many cases. Will have to wait and see on results day.

    Really appreciate your reply Joeboyshop I wish you lots of luck with your exam results and uni applications. Quite surprised to have found another German A Level student to be honest, we are an endangered species
    Yes we are definitely endangered - there were only 3 of us in our German group, yr 13 had around 70 people i think, not sure if a is high or low proportion of language students or not. I think there were only 2 in the french group.

    I didn't do AQA, i did edexcel which i wasnt a massive fan of, not because of this year's paper, but that the A2 exam is just pure writing - 10 marks for a translation, 45 for a discursive essay and 45 for a literature based essay. Although this questions this year were nice compared to previous ones.

    No idea if i will eventually end up at uniBZ - I had looked at others which i thought were perfect until i found a fundamental flaw or just discovered somewhere nicer. The thing is, to go there i need to certify that i have level B2 in german, so it doesn't matter what alevel grade i get. To do that i could just take an exam at the goethe institut in london, or i could do a course in germany, followed by the exam, or move to germany for a couple of months, get a job, then do the exam. I'm not sure which of these to do. Im pretty certain that i have level B2 if not better already, so it might not be worth paying for a course. on the other hand it would be fun, and I could always take a higher level exam if they think im up for it - simply moving to germany alone seems pretty daunting. I guess i could do part time work while doing the course as well.

    What do you think? (I'm guessing you are taking a gap year as well if you didn't apply to any UK unis, or are you considering applying to germany/holland this summer for september?)
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    (Original post by Joeboyshop)
    Yes we are definitely endangered - there were only 3 of us in our German group, yr 13 had around 70 people i think, not sure if a is high or low proportion of language students or not. I think there were only 2 in the french group.

    I didn't do AQA, i did edexcel which i wasnt a massive fan of, not because of this year's paper, but that the A2 exam is just pure writing - 10 marks for a translation, 45 for a discursive essay and 45 for a literature based essay. Although this questions this year were nice compared to previous ones.

    No idea if i will eventually end up at uniBZ - I had looked at others which i thought were perfect until i found a fundamental flaw or just discovered somewhere nicer. The thing is, to go there i need to certify that i have level B2 in german, so it doesn't matter what alevel grade i get. To do that i could just take an exam at the goethe institut in london, or i could do a course in germany, followed by the exam, or move to germany for a couple of months, get a job, then do the exam. I'm not sure which of these to do. Im pretty certain that i have level B2 if not better already, so it might not be worth paying for a course. on the other hand it would be fun, and I could always take a higher level exam if they think im up for it - simply moving to germany alone seems pretty daunting. I guess i could do part time work while doing the course as well.

    What do you think? (I'm guessing you are taking a gap year as well if you didn't apply to any UK unis, or are you considering applying to germany/holland this summer for september?)
    Wow, so few language students around! Yeah, in our German class there were only 4 of us, and college have just wiped the subject off the syllabus completely. There's now only one college in Somerset offering German, which I think is really terrible. French remains reasonably popular at my college though. Whereabouts in Britain are you?

    The Edexcel exam sounds like it would have been much better for me - wish I'd had the choice to do it instead of AQA, but it can't be helped. I guess at the end of the day, if you end up fluent in German you're fluent in German and it doesn't matter what you got in an exam at 18.

    Sounds like you've got a good rough plan worked out for yourself. I totally agree that the prospect of going to Germany alone is daunting. Yes, I'm also intending to spend a few months around January to June time in Germany (taking a gap year, applying for September 2017 uni entry). I'm not sure what I'm going to do at the moment, but I'm definitely going to try to get a job in Germany. I'm thinking of doing a TEFL certificate, and hopefully getting a job teaching English there. If no jobs come up, I'll have a certificate to teach in any country so I'm quite keen on that option, but I really don't know. I'm trying to get my head around foreign uni application systems and it's just completely overwhelming me! In your position I think I might be tempted to do the test at the Goethe just to get it done and in the bag, and if it didn't go as planned then you could do the course. Living and working in a country is the best way to learn though so you might want to take the test after a while in Germany. You might be braver than me, as I'm quite apprehensive about going to Germany alone and getting myself sorted with a job in-country.

    Are you thinking you'll apply to English universities as well? I did go through UCAS this year, and got offers from St Andrews, Exeter, Surrey and Sussex. I absolutely loved St Andrews, but they wouldn't defer my place, so I had to reject them all in the end. I would love to get offered a place again, but what with it being a 4 year course, the debt I'd rack up is phenomenal!
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    (Original post by LaikaIsInSpace)
    Wow, so few language students around! Yeah, in our German class there were only 4 of us, and college have just wiped the subject off the syllabus completely. There's now only one college in Somerset offering German, which I think is really terrible. French remains reasonably popular at my college though. Whereabouts in Britain are you?

    The Edexcel exam sounds like it would have been much better for me - wish I'd had the choice to do it instead of AQA, but it can't be helped. I guess at the end of the day, if you end up fluent in German you're fluent in German and it doesn't matter what you got in an exam at 18.

    Sounds like you've got a good rough plan worked out for yourself. I totally agree that the prospect of going to Germany alone is daunting. Yes, I'm also intending to spend a few months around January to June time in Germany (taking a gap year, applying for September 2017 uni entry). I'm not sure what I'm going to do at the moment, but I'm definitely going to try to get a job in Germany. I'm thinking of doing a TEFL certificate, and hopefully getting a job teaching English there. If no jobs come up, I'll have a certificate to teach in any country so I'm quite keen on that option, but I really don't know. I'm trying to get my head around foreign uni application systems and it's just completely overwhelming me! In your position I think I might be tempted to do the test at the Goethe just to get it done and in the bag, and if it didn't go as planned then you could do the course. Living and working in a country is the best way to learn though so you might want to take the test after a while in Germany. You might be braver than me, as I'm quite apprehensive about going to Germany alone and getting myself sorted with a job in-country.

    Are you thinking you'll apply to English universities as well? I did go through UCAS this year, and got offers from St Andrews, Exeter, Surrey and Sussex. I absolutely loved St Andrews, but they wouldn't defer my place, so I had to reject them all in the end. I would love to get offered a place again, but what with it being a 4 year course, the debt I'd rack up is phenomenal!

    Yes, I agree, all that matters is our ability to speak German, no a letter on sheet dead tree. I am/was a sixth form in oxford.

    That's a good idea about TEFL, I'll look into that. I think you are probably right that it wouldn't be a good idea to do the course if I could probably get the grade already, although I still feel I couldn't just land in Germany and get a job at a supermarket for example. I might see if I could find other non-language specific courses as then there would be some structure and it would be easier to meet new people - I could also get a job in my free time. I am also considering doing a langauge course in Spain, as I did spanish GCSE and got an A*, but it wasn't offered at A-level, so I guess the having a TEFL might get me a job there in my free time, as I definitely don't think my spanish is good enough for working at a shop/supermarket etc...

    Not really thinking of English unis, I just love the idea of studying abroad. If I were you, there's no harm in applying again to those unis and having them as an option as well as germany/holland. Remember you could always do an erasmus from abroad in the UK which would be interesting!
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    Did you guys apply to German unis with A2 grades? (Taking a gap year) I'm thinking of going to Germany but their application deadlines close before results day and I'm completely lost now.


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    (Original post by Fadel)
    Did you guys apply to German unis with A2 grades? (Taking a gap year) I'm thinking of going to Germany but their application deadlines close before results day and I'm completely lost now.


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    I haven't applied to any German unis yet...I don't think Joeboyshop has either. Do you mean that the application deadlines close before results day for September 2016 entry or September 2017?
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    No I didn't apply. You could try using your AS or predicted grades and explain your situation.
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    (Original post by Joeboyshop)
    No I didn't apply. You could try using your AS or predicted grades and explain your situation.
    Germany does it through Uni-Assist, so that's a no. A Netherlands Uni told me that they accept predicted grades only if you have an Eu nationality. That's kind of weird.
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    Really jealous of people who speak German, Germany looks like a great place to study.
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    There are quite a few courses taught completly in English at German universities, so you could learn German in your free time.
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    (Original post by Joeboyshop)
    There are quite a few courses taught completly in English at German universities, so you could learn German in your free time.
    That's true, but not in my preferred subject. Most English-taught degrees seem to be in English, Business or STEM subjects.
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    What area do you want to study?
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    (Original post by Joeboyshop)
    What area do you want to study?
    Something like this: https://www.hu-berlin.de/de/studium/...ot/sgb/skankom
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    If you are interested in Scandinavia, then why not look at unis there, they also have no tuition fees, and I think denmark has the most english taught degrees in europe (excluding UK and ireland).
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    (Original post by Joeboyshop)
    If you are interested in Scandinavia, then why not look at unis there, they also have no tuition fees, and I think denmark has the most english taught degrees in europe (excluding UK and ireland).
    Unfortunately there are no similar degrees in Scandinavia either.
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    (Original post by LaikaIsInSpace)
    I haven't applied to any German unis yet...I don't think Joeboyshop has either. Do you mean that the application deadlines close before results day for September 2016 entry or September 2017?
    Results day is August 18 but deadline is July.


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    If anyone is interested, I saw an advert on the tube today for the Global Education Fair. It's this weekend in the Hilton Metropole in Central London and has unis from more than 10 countries. Site is www.globaleducationfairs.co.uk

    Seem to have lots of free seminars re study abroad too
 
 
 
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