Pursuing Higher Education in Bio-technology from Germany

Higher Education in Germany
Aravind is a Post Doctoral Research Fellow in Germany. He has pursued Masters in Bioinformatics and Immunology from University of Bonn.
1)Tell us in brief about your journey to getting admission into a German University....
Aravind is a Post Doctoral Research Fellow in Germany. He has pursued Masters in Bioinformatics and Immunology from University of Bonn.

1)Tell  us in brief about your journey to getting admission into a German University.  (Describe about scope for your field)

Life Science research is at a good pace in  Germany. Most of the sophisticated technical equipment in the lab where I did  my bachelor thesis (Indian Institute of Chemical Technology) was from Germany  and also my scientist (Dr. Ahmed Kamal) was a visiting professor for TU  Dresden. His words motivated me to apply for German Universities. It was bit  difficult to get admission but not at all difficult to apply as most of the  Universities have clear cut rules and procedures for the application and most  of the University staff are friendly towards the applicants.  Compared to my days, now there are a lot of  Universities which offer English education in various disciplines and  moreover it’s free to study now. Hence, once have lot of chances and at the  same time competition to get into German Universities.

2)Is  it really necessary to learn German language before coming to Germany? What  is the scope for job opportunities if I do not speak much German after  graduation?

Officially it is not necessary to know German if  the course is in English. And after the graduation it completely depends on what  the job description demands but in most of the multi-national companies they  don’t have a mandatory clause of knowing German. But, I would strongly  encourage/recommend one to know basic German before leaving India as it  allows us to taste a bit of German culture and will help us to settle with  ease in the beginning. It is also a very good manners to learn the local  language and culture when we are using the resources of a country. If you  have a good knowledge of German it will definitely be a plus point in  securing the job after or before (part-time) graduation.

3)How  much time is one given to look out for a job after graduation? What is  different from studying in other European countries?

This rule keeps changing but right now any student  will be given 18 months job searching visa after the graduation. Its not the  same period in every European country, for example in UK, there is no  extension given and in Luxembourg, it will be maximum 1 week – 6 months  AFAIK. If you are/ relocate into a big city, then you have multiple  opportunities to look for a job and working at the same time. You will also  get the help of many local (social) communities where they post and discuss  issues related to jobs and life after graduation. I cannot say anything about  other European countries but as Germany gives 18 months, I think this is a  lot and absolutely wonderful for any student to look for the job.

4)What  is the cost of living in Germany? What are few of the cities to look for  jobs?

Cost of living always depends on the city and  personal life style. Almost all of the German Universities provide  accommodation for students so it will be cheaper than to stay privately  (unless it’s a shared one). In addition, you will get a subsidized travel  pass, discounts in canteens, movie theaters and so on. On an average, it will  be <600 Euros/month. Of course this changes when you graduate as you loose  all the student benefits. The cities for jobs depend on the respective domain  that one is looking for. But most of the big cities will be a better stay  while searching for a job (which could also be expensive) such as Munich,  Stuttgart, Koln, Hamburg, and Berlin.

5)  Provide any other valuable specific  information for the students who want to pursue a career in the above field.

In my field, there is a lot of scope for students  who want an academic career. Getting a job in a company after graduating from  any Life Sciences discipline could be difficult. But if you have a PhD from  German University then the chances to enter industry will definitely increase.  Of course, PhD is a tough nut to crack and one has to be determined and  motivated before entering into the research field. German language will be an  asset if you want to enter industry.

6)Is  it necessary to have prior work experience of 1-3 years in India before  applying for Masters to get admissions in top universities?

It’s difficult to say. If you have good credentials in your schooling and bachelors then you are on the safe side. Of course experience is always a plus as in some of the Universities, they prefer experienced students so that you can work and help in the professor’s research. In this way you can also work while studying, which will help both financial and career wise. Too much experience is also not good as they might consider you as a person who is using this student visa to enter Germany to search for job/PhD but not to study.  So, one has to use his/her experience in a way to get both admission and student job.

7)List  of top universities to pursue Masters in your field.

TU Dresden,

Universities in  Bonn, Koln, Heidelberg, Gottingen, Berlin.