Saturday 2 January 2021

Facts to know before and after you have come to Germany for your studies by Cromwell Kebenei, Simon Muturi Mburu & Moses Githinji



This document provides tips and tricks for successfully completing an engineering degree at a German university. It gives you the general information before you start your studies and guides you through until the end of your studies.


Step 1: Before you start anything, here is a small but very important check list for you before you come to





















To the highest level possible (B2 and above), a very good





language proficiency will help you during your studies.





You  will  be able  to understand  things  and be able  to





complete your studies on time







Attention! There will be a German exam as an entry exam





to the University (Preparation courses at student College





that takes a period of 1-year equivalent to two semesters).









-German  classes  are  very  expensive  in  Germany.  You





better do your language classes in Kenya for example at


















Driving Licence


Driving licence in Germany is very expensive. It can cost





up to 300.000,00 KES and more.







Attention!  After  arriving,  please  register  your  licence





before six months are over! Otherwise, your licence will





expire and will not be valid forcing you to start everything





from zero again.














Start doing things earlier as possible. For example, FSJ





(The voluntary social year) maximum age 26 years (BFD





over 27 years)









If you are under 30 years your studies will be much cheaper





and you will have enough time.







Attention! Your studies can take over 8 years to get a





degree due to work and study life abroad.






















Studies   are   based   in

You should note that German Universities are hard and are



German language

offered in German language and not in English. Only a few




of them are in English. If you want to work in Germany,




then do the German courses







Finance 1

Bring  with you  some pocket  money for  the  start.  Get




yourself a student job as soon as you are admitted at the








Attention! Your family and relatives should know you are




coming to study first and not to work to send money home.




Many students get stressed and frustrated by their families




and relatives by requesting money all the time. This affects




many  students  studying  abroad  and  they  end  up  not




finishing their studies in time or even failing exams terrible




and get disqualified at the University







Self-discipline and time

You will be alone, and you will be the one to decide about




your future abroad. Germans work with time. You should




inform yourself about applications datelines as early as








Attention! This comprises all paperwork e.g., contracts,




letters,  payment  of  bills  and  appointments.  Missing




speculated  datelines  might  cost  you terrible and  might




affect your visa in Germany








Get  connections  with  friends  and  people  living  in




Germany. This will help you prepare very well to start your




life in Germany smoothly.







Financial requirement by

Since  January  2020,  the  anticipated  annual  standard



the German government

requirement to be transferred to the blocked bank account



to get a Visa with work

when applying for a visa was increased to about €10236.



Permit  and  to  study  in

00 (Bank statement of over a million in Kenyan shillings).




Your parents should be able to get you this amount or if




you are very good enough you can apply for scholarships




once you are here. Or safe a lot while doing your FSJ or















University pass mark

C + and above




If  you  have  a  grade  lower  than  this  then  you  should




consider  doing  vocational  training  (Berufsausbildung)








Attention! Your grade will be added to the grade that you




will get at your preparatory course (Studienkolleg) and it




will be divided by two. If you will work hard you will




definitely improve your KCSE grade. Make sure you work








- A good grade can help you get a good scholarship.







Your documents

Make sure your names in all your documents are the same.




Any slight difference might block your visa processes and












Step 2: Chose your best way to go to Germany. Here is a short check list for you:





















Direct  application  to  a


Choose your field of studies and the University and contact



German University


Uni assist for the application process: https://www.uni-










































We would recommend this step for  someone who has





completed his Bachelors in Kenya and intending to do his





or her master’s degree and above in Germany








Attention! This step requires a lot of paperwork and you





should adhere to the University datelines which are always





15. January and 15. Jun every year.
















FSJ (The voluntary social


-Age- between 16 and not older than 26 years old








-The application is always before march or September





every year






































-  The start of a voluntary service can be agreed individually with the responsible agency. As a rule, however, the voluntary service begins in September


-  FSJ is possible only once, for up to 18 months. It cannot be prolonged


-You will need to provide either the A1 certificate from the Goethe Institute, or a KCSE certificate from KNEC with minimum grade of B minus (B-). The certificate should not be older than 4 years and should be TestDAF recognized.


Attention! If you are intending to study in Germany, then ignore this and you should know you need a language proficiency of B2 and above


-You will pay for your own flight of about 50.000,00 KES and visa fees of about 10.000,00 KES.


-Although you do not receive a salary, the institution where you do your FSJ can pay you pocket money. Nationwide, the range is between 150 and 500 euros. In addition, allowances are often paid for meals and accommodation. -Importantly your pocket money and social security


contributions per month. (Pension insurance, unemployment insurance and your health insurance will be paid for). Note paying for your pension at your 20s will make you have enough money during your retirement period.


-  The following voluntary services are available:


       in child and youth work institutions.


       in health care(hospitals) and care for the elderly organisations.


       in a sports club.


       in a cultural institution or school.


     in  environmental  and  nature       conservation




       in landscape and monument conservation.




-   One works a Max of 40 hours a week. One is given around 30 days off per year.


Attention! Only in very rare cases does an FSJ improve the KCSE (Final Exam) grade (In this case your average grade after Studienkolleg). In special cases, bonus points are awarded for the FSJ, which raise the grade point average by up to 0.2 points.


Finally, the voluntary social year offers you the chance to do something meaningful and practical for yourself and others. It enables you:


      to test you with your abilities and skills in practice and to further develop your personality and competencies


      To learn the German culture and to improve your personal orientation abroad. You will encounter with different people and will help you understand the German community very well. This is very important before you join your university


      to know social occupational fields and professional orientation


       -to get involved in society and help to shape it


      To get experiences fun and joy together with others


      To improve your language proficiency


You will also get a certificate after your volunteer which will help you get a job easily during your studies and after your studies.


3                                                                    Au-Pair -You will need to provide either the A1 certificate from the Goethe Institute, or a KCSE certificate from KNEC with minimum grade of B minus (B-). The certificate should not be older than 4 years and should be TestDAF recognized.









Attention! If you are intending to study in Germany, then ignore this and you should know you need a language proficiency of B2 and above


-You will pay for your own flight. Some families pay for you and deduct from your monthly pocket money in instalments. Maybe one can be lucky, and the families take up the flight cost and you mustn't pay back. -monthly allowance around 280 per month


-Babysitting, small housework like what we do back at home (vacuum cleaning, mopping, folding clothes, ironing) sometimes cooking. One works a Max of 20 hours a week. One is given an off day.


-Au- pair programme is 1 year. It cannot be prolonged (strictly as an au pair)


-Age- between 18 and not older than 26 years old


-If you and your intended host family are related, in principle no Au Pair visa could be issued.


-As an au pair your main goal is to learn the German culture and better the German language. Focus on that. The host families are also excited to learn from the au pair's country/culture. Do not be afraid to share about your background and esp. to avoid miscommunication.








General Information if you plan to Start Engineering Degree Program


       Network with people who have experience in the field you wish to study. E.g., postgraduate students in your field


       Undertake an internship programme in your field of study. Many courses require an internship before you start and after your studies. The minimum requirements do vary from course-to-course. Internships will also help you in:


       Building a good foundation in your course of study and get more experiences.


       To easily get a part-time job in your field of Study and after studies



       Awarded certificates strengthen your resume and opens many doors for your career in the future


       Advice: If possible, start with an educational programme (Ausbildung) and pursue your engineering studies later


Study Location


       Financial Security. Live in Big Cities or near them because you will be able to find yourself a student's job easily


       Good transport connections to save time to work or to your university


       Availability of student accommodation or affordable housing


       Preferably apply for a dormitory room for at least one year before the start of your studies.


University vs. Hochschule


Success depends on your efforts.


In general, there are no major differences between University and Hochschule


University Characteristics


Hochschule Characteristics


  Theoretical lectures in large groups

  Practice-oriented lectures in small groups

  A person must be good at time management

  Good contact with professors

A person must be very disciplined

Good supervision

Prepares you for research

Prepares you for the world of work




Tips for International Students


Before starting your degree


       Do NOT miss the orientation week


       Look for a Mentor


       Plan your semester at the beginning of the semester. this includes: o Plan your working days and Uni-Days properly


o Know what is going to be taught in that semester. Try and to figure the five W’s of (How, Where, Why, When, What, Who) going to be taught


o  Prepare all learning materials needed


o  Choose the number of subjects that can realistically be covered at that semester.






During the semester


       Preparation of the next lecture


       Get all assignments done on time


       Re-reading of the day’s lectures


       Plan your learning period for the end-of-term exam as early as possible.


       Especially for hard topics


       Know the difficulty of the subject. Take more time for the difficult subjects.


       Get involved in social and academic networks. For example, at AStA parties, symposium, festivals, Student Council, and social events


       Do not wait for things to be done for you even during group works and projects. (Always do your part on time)


       Be independent! Do it yourself!


       Stop pushing or post ponding your exams to next semesters. Things might pile up and will make your studies harder or even get expelled from the university.


During Holiday


       Preparation of the failed Exams. Do not wait and wait for many semesters in order to repeat them. Just do the exams sooner again


       Working to finance the coming Semester. You need financial security during start of semester and during the exam period


       Financial stability is very important


After Studies


    Two Option


Master’s degree                                           Job


       Dual Master


       Fulltime Master


       Both of the has it’S Advantages and Disadvantages.






       Not the End of Education


       Search for further education in various engineering organisations such as VDI


       Start in Trainee Programs


       Participate in volunteer internships during the waiting periods


       During the waiting periods, you enrol in another degree programme while you wait for your job to start.






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