If you want to do a doctorate after completing your master’s degree, you should check in advance whether the master’s acquired abroad meets the entry criteria for a doctorate in Germany. For example, it has to be clarified whether the ECTS points acquired abroad are sufficient to start a doctoral program.
Advantages of a master’s degree abroad
The master’s programs abroad are extremely popular. Almost every 20th German student moves abroad to complete a master’s degree. The reasons for this are diverse.
For students who were unable to gain any experience abroad during their bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree abroad, for example, is a good opportunity to broaden their personal experience. They can also improve their foreign language skills and acquire intercultural skills that are becoming increasingly important for professional life. This is especially true for positions in international research, jobs abroad or at international organizations and companies.
In this context, students doing their master’s degree abroad also have a valuable opportunity to make contacts that may be useful in their later professional life.
Use new opportunities in the master’s degree
Another reason for studying for a master’s degree abroad is that many courses of this type are not even offered in Germany. Studying abroad is the only opportunity to get further training in your favorite subject. The same applies to many Bachelor graduates who cannot get a place in their preferred Master’s course in Germany. Not all subjects popular in Germany are in equally high demand abroad, so the chance of admission here may be higher.
Admission requirements and application
As in Germany, a bachelor ‘s degree is a prerequisite for a master’s degree completed in whole or in part abroad. The old Magister and Diploma degrees are also generally recognized as a prerequisite for admission to the Master’s degree. The Bologna reform makes it easier than before to switch between universities within Europe and, for example, to pursue a master’s degree in Denmark or Great Britain with a German bachelor’s degree.
In most cases, the grades of the bachelor’s degree are decisive for the acceptance of an application at a European university. In addition, language skills in the national language or the language of instruction as well as a letter of motivation and a letter of recommendation are usually required.
Since the study system in non-European countries is different than here, the universities there examine each application for a master’s degree individually. This applies, for example, to the study system in the USA or Canada, where, in contrast to Europe, the bachelor’s degree usually lasts four and not just three years. The old master’s and diploma degrees are accepted in most cases.
In addition to the application documents that are also common in Europe, prospective students in some countries such as the USA often have to submit a standardized test such as the GRE or GMAT.
Costs and ways of financing the master’s degree
The costs for a master’s degree vary depending on the country of study, university and program. A Masters degree in North America or Oceania is usually more expensive than one in Europe or Asia. Depending on where you are going, there are different financing options.
If you want to complete a master’s program within Europe, you may receive BAföG abroad. Anyone who has a very good to good bachelor’s degree should apply for a scholarship. There are some organizations and foundations that award scholarships for studying abroad, such as the DAAD or various gifted students. And the foreign universities also occasionally offer scholarships for international students. For those who are specifically drawn to the USA for their master’s degree, a scholarship from the Fulbright Commission could be considered.
Those who neither receive BAföG abroad nor benefit from a scholarship can consider taking out a student loan with low interest rates. In the master’s area in particular, there is also the option of financing your studies through an education fund.