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Graduate School in German-speaking Country

  1. Jul 9, 2006 #1
    Hi everyone:

    I've been really thinking about going to get my masters (or equivalent) in physics in a German speaking country. I say this because I am really fascinated by German culture and wish to go there to become fluent in the language anyway. I was thinking that perhaps I would study German there for a little while before entering classes.

    So I've never actually been to Germany (or any other German-speaking country). I'm currently learning the language. As far as graduate school is concerned, I hear University of Munich and University of Zurich are good for physics. I don't know what admissions is like though.

    The idea I have right now is to get my masters in another country, and if I feel inclined, get my phd in the USA or somewhere.

    My question is: Are there any strong reasons why I should not do this? And for those who are knowledgable - what is student life like in, say Germany? How competitive is it to enter a Master's program?

    Thanks in advance. Let me know if more info is needed for reply.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 10, 2006 #2
    Those germans are smart people. I would expect nothing less than a first rate education.
  4. Jul 10, 2006 #3


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    From what I've seen and read, a good German masters thesis contains work of PhD quality.

    Also, most I've seen are written in English - containing only an abstract in German - so your English will have to be up to scratch too.
  5. Jul 11, 2006 #4
    I am interested in doing exactly the same, though I am just entering college. My school has a German Engineering program whereby students can work for a German engineering company (here or, preferably, in Germany). I highly reccomend, if at all possible, going to Germany before committing to study there. Get in contact with the http://www.goethe.de/enindex.htm", who will gladly help you navigate the process of applying to study in Germany, and perhaps more importantly, offer you language courses.

    As far as learning the language goes: Try to find (preferably native) speakers to practice with. Listen to German music (Kraftwerk, Rammstein, Neu!, Die Fantastischen Vier, etc.)! One excellent resource is http://www.dw-world.de/" [Broken], which provides plenty of lessons and slowly spoken material to help you get to the point where you understand mainstream German language broadcasts.

    I am currently trying to figure out how difficult it is to get a German university to recognize a U.S. degree. If you find anything out, please pass it on. My mother (who works for the Belgian Embassy) has commented that the educational systems are becoming more interoperable every day.

    Viel Erfolg!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  6. Jul 12, 2006 #5
    Thanks for the replies!

    I hope my English is up to par, though 4 years at a tech school and without much (quality) writing required, I may need to brush up.

    I know my university has an exchange program with the University of Zurich, and though that's in Switzerland, I hope German recognition won't be a problem. I'll ask about that though. I know some professors who were German trained who might know.

    I've been on search for people from Germany to speak with, though I've been kind of holding off until I feel a little more comfortable at conversation. I'm slowly getting into German music. I listen to Deutsche Welle's slowly spoken German news, but my German isn't quite good enough yet to understand it fully.

    A German student I met yesterday also told me that the majority of physics classes in Germany (as well as the theses) are in English, which I found slightly disappointing since I was looking forward to the challenge.

    In regard to the Goethe Institute, I do plan on studying the language for a while before entering classes. I want to take a little break from heavy studying and research to absorb the culture. From what I've read and heard, the higher education system in Germany tends to be a bit more laid back and students take a lot more time to finish their degree (because it's free?). I think that will be a welcomed change to my lock-myself-in-room-and-work routine.

    Thanks again.
  7. Jul 13, 2006 #6


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    Is it straight physics you want to do?

    If you want some applied maths, all the people I've worked with from the Weierstrauss (http://www.wias-berlin.de/) are very well schooled.
  8. Jul 13, 2006 #7


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    Funny one should wonder about studying Germany. The German State of Hessen has a special advertisement on Scientific American's website this month - http://www.sciam.com/hessen/ . There are numerous pages from various universities.

    I have been to Germany several times and I have always enjoyed it. Germany and Japan are two of my favorite countries to visit.

    And Germany has many excellent universities. :smile: :cool:
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