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Other I find myself in a science 'no focus' country.

  1. Jun 27, 2017 #1
    I'm from Nigeria, and currently in my second year studying physics
    Its so unfortunate that my country has no interests whatsoever in science, and its affecting the whole science education system.
    Nearly everyone wants to study medicine, or any engineering course, because those are the only recognised courses in science, so most people who study physical sciences like physics are the ones who didn't make enough grades to study medicine.
    So I find myself among people who do not appreciate what they study, and a physics department without basic amenities.
    The future for a physicist is so scary in my country, I've seen people who studied physics working as bankers and so many unrelated jobs.
    What do you advise I do, should I just follow the trend. I'm really out of options because I don't think I have the money to study abroad.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 27, 2017 #2
    This is a tough situation to be in.. But you are wrong in one thing: you can study abroad. Just not UK/USA where they will demand tuition.

    Germany, Scandinavia, France etc. etc. are at least as good as the US/UK, they have no tuition, they take in good students from the 3rd World and they often give out stipends too (and if you can't get a stipend, you could always find a menial job to support you in your studies). The education's in English too, at the MS level. If I were you, I'd just learn as much as possible, get top grades and start thinking about doing a MS thesis abroad.
  4. Jun 29, 2017 #3
    Some information about Germany: (I'm German and I have studied at the universities of Heidelberg and Munich)
    It is not true that German universities have no tuition. It is true that the tuition is very very low, so low that it will never be your primary concern, but the costs of living will be. In Munich (Bavaria) tuition is about 120€ per semester. Heidelberg (Baden-Württemberg) was similar, I don't remember it exactly. According to the German constitution, education is a matter of the federal states, therefore the amount of tuition varies across the country. But I guarantee you it is nowhere in Germany higher than 500€ per semester.
    The cost of living depends on some factors. Munich is by far the most expensive place in Germany. Heidelberg is a bit cheaper, but definitely not cheap (but very very beautiful, unlike Munich). In general, cities in the east of Germany (the former GDR) have lower living costs and a much more relaxed housing market (by the way, Leipzig University offers a physics Bachelor program in English language; under academic aspects, Leipzig is okay, but it would not be my first choice for physics, and not my second choice either; but you could e.g. do your Bachelor's degree there and then do your Master's degree somewhere else, if German is a problem for you).
    To give you some numbers: You'd get along everywhere in Germany with 900€ a month for everything (tuition, housing, food and all that, books, health insurance). You'll be off *much* cheaper (say, 700€ a month) if you apply for student housing (-> "Studentenwohnheim", usually run by the "Studentenwerk/Studierendenwerk <city name>").
    Also, have a look at the DAAD (Deutscher akademischer Austauschdienst, "German academic exchange service"). They provide generous scholarships for foreigners who want to study in Germany and for Germans who want to study abroad. https://www.daad.de/en/

    And a final remark on the teaching language: Bachelor programs are mostly taught in German (Leipzig is the only exception I'm aware of). Many Master programs are in English, but not all (but the top universities make it English, because they want to recruit the best scientists from all over the world). That being said, the top universities for physics are clearly LMU Munich, TU Munich and U Heidelberg (yes, there is a reason why I went there). The M.Sc. programs of all three of them are in English language, and they all have many international students (including a former fellow student of mine from Nigeria).

    PS: Oh, and one potentially important information. Several friends from outside the EU have told me that they had to prove they have a certain amount of money on their accounts (I don't know how much exactly, but it was in the order of magnitude of some 1,000€, I think). Not for university admission, but for getting a visa.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
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