Foreign countries offer free education opportunities
In Germany, students, including Americans, have the option to attend higher education for free. | Eliana Park/THE CHIMES
As tuition continues to rise in America, including at Biola, more students consider going to Germany to study for free, according to The Washington Post.
German School System
Currently in Germany there are about 10,000 U.S. citizens studying in a degree program for free, or with a small university fee for covering administrative costs and students unions, according to NBC. There are also six other countries where Americans can study for free, including Finland, France, Sweden, Norway, Slovenia and Brazil, according to The Washington Post. However, the German school system differs from America.
“In order to [go to school for free,] the first before you try in even looking into that stuff is you have to graduate high school with at least five AP [classes],” said Hannah Robinson, freshman intercultural studies major, who attended high school in Germany. “The German system of schooling is different so basically the five APs is just them saying ‘Oh this is the level that all of our high school grads are at so just checking that you’re at the same level.’”
The option of studying for free is tempting and the system is strong, but one also must keep in mind that higher education opportunities in Germany are often trade schools.
“Once you’re there and you’re studying and you choose what you’re going to study you learn everything about it, but there’s not much of a general education process, they do that in high school,” said Stephanie Herron, senior psychology major who lived in Germany for six months.
Although education in Germany differs from the typical college experience in America, there are also benefits to studying and then possibly living in Germany.
One of the reasons education is paid for is because Germany needs more skilled workers, according to The Washington Post.
“There was a lot of change in the German political standings and how they accept foreign students when I was there,” Herron said. “they’re really big about wanting to continue to have inner German societies continue to evolve…so they have a hard time accepting students to come in if it’s working.”
By trying to keep the German culture and attract students at the same time, Germany has schools in German and English. According to studyportals.eu through The Washington Post, there are at least 900 courses taught in all English in Germany.
“I think it’s a really cool idea, if they do they need to be prepared for culture shock, I think a lot of people don’t realize how different Germany is from America,” Robinson said. “And then just doing everything in a different language because it would all be in German that’s like more energy than just doing normal school because you have to think in a language that’s not your own.”
Though she has never studied in Germany, the prospect of learning about the German culture and studying in an advanced setting provides a unique option for students like sophomore art major Rachel Ji.
“I think Americans studying in Germany could be a good thing, since they’d get to live in and experience a different culture, and Germany is a place of innovation, especially in science, philosophy and psychology,” Ji said. “On the other hand, to me having to pay tuition could be a good thing, since it seems to make one value their education more and not take it for granted.”