I cannot say for everyone, but for me there were specific reasons why I chose Germany as my destination for the next two years. For those of you, who don’t know I shall be moving there this winter to start my studies in Bavaria.
My first visit to Germany back in October’13 was quite something. I absolutely loved the country and I knew one day I would definitely want to come back to live here. More specifically these were my top reasons for choosing to move there:
- Zero tuition fees
Unlike other popular countries for higher education, one thing that absolutely stood out for me was the lack of any tuition fees in public colleges in Germany. The quality of education is also consistently high across universities and disciplines. The so called ‘ranking’ system is neither popular nor quite accurate for the colleges in Germany. Having already spent a bomb on my masters in India, this was a clear win for me when I had to pick between Canada, France, UK & Germany.
- Learning a new language
My German proficiency is definitely worse than an average German’s English. This was a great incentive for me to move to a country where I would get to integrate into a completely new culture. Having always been a culturist at heart, I think the best way to really connect to a culture is by speaking and understanding their language. Not to mention, gaining a whole new network that you could not possibly have otherwise!
- Excellent connectivity
Suffering from constant itchy feet, its a dream to be in country with excellent public transport infrastructure. I wouldn’t have to think twice before planning a trip to a nearby village or a neighbouring country for that matter. No complicated bus or train routes to figure out how to get to a place. Germany has brilliant connectivity to every little village down on the map.The only thing possibly straining me would be my student budget, having given up my full time job in India. But I hope to find a solution for that, knowing as I can’t be still in one place for too long.
- Work life balance
I have spent the last two years working three different jobs in three different cities, changing over 5 apartments, and still working 80 hours/week on average. Now, this hasn’t been pretty at all. I have burned out much faster than expected, and destroyed personal relationships along the way. I can’t necessarily blame the work culture in India or Asia for that matter, since the sectors I chose to be in were very competitive and developing. But, this made me realise even more, how much I craved a sense of balance. I knew I had to leave India for while, to get a better shot at finding it. I also craved to live a more active lifestyle, which India’s overtly jammed cities made impossible. I couldn’t just whip out my bike or take impromptu runs given some one could run over me easily along the way. Parks and open spaces are not necessarily in abundance and located close-by in bigger cities and taking a cab to go to a park kind of beats the point. I hope to be able to change this lifestyle in Germany and hopefully adopt a healthier one.
- New career vistas
Having been heavily involved in business and all things related for the last four years, I feel like I still desire to work on topics that influence people in more than just monetary ways. I would love to have the option to work with global organisations that work for causes bigger than just monetary gains. I feel particularly strong towards women empowerment and child education, having grown up in India, where over 25% of the population is still illiterate. How can we grow, when 250 million people amongst us can’t even speak, read & write in one particular language? The next two years should give me a solid grounding in development studies, and I hope I come out of this process stronger.
So, these are my top reasons for making the move to Germany. What are yours?