Another type of study abroad is the full study abroad. Anyone who goes abroad for more than a year and would like to spend their entire studies there can acquire a bachelor’s or master’s degree at a foreign university or do a doctorate.
The Bachelor is a degree that is common around the world. Since the implementation of the Bologna reform, it has also been established nationwide in Germany and Europe. The bachelor’s degree usually leads to the first academic degree. You can take it immediately after acquiring the general higher education entrance qualification (Abitur), the subject-specific higher education entrance qualification (Fachabitur) or – depending on the country and type of university – also the technical college entrance qualification.
The duration of the bachelor’s degree usually varies between three and four years. In Europe, Australia or New Zealand it is usually three years, whereas in the USA it is four years. The American bachelor’s degree also differs in terms of content from the bachelor’s degree programs in other countries: In the first two years of study, students mainly attend general education courses from various fields of science. Only from the third year of studies does the course focus on the chosen subject. There is usually no such technical subdivision in other countries.
The Bachelor of Honors is another special type of Bachelor. It is widespread in Great Britain and other countries that are based on the British study system such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The specific modalities can vary between the individual countries. In any case, however, very good study and examination results are required to obtain this degree.
Anyone who decides on a bachelor’s degree abroad should definitely find out about the recognition options in Germany beforehand. If you stay in another European country, recognition is usually quite unproblematic thanks to the Bologna reform and EU-wide cooperation agreements. For degrees from outside of Europe, there are usually no corresponding agreements with Germany. It is advisable to conduct particularly good research into the recognition options beforehand.
The master’s degree is also widely used around the world and has also been predominant in Germany and Europe since the Bologna reform. The master’s program is a postgraduate course for which a bachelor’s degree is usually the entry requirement.
The duration of the master’s course varies between one and two years. In English-speaking countries, such as Great Britain, the USA or Australia, a distinction is largely made between two different types of master’s degree: The Master by Coursework consists primarily of courses, while the Master by Research focuses on independent research.
There is a very wide range of master’s specializations abroad. Not all of these are also offered in Germany, so that the step to this type of study abroad often opens up opportunities that do not exist at home.
Particularly noteworthy are courses such as the Master of Business Administration (MBA) or the Master of Laws (LL.M.):
- The MBA is a practice-oriented master’s degree in the field of corporate management that qualifies for leadership and management positions. Entry requirement is a bachelor’s degree, regardless of the subject, professional experience can also be required.
- The LL.M. is an international additional qualification for lawyers and especially interesting for those who want to join large international law firms or companies. Entry requirements for the LL.M. For German applicants, this is usually the successfully passed first state examination in law.
Interested parties should also find out about the recognition options in Germany beforehand for the master’s abroad. For employers in the private sector, formal recognition of the degree is usually less important than the experience gained abroad. However, recognition is essential for positions in the public service or for those taking up a doctoral degree.
You can also complete a doctoral degree abroad. The doctorate usually follows on from a master’s degree. In some countries, it is also possible to start doctoral studies with a Bachelor of Honors. The core of the doctorate is the dissertation, an extensive research work that must provide new scientific knowledge in its discipline.
In English-speaking countries, the doctoral degree in most subjects is called Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). The PhD program usually lasts between three and four years.
A PhD abroad is a suitable type of study abroad especially for those who are aiming for an international career in research or business. The PhD title is much better known internationally than the German doctoral degree and the experience gained abroad is another big plus for a career worldwide. In Germany, a PhD is usually recognized as a doctorate, only the provisions for the use of the university degree must be observed: The PhD may be used as an addition to the name, to use the German Dr. however, it is not always entitled.
Postgraduate courses abroad
In many countries, postgraduate courses as an additional qualification and shorter alternatives to the master’s degree are widespread. The entry requirement is a first degree, usually a bachelor’s degree. Postgraduate courses are offered in almost all subjects. They enable a specialization or broadening of knowledge or a reorientation towards another subject area.
In English-speaking countries, postgraduate courses are often referred to as (Post) Graduate Certificates or (Post) Graduate Diplomas. The duration of the study varies between several months and a year and is therefore quite short.
A postgraduate course abroad can be an alternative to the mostly longer master’s course. However, the (post) graduate certificates and (post) graduate diplomas are generally not recognized as academic degrees in Germany. However, if you only want to acquire an additional qualification abroad in order to upgrade your CV, you can save time and money with a postgraduate course.