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Growing Number Of American Students Moving To Germany

| by Jordan Smith

An increasing number of American students are choosing to take degrees at German higher education institutions.

The latest figures show that more than 10,000 students from the U.S. are currently enrolled at universities and colleges in Germany, NBC News reported.

This marks a rise of close to 9 percent compared to the last academic year.

Over a longer term, the increase has been dramatic, going up 56 percent between 2003 and 2013.

One major benefit for students is that, in the main, no tuition fees are paid to attend school. Instead, dues are paid by students each semester to fund administrative costs.

“For my undergraduate studies in the United States, I needed a lot of loans,” Natasha Turner told NBC. “After my studies in Germany I essentially finish with no loans at all.”

While some institutions charge modest fees, they are not usually more than a few hundred dollars per month.

In some areas, accommodation at a reduced price is available and passes for public transport systems are included for registered students.

“I just have time and space in Berlin that I really think I wouldn’t have access to if I were living in the Bay Area, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago,” Casey Detrow told NPR. “I have an affordable lifestyle and, you know, I have a room of my own. I have time and space to sit in my little apartment and kind of exhale and read and study.”

The German Academic Exchange Service offers scholarships to some students attending courses.

Another major benefit is the high quality of the institutions. According to London's Times Higher Education magazine rankings, three German universities made it into the top 50 global institutions, out of a total of around 20,000.

“Germany and its universities have quite a good reputation in the U.S.,” Dorothea Rueland, Secretary General of the German Academic Exchange Service told NBC. “And we have a huge increase in courses taught in English and this obviously makes it easier for American students to channel into the German system.”

The universities are funded by the federal German government and 16 state governments. In 2015, almost 1 percent of GDP was spent on education.

Rueland told NBC that Germany benefits from this, because almost half of all students stay in Germany after completing their degrees. This means they pay taxes and fill skilled jobs in the labor market.

Sources: NBC News, NPR / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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