During our first trimester we are already confronted with the "semester abroad". To most of the students it is clear immediately : I want to go abroad!
However,the semester abroad is only in the third year, which means that a lot can still change. Some students want to stay in Germany! This is where it comes in handy, that accadis has made it possible to have an international experience in Germany, because the equivalence study is known for its international lecturers and the lectures, which are held exclusively in English.
To all students who have thought about the equivalence studies several times so far, this article might be especially helpful.
For this article we have asked three of our students who are currently in equivalence studies to share their opinions with us.
Dear equivalence students, thank you for taking the time to answer some of our questions. Although there is a nice selection of partner universities, you have chosen to study equivalence. Why?
In fact, there is a very wide selection of partner universities for studying abroad. Personally, I liked equivalence studies more because they give me the opportunity to attend English lectures with interesting lecturers from abroad. Furthermore, there were many personal reasons that convinced me to do the equivalence study: the closeness to family and friends, my working student job and of course the financial aspect.
What are the advantages of equivalence studies?
For me, the biggest advantage is definitely that I can continue to work alongside my studies. If I had gone abroad, I would have wanted to enjoy my time there and experience as much as possible. That together with a job during my studies would have been difficult to combine. For me, the experience abroad can be better combined with a full-time job after my studies, because there is enough money left to do something after work and on weekends.
Lecturers from different countries, who all have a different way of teaching, grown structures, jobs, own living space near the university
What is the difference between the regular lectures in the first two years and the lectures during equivalence studies?
It is probably most striking that all lectures in equivalence studies are held in English. But if you take a closer look, there is much more that distinguishes the lectures from the regular ones. Through the guest lecturers from different countries you get to know many aspects of other cultures first hand. Many anecdotes from the home countries of the lecturers make you think and you notice, for example, when you hear what the social conditions in South Africa are like, how well we are actually doing here in Germany.
The biggest difference between the lectures of equivalence studies and those of the first two years is probably the number of hours we spend at university. In contrast to the lectures of the first two years, the focus in equivalence studies is more on the work we do at home than on the hours we actually spend at university. This is a huge advantage for me, as I like to organize my tasks myself from home and do them when it suits my schedule. 😉
If your fellow students come from abroad, do you have the feeling that you are missing something?
Absolutely not, you have not experienced a change of place and thus got to know a foreign culture, but you can still travel later or be transferred to another country professionally, if you want to. I am just more than satisfied with my decision to stay here. Through my work as a student trainee, I gather impressions in an area that I have always wanted to get a taste of.
In your opinion, why do so many people decide to study equi anyway? What makes it so special?
In my opinion, what makes it special is the interaction of all components: the guest lecturers, the subjects themselves and the individual planning of the work outside the classroom hours.
I think for many it is a financial aspect. Because the tuition fee
is not enough, travel costs, accommodation and living expenses are also incurred.
What advice would you give to your fellow students who are not sure whether they will go abroad or stay here?
An experience abroad is certainly very attractive and exciting. But you should first think about what you're giving up here. If you have a job that is fun and lays the foundations for entering the world of work after graduation, then you should think carefully about whether a semester abroad is absolutely necessary. If you decide to go abroad again at some point, you have to consider what kind of company you would like to join after your studies. If you join a company, it is usually not a problem to be transferred abroad for a certain period of time. Another possibility is, of course, to decide to study a project abroad. Here, too, you combine work and international experience, which I think is a very good alternative to a semester abroad.
What are three pros and three cons arguments for and against studying equivalence ?
Lucia Schmitt, Kirstin Gerlach, Lena Amrein:
- Lack of experience abroad
- No further cultural training
- Fewer modules to choose from
- Lower cost
- Proximity to home
- Fewer attendance hours
If you had a choice again, would you still choose equi-study or not? Why would your decision look like this?
I would opt for equivalence studies again. In the three months, I have gained important work experience, which in my opinion prepares me better for the world of work than three months abroad.
I would always opt for equivalence studies again: I am very satisfied with my decision. We learn a lot - especially English during our exam work (mostly homework). Although we have a lot of work at home, it is easy to divide it up so that you have plenty of spare time.
What is the choice of courses? Would you say that there is rather a wide choice of subjects? Which lectures did you choose? What is your curriculum?
In my opinion, the choice of courses is rather small. We had the opportunity to choose between six modules four. In terms of content, however, the choice is very broad: it ranges from International HR Management to Behavioral Economics or the International Research Project. The lectures focus on international contexts and explain and apply the theories and principles on an international basis that we know from lectures in the first two years, for example.
I have taken the following subjects: Global Politics, International Research Project, The Power of Social Technology and International HR Management The Power of Social Technology was an online course that took place every evening. I had two modules as a block (i.e. 1-2 weeks in a row always at the same time) and in the research project a short introduction was given on only one Saturday, the rest is worked out in the group.
What do you think of the lecturers? Where do you come from? Is there someone you find particularly interesting?
The lecturers were all very sympathetic. They came from different countries, in my case from South Africa, the Netherlands and the USA. I especially enjoyed the course The Power of Social Technology with Mrs Howell-Vischer, because I found her way of presenting very interesting and entertaining.
Dr. Smith gave us exciting insights into everyday life in South Africa. Here I learned a lot about the culture and the people.