Choice of Subject for Studying Abroad

By | December 18, 2021

After successfully completing a high school diploma, many plan to start studying. Before choosing a university and, if necessary, choosing a study country, the question arises: What should I study?

The subjects offered are as numerous as they are diverse. Business studies, mechanical engineering, German and English, law, IT and medicine are particularly popular in this country. There are also many other subjects at universities in Germany and around the world. Some of them are also very well known and very popular with students, such as pedagogy or economics. Other subjects are only known to a few, but that’s no less exciting. In any case, this is an option for prospective studentsa wealth of options so that everyone can find the right subject for their studies. When choosing a subject, prospective students should use various criteria.

General criteria for choosing a subject

Whether for a study abroad or a study at home: There are certain aspects that new students should not ignore when deciding on a subject.

Interests and skills

A basic requirement for successful studies is an interest in the subject. After all, you don’t want to spend years dealing with a topic that you actually find boring. And the job that will later result from studying should also be fun. It is therefore advisable to ask yourself when choosing a subject:

  • What was I particularly interested in at school?
  • What am I interested in in my free time?

For example, anyone who is interested in technology and likes subjects such as mathematics, physics, chemistry or computer science at school is in good hands with an engineering degree. On the other hand, outright reading grudges, for whom writing essays at school was a horror, would probably not decide to study German or English.

In this context, prospective students should also deal with their strengths and weaknesses. This applies to those in the school sector as well as in other areas.

Career aspiration

In a first degree, very few choose a subject out of pure interest, but rather to take up a career with it later. Which degree is required for a job is sometimes more, sometimes less specific. Sure: If you want to become a doctor, you have to have studied medicine, the teacher must have studied teaching and the industrial engineer must have studied industrial engineering. If, on the other hand, you would like to do “something with the media”, for example, you can enter this industry with many different subjects, for example from the field of linguistics and cultural studies.

Prospective students should therefore, of course, carefully consider what they would like to do after completing their studies before choosing a subject.

Personal and academic requirements

Do I meet the requirements for this degree? This is a central question when choosing a subject. With the Abitur, the foundation stone for a university course is already laid. However, depending on the subject, there may be other requirements. One of the hurdles in a whole range of subjects is the admission restriction through the Numerus Clausus (NC). The average grade in the Abitur determines the chance of being able to start studying in a subject. Anyone who is above the required NC value must expect waiting semesters. Especially in human medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine The NC is very high, so that it can sometimes take many years before the start of the course.

In such cases it can make a lot of sense to think about studying abroad. The study places at universities abroad are not always awarded only on the basis of the Abitur grade, but in some cases also on the basis of entrance tests and selection interviews. Studying abroad can therefore offer the opportunity to start the desired course without waiting.

In some subjects there are also special entrance exams for students in Germany. For example, applicants for the visual arts must submit a portfolio with work samples and undergo aptitude tests and selection interviews. Those who want to study music also have to take an entrance exam, and this is often the case for sports science too. You should find out in good time whether there are entrance exams for the desired subject. This also enables adequate preparation for this.

The above-mentioned interest and talent for certain school subjects are also part of the personal prerequisites for a subject. In general, when choosing a subject, it is important to have a good understanding of the content and requirements of the subjects in question.

Special aspects when choosing a subject for studying abroad

In principle, the choice of subject is initially independent of whether you want to study abroad or not. But for students who have decided to study abroad, it is worthwhile to take a closer look at the range of subjects at the universities.

Choice of subject for a bachelor’s degree abroad

At universities abroad, prospective students can find rare bachelor’s degrees that are often very specialized and have a regional connection. Examples of this are Maori Studies in New Zealand or Indigenous Australian Studies in Australia. Such special subjects are generally not or only rarely offered in this form in Germany. A bachelor’s degree abroad can also offer the opportunity to combine subjects that are not possible in Germany. So completely new study opportunities and opportunities can open up.

Choice of subject for a master’s degree abroad

What applies to the bachelor’s degree with regard to the choice of course also applies to a large extent to the master’s degree. For example, if you have a bachelor’s degree in a common field of study, you can give yourself a completely new profile with a rare master’s degree abroad. So you can – as with a rare bachelor’s degree – stand out from others on the domestic job market. Prospective master’s students should therefore consider when choosing a subject, not just for studying abroad, whether they want to build on their bachelor’s degree or go in a new directionwant. Interests and skills, career aspirations and the requirements naturally also play an important role for prospective master’s students when choosing a subject.

Special feature: semester abroad

Students who want to spend a semester abroad do not have to choose a subject, but they do have to choose courses. Since many would like to have their study achievements from abroad recognized at home, they often choose courses that belong to their subject at the home university. This need not be. Freemovers are not assigned to a specific department. For this reason, courses from the entire range of subjects at the university are usually available to them. Semester students therefore have the opportunity to choose courses that are not subject to their subject abroad and thus expand their educational horizons.

Choice of Subject for Studying Abroad