The advantages of studying in English

In a world that is being increasingly globalized, the language of instruction at universities is of greater importance than ever before. Both in Germany and abroad, an increasing number of English-language programs and courses are being offered by universities and other academic institutions. In the field of economics, in particular, English has become the number one language of instruction in a number of countries. As a world language, English is a precondition for working in many industries and companies. Without a solid knowledge of English, it is almost impossible to pursue a career in many countries and industries. Against such a background, students are starting to learn English from the first grade onward everywhere around the world. We are not going to answer the question as to what extent early language education is meaningful. The purpose of this article is to deal with the advantages of studying in English compared to studying in German (or any other language).

First, a distinction should be made between English-language study programs in Germany and abroad. If you have decided to follow a program in English rather than German, we would advise you to study abroad. English-language courses in Germany are definitely a good way to prepare yourself for an international career, but the impact on your overall language skills would be far less than by studying in English in a foreign country. Following an English-language study program in Germany, you will likely continue to speak German outside the lecture halls and seminar rooms. However, you will not have this possibility abroad. Do not underestimate this point. You will primarily succeed in improving your English skills by speaking English not only at university but in everyday life.

Studying in English at home

As mentioned above, in economics and business administration, in particular, many courses at German universities are already taught in English. It can be asked whether you will ultimately profit more from these courses than by attending a training in business English. However, if you do not have the opportunity to study abroad, such courses offer a good alternative. If you want to follow a Master’s degree program, many universities in Germany offer a wide range of courses taught exclusively in English. Most of them have a very high international orientation in order to prepare students for an international career. If you aim at an international career and you do not have the possibility to study abroad, we would definitely advise you to follow an English-language study program in Germany.

Studying in English abroad

As mentioned earlier, if you really want to improve your command over English, we would recommend you to enroll at a university abroad, preferably in an English-speaking country. Getting a degree from an academic institution in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia or any other English-speaking country in the world is definitely the best way to perfect your English. You will learn technical English in your study program, as well as conversational English outside your university. After a couple of years of being surrounded by English-speakers, your ears, brains, and tongue will be perfectly familiar with listening to, understanding, and speaking English at a high level. Therefore, you will be well-prepared for a career in your English-speaking host country or anywhere else.

Why an English-language study program is useful

In regard to its content, the language of instruction of your study program is less relevant. Ultimately, you will acquire the same knowledge, whether you are studying in German or in English. However, a study program taught in English might turn out to be more useful when it comes to your future career. Your English language skills will be excellent after having finished your education. Being able to communicate easily in both a professional and a private setting is a highly appreciated qualification in many industries. Given the choice between two job candidates—one with a degree from an English-language program, the other from a German-language program—a personnel manager will probably hire the first candidate.

In addition, you should be aware that in many academic fields, English is the undisputed common technical language worldwide. Particularly in engineering, natural, and business sciences, English is the language of communication in academia, and most articles and books around the world are written and published in English. Therefore, by studying in English, you will benefit from the great advantage of having access to a larger extent and more up-to-date literature and information.

Don’t forget that your studies are a “door-opener” to the business world. These days, an increasing number of people move abroad to pursue their careers. By having completed an English-language study, you will encounter lower language barriers in most countries and it will be easier for you to build an international career. On the other hand, graduates of a German-language study will generally require more intensive preparation for an international career. Consequently, management positions in international companies might be denied to them.

To summarize, it can be said that it definitely pays to complete an English-language study. Most employers place great importance on foreign language skills and will appreciate your background.

Personal benefits

In addition to career-related advantages, an English-speaking education will also benefit your personal development. Your enhanced English language skills will facilitate communication with international students. By meeting and talking to people from around the world, you will gain insights into other cultures and different ways of life. This unique experience will open up new perspectives and ideas for your own life. You will be surprised at how much you can profit from the cultural exchange with your fellow students.

Further options

If you have decided against an English-language study in a foreign country, but still want to improve your language skills outside your home country, you have the option of studying a semester abroad. This will enable you to speak and study in English for a limited period of time. Of course, one or two semesters cannot be compared to the experience of completing your whole study program abroad. Nevertheless, your language skills will benefit considerably from this short-term stay abroad.

Additional information

There are countless websites covering the subject of “studying in English.” We want to recommend three sites to you that we consider very useful in the context of finding the right study program and university.

If you are looking for an English-language study program in Germany, you should have a look at the website of the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD. On this website, you will find a complete list of (fully and partly) English-language study programs offered by German universities. We highly recommend the website’s search engine, which offers you the possibility to search the programs by field, city, and degree.

If you are interested in an English language study abroad, two websites — Mastersportal and Bachelorsportal — will help you in choosing a study program that matches your criteria. Both websites offer a search function, where you can enter your preferred field of study and your target country. Based on this information, you will be offered a list of universities where you can study your desired program.




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