Germany, officially known as the Federal Republic of Germany, a parliamentary state consists of 16 states and its capital and largest city is Berlin and is bordered by 8 countries namely France, Poland, Czech Republic, Denmark, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and Austria. It is the most populous state in the European Union and has the 4th largest economy. Subsequently, it is the 2nd largest exporter and the 3rd largest importer of goods. It is also a member of NATO, OSCE, OECD, G8, CERN, Schengen Convention amongst many other important international organizations. The country has developed a very high standard of living and features a comprehensive system of social security, which includes the world's oldest universal health care system. Germany has been the home of many influential philosophers, music composers, scientists and inventors, and is known for its rich cultural and political history.
Germany has grown to become one of the top destinations to study around the world. With traditions of excellence dating back hundreds of years, high class institutions at every corner and much more flexibility than many other countries, and education which does not cost as much as other countries. But what makes Germany stand out? Why should you make Germany a destination to further your international education?
The degrees and qualifications from German higher education institutions are known around the world as high quality and world class. The standard of excellence is set by some of the older universities with recognizable names, like ETH Zurich, University of Munich, Technical University, University of Heidelberg, University of Freiburg, Leipzig University, Humboldt University of Berlin, Free University of Berlin, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology but the tradition carries through to many of the universities and colleges throughout Germany.
Germany's achievements in the sciences have been significant, and research and development efforts form an integral part of the economy.
The Nobel Prize has been awarded to 103 German laureates. For most of the 20th century, German laureates had more awards than those of
any other nation, especially in the sciences (physics, chemistry, and physiology or medicine).
The work of Albert Einstein and Max Planck was crucial to the foundation of modern physics, which Werner Heisenberg and Max Born developed further. They were preceded by such key physicists as Hermann von Helmholtz, Joseph von Fraunhofer and Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit, among others. Wilhelm Röntgen discovered X-rays and was the first winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901. Research institutions in Germany include the Max Planck Society, the Helmholtz Association and the Fraunhofer Society. The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize is granted to ten scientists and academics every year. With a maximum of €2.5 million per award it is one of highest endowed research prizes in the world.
Germany has been the home of many famous inventors and engineers, such as Johannes Gutenberg, credited with the invention of movable type printing in Europe; Hans Geiger, the creator of the Geiger counter; and Konrad Zuse, who built the first fully automatic digital computer. German inventors, engineers and industrialists such as Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, Otto Lilienthal, Gottlieb Daimler, Rudolf Diesel, Hugo Junkers and Karl Benz helped shape modern automotive and air transportation technology. Aerospace engineer Wernher von Braun developed the first space rocket and later on was a prominent member of NASA and developed the Saturn V Moon rocket, which paved the way for the success of the US Apollo program. Heinrich Rudolf Hertz's work in the domain of electromagnetic radiation was pivotal to the development of modern telecommunication
Germany is one of the leading countries in developing and using green technologies. Companies specializing in green technology have an estimated turnover of €200 billion. Key sectors of Germany's green technology industry are power generation, sustainable mobility, material efficiency, energy efficiency, waste management and recycling, and sustainable water management.
Germany is a land of ideas. Education, science and research play a central role here. In a Europe free of borders and a world of
globalized markets, education lays the basis, enabling us to exploit the opportunities open borders and world-wide knowledge networks
offer. The German education and university system is undergoing a profound process of renewal that is already bearing fruit: Germany
is one of the countries most preferred by foreign students, a hub of cutting-edge international research and a constant source of new
Germany's universities are recognized internationally; in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) for 2008, six of the top 100 universities in the world are in Germany, and 18 of the top 200. A great portion of the German universities is public, thus state-funded. In 2012, only two of the 16 states of Germany charged tuition fees up to 500€ per semester at state-funded colleges, while in 14 states tuition was provided free of charge. Universities typically offer four-year undergraduate programs leading to bachelor's degrees. Advanced degrees include master's degrees, generally requiring two years of study after a first degree, and doctoral degrees, requiring three to five years of postgraduate study and research as well as a dissertation. Thus, it has a dual education system that combines practical and theoretical education.
There is another type of post-Abitur university training in Germany: the Fachhochschulen (Universities of Applied Sciences), which offer degrees similar to those at a traditional university, but often concentrate on applied science (as the English name suggests). At a traditional university, it is important to study "why" a method is scientifically right: however, this is less important at Universities of Applied Science. Here the emphasis is placed on what systems and methods exist, where they come from, their advantages and disadvantages, how to use them in practice, when they should be used, and when not. To get on-the-job experience, internship semesters are a mandatory part of studying at a Fachhochschule. Therefore the students at U-o-A-S are better trained in transferring learned knowledge and skills into practice while students of traditional universities are better trained in method developing.
Germany has about 82 million inhabitants. It is by far the largest country in the EU in terms of population. Germany is a modern,
cosmopolitan country. Its society is shaped by a plurality of life styles and truly different ethno-cultural diversity. Forms of
coexistence have become more varied, and the scope individuals enjoy has become greater. Traditional gender roles have been dispensed
with. Despite the social changes, the family remains the most important social reference unit and young people have very close bonds
with their parents
In the last decade, Germany has repeatedly been chosen by UN as one of the best places to live in the world. It is ranked 5th by the Human Development Index in the world. The reasons listed included: high education enrollment levels; high-quality, low cost education; universal healthcare system; an uncompromising respect for fundamental rights and human dignity; clean and safe cities; and cosmopolitan, multicultural ethnic cities with many recreational amenities.