Report October - Margarita Nadelyayeva
Why did you choose FHWS?
I chose the university very thoroughly because I had different important questions long before the immediate choice of a university. These questions were e.g. the selection of the country of study, the desired profession, a discussion of bureaucratic issues with my parents, and last but no less important, the opportunity of career growth in the area that interests me.
Ultimately, the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt (FHWS) was right for me in all the above areas.
Firstly, Germany is well-known for its high-quality technical education. It is important that the presented technical degree programs are in demand more than ever not only in Germany itself, but also around the world.
Secondly, the university offers three degree programs where education is conducted entirely in English: logistics, business and engineering, mechatronics, and starting next winter semester, robotics will also be added to this list.
Thirdly, German language courses are held at the University, where each student has the opportunity to either improve his level or start learning from scratch, - what I actually did.
Later, knowledge of German will not only significantly help in finding a job, but also provide an opportunity to participate in the TWIN program. This program, in its turn, allows you to complete your studies in German and get certified proof that you are a highly qualified specialist both in the German and international marketplace.
Other important factors in my decision-making were the partner universities of the FHWS (more than 180 universities around the world) and, of course, its location as the prospects of future travels around Europe.
Why did you choose this degree program?
I'm doing a B.Eng. "Mechatronics", in English. In the future, after graduation, I will be a highly qualified engineer in the field of mechatronic systems. The prospects of this degree program are not limited only to the automotive sector, conversely, it is a very broad direction in the issue of employment: it allows you to go deeper equally, both in medicine and in aviation, and other equally interesting fields of work. I think this was the main criterion for choosing my profession. Also, from an early age I was interested in exact sciences and directions of technical progress development.
When did you start preparing for your admission?
Taking into account that my school takes 12 years (after which each student has a direct entrance at the desired university in Germany, avoiding a Studienkolleg), I started the process of preparing for admission in summer before the 11th grade. Thanks to the advice of my parents, I created a matrix with all the important information for each university that interested me: name, location, tuition fees, necessary documents, as well as the application deadlines. For the next two years, I devoted all my free time preparing for international exams (SAT, IELTS), passing exams, writing many motivational letters and essays, awaiting recommendation letters from teachers, and submitting applications to universities. So, I managed to collect all documents in time and not miss the deadline.
How was your admission process to this degree program?
Due to the fact that European universities have the latest application periods (starting from April and ending almost September), I had enough time to study the structure of the admission process of German universities. Because of the educational system at my school, all documents were issued in English, which greatly simplified the application process and eliminated the need to translate documents from Russian into German. The key documents for my application were collected immediately, I just had to wait for the NIS 12 grade certificate (which, in fact, allows students from my school to have a direct entrance to the first year) and send an application.
Regarding the admission process at the FHWS, the procedure turned out to be quite simple, especially in comparison with the unified platform for submitting documents to German universities - Uni-assist. Instead of a complicated system of filling out many forms and a long wait for document's verification from Uni-assist, FHWS provides a website in Russian with a detailed description of all requirements, contacts of a Russian-speaking employee who is always happy to help and will answer your questions, as well as a very understandable application system through the university portal. In view of all of this, at the time I've applied for this university, I did not observe any difficulties.
How did you get a visa?
In late June, right after I received an invitation from the university, I applied for a national visa (category D) on the website of the German consulate. At that time, the closest date to submit documents for a visa was August 15th. Considering that it was too late for me, I found the number of the consulate office on the Internet, called and explained my situation and left a request for an earlier date. A few days later I received an invitation for an interview at the embassy on July 17th. I had just a bit more than two weeks to collect all the necessary documents. Fortunately, everything went well and after 23 calendar days (early August) I received an e-mail that my visa was approved and I could come to the embassy.
How did you get to the Campus from your country?
I took a flight from Astana to Frankfurt am Main, with a two-hour stopover in Warsaw. My relative met me there and after 3 hours I was already in Schweinfurt. Moving to a new country did not become a big problem for me. I think that the most difficult part of the flight from Kazakhstan to Germany was saying goodbye to the family at the airport and the subsequent feeling of homesickness.
How did you search for housing? Where do you live now?
In Germany, everyone has big problems with housing matters: there are catastrophically small amounts of flats. Many students upon arrival live in a hostel until they find a suitable apartment. I successfully dealt with the housing matters in early July and literally “snatched” a room in a private apartment-type dormitory, with excellent conditions, my own kitchen and a bathroom. From my apartment it is a 15-minutes-walk to the center, 2 minutes to the first Campus, and 10 minutes to the second one. I was very lucky in this problematic issue.
What was especially interesting and useful for you in the Orientation Program?
The decision to participate in the Orientation Program was definitely a good one. There was not only an acquaintance with the German education system, but also a lot of important issues were solved: registration, applying for a residence permit, opening a bank account and others. The University greatly simplifies all these processes and helps students get used to live in a new place.