Monday, 27 January 2014

Trade Fairs in Germany

Trade fairs in Germany are instrumental for students studying courses related to Trading, Marketing and communication. It is widely known that about two thirds of the world's leading trade fairs take place in Germany. These exhibitions have a significant impetus around the globe and provide an opportunity of international exposure of niche and renowned business corporations. The facts of the Trade fairs in Germany say it all! 3 of the 5 largest exhibition centres in the world are located in Germany. To add on, 4 of the 10 highest performing trade fair organizers in the world are based here in Germany. This makes the German trade fair industry one of the leading service sectors both domestically as well as internationally. As much as it benefits the international traders, it also benefits German companies. These trade fairs are among the most important tools for business-to-business communication.
Exhibitors and visitors spend a total of around €12 billion every year on trade fairs in Germany. Overall these trade fairs boost annual economic output by €23.5 billion. There are many Trade fairs taking place almost every month in major cities. These are detailed below.

Cologne Trade fairs (Koelnmesse)
Cologne Trade fairs holds about 75 international trade fairs and 2.000 conferences with about 340.000 visitors. It claims to be Germany’s largest organizer of trade fairs on its own site. It is also the Number 1 trade fair location for more than 25 commercial sectors.
Here is the list of Cologne Trade fairs:

Duesseldorf Trade fairs (Messe Düsseldorf)
Messe Düsseldorf has organized about 50 international trade fairs, among which 24 are regarded as No. 1 events. Nearly one fifth of all the world‘s premier trade shows take place in Düsseldorf. The lines of business covered by Messe Düsseldorf are:
  • Plant, machinery and other capital goods 
  • Retail, skilled crafts and services
  • Medical systems and healthcare
  • Fashion and lifestyle
  • Leisure
Here is the list of about 50 trade fairs in Dusseldorf this year:

Nuernberg Trade fairs (NürnbergMesse)
NürnbergMesse is regarded as one of the 15 largest exhibition companies in the world and also amongst the Top Ten in Europe. It has organized about 120 national and international exhibitions and congresses and about 40 sponsored pavilions at the Nürnberg location as well as worldwide.
Here is the list of more than 50 Trade fairs in Neurnberg this year:

Frankfurt Trade fairs
Messe Frankfurt organizes events for Technology & Production, Consumer Goods & Leisure, Textiles & Textile Technologies, Mobility & Infrastructure and Consumer Goods & Entertainment.

To find out the Trade fairs in Germany in January 2014, you can find reliable information here:

Image sources:,

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Student Health Insurance

German Healthcare system is considered to have one of the world's highly qualified fleet of doctors. As a student in a German University, one benefits from the optimum health care coverage in Germany through a German health insurance policy or one from their homeland. It is mandatory to have a health insurance while one studies (or even works) in Germany. It is usually recommended to take up a health insurance policy by a German health insurance provider, because it is easier for the medical organisations to process here. The private insurance policy from one's homeland may not be enough to insure the costs of German healthcare organisations here. It may also cover only a small number of German hospital services, which may not necessarily be in the same town as the University. Monthly Insurance premiums are generally set on graduated scale according to age, costing usually about 80 euros (age below 27 years). The most well known German health Insurance providers include:



Once covered by a health insurance provider in Germany, one receives an insurance card. Student is usually covered in terms of medication costs at pharmacies (when prescribed by doctor) dentist operating costs, regular check-ups and more. Generally, there are insurance restrictions for the following services" tooth replacement, glasses, psychotherapy and pregnancy. For some insurance companies, there are certain waiting times for some treatments. As a patient in Germany, one also has a right to choose your own doctor. It is important to get a copy of insurance coverage terms , as soon as one is insured.

Image sources: Microsoft Office word Clip Art

Choosing your subjects!

Studying in a country where the Universities provide advantages of flexibility and encouragement to study across wide stream of possibilities, often demands higher personal initiative, attention and planning. In German Universities, students leverage both, selecting the area of interest and choosing the time to study them. This is a great benefit, allowing students to plan their own schedules for the semester, explore their areas of interest to even the widest possible choices. The general University course curriculum is divided into modules where each module consists of several subjects. Some of these modules are mandatory for a student towards degree accomplishment, thus are the subjects in these modules. Rest of the modules provide students with various options to choose their subjects. Also, the subject exams can be registered as per student’s convenience. All this definitely seems to be positive, but has its call for duty! 
Choosing wisely the options and planning the semesters in advance can be very fruitful in accomplishing the degree in appropriate time. In order to plan out the study courses and semesters there are various services available at the university itself. There are University advisory services for students, introductory events and international students’ guide events where a student can talk and consult to their seniors and the course coordinators. There are various country specific organisations too helping the international students to plan out their course of study. It is highly recommended to take advantage of these events and services at the University while planning the study courses. Apart from selecting the study courses, there are several other factors to keep a note of. Such as the lectures, exams, tutorials, etc. Each course usually, has number of pre-planned lectures, each followed by a tutorial, then eventually a written or an oral exam at the end of the semester. The students are required to register for each of these events for a subject. The lectures and tutorials and usually not mandatory however are of great assistance and advantage towards learning the subject. Course, tutorial or examination changes are often announced through emails or online notice boards. Apart from these, there are several seminars, projects and lab assignments that help to achieve that extra edge in learning the subject. 
All the courses or subjects are graded on a scale of 1.0 to 5.0 (generally). The highest grading is 1.0 and 5.0 is considered as a fail, where 4.0 would be a just pass. There are individual University regulations for re-appearing an exam for a course, which are readily available on the course, institute providing the course or University website. Also, the University generally provides the flexibility to change the registered subjects.

Image sources: Microsoft Office word Clip Art

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Scholarships & funding

Studying in a foreign land, brings with it a whole new experience of meeting people from varied cultures and backgrounds, to a change in thinking, ideas and learning. But, there are strings attached! One may find studying in European countries like Germany expensive, if not for the University fees then may be for the cost of living. However, it is possible to earn while you study through several means. Through a part time job (check out: Getting job as an International student, November 2013) and/or scholarships and funding. There are various types of scholarships available to partially or fully support your study and / or stay in Germany. There are a bunch of scholarships for new comers, for country specific students, for those in the last semesters of study, and lots more. The scholarship application package should usually consist of the identity and address proof, previous study transcripts, application form and CV. Please note that these are general guidelines and individual scholarship applications have specific requirements of documents for application. Personally submitting the scholarship application could be beneficial, not in all cases though.

There are number of scholarships provided by DAAD organisation every year. It is beneficial to check this website for the available scholarships meeting your individual criteria, at below link 
Apart from this the University websites will also provide a list of available scholarships.

Here is a list of links, (apart from DAAD website already mentioned above) which will help you find such scholarships and funding:

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Living costs for student in Germany

Living in Germany as an international student could be expensive, with expenses starting from daily grocery shopping, study lamp, room heating costs, semester fees, room rent up to health insurance and more! Living as a student in Germany the average monthly expense is about 600 Euros.The expenses can be divided into three categories: Living expenses, University expenses, miscellaneous expenses.

Note: All the costs mentioned are with respect to cities like Aachen, Dresden, Duisburg, Essen, etc. The costs may rise in case of big cities like Munich, Dusseldorf, Cologne, etc. Also the costs can be varying with respect to the taste and lifestyle of an individual.

Living expenses
This includes expenses for room rent, daily grocery, heating for room, restaurant visits, and transport expenses. The total expense on average will range from 300 Euros to 500 Euros. (For more detailed list find it here: Although, many University provide students with travel facility up to a certain boundary at highly reduced rates (which are usually included in the semester fees). Apart from these, there could be onetime expense for furniture and kitchen cutlery, in case of unfurnished apartments. These expenses can range from 300 Euros to 700 Euros.

University expenses
This would constitute majorly of semester fees. Germany has been one of the most encouraging nations, when it comes to education. The government funding for about 11 major Universities  helps these Universities to encourage research projects as well as provide many courses at a very low cost. Thus in case of such courses the fees range from 200 Euros to 700 Euros. In case other courses the fees could range from 1000 Euros to 4000 Euros per semester. (A semester is of 6 months duration period). Apart from this, there could be other costs for industrial visits, ID cards, etc. which are low and will not generally exceed a hundred Euros.

Miscellaneous expenses
This will include costs for Health Insurance, medical expenses, occasional travel and trips, parties, etc. Health Insurance expenses usually range from 70 Euros to 90 Euros per month. Medical expenses will include occasional medicine costs in case of illness or uneasiness. This could also include special treatments, such as filling of the root canal at dentist (which is not generally covered by the Student Health Insurance). Party expenses and visits to night clubs will vary about 50 Euros, but travel and trip could be expensive especially if not planned early. There are also, student trips at low cost, with less time but with lots of new students, experiences and fun.

To conclude, if one manages to find a part time job, which is not an impossible feat (check out earlier post on this page “Getting job as an international student”), then the large amount of  the monthly expenses can be covered.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Winter Sports in Germany

Biting cold, drizzling snow, a hot cup a coffee and peek through the window-is tempting for winters! But getting outside and heating up through sports can be a pleasure of its kind. Germany has a long tradition of winter sports.  It dominates in sledding disciplines and is the only country in the world to have four bobsleigh, luge and skeleton tracks. These tracks are located in AltenbergKönigsseeOberhof, and Winterberg. Also Alpine skiing is a popular sport here as well as Eisstockschiessen or ice stock sport, is played in southern Germany.
Thus, there are a number of sports which one can easily take up at nearby sport centre to keep fit and warm, such as skiing, ice-skating, sleighing, etc. If it is still too cold for you then indoor sports are also a good option to keep yourself warm. This may include dance forms, swimming, table tennis, squash, etc.

Current popular Winter Sports events:

- New Year’s ski jumping in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, 31.12.2013/01.01.2014
- Ski-Trail Tannheimer Valley - Bad Hindelang, 23. - 26.01.2014 
- FIS Alpine Ski World Cup in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, 25./26.01. and 01./02.02.2014
- Sled racing in Bavaria, 05.01.2014 onwards
- Skadi Loppet 2014 in Bodenmais (cross country ski festival), 15. – 16.03.2014

There are also, popular winter parks, activities and tours:

- Winter wonderland in Berlin 


- The ALMA Snowevent 2013