Teaching in English helps fuel rise in US students

Germany is getting more and more attractive for students from the USA, while German students appear to be losing interest in studying in the US.

According to a report issued by the Institute of International Education, the number of US students coming to Germany in 2014 rose by 9% compared to the previous year, peaking at 10,377. The students visited Germany for an overseas semester, to attend practicals or summer schools, or to do language courses.

The number of US students seeking a degree in Germany has risen too. According to the German Federal Statistical Office, at 2,516, an all-time high was reached here in the 2013-14 winter semester, which corresponds to a 6% increase compared to the previous year.

“Germany’s growing attractiveness as a destination for US students underscores the efficiency and reputation of its institutions,” says Margret Wintermantel, President of the German Exchange Service, or DAAD.

“In the area of masters programmes, numerous courses have been introduced that are held in English and make stays in Germany easier for foreign students.”

Berlin and Baden-Württemberg, with 1,100 and 859 US students respectively in the 2013-14 winter semester, are the most popular destinations, with five of the six universities with the largest numbers of US students: Freie Universität Berlin (496), Humboldt University of Berlin (350) and the universities of Freiburg (185), Heidelberg (166) and Tübingen (152). Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Bavaria, had 154 US students.

However, fewer and fewer German students are going to the United Sates. In 2014-15, 5,983 enrolled for a degree course at a US institution, which was 20% less than in 2008-09. Stays in the US have also dipped, with 4,210 students visiting in 2014-15, compared to 4,316 in 2013-14.

Reasons for this could include the rising cost of living as well as higher tuition fees in the US, but also the growing attractiveness of studying in Europe. The most popular institutions for Germans are Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, Yale and Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT.

Michael Gardner Email: