Opinion: The price of an education abroad

Photo+by+Romane+Donadini

Photo by Romane Donadini

Viktoria Muench | News Editor
September 31, 2015 | 1:00pm

Photo by Romane Donadini
Photo by Romane Donadini

It was recently announced that all Americans and international students can now study in Germany, and it is absolutely free. Once the news became public, it was shared and hyped up on Facebook and many other social media sites. User comments like “My son doesn’t know it yet, but he is moving to Germany for college”, or “I guess I should start working on my German,” formed a perception that it is the better deal for Americans to get their degrees over there.

However, there are a lot of factors that need to be considered, as school systems are completely different in both countries. Gregor Blossey, LU graduate, went back home to Germany to get his master’s degree. Comparing both systems, there are quite a few differences. “The biggest thing is that there is no college life whatsoever in Germany. There are no dorms, no college sports teams, and far less student activities and ways to get involved.”

“The way it works is similar to going to high school. You either live at home or in an apartment and then you just go to class, and go back home. Even though the education is very good in Germany, I really miss campus life and being so close to friends. There was never a dull moment at LU. Over here it can get a little boring at times,” says Blossey.

Obviously, the money is a big difference, as compared to paying thousands of dollars; there are no fees for classes in Germany. However, students still need to cover costs that are included in the tuitions of American colleges. “I work a small part-time job, because I still have to pay for rent, food, and transportation. Unfortunately, rent for students that live in apartments can be pretty high, so the difference between the money I paid at Lindenwood and the amount I have to cover now is actually not that big. People should definitely consider all of this.”

Sofia de los Santos, an LU sophomore from Uruguay, compares the school systems in her country to her experience in the States. “There are many differences! Universities in Uruguay are just big buildings in the middle of the city Montevideo, but there is no campus around them and you don’t live in the university. Students just go to class and then go back home.”

“Also, it can take a lot longer to get your degree, and depending on what your major is, it can take between five to twelve years. If we talk in money terms, it would have been the same actually. The only difference are the flight tickets that are expensive, but the tuition is not a lot cheaper in Uruguay, if you want to go to a private school. The public ones, however, are free,” say de los Santos.

“I do think it is worth paying so much money to study in the US. I’m not only paying for my education, I also gained many friends from different cultures. It opened up my mind about the world and I gained so many experiences. I’m happy I took that step to come here and it was definitely worth all this money!”

Deciding to study abroad is a big step, but Lindenwood offers many opportunities for anyone interested in experiencing a different culture.