My Path to Studying Medicine in Germany7. June 2022
Our former student Jad is studying medicine at the University of Leipzig. In this interview, he tells us about his path to studying in Germany and reveals his secret for learning German so quickly.
Can you briefly introduce yourself?
My name is Jad, I am 20 years old, I come from Jordan and have lived in Oman until now. I started learning German in January 2020 and I am now studying medicine in my second semester at the University of Leipzig.
Why did you decide to study medicine?
I always wanted to study medicine, even though we don’t have any doctors in our family. Medicine is a complicated subject and I’m just curious (laughs). Back in school, I was most interested in natural sciences like biology and chemistry. Besides, as a doctor, I can help my fellow human beings.
And how did you end up studying in Germany?
It was clear to me that I wanted to study abroad to get the best possible education. At first, I looked for places to study in England, but I was put off by the high tuition fees there. In Germany, studying is much cheaper and at least as good. I also feel that Germany is more about education and less about money. After I decided to study in Germany, it was also clear that I wanted to learn German in Germany, because it is simply much faster and I can get to know the country and the people better that way.
In which city did you learn German?
First of all, I did some research on the internet and I noticed the positive reviews for the Humboldt Institute. Also, a friend of mine had been to Humboldt a few years ago. Together with my father, I flew to Germany to visit different language schools. We were both in Berlin and in Constance. At the Humboldt Institute in Constance, I particularly liked the fact that the institute was small and therefore familiar. That’s why I decided to take a German course in Konstanz.
In fact, living at the institute in Constance felt like living in a small family. We lived and learned together. Even on the weekends, we always went on excursions together. Because of Corona, I, unfortunately, had to move to Berlin after two months in Constance, but I quickly felt at home there, too.
How did you experience your first weeks in Germany?
Most of the other students in Konstanz were also beginners and hardly spoke any English. We were all in the same situation and accordingly did almost everything together and spoke German with each other as often as we could because we all wanted to improve quickly.
After only two months, I was able to do almost everything in German and entered the B1 course level. At that time, I also had to decide whether I wanted to go back to Oman for Corona or move to Berlin.
What can you tell us about your time in Berlin?
In retrospect, I have a lot of positive things to say about my move to Berlin, because it gave me the opportunity to learn German in two different cities and to discover an exciting new city.
One of my teachers there, Stefan, was the best teacher I ever had! He was serious and funny at the same time. But most of all, he explained everything to us in a great way! Sometimes I had the impression that he already knew what problems we would have before we realized it ourselves. Stefan just knows perfectly how to teach German to international students. Especially in the advanced levels B2 and C1, which were quite difficult. I still managed to pass all levels and never failed!
Of course, it is important to do your homework, to practice a lot and to speak as often as possible. If you make that effort, you can pass all the exams.
Personally, it also helped me that we often watched German movies. So I could remember a lot of dialogues and sentences and use them myself. So I often found myself making sentences that I didn’t even know I knew all the vocabulary and grammar for.
What did you do in your free time in Berlin?
During the spring, when we were only a few students, it was like being in a family. In the summer, many new faces joined us, and we did a lot of things together, for example, we met on the roof terrace to eat, play cards or just have a beer.
On Fridays, we always met for beach volleyball right behind the institute. That was a great change from studying, almost like being at the beach (laughs).
In Berlin, especially in the summer, there are so many events and so a group has always found something to do together in the evenings or on the weekends. In short, it was never boring!
What followed after your German course?
After completing level C1.1, my time at the Humboldt Institute came to an end and I moved to Leipzig, where I took the M-course at the Studienkolleg in preparation for studying medicine.
When I applied for a Studienkolleg in Germany, Humboldt’s application service helped me a lot. Mia knew exactly which documents I had to submit by which deadline. It saved me a lot of time, and I was able to concentrate better on the German course.
Leipzig was my first choice and I was happy when I got the invitation for the entrance exam. The entrance exams at the Studienkolleg in German and in mathematics were not difficult. In mathematics, I still knew the topics from school, only timewise the exam was a bit tight.
In the German exam, there were a lot of cloze texts, which are hard to study for. My language practice at Humboldt helped me here because it’s easier to do such exercises if you speak good German. In Stefan’s course, we often discussed cloze texts, also to prepare me for the exam. That and his tips like learning prepositions helped me pass the exam.
My good language preparation also helped me during the Studienkolleg, since the most correct German possible is important for good grades.
Was the change from a language school to Studienkolleg or university a big adjustment for you?
Compared to the German course, the Studienkolleg was not a big change for me, because the teachers there are also used to working with non-native speakers. That’s why they speak relatively slowly and without dialect.
Now at the university, it’s completely different! No one there makes an effort to speak particularly clearly.
Leipzig is a big university and in the medical program, we were about 300 freshmen. It was a bit anonymous at the beginning and I had to figure out a lot of things on my own, like making my own schedule and finding the right textbooks. At the university, there is less attention paid to individual students and I quickly learned to work independently.
At the end of the first semester, however, I passed all but one of the exams and am already looking forward to the summer semester!
All in all, how have you been received in Germany?
Very well! I like it here because the Germans are very obliging and reliable. When something is agreed upon, it is done. At home in Oman, I was considered rather serious and so Germany suits me very well. I feel welcome everywhere and the people are very nice. Also, it is not as hot in Germany as it is in Oman (laughs).
After graduation, I would probably like to stay in Germany. But that’s a long time away, and who knows what will happen until then.
Thank you very much for the interview, Jad! We wish you every success in your medical studies!
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