How to Enhance Your International Student Life in Germany

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How to Enhance Your International Student Life in Germany

Read more about DEGIS, the largest association for international students in Germany, why you should become a member and how you can join.

Life as an international student in Germany

Living in Germany as an international student might be difficult if you don’t have the proper support network. Bureaucratic obstacles confront international students range from navigating the Ausländerbehörde during the registration procedure to interacting with landlords during the housing hunt. Language limitations might also cause further problems and social isolation for foreign students studying in Germany. A community where international and German students can seek and receive help on various personal, academic, and professional issues can significantly enhance the quality of life for foreign students in Germany.

The biggest organization in Germany for international students is called DEGIS.

Every year, there are more and more international students studying in Germany. However, a lot of overseas students face a variety of issues before and throughout their time in Germany. These include social isolation, challenges getting a job, and obstacles posed by bureaucracy and language. International offices generally concentrate their efforts on a local or regional level when it comes to these issues.

What services does DEGIS offer international students?

City Chapters

DEGIS offers international students a community and platform that empowers them to succeed in Germany. International students can get involved in one of over 50 City Chapters across Germany at DEGIS in the following areas: marketing, events & projects, business development, and Human resources. Additionally, these City Chapters offer online and in person events for networking with other international students in the city on personal and career development topics. Examples include a dinner night, running club, and company tours. 

Buddy Programm

The DEGIS Buddy Program was launched in the Wintersemester 2020/2021 with the goal of connecting one or more incoming international students – “incoming buddies” – with experienced senior international students in Germany – “local buddies” -. The aim of the program is that the local buddies, who have a better understanding of the challenges of newly arriving international students in Germany, help the incoming buddies on overcoming these challenges and have a smooth start in Germany. While international offices have similar offerings for international students, they are often focused on exchange students and do not always reach all the international students that would benefit from the initiative. As DEGIS is in very close connection to degree-seeking international students it acts as a complementary offering for already existing buddy programs of international offices. 

Online Services

The DEGIS online offerings comprises both information on the website and across various social media platforms. The DEGIS website has useful information on living and studying in Germany and what to consider for setting up a blocked account and about visa and health insurance. In addition, the DEGIS Instagram Account offers updates on the community for the community while the DEGIS LinkedIn Account offers updates on the community for the community and stakeholders from the economy, politics and academia in Germany. The DEGIS Facebook Community is a forum for international students to ask questions and receive answers on topics related to studying and living in Germany, from bureaucratic hurdles to learning the language. 

What makes DEGIS unique?

DEGIS is unique because it is a community from international students for international students. The core team comprises individuals of current or former international students in Germany stemming from Brazil, Belarus and India to name a few countries. Additionally, DEGIS members benefit from the peer-to-peer support of the community. Being an international student is a shared responsibility and trait amongst the DEGIS community. This feeling of belonging is extremely important for international students new to the country and culture.

What are the different memberships at DEGIS?

At DEGIS, there are two types of memberships. There is the active membership and the community membership which international students can apply to.

As an active member, it is important to dedicate at least 2-3 hours a week to the DEGIS cause. An active member is allocated to a City Chapter and takes on a role in this City Chapter with the aim to expand the DEGIS network and create an unforgettable experience for international students in Germany. There are currently over 300 active members as part of the DEGIS community.

Most of DEGIS is composed of community members. There are currently over 15,000 community members as part of the DEGIS community. As a community member, DEGIS members do not become part of the City Chapter but still have the chance to subscribe to the DEGIS social media channels and newsletter and take part in various workshops. 

Why join DEGIS?

DEGIS is a unique community for international students in Germany. By offering international students the opportunity to take part in exclusive workshops, volunteer at one of many City Chapters across Germany and participate in its own Buddy Program, DEGIS empowers international students to succeed in Germany.

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