Centuries-old temples, huge rice fields and green tea plantations. Endless steppes, snow-capped mountains, dry sandy deserts and dreamy beaches. Tropical rainforests, traditional villages and ultra-modern cities. The list goes on and on, because Asia is incredibly diverse. After all, it is the largest continent on earth. More than sixty percent of the world’s population lives here.
A semester abroad in the most populous country on the Asian continent and even in the whole world, the People’s Republic of China, at numerous universities. According to abbreviationfinder, the metropolises there, Shanghai and Beijing, can hardly be compared with major European cities. Skylines towering into the sky, hypermodern streets, traditional Chinese residential quarters, seemingly chaotic street markets and impressive temples are what make these metropolises so attractive. The city-state of Singapore, the Japanese capital Tokyo and the South Korean Seoul also appear futuristic due to their size and modern architecture.
But Asia has much more to offer than booming megacities. Numerous historical buildings testify to the fascinating cultural history of many Asian countries. Many buildings are on the UNESCO World Heritage List: the legendary Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City in Beijing, the Taj Mahal in India and numerous Hindu and Buddhist temples all over Asia.
The diverse landscapes of the vast continent are also fascinating. According to countryaah, Southeast Asia is particularly popular with students for a semester abroad in Asia. Countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore await with green rainforests, dreamy tropical beaches and a fascinating underwater world. Completely different, but just as worth seeing are the high mountain regions of the Himalayas or the oriental desert landscapes of the United Arab Emirates. You can get to know and experience all of this up close during a semester abroad in Asia.
Reasons for a semester abroad in Asia
More and more students are discovering the continent for themselves. This is partly due to the increasingly important role that Asia is playing in the global economy. The easiest way to experience the fascination of a study trip to the Far East is to spend a semester abroad in Asia. Where exactly you spend it depends on the learning goals you want to achieve.
There are numerous semester programs in China that deal with China’s role as an economic power. The study programs include courses on Chinese economics, language and culture. It is of course possible to take courses at business schools and universities in other economically booming regions. Corresponding study programs in the fields of management, business and tourism are offered in Singapore, Japan, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.
Other programs deal more with the society and culture of individual Asian countries or social science issues. There is the possibility of taking part in a program on Religion and Power in India or of studying development studies in Malaysia. International universities with locations in Asia in particular offer the popular Study Abroad programs. International students can study one or two semesters abroad in Asia and take courses from the entire undergraduate and / or graduate area of the respective university.
Many semester programs in Asia are taught in English. They offer foreign students the opportunity to gain study experience in Asia and gain insights into the respective culture, even without knowledge of the national language. In most cases, students also have the opportunity to take language courses abroad and acquire their first Asian language skills. Many programs also include excursions and trips that complement the course content.
As a rule, it is possible to have the study achievements acquired within the framework of the Study Abroad programs recognized for studying in Germany. A prior arrangement with the examination office of the home university is strongly recommended. With good planning, a semester abroad in Asia can often be integrated into the home study in such a way that the study time is not extended.
Application for a semester abroad in Asia
It is not difficult to get a place at an Asian university as part of a semester or two abroad. The application process is also quite simple. In contrast to a full course, applicants do not compete with local students for places on the course. Asian language skills are not absolutely necessary for a semester abroad in Asia. As a rule, the (technical) high school diploma and sufficient knowledge of English are sufficient. For some study programs, the universities require a certain amount of study experience.
Financing a semester in Asia
The costs for a semester abroad in Asia depend on the country and the type of semester program. A program in China costs between 6,000 and 8,000 euros – this often includes room and board. But there are also much cheaper or more expensive programs. In most English-language semester programs, tuition fees are at least 4,000 euros. On the other hand, the cost of living in some regions of Asia is significantly lower than in Germany. In Southeast Asia in particular, you are already living at a high level with a few hundred euros a month.
There are also some ways to make the semester abroad in Asia even cheaper. For example, some students who want to spend a semester or two in Asia often receive funding through BAföG abroad. The office pays the tuition fees of up to 4,600 euros and also grants subsidies for travel expenses. In the end, the students only pay back a certain amount. In addition, due to the different assessment limits, students also receive funding who do not receive BAföG in Germany due to their parents’ income being too high.
Another way to finance a semester abroad in Asia is through scholarships. These are mainly given to students with particularly good performance or demonstrable social commitment. Scholarship providers are, for example, the DAAD or various foundations. An education or student loan also opens up the possibility of realizing the dream of studying in Asia.
Visa and entry requirements of Asia
The entry requirements for a semester in Asia vary from country to country. Find out as early as possible at the respective embassy which visa you need. See a travel doctor well in advance of departure. The Federal Foreign Office recommends refreshing the standard vaccinations for a trip to Asian countries according to the current vaccination calendar of the Robert Koch Institute. Depending on the region of Asia in which the semester abroad is completed, further vaccinations may be necessary. In any case, take out comprehensive international health insurance!