Navigating Germany: What I Really Wanted

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I received just one admission letter. My undergraduate degree result was great – 4.71/5.00 (Nigerian scale) but still, I received 9 rejection letters out of 10 applications! However, I was doing a few things wrong. In my last post, I stated 4 main points to keep in mind when applying to German universities but at the time I was making my own applications, I didn’t take all of these points seriously. 

First of all, I didn’t take the IELTS. I wrote the general IELTS the previous year when I was still pursuing my Canadian dream so I didn’t see the need to take the academic test for my new German dream. Perhaps if I did, I would have probably received more admission letters and had more than one option. However, this was not my biggest mistake. 

My biggest mistake was ignoring each university’s specific requirements and applying for business/marketing programs with my B.Sc. Geology transcript. In Germany, most programs don’t just overlook your academic background even if you have years of work experience to support the switch. If a program requires at least 60ECTS points in a particular field (e.g. Marketing) to admit you, then you really do need 60ECTS points or more in marketing-related courses. ECTS means European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System; this page explains all about it.

So what I really wanted was an MBA degree but that wasn’t forthcoming. The only admission I got was to study environmental geology at Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg and I was pretty excited. At this point, I was already considering remaining a Geologist but the only career path that made sense to me in Geology was lecturing and that’s actually not a bad career in Germany. I discovered that Germany actually often pays Ph.D. students so that they don’t have to get distracted with side jobs during their research so this was the path I convinced myself to follow.

Nevertheless, I didn’t back off from my MBA goal. I found one university which offered a free MBA program in English language and I met all but one of the requirements – GMAT/GRE. The cool thing is, this was the same university into which I gained admission to study environmental Geology. Then came my new plan – to accept the Geology admission, but take the GRE test as soon as I could and then apply for the MBA program offered by the same university the next semester. Sounds like a great plan? I guess so! 

In my next post, I’ll explain my own visa application process and the recent updates in today’s visa application process for those applying from Nigeria.

PS: I started this blog series to share insights and FREE tips for relocating to Germany. Take it from me, leaving the country legally is cheaper and easier than most people think. Beyond sharing my story (and those of my friends) so you can learn from real experiences, I’ll occasionally share useful resources through newsletters during this series. The resources would all be FREE and trust me, you’ll need them. All you have to do is subscribe to my newsletters so you won’t miss any of them.

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