Professional Studies in Berlin
So you’ve managed to battle through most of the long list of Berlin life admin. You’re registered, got a bank account, an apartment, maybe even internet in that apartment if you’re lucky, and your future in the city sprawls in front of you. Things only get better from here, and why not give them a little kick start by bettering yourself whilst you’re in the swing of change.
A new start in a new city is the perfect time to give yourself a bit of a revamp, update, boost or whatever you want to call it. It might be that you want to change direction in your career, get up to speed on the current landscape in your field, or further your knowledge in a specific area.
Whatever your reasons for embarking on further learning, there are plenty of options available in Berlin.
The ‘Big Three’ universities, that is to say Freie Universität, Humboldt and Technische, all offer Masters degree programmes taught in English, with study areas ranging from real estate management to space engineering, global history to polymer science (we have no idea what that is either).
If your German is up to scratch you can make use of the city’s numerous Hochschulen, which are university-equivalent institutions that specialise in specific areas of education, for example law or economics or technology.
The city also offers a system of dual vocational training courses, which combine theoretical learning at a vocational school (Berufsschule) with practical learning in a company. The courses last from two to three and a half years, during which time you spend approximately three days a week in practical work for which you are paid and the rest in school. There is also school-based training in which you spend less time training in a workplace. This is comprised of attending a Berufsfachschule or Berufskolleg plus shorter periods of on the job training and is common in nursing, design, and business and engineering.
Of course, your ability to take on a Master’s degree or full-time learning may be hindered by the fact that you’ve got bills to pay and so work full time. Don’t dismay. There is also a stack of courses aimed at those in employment.
The Freie Universität offers more than 800 courses every year that provide academic and professional training, ranging from one day seminars to multi-year training programmes, as well as interdisciplinary lecture series open to the public. Be sure to check what language they’re in before signing up though.
Both Humboldt and Technische Universität also offer further study opportunities for those who have already completed an undergraduate degree and are active in their professions or have already acquired professional experience.
If you’re already working, it is also a good idea to check with your employer to see if the company offers any in house training or opportunities for further learning.
You’ve already made one big life improvement (moving to Berlin, obviously) so why not keep going?