Post # 1
Hey Bees, so my SO and I have an important decision to make over the next year regarding where we will be living. I am finishing my undergrad degree here in the US, and I am now looking into where I want to get my graduate degree. My undergrad is in German, and I am planning on going to graduate school for international business. I have located two schools that I think I have a great chance of getting into. One is in Munich and the other is in London. I love both cities, so I need help choosing! My SO says he wouldn’t care either way as long as I’m happy. If we went to Munich he’d be taking language classes during the day (doesn’t speak any German), and also taking some time to work on a book that he’s been wanting to write but never has time to. I feel like the school in Munich would make more sense considering my undergrad is in German, but I just love London so much! Which would you choose? Bees who live in either of those areas can chime in as well!
Post # 3
Is either of you planning to work during this time?
If so, I’d base my choice on where I could most easily get a work visa.
If not, I’d probably pick Munich; while expensive, it is nowhere near as expensive as London, and someone who is not working should be more able to make ends meet in Munich than in London (assuming you have a decent amount of money in savings).
It’s all fine and good to daydream about which city is more fun, which has better culture, etc, but sorting out the practical aspect of how you’re going to feed yourself would be where I started.
FWIW it is very difficult to get a work visa in the UK if you are not an EU citizen. Not sure about Germany.
Post # 4
@Horseradish: We will be living off of savings, the financial aid and loans that I can receive from the US to the school that I have picked out, and my parents will also put a bit towards graduate school. If my calculations are correct we should do just fine and still be able to travel around a bit during down time without holding jobs. I don’t know about the UK, but with the student visa in Germany I’d be able to work part time.
Post # 5
@beetee123: What an exciting opportunity! I have lived in London before (right after university I moved there, and lived there for just over two years), and I have to say that it’s my most favourite city in the world.
However, Munich seems to be a better choice for you because of the Language immersion. Would it help to keep your language skills up? Or are you not too worried about that? If you’re not worried about it, then I would choose London. It is an international hub, and I think it’s a great place to study international business, especially since many of its schools are highly acclaimed, and probably more well known in the English speaking world than the German ones.
Post # 6
I would definitely go to Germany. If your undergrad is in German, this is the perfect place to get real life experience speaking the language. This will also be attractive for future employers (if you want to be a translator, teacher, or just work at a German/Swiss/Austrian company, etc). Germany is also more centrally located within Europe, so it makes it very easy to take trips to other countries.
I also really love Germany though, so I might be a little bias! Oh and yes as a PP pointed out, London is insanely expensive! If you live in Germany for a while before going, your schooling might actually be free, something to look at!
Post # 7
I’d go with Germany! But my minor in college was German, so I’m biased!
Post # 8
I’d look more into the visas for each country. Will you be married by then? How will your SO even come to live with you? I will tell you right now that the UK Border Agency will be extremely suspicious if he plans to enter for an extended period of time without plans to work, and tourist visas don’t last for very long. You’ll be fine with a student visa, but I am more concerned about him.
Post # 9
@MsGolightly: the fact that London has a lot of well known business schools was very attractive to me. Also the fact that my poor SO would at least be able to communicate from the start, but he said he’s fine with taking a language course as well. I just worry because London is insanely expensive, and we would be on a bit of a budget. I think Munich is a relatively expensive part of Germany, but the cost of living is 1/3 of that in London. Living in Germany would help with my language skills of course, but either way my degree program would be taught in English.
@Schatzie821: the high COL in London is definitely a huge negative point. I love germany as well. I was an exchange student there in 2010, so I’m a bit biased as well. My main concern is my SO not having any german language abilities. I know he can learn the language, and he insists that he would love hanging out at home while I’m at school just writing. He’s a homebody, so I guess is true, but I myself cannot imagine not getting out a lot during the week! I know we will travel on weekends and breaks, but still! lol
Post # 10
I adored my four years in Germany. Would love to go back, but I’m settled in Ireland now. I just really gelled with the German mindset. I’ve only done extended visits to the UK, but I actually moved to Ireland because, as far as English-speaking Europe goes, the UK (well, England at least) didn’t gel nearly so much. Bavaria’s fantastic and you’d be soooooo close to so many gorgeous places and other countries.
Post # 11
I’ll admit my bias as a born and bred Londoner 🙂 I’m intrigued as to which college you’ve chosen! Many UK colleges rank higher than Germnay for business. A UK education will also look really impressive.
For some more practical information, you will be able to work a certain number of hours on a student visa in London (just make sure you keep a contract that explicitly states this). You can also get funding for your studies once you’re in the UK, too, but I don’t know too much about the details of that.
Your FI can enter the UK with you as a ‘dependant.’ The only condition is that you will have to show that he has enough money to live on for the time you’re in London.
Munich would make sense if you’re planning on extensively using your German skills when you get a job! I haven’t done languages for years but would have loved the chance to go and live abroad for a while 🙂
In terms of cost of living, if you know some cheats it really isn’t as inhibiting as you would think. If you do go with London I’d be happy to share them! 🙂
Post # 12
@BrandNewBride: me too. my SO has never been to Germany or learned the language. He swears he would be okay living there, but he makes fun of me for my love of the language and culture. He just doesn’t get it!
@bowsergirl: we would be married by this point. I’ve looked up a lot of information, and it looks like both of the schools I’m looking into will offer a visa that would allow me to bring him as a dependent.
Post # 13
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
My husband would say London but he lived in the UK for five years during uni. I vote for Munich, especially since you’re studying German. Most Europeans speak English so your husband shouldn’t have too much trouble with the language in Germany. Plus, Germany makes the rest of Europe more accessible for day and weekend trips. Oh and there’s a little festival called Oktoberfest in Munich!
Post # 14
@beetee123: Ah, if you’re married then it should be fine. I was just assuming he would still simply be an SO, in which case it would be difficult. Trust me, the UK Border Agency is a pain.
In that case, I think you have to weigh the two main pros each.
London has amazing schools with great international business programs and reputations. You’ll interact with such a wide variety of people from all over. Your SO will also find the culture and language less of a shock. Flying anywhere from London is also cheap and easy.
Germany is a beautiful, still has a good program I assume, and allows you to really immerse yourself in the language and culture, which is the big plus there. Your SO will struggle more though.
I think if your knowledge and experience with German is the most important, then go with Germany. Otherwise I’d do London.
Post # 15
@beetee123: SO is German and we live half of the year about 2 hours from Munich. I also think as a student living on limited funds and a part time job, Munich makes more sense. Life there is much cheaper than London.
Also… Have you checked the scholarships that include US citizens in Germany? They have programs where you don’t pay for tuition, get about $1,000 a month for living expenses, plus health insurance and funds toward travel. Hard to beat IMO…
Let me know if you want me to send a link over 🙂 . Good luck
Post # 16
@beetee123: if you guys are in Munich I wouldn’t be too worried about him not speaking English. Where we live no one seems to speak English but when we visit Munich I get around pretty well on my own (I don’t speak German yet).