You've got your A-levels (or International Baccalaureate), but what now? A gap year or some work experience? An apprenticeship or university? These are important questions you need to ask yourself, and to which you’ll find answers here.
You’ve finished school – what now?
You’ve got your A-levels (or International Baccalaureate). Your hard work has paid off and you can have a rest. For a short while, at least, because you’ll have to decide what to do next. An apprenticeship or study at university? Or maybe you just want to work for a while, perhaps as a volunteer? If you still aren’t sure what to do, a work placement would be advisable. Testing the water in a practical work setting will show you if it’s really what you wanted and expected. You'll quickly find out if it's the kind of job and working environment you'd like. Students with work experience have a clear advantage at interviews. Of course, skills acquired in the workplace will also complement your university studies in a useful way, and you could even combine acquiring work skills with a stay abroad. If you’re still unsure about what to do, you can get information and advice from your local careers advice centre, at higher education fairs, careers fairs, university open days and from the universities’ websites on the Internet.
So, you’ve decided to go to university? That’s great. Now there’s the question of what to study. There’s a lot to consider: your personal interests, your abilities and strengths, as well as your future prospects on the job market. Once you’ve decided on an area of studies, you’ll need to choose your subject. For information about the different types of universities and the qualifications they offer (Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, Diploma, State examinations, etc.) look on their websites. There are special procedures for student teachers.
Home is where the heart is
You've made up your mind to go to university? But where? A big city or somewhere smaller? A technical college or a traditional university? It’s not an easy decision, as there are not just hard facts to consider, but lots of subjective criteria as well. University ranking websites can be helpful, at least in evaluating the quality of universities, faculties and professors. And don't forget your personal preferences. How important is it for you to stay close to home? Will you be able to pursue your leisure activities and interests? What's the cost of living in your new surroundings? How soon will you need somewhere to live? You should be honest with yourself when answering these questions. Look on the Internet. Actually visiting the university is a good way to clarify these points. Why not take the opportunity of staying on for the weekend in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern?
Making sure your new life gets off to a good start
You’ve enrolled and perhaps already moved, and don’t quite know what to do next. Make sure you go to the induction events for new students. As a rule, they begin at the start of each semester. These events will introduce you to the town and give you an overview of the various university facilities, such as libraries, lecture halls and laboratories. And at the same time you’ll be meeting people with similar interests. Do try and get to know people as early on as possible.
Further information can be found at the university Student Representatives’ Offices.