Study Tourism in Germany

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Tourism Studies in Germany

A degree in tourism can set you up nicely for a whole host of interesting career opportunities, and now people pursuing a degree in this popular field can earn a portion of their educational credentials while studying abroad in a country such as Germany.  Home to countless historical landmarks, ancient castles and a variety of unique festivals and celebrations, Germany is one of the most oft-visited countries in Europe and the perfect destination for students majoring in tourism who desire to study abroad.
Germany, the most populous country in Western Europe and the European Union, boasts a distinct national character, one that has been shaped by the various struggles and successes the country has seen over the centuries of its existence.  Located in the West-Central portion of the European continent, the country is very centrally located, making it the perfect gateway through which students like yourself can explore some of the other fascinating European countries and cities, although with so much to do and see in the country of Germany you may never want to leave.
Germany, and its excellent system of higher education, has produced some of the most recognizable intellectual and creative minds throughout history, from Karl Marx to the Brothers Grimm.  Some of the world’s most significant technologies and inventions originated in Europe, including the automobile, the printing press, aspirin, and MP3s.  Today the various major cities in Germany, including Berlin, Munich and Hamburg, are some of the most contemporary and socially progressive in the world, and the architecture you’ll find there, a blend of the ancient and modern, has no equal anywhere on the globe.
Germany is a very diverse country from both an ethnic and cultural standpoint.  Berlin, the capital and largest city in the country, hosts many different cultural celebrations throughout the year, and the cuisine offered there ranges from traditional German fare to any number of international specialties. Berlin is home to scores of museums, galleries and performing arts centers, and its nightlife makes it a popular hotspot among the country’s youth.  Other cities in Germany, including the second largest city, Munich, are a mixture of old world charm and shiny newness.  Munich is perhaps most well-known as the site that hosts the country’s largest and most popular festival: Oktoberfest.  Held annually beginning in late September, this 16-day German celebration, featuring parades, traditional German dress and more beer than you can possibly imagine, draws thousands of tourists each year from around the world.
Tourism Education in Germany
For those interested in studying tourism during their study abroad adventure, Germany is the ideal locale.  As a course of study, Tourism is offered by the majority of Germany’s major colleges and universities, at both the undergraduate and graduate level, leading to degrees and diplomas. 
Higher education in Germany was recently revamped as a result of the Bologna process, an educational reform measure aimed at standardizing the credit and degree structure at universities throughout the European Union as a way to facilitate student transfer between said universities.  As a result of these changes, each (full-time) academic year at German universities is now equivalent to 60 credits (known as ECTS), regardless of the academic level.  The Bologna process also resulted in a new degree structure.  Below are the various degrees now available at most German universities,
  • Bachelor degree.  The undergraduate or bachelor degree in Germany can take one of two forms:  the professional bachelor degree or the academic bachelor degree.  The professional bachelor degree, much like the name implies, is offered in a variety of vocational and professional fields (including Tourism).  The normal time to complete this degree is four years (240 ECTS), after which students are presented with a degree that allows them to pursue career opportunities in their chosen field of study.  The academic bachelor degree generally spans three years (180 ECTS) in duration.  Although students who complete the academic bachelor degree program are not presented with a formal degree, they are permitted to pursue graduate studies in the same or related field of study, which does indeed lead to a formal degree.
  • Master’s degree.  To qualify for the various graduate study programs in Germany, students must possess either a professional or academic bachelor degree.  In most fields of study, the Master’s degree program takes two additional years to complete or 120 credit hours.  In addition to the advanced level coursework involved in these programs, students are required to complete an original Master’s thesis or capstone project.
  • Doctorate degree. Exceptional students, who wish to continue their studies beyond the Master’s degree, are free to apply for admittance into one of the country’s doctoral or PhD programs.  Each university has its own entrance requirements for these programs, which generally span between 3 and 5 years in duration.  All doctoral degrees require students to develop an original thesis or dissertation and present and defend their paper before a panel of program faculty.
Students who earn a degree in tourism can find employment opportunities anywhere in the world, as today’s international cultural curiosity and society's never-ending desire for entertainment and recreation make tourism one of the world's fastest-growing industries. Career opportunities are both exciting and lucrative in this burgeoning economic sector, and the industry constantly needs a supply of new talent.  Germany’s degree programs in the field of tourism help prepare students to meet the needs of this growing industry, from hotel and restaurant management to major event planning.
The various college and university courses in Germany are designed to ready students for specific tourism careers. While the basic curricula may vary from one institution to the next, it generally follows one of two types.  Degree-oriented programs offer courses that lead to a bachelor's or master's degree in tourism. While these programs may include practical courses such as event management and work-study opportunities, students also must study a variety of academic disciplines, including general education courses and classes that prepare students for travel and tourism management. The second type of curriculum focuses on specific travel and tourism careers. These may include courses specific to tour operations, travel agencies or airline companies. Some colleges and training institutes in Germany offer certificates that authenticate successful course completion.

Why Study Abroad in Germany

Germany offers several advantages as a study abroad destination.  First and foremost among these benefits is the excellence of its universities.  Germany is home to scores of very high-performing universities, many of which are internationally ranked for the quality and breadth of their degree programs and the performance of their student body and alumni. 
Students who want to combine a language learning experience with their study abroad sojourn, perhaps as a way to bolster their future career opportunities, will find a number of German language schools in the country, offering programs ranging from beginner classes to highly advanced courses for educated speakers.  Full immersion, which studies show is the best and most rapid way to master a new language, is a great tool for new language learning.  Whether you are learning German for the first time or simply brushing up on previously learned skills, you can bet the country has a program that is right for you.
When not busy in the classroom, students will have ample opportunities to visit and admire the various sites and attractions in Germany, many of which have been named World Heritage Sites by the United Nation’s UNESCO division.  In the old-world region of Bavaria, for example, not only will you find some of Germany’s most scenic natural landscapes, with lush green mountainsides and dense forests in every direction, you’ll also be able to explore some of the world’s most distinctive and historically significant castles, including the internationally renowned Neuschwanstein Castle, which years ago became the model for Walt’s Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.
In the capital city of Berlin there are countless things to do and see, including a bounty of museums, galleries and historical landmarks.  One of the more popular sites in the country is the Brandenburg Gate, the last remaining city gate that once separated West Berlin from East Berlin during the Cold War.  Today the gate is one of the country’s most treasured national symbols and a constant reminder of the country’s reunification.
The Cathedral of Cologne is another popular site to behold in Germany.  The world’s third-tallest cathedral, it took a total of 600 years to complete, and was the only building left standing after the city was bombed and nearly demolished during the Second World War.  Last but certainly not least is the Black Forest, which also draws thousands of people each year.  Encompassing 4,600 square miles, this dense forest with rolling hills is marked by a number of quaint villages, wineries and sacred monasteries.

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