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Comparison of Summer and Winter Intake in Germany

There are several factors which might come into play when deciding which intake is more favourable for your admission. In general winter intake is preferred for several reasons which are elaborated further in this article. But do take the final decision based on your personal preferences.

Summer and Winter Intakes

Before we do that comparison on Winter vs Summer, firstly we will know when it happens, Winter semester starts in September/October and ends in February/March, whereas the Summer semester starts in April and ends in July/August.

Why University take two intakes?​

In terms of education and research facilities, universities there may not be significant differences between the two semesters. Universities from a long time adopted the practice of accepting students in two different intakes mainly for two reasons :

  • It is very difficult to accommodate many students in one semester. Many German universities receive thousands of application every year, so it is quite difficult to admit so many students at a time, that’s is why two intake semester process started.
  • There could be various reasons why students do not have the opportunity to apply for Winter season. Which is the reason why universities accept those students who couldn’t apply for Winter semester.

Which Semester Should You Apply For?

There are various aspects to consider lets us see what there are :

Universities

Check if the universities of your choice accept the applications for both the seasons. As some of the German university do not have admission in both seasons. So you should do some research on your target university/courses to find out which season intakes are available.

Acceptance Rate

Acceptance rate is the ratio of accepted students to number of applicants. This usually does not depend on the season. But the fact is during Winter intake the class sizes are much larger than Summer. That measn you might have the better opportunity of getting admitted.

Course

The major advantage of applying for Winter intake is that universities offer lot more courses for Winter intake. Consequently, the number of applicants is high. But this also implies that the competition will be high and you need to surpass the competition in order to claim your admit.

Assistantships

Since academic year starts in Winter semester, it is highly like there will be the huge number of opportunities for students to get internships or on-campus jobs because so many professors begin their research during the academic year and hire or recruit a large number of students. For Summer semester there will be less number of opportunities.

Graduation

Some German universities are flexible enough to allow you to complete your graduation degree in 3 semesters. If you start with the Summer intake, you can complete the graduate degree faster and you can start earning faster. But note that it is not easy to complete your graduation in 3 semesters.​

Job Opportunity

Job fairs and campus recruitments usually occur at the start of the year (March/April), which means you would have completed 3 semesters if you start from Winter and 2 semesters if you start in Summer. Your profile will be generally boosted in third semester with a better GPA, internships and seminar experiences. So you will have a better chance of getting the job offer. ​

Extracurricular Activities

If you give more importance to extracurricular activities then Winter semester is better for you than Summer semester. It is true if you're looking for the prestigious position, leadership, awards in club or student organization. But your aim is to part of an organization then it doesn’t matter.​

Visa

This completely depends on your overall profile and your university profile and not on when you choose to apply for that university. It doesn’t matter which season semester(Summer or Winter intake) your taking so don’t bother about any rumours you have heard about being any intake preferrable for Visa.

Readiness

A significant number of undergraduate graduate students tend to apply in Winter intake because they can immediately start their masters without wasting any time.

Orientation

Many universities have orientation programs happening at the beginning of every academic year which happens only during Winter semester. So for all students, it will be main aspects to consider because universities will be providing their incoming students with all necessary information about courses, schedules, grading, internships, flexibility, assistantships, rules and regulation, parties, clubs and organization, jobs opportunities etc. ​during the orientation.

Conclusion​

Winter is a clear preference for German aspirants for many reasons discussed above. But you will also not be losing out on much if you apply for Summer. If your favourite course is available only during summer, don't think twice. If you make necessary adjustments and you can come on top irrespective of the which intake you started with.

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