Vanessa Cheong Kel Ly: Graduated from Singapore Polytechnic with a Diploma in Landscape Architecture
Studienkolleg: TI-Kurs at Studienkolleg Coburg
Bachelor: Landscape Architecture at the University of Applied Sciences FH Weihenstephan

Why did you decide to attend a Studienkolleg and apply for a university in Germany rather than at home or in another country?
I wanted to pursue my studies in Landscape Architecture, however, the Universities in Singapore offered only courses that focused more on Architecture rather than only Landscape Architecture. Studying in Germany was not initially my first choice. It was during my internship that broadened my knowledge about Germany, as I was placed under a German project supervisor at that period of time. The English-speaking countries like Australia, New Zealand, and United States were actually my first choices. However, the tuition fees were extremely costly.

Can you tell us about the application process?
I remember searching high and low for answers to the many questions I had about the application until I chanced upon DAAD. I couldn’t remember who assisted me but the staff was very kind in explaining the required paper work and steps I needed to prepare for my education path.
There was a lot of paper work required but the preparation checklist I received did help me in every step. I applied on my own directly to the Studienkolleg. I had to take an entrance exam which included tests in German and Maths. After passing the Feststellungsprüfung, I also applied on my own directly to the university.

How did the Studienkolleg help you to prepare for University?
I had to do the Technical course in Studienkolleg due to my qualification from Singapore. The subjects taught were German, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, IT, and Technical Drawings.
Personally, I would describe Studienkolleg for a polytechnic graduate as a A’Levels crash course taught in German.

What were the best parts about the Studienkolleg?
The best part was meeting many people from different countries. It was nice to encourage one another to converse in German and help each another. Some were better in German and some were better in Maths or Sciences, and everyone was helping each other out. The classes in Studienkolleg would mostly end by afternoon, so besides revising for tests, we still had time for having fun/parties and also trying different kinds of food cooked by the fellow course mates.

Anything else you’d like to add that will help other students to consider/decide to go the path to study in Germany via a Studienkolleg?
The beginning is always the hardest. And I would say Studienkolleg did give me an insight to how things will be like in the university. Learning a new language is challenging enough and what more to attend lectures and be surrounded by people speaking in a foreign language? The 2 semesters in Studienkolleg ensured me that I wouldn’t be intimidated by the worrying questions I had before. It prepared me for the Bachelor course that was only taught in German and also helped me not to be afraid to speak up during lectures or to converse with my fellow course mates when working on group projects.