Germany is gaining in popularity among growing numbers of young Vietnamese. What’s not to like? The prospect of a very inexpensive, world-class education in a country known for its stability, safety, strong and sustainable economy, and superb quality of life. All they have to do is study and master German, no small undertaking in a country in which the most popular foreign languages are English and East Asian languages.
Unlike other countries, Germany’s immigration policy is visionary, having long since recognized the stark and urgent reality that its population is graying (median age: 46.5 years, the 2nd oldest in the world, after Japan) and that it needs to attract sizable numbers of young foreigners who are well-educated in key fields and who like the idea of calling Germany home.
The Make it in Germany initiative is a great example of a country rolling out the red carpet for individuals from selected countries with selected areas of expertise. The website is in 12 languages, including Vietnamese, which gives you an idea of Germany’s priorities in terms of sending countries. High priority professionals include doctors, engineers, scientists and IT specialists, and experts with vocational qualifications
According to the German government, there are nearly 5,800 Vietnamese students in Germany, including 3,588 at a university, 2,181 at a university of applied sciences (Fachhochschulen), 20 at an art school, 3 at a teachers’ training college, and 2 at a school of theology. The most popular states – in descending order – are Berlin, Saxony, Bavaria, and Hessen. (These data and much more are available here. Note: The information is in German.)
As someone who has studied, taught, and conducted research in Germany, both before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall, I encourage more Vietnamese young people to consider this dynamic and innovative country as a place in which to study and, if they wish, work and live for the long term. The benefits are definitely mutual.