Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tiny Little Steps

After more than a year of idleness, I am starting to keep myself busy, from what? From preparing my documents for the university. Apparently, all my application for apprenticeship are coming back to me, a friend told me that there is an age limit for that (this I still have to confirm, it was an information she got from her husband), so I guess, going back to the university is my remaining option to establish a career here. From time to time, I am wondering, whether it is really necessary for me to have a career here, my husband is earning well, and we have enough. We are just average people and we are not really wishing for anything extravagant in life. However, the thought (and plan) of settling in the Philippines in 16-20 years made me realize, I need to do something. At that time, I will be tagged as "old" in the Philippines to continue on my career that I left behind. I do not want to just rely on the retirement benefits my husband would be receiving, because nobody knows how the economy is by then. I need to make sure that I have a back-up plan. How can I do that? There is only one option: finish a Master's or doctorate degree. When one has this title, there are limitless opportunities to get to. In relation to my previous blog, I finally got an answer from my university classmate/ friend/ co-chemist. He told me that there are limitless opportunities, up to this time, he being a professor in UE, still receives notifications about supervisory positions on different companies, but unlike me, he finds joy in teaching. So I guess, going back to the university is not a bad plan at all. Therefore, I started on my next journey: University Life!

First of all, I did rigorous research in the internet how to get into University. There are information that I got from friends that I still have to send my documents to be acknowledged by the respective authority. But thorough reading on the site (thanks to my besseres Deutsch, I got to understand a bit of those posted on the site), told me to simply go to the university of my choice and inquire on the International Office what I need to do. My Brazilian friend from VHS told me I need to translate my documents and have them certified as true copies (she got the slot in a Studienkolleg in Darmstadt University). I wanted to go there too, but Darmstadt is a bit far from our home, and I still don't have a Führerschein (she already has, but we won't be sure if we'd get the same schedules so I cannot be 100% sure that I can always drive with her). So I decided to call on Frankfurt University and made an appointment (FYI: inquiries can be done through phone, but since I got lots of questions, and I wanted them to see my documents, I opted for a personal appointment, which, they told me that I don't need to make an appointment through the phone anymore, just go there during their Öffnungszeiten). I went there and got my questions answered, with the appropriate form to fill out. Here are a few questions I asked:

1.  Am I eligible to study here?
Yes. Based on, all Filipinos who have Bachelor's degree from the Philippines are eligible to study at any Hochschule or University. I have visited this site long before I talked with them, but of course, I wanted to be 100% sure. When you got only to finish until high school in the Philippines, you have to go to the Studienkolleg or take the Feststellungsprüfung.

2. What documents do I need to submit?
Since I am already a B.S. degree holder from the Philippines, they asked for my transcript of records, diploma and my German language proficiency certificate. Also a copy of my passport (the page with my information) and a certain payment.

3. Should I still need to send my documents for translation or acknowledgement?
I inquired at Frankfurt University, and the answer is NO. Frankfurt University uses the services of uni-assist for processing student application. Since my documents are all in English, all I needed to do is to make copies of them (uni-assist accepts only copies because if you wanted to apply on different universities or colleges, not all are using uni-assist, and you'll need these documents) and then have them certified either in your local Rathaus or by a Notar. They do not accept Beglaubigung from clubs or the like.

4. How much should I pay?
For application, there is a fee of €68 payable to uni-assist, in order for them to start working on your papers.

5. I have heard of free education here in Germany, is it really free?
Again, I inquired at Frankfurt University, so it might be different in other region or university. For the DSH (Deutsch Sprachkurs für Hochschulgang), there is actually a fee of €550. Then during the studies, when you pass the DSH exam, there is a Gebühr of €350 (?) (I forgot it exactly but I just estimated it to this amount) every semester, inclusive of train and bus ticket around Rhein-Main.

So far, I already got my documents certified. On to the next step: sending my documents to uni-assist and then WAIT. For how long? I am not sure, when I get my documents sent, it will all depend on uni-assist and Frankfurt University. Wish me luck!

HINWEIS: I opted to repeat my Bachelor's degree rather than take the Master's degree immediately. Firstly, I do not want to take the risk, it's been years since I graduated and passed the PRC board exam. Secondly, since after board exam, I did not really work directly in the laboratory or the like, I am afraid that my years of experience would be not enough and they might ask me then to send my documents for acknowledgement or something. And lastly, there are moooore paper works to be done doing so, including recommendation letters from UST, which I do not have at the moment, I only have diploma and transcript of records with me, I do not even have my PRC ID with me because I just recently applied for change of name and renewal of it. I kinda hate paperworks, so I chose the lesser one. It's not that bad to repeat my Bachelor, I can at least "specialize" on a certain field of Chemistry.

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