Despite presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders’ best efforts, college in America still costs money. A lot of money. In fact, the cost of college has risen so dramatically in the past few years that many have begun to question whether or not a higher education is even worth it anymore.
But according to NPR’s Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, there might be a way out for American students. And that way out, it seems, is Germany.
“At last count, there were 4,300 Americans studying at German universities,” Nelson wrote on June 28, “with more than half pursuing degrees.”
NPR also notes that Germany has become the third most popular place for American students to study outside the U.S., losing out only to the United Kingdom and Canada.
So what’s so special about Germany?
As The Washington Post reported in October 2014, Germany is one of the seven countries where Americans can study for free, and do so in English.
“Germany's higher education landscape primarily consists of internationally well-ranked public universities, some of which receive special funding because the government deems them ‘excellent institutions,’” The Washington Post’s Rick Noack wrote, adding that “for some German degrees, you don't even have to formally apply.”
In short, Germany works hard to specifically attract American students, and the fact that U.S. students can get a noteworthy degree “without speaking a word of German and without having to pay a single dollar of tuition fees” is reason enough for many.
And the benefits don’t stop there. As the BBC’s Franz Strasser reported earlier this month, American students at German universities receive free access to public transportation, inexpensive health care and access to affordable housing.
It’s probably safe to say that for many advocates of education reform in America, “move to Germany” was probably not what they had in mind. And yet, here we are.