The following short article will help you apprise the various facets of spending an exchange term in Zeppelin University in Friedriechshafen. It should help you take an informed decision while choosing Zeppelin as your exchange destination and plan accordingly:
CGPA range to get this college
Zeppelin University is one of the few colleges in Germany and hence attracts moderate level of interest from the outgoing students owing to the relatively less costly accommodation and food option available in Germany compared to other European countries like France and Scandinavian countries. Usually, this university closes at the rank range of 60-80. However, with fewer German Universities offering exchange options, this may see an upward revision this year.
Different Genre of Courses
Zeppelin University is primarily a centre of excellence focused on policy research on political economy ancross-culturalal management. These subjects are quite interesting and there is little chance that similar ones would be offered in IIM Bangalore. Some of the professors are visiting faculty from highly reputed institutes such as MIT and German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Berlin. If you are interested in political economy and administration and wish to explore and European perspective, Zeppelin University can offer you a very unique opportunity.
A Natural Love for Indians
IIM Bangalore is the only partner school of Zeppelin University from India. Usually, 3 seats are on offer from Zeppelin University for the fifth term. However, many of the students of Zeppelin University had visited India during their immersion programs over the years and hold India at a very high regard. The students of Zeppelin University are very open minded and the university administration promotes international exchange program as a platform to exchange ideas and expand the minds of the students. This enables the incoming students to fit in very easily.
Hostels and Airbnb
Accommodation is an issue of contention for the Zeppelin University. The university offers limited hostel facilities at a very high cost (around 400 Euros per month). Cheap youth hostels are also difficult to arrange due to limited availability. Airbnb is a good option in and around Friedrichshafen, Meckenbeuren, Lindau and Ravensburg. According to us, the best option for accommodation would be in the city of Augsburg, which is around 2.5 hours away from Zeppelin via train. However, we would advise you begin the search early and lock in any deal priced at 300 Euros per person per month (or lower).
The best thing about Zeppelin University is its location. If you are an avid traveller, it would thrill you that Zeppelin is located at close proximity to Switzerland, Austria and Italy. By residing at Augsburg, you will also have wonderful connectivity to Munich and whole Southern parts of Germany. If you plan properly, you can couple your class days with a Switzerland trip and avoid the exorbitant accommodation costs of the country.
Zeppelin University offers academic freedom to students in attending classes and mandates a nil attendance requirement in all of its courses. That being said, some professors raise their concerns, when you begin to overuse the particular privilege. Hence, it’s advisable to select your courses wisely. Seniors who had visited the college in previous years, can be consulted for selecting appropriate professors and courses.
Project work, Bunking
You can select courses with no examination requirements and complete your credit requirements by submitting academic papers and presentations only. Moreover, you can negotiate with the professors and form the project groups of 3 students from IIM B only, allowing you coordinate easily among yourselves and complete work accordingly. Many courses have an option to submit the academic papers, even after coming back to India, allowing you full freedom to enjoy a proper European holiday.
Germany is one of cheapest options in terms of food and lodging in comparison with any other European countries. However, Friedrichshafen is located at the border of Germany and Switzerland and is comparatively costly in terms of accommodation with respect to other German cities such as Cologne, Nuremberg or Manheim. The food cost is moderate in and around Friedrichshafen ranging from 7-12 Euros per meal (even food options are available). The total expenditure even after extensive travel should not be more than INR 5.5 Lakhs.
It is advisable to stay near the University for the first 2 weeks (first week is orientation week and the second week will be the first classes of all the course where you need to negotiate your submission details and timelines). Beyond that, It’s advisable to stay at the town of Augsburg, which offers much better amenities and connectivity options.
Travel and Connectivity
Travelling via train in Germany is extremely convenient using the Eurail pass. 99% of the trains do not require reservation and frequency of trains are quite good. Friedrichshafen is well connected with Austria and Switzerland. So it is advisable to plan short trips to these two countries in the first 2 weeks, when you have to stay in Friedrichshafen to sort out the course details. Nearby RyanAir bases are at Memmingen and Nuremberg.
The super-marts offer basic food at affordable prices. If you are planning to cook at home, the food cost falls drastically. Friedrichshafen also has Indian restaurants at affordable prices. However, if you are a vegetarian, it is advisable to take along sufficient packed food as variety on offer in the vegetarian segment is limited throughout Europe and is no different in Germany.
The duration of semester is from 1st week of September to 3rd week of December usually. However, Zeppelin administration is quite flexible in terms of arrival and departure dates and remote examinations. You can also choose courses judiciously and ensure you don’t take any courses which require you to give an examination. The deadline for submitting the academic papers are usually till last week of January. But the discretion of the respective professor applies here.
The academic rigor of Zeppelin University is much less compared to IIM Bangalore. You can enjoy a relaxed term in Germany and complete all academic milestones in parallel with all your travel adventures and exploits easily. However, it is highly recommended to attend the first class of all the courses you are taking and speak upfront with the professor about your return dates and negotiate your submission details beforehand only to avoid any unwanted confusion at a later date.
Mr Prabuddha Guha is a MBA student in IIM Bangalore . He went for an Exchange program to Zeppelin University for 3 months. He has tried to let you all know about what to expect from the University.