Motivation To Come To Germany English Language Essay

2746 words (11 pages) Essay

1st Jan 1970 English Language Reference this

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In these report the analysis of 9 interviews with the focus on the question of motivation will be presented. These interviews were taken with Chinese students in Germany.

The concept of motivation in our case comes from the researcher, rather than from the informant. Whereas the idea of grounded theory is to create a theory from within the data, and not by throwing his or her concepts upon it and that moulding the data so that it would fit the concepts. That, however, does not mean that the researcher should be conceptually unprepared, but, rather, that he or she should keep a critical distance towards research concepts.

But here I will not go into details with the definition of the concept “motivation”. Instead, I will break it into few different concepts, relating to the circumstances and reasoning of coming to Germany.

First, the biggest cluster of quotations is coded with “reasons for coming”. This code correspond with more or less direct answers of respondents to the question, which was generally formulated as “Why did you come to Germany in the first place”? Students described the situation according to the question.

Within this code the following typology of reasons can be formulated.

Price of education

Possibility to support yourself during your study

Quality of education in a given area compared to China (subjective)

Application procedure

Friends/siblings (recommendation, together, network action)

Will to live abroad (for some time)

It is yet hard to see whether there is any hierarchy among these reasons, that will probably be seen in case analysis.

Price of education

One of the reasons was claimed to be low price of education. Interestingly, no respondents compare the price of living in Germany and China.

“M: At the beginning, they didn’t because of the money. We don’t have money for here, but… later I got the scholarship and they don’t need to pay the money, they just say “OK, then you go.” Yeah, it’s OK. I mean they not really support it but they are not really against it. The only problem is like…if you have to pay so much, and you also have chance to study in Hong Kong, why don’t you just stay in Hong Kong. But now money problem solved so… They are supporting this”. [5: 56-62]

Possibility to support yourself during your study

But one respondent commented upon the possibility to support yourself during education through finding a job, that would allow studying and working.

“K: First, there is no study fee. Then the education is of high quality. And you can work during your study, so you can afford your study easily.” [2: 20-22]

Quality of education in a given area compared to China (subjective)

Relatively more comments are given concerning the quality of education, though the concept of “quality” itself is not expanded or spoken of. So that now it is almost impossible to tell what exactly did respondents mean by better quality of education in Germany compared to China. Also it is worth noting that those who speak of the quality of education have a significant interest in it because they are interested in a given area of knowledge.

“I: Why did you want to come to Germany? A: Because of my research area. They are doing good here. They are really good in the research area.” [6: 30-33]

“When I was a freshman, I was dreaming that I can study abroad, because it seems that technology here is more advanced compared with China, at least. Because my major is kinda sience, I’m a science boy, because my major is Communication Information Technology, so I said maybe I could get more and more to study here and the technology should be more advanced”. [1: 8-13]

“I: But I think in Hong Kong there are a lot of great universities, why you have to come here and …M: Because I study international politics in history, and for politics, there is only one or two universities in Hong Kong, that is really… Like the whole situation in Hong Kong, oh, you study politics and people don’t think it’s important. I really hate the kind of feeling that you are being looked down a part. Because you just study politics staff business along doctors, and I am looking for a really free… I’m looking for more expect for like humanities students…one of the most important thing is here the international environment, because what I experience from my exchange here, I think when you talk with people from very different background, actually you learn more and get more inspiration from them, which is very important to me. That’s why I come here”. [5: 64-77]

Application procedure

“And fortunate for me, there is an established program between Bremen University and Shandong University where I went to college. So I took the chance, because the procedure is much more simplified. And that is the main reason why I came to Germany”. [1: 13-17]

“I: Any exams? M: Yeah, sure. I forgot to mention that there’s an examination. But the level, I mean the level they need very low. I: Very Low? M: Only 6 point is OK. (He means the IELTS here, a score of 6.0 is required.) I: Seems not that complicated. M: It’s very simple”. [1: 36-48]

Friends/siblings (recommendation, together, network action)

Three possible connections are observed here. First, is coming or applying for the program along with a friend.

“J: In fact, I didn’t want to, but one of my best friends wanted to come. Then she persuaded me to apply for a class in Tongji (University) with her. I got an offer while she didn’t, because there were a limited number of offers in the department. For some unknown reason, she didn’t get an offer.”. [9: 70-74]

Second is a recommendation.

“K: The Key is one of my friends. I: Do you still have contact with him? K: Yes. I: He is one of your best friends, right? K: Yes. I: When you have problems, will you turn to him for help? K: No. But he often gives me speeches. I: Is he older? K: Much older. I: Do he have a big influence on you? K: Not after my study began. But I came here to stay computer science because of him.” [2: 703-724]

And third can be called network-action, and can be described as the positive effect of social networks, in which respondent is present.

“I: Why did you come to Germany in the first place? Y: Because my current boss wanted to find a partner in China; he thought Germany and China would start new project, it would be a new opportunity. So he contacted my tutor when I was doing my PhD. When my current boss was in China, because of… well, to go into more detail, the guy who supposed to host him was having a baby, so my tutor asked me to host him instead. During that time I gave him a good impression. After he went back to Germany, he would send me e-mails occasionally. When I graduated, he invited me over, and asked me if I would want to do a post-doctorate. This was quite a good opportunity for me. I talked to my husband, and he was very supportive. My parents, they don’t exactly know my career, but as long as I make my own decisions, they support me. So here I am”. [4: 04-17]

Will to live abroad (for some time)

Will to live abroad in itself is not a sufficient explanation, as far as it requires information how this willingness is formed, and what is its source.

However, this could be a very productive and rich topic especially in the focus oof international educational space – how the logic that includes coming to another country for education is formed?

“I: What made you come to Germany after high school? H: I think it was the same as most of people – I wanted to see the world more, and the education abroad was different from China. In a foreign country without parents around, you have to do everything by yourself – cooking and working to keep from starving. Hmm… of course, I was not completely independent, parents also helped a bit. But generally I did everything by my self. At the beginning, everything seemed difficult. But after many tries, it was getting better and better”. [8: 68-77]

“I: Fine. Why did you decide to come here to study? M: Because this university is international, and I’m very interested in the city with international environment. I don’t think…because it’s in Germany, and I have been in Germany before, for exchanging for ten month. So Germany is as a kind familiar for to some extent. So I think it will be OK for me to study and live here. So OK”. [5: 18-24]

“Then I thought it over carefully. For I had already started to work and the job was boring, I went abroad to have a better future”. [9: 74-76]

Case-study

Another way of looking at this topic is through each case. This is probably more complicated, but at the same time more complex way of analysis. It could show the way respondents priorities reasons of coming to Germany. Even thought cases are similar in particular reasons, every student has an almost unique combination of them.

The most difficult analytical act to perform is to divide between reasons as they are causally understood, and the way respondents justifies for himself his choice, ensuring himself the choice was right. Third possible mistake is between goals and reasons. For example, high quality of education formulated as a reason for coming also relates to goals of better future professional opportunities. While the simplicity of application or low fees do not relate to any goals, but rather they facilitate the decision which is along the line of life goals or other way (because it is evident from interviews that not all decisions are made in a perspective of life goals, which can be a part of Chinese cultural values and certainly needs more investigation).

For the case analysis two examples could be provided.

First, is more or less sophisticated reasoning (at least according to what was said during the interview).

“When I was a freshman, I was dreaming that I can study abroad, because it seems that technology here is more advanced compared with China, at least. Because my major is kinda since, I’m a science boy, because my major is Communication Information Technology, so I said maybe I could get more and more to study here and the technology should be more advanced. And fortunate for me, there is an established program between Bremen University and Shandong University where I went to college. So I took the chance, because the procedure is much more simplified. And that is the main reason why I came to Germany”. [1: 08-17]

“I: That’s means Germany is not your choice, just because of the program? M: Yeah. Because I’m kind of lazy guy. There’s an easy simplified (way), is the main reason. I’ll say 90%, maybe”. [1: 19-23]

“I: Any exams? M: Yeah, sure. I forgot to mention that there’s an examination. But the level, I mean the level they need very low. I: Very Low? M: Only 6 point is OK. (He means the IELTS here, a score of 6.0 is required.) I: Seems not that complicated. M: It’s very simple”. [1: 36-48]

“M: Yes, because there’s few people here compared with America. Since I’ve been to America and I knew what America looks like. And my sister just told me that fantastic here”. [1: 64-66]

“I: You decided come to Germany. Is it also a reason that you don’t wanna go to America? M: Coz I don’t like America, the next choice is a European country. Then here’s a chance, why not? I: So it’s also your why-not choice. M: Yes, it’s a why-not choice”. [1: 532-540]

Here we can see that there is a general line, specific for this person. His general life preferences were set in the field of profession. So that the first area of choice is “abroad” in general, based on the knowledge (which is gained probably from common sense) that science (mainly communication, information and technology) “abroad” is better, than in China. Also, by “China” respondent means not only China itself, but supposedly the whole set of countries in Asia. By “abroad”, on the other hand, he means USA and Europe. All the other countries seem to not exist in his mental world map, concerning educational opportunities.

Then there was factor to narrow the choice – rejection of the USA as a country for education. After this step, European countries are left. To narrow the choice more there are: simplicity of application, sister’s advice, and a so called chance.

It can be noted that this way of “decision making” is still not a decision making in a strict sense. It’s not a rational action we know as common for the Western Civilization. For example, we do not see here purposeful search for educational opportunities, evaluation of ones financial, intellectual and other resources and abilities.

Another case can be shoed by the example of the following quotation.

“J: In fact, I didn’t want to, but one of my best friends wanted to come. Then she persuaded me to apply for a class in Tongji (University) with her. I got an offer while she didn’t, because there were a limited number of offers in the department. For some unknown reason, she didn’t get an offer. Then I thought it over carefully. For I had already started to work and the job was boring, I went abroad to have a better future”. [9: 70-76]

Here we can see that perspective of education in Germany is not seen by the respondent as meaningful from the beginning. We also see: “Than I thought it over carefully”, which is not expanded later in the interview. On the other hand, here we can see, as in previous case, that person relies on the chance.

Along with the concept of reason following codes were explored:

Preparation

Decision

Education strategy

For preparation, we can see, that there are two main types. Those who didn’t prepare much,

“I: Have you imagined how life is in Germany before you came here? Y: Not really. And I didn’t even do much preparation. It was a spur of the moment thing. I: You didn’t prepare? Y: No, I don’t care much about trivial things; living is the same everywhere”. [4: 415-423]

and those who took some effort.

“K: No, it got done quite well. Mainly it was about a certificate how long you learned German. You need 600 to 800 learning hours. So I went to a class for half a year. And because of that, I worked for 1 year”. [2: 158-161]

For decision, there are two extreme points. First, where decision was made by respondents himself/herself

“X: Did you make the decision? J: Yes, it was my own decision. And people also encouraged me, but I made the decision by myself”. [9: 78-81]

And second, where decision wasn’t made by respondent

“I: Who made the decision? You or your parents? H: My parents made it completely, hehe. (the interviewee was laughing) Their idea was simple: they just wanted me to see another part of the world, and here I am. They only gave me one choice – graduate from a German university, nothing else”. [8: 79-84]

Independent decisions prevail.

Summary

The question of motivation was reformulated as the question of reasoning about coming to Germany. Generally, coming to Germany is embedded in life trajectories of the research-participants, while the choice can not be described as rational in a Weberian sense. Factors in reasoning can be roughly divided into two groups: decisive and facilitative (for the decision made). It is also shown, that different partnership educational programmes between Chinese and German Universities create the opportunity for Chinese student to at least have a choice between education in Germany and in China.

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