When 22-year-old Bharat Chaudhary arrived in Hamburg, Germany, to pursue his masters degree in August 2016, he was left in the deep end because he didn’t speak German. There were times when he was hungry but wouldn’t step into any restaurant as he couldn’t place an order.
After a lot of trial and error and learning the ways of the land, he decided to start a YouTube channel to help others like him who want to study in Germany. According to a survey report, only about half the population in Germany can hold a conversation in English.
Because of its low or no tuition fees and high quality of education, Germany is the world’s third most popular choice for international students. In 2014, more than three lakh international students were admitted to universities across Germany. As per reports, intake of Indian students in the country doubled in the first half of the decade. Chaudhary, a BTech from a Haryana college, zeroed in on Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH).
Many Indian students find themselves unable to adapt to the ways of the country owing to lack exposure to the culture and inability to speak German.
Recalling those confusing days, he said he found day-to-day activities like visiting government offices, using the postal service, grocery shopping etc difficult as he was not familiar with the country’s automated ticket system. Realising this must be the predicament of every Indian in Germany, he decided to start uploading YouTube videos to fill the information gap.
His YouTube channel — Bharat in Germany — has videos of him passing on tips on adapting to the country. He regularly uploads videos and discusses challenges as well as opportunities the country has to offer. He said while there are blogs that talk about similar stuff, people relate better to videos.
From finding part-time jobs to landing internships in Germany, they talk about the most basic things — like using public transport and Indian supermarkets. Some videos explain how to go about getting admission in a German university. Then there’s the important topic of learning German so that one can clear TestDaF, or Test of German as a Foreign Language. For non-native German speakers, it is important to pass this language proficiency test if they want to study or work in Germany.
Chaudhary even has a video entitled ‘Getting married to a German citizen’! He would know a thing or two about it as he’s married to a Russian-origin woman settled in Germany. It was with his wife’s help that he started the YouTube channel.
He started the channel some three months ago and the response has been great. The videos have garnered a total of 1.46 lakh views and more than 3,400 subscribers.
Chaudhary, who has been sharing his personal experience on the platform, now wishes to make the platform more engaging by adding videos of Youtube viewers sharing about their experience of living in Germany.
Chaudhary said he also gets queries from people from other countries too, including Pakistan, for his content. In fact, to cater to this, one of his videos features Sri Lankan students.
The YouTube channel is not earning him much now — a mere Rs 2,500 per month through ads. But he’s confident that the channel will grow fast as he increases the range and topics of the content. And things are picking up pace — in the past four weeks alone, he has gained about a thousand subscribers.
Thanking Chaudhary for his initiative, Suhail Atar from India said his internet search about German varsities didn’t throw up anything relevant until he stumbled on Bharat in Germany. “The Bharat in Germany videos are informative and helpful for anyone looking to get admission to a German university,” he said. Another aspirant, Varun Shahi, said he was looking up PhD courses in Germany and got the answer to all his questions through Chaudhary’s YouTube channel.
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Lead visual: Nikhil Raj Images: 101Reporters Pictures