Decatur High School Alumni Jackson Vaughn on Studying in Germany


Image from presentation by Jackson Vaughn

Bradley McCurley

Many students decide to study abroad during college due to the plethora of opportunities. While some of those students choose to spend a month or semester in another country, Decatur alumni Jackson Vaughn decided to attend college at Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany. Vaughn is majoring in Earth and Environmental Sciences with a minor in Cell Biology.

Vaughn always wanted to study abroad and as a German student, he had the opportunity to visit Germany. He describes the admission program as holistic and easy using the Common App, almost as if he were applying to a college in the United States.

Vaughn chose to study in Germany for many reasons. According to Vaughn, Germany is a great location for its economy and standard of living. He also really enjoys the accessibility of Germany to many other countries in Europe due to its central location. Vaughn thinks that everyone should leave the “American bubble” and really see how different other countries are. Additionally, he believes that college is the perfect place to do this because it’s a chance to build connections all over the world.

“Only 21 percent of the students here are from Germany,” Vaughn said.

The university is very diverse, with a sizable number of students from every continent. During the first year at the university, students must live on campus in order to be paired up with a student from a different country. Currently, Vaughn lives off-campus with four other students, who are from Chile, Spain, and Mexico.

As part of the international mindset encouraged at the school, every student must take a world language outside of English. The majority of students, including Vaughn, opt to take German, as many people enter the school without knowing German well.

“The best thing about this school is the connections it gives you,” Vaughn says. Among the connections, Vaughn has made are his roommates as well as other students in his major.

Vaughn is very enthusiastic about his major in Earth and Environmental Sciences. His major does not occupy that many people and because of that it is a tight-knit class of people who know each other and because of this, the class is able to collaborate easily.

At Jacobs University, there are only 3 years of school because classes are specialized on a specific major by sophomore year. 90% of the alumni from Jacobs find an entry-level job in the first year after graduation. Fees at the school also work differently than in the United States, as long-term student loans are replaced with affordable, need-based financial aid, in the form of a semester contribution.