Study Meteorology Abroad

Study Meteorology Abroad

Will it rain on the weekend? How warm was the last summer compared to the summers of previous years? And what new methods are needed to improve the current weather forecast quality? Meteorologists deal with these and similar questions.

An interdisciplinary science

Meteorology? For many, a synonym for meteorology. In fact, classical meteorology only makes up a small part of the subject of meteorology. According to, the discipline deals with the structure of the earth’s atmosphere in its entirety . This includes all the chemical and physical processes that take place in it and, among other things, show up as externally visible weather phenomena.

Meteorology, also known as lower atmosphere geophysics , is an interdisciplinary science within the geosciences. There are points of contact with numerous natural sciences. Meteorology draws on knowledge of

  • physics
  • chemistry
  • mathematics
  • Computer science

The way to the meteorologist

Meteorological training

The German Weather Service, together with the Bundeswehr’s geographic information service, offers training to become a qualified meteorologist . The preparatory service lasts three years and is aimed at high school graduates and students with a technical college entrance qualification. During the training, the trainees acquire basic knowledge of meteorology and prepare for the area of ​​responsibility of the respective career.


Meteorology is one of the small subjects at German universities. Due to the small number of students, the supervisory ratio is usually very good . Mentoring systems with regular meetings between lecturers and students are not uncommon.

A meteorology degree has a high practical relevance . There are meteorological internships and excursions from the first semester. These serve to apply what has been learned during the course and to gain practical experience.

If you are interested in studying meteorology in Germany, you can do meteorology

  • as an independent subject
  • as a major within a geoscientific degree program
  • in combination with other subjects , such as geophysics

to study.

A master’s degree in meteorology is usually more research-oriented than a bachelor’s degree. It provides in-depth insights into ways of thinking and working in theoretical and experimental meteorology. Often these are interdisciplinary courses with minor subjects such as physics, geology or chemistry. These give students the opportunity to acquire interdisciplinary scientific skills .

Study meteorology? Not without math and physics

If you want to study meteorology, you should have good previous knowledge from your school days , or at least a great interest in math and physics . A meteorology course is usually structured as follows

  • The first semesters: Mathematics, theoretical and experimental physics play a major role here. An introduction to meteorology will take place at the same time.
  • Higher semesters: After the scientific basics have been imparted, more subject-specific and practice-related courses follow. These include remote sensing, cloud physics and synoptics.

Rethinking the climate and weather? Study abroad!

Weather and climate do not stop at national borders. Therefore, research into the global climate system should not be seen as a national, but as an international task . Meteorologists are well connected around the world and participate in international research programs. Accordingly, the conditions for studying meteorology abroad are favorable.

Both in Germany and abroad, meteorology is a rare subject that is offered at comparatively few universities. Even if the meteorological departments are rather small, they are often among the most active in research at the respective university.

Climatology – an important part of meteorology

Above all, climatology plays an important role in meteorology studies abroad . In climate research, the current weather is less of a priority. Instead, meteorologists deal with long-term climatic changes and analyze them. A central topic is, for example, climate change with its causes and consequences.

In the Anglo-Saxon region there are courses such as Climate Change , Climate Studies and Climate Control that are exclusively dedicated to climatology . As part of a study abroad, you can specialize in this area and thus acquire a valuable additional qualification.

Studying abroad as a change of perspective

Studying meteorology abroad can open up new perspectives on your own subject and show you new ways of solving problems. Students have the opportunity to deal with the changed climatic and meteorological conditions in the host country .

Is the university located in a region with great drought and heat or in a tropical region with heavy rainfall? The location of the university always has an influence on the research focus of the university.

Occupational fields and career opportunities for meteorologists

As a meteorologist to the “weather frog” – a widespread cliché. Outsiders primarily associate the weather presenter on radio and television with meteorologists. In fact, only a few of the active weather moderators there have studied meteorology. Therefore, the media is not one of the main employers for meteorologists.

Meteorologists at work – an overview

Public service

The majority of German meteorologists work in the public service . The most important employers include

  • the German Weather Service
  • the Office for Geoinformation
  • Environment and Shipping Offices
  • the Bundeswehr

Areas of responsibility:
In the public service, meteorologists primarily have the task of creating weather maps and meteorological reports . Overall, the forecast of the weather takes up little space. Environment-related tasks are increasingly playing a role in daily work . For example, meteorologists measure the pollution in the air. They also deal with climate change and develop measures to deal appropriately with its consequences.

Research institutes and universities

Areas of activity:
One focus of research is on improving the quality of weather forecasting and its analysis . At the same time, the importance of climate-related topics is growing , including global warming and the “El Nino” weather phenomenon.

Private weather services

Areas of responsibility:
These weather services deliver weather analyzes and forecasts to radio and television . They also prepare reports for other facilities for which weather data is important. This is the case with travel companies and associations that represent the interests of agriculture.

Insurance company

Areas of responsibility:
Here, meteorologists, together with other geoscientists such as geologists, are responsible for simulating the effects of natural and environmental disasters and assessing the associated risks . Companies in the field of information technology and technology also rely on the services of trained meteorologists. For example, you need their know-how in the development of new meteorological measuring instruments and computer programs.

Working abroad as a meteorologist

Most German meteorologists are certainly currently working in Germany. In principle, however, national borders do not play a role in meteorology. Especially in teaching and research, but also in the private sector, there are numerous opportunities for meteorologists to work abroad .

Study Meteorology

A stay abroad is often advantageous for meteorologists who want to work internationally . Meteorologists with international experience can

  • acquire intercultural skills
  • improve your own language skills
  • build up a network of worldwide contacts at an early stage
  • sharpen their scientific profile.
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