Germany is a Western European country, situated in the Heart Of Europe with a population of 82 Million and interestingly 7.3 Million people are foreigners. The 2009 consensus of Indians in Germany stands at 1,10,204 and must be double by now.
Germany is one of the leading developed countries in the World and boasts of several Global companies like Adidas, Airbus ( part German ), Alfred Ritter, Bayer, BMW, Daimler, Mercedes-AMG, Deutsche Bank, Faber-Castell, Henkel, Knorr Foods, Metro Retail, Opel Automotive, PUMA, Siemens, Volkswagen Group, Porsche to name a few.
A lively, multicultural scene thrives in the population centres. “Studentville”, often located in a historical part of town, is where you can find everything your heart desires: bars with live music, antiquarian bookshops and second-hand bicycles.
Studying in Germany has a history of more than 100 Years. All students from all parts of the world went to Germany to persue higher studies. . The oldest university in present-day Germany is the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, founded in 1386.
There are good many reasons to study in Germany today as well:
- With more than 400 higher education institutions across the country, Germany has a density of universities which is practically unequalled around the world.
- The cost of living for students in Germany can be kept low by using many of the student benefits and discounts. On average, you will need around 794 Euros per month (per 2014).
- With roughly 100 million native speakers, German is the most widely-spoken first language in Europe. The strength of German business and industry and the increasing global activities of German companies and corporations means that the German language is also becoming increasingly important in the international market.
- The wide range of leisure activities and pastimes offered by the universities and colleges are complemented by numerous opportunities outside the university grounds. Sport, culture or simply having a good night out – something is offered for each and every taste.
- Many German higher education institutions offer courses leading to an international degree. These courses are designed to attract foreign students and Germans looking to study with an international dimension. The range of study opportunities covers undergraduates, graduate and postgraduate degree courses (Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD levels). Courses and lectures are taught in English, often exclusively during the first year of study. German language courses are offered before and during the program.
- Students normally don’t have to pay tuition fees at German universities, and if so, the fees are very low. Most German universities receive considerable financing from the government. Bachelor’s degree programmes are usually tuition-free at public universities. Some master’s degree programmes, however, come with tuition fees, but they’re not as high as in other countries.
BELOW IS A LIST OF LINKS, WHICH WILL GET YOUR DETAILED INFORMATION ON EDUCATION IN GERMANY.
Bordering with France, Poland, Czech Republic, Denmark, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and Austria, it is also the ideal location for anyone wishing to explore whilst studying in Europe.
Germany’s higher education institutions are split into three main types; Universität (university), Fachhochschule (university of applied sciences) and Kunstschulen, Musikhochschulen, or Filmschulen (colleges of art, music, or film). Combined, they offer thousands of programs, meaning you can choose the course that best meets your aspirations. Whilst many of the institution types offer similar courses, their focuses are slightly different. Universitäts generally focus on research-driven programmes, whereas Fachhochschule offer a more practical approach to subjects.
Germany has the fourth largest GDP in the world, making it an excellent option for work opportunities too, both whilst studying and afterwards as a graduate, of course, this would depend on your visa status.
Germany also offers a wide range of unusual degrees, from Aerial Archaeology, which studies the history of the earth from a birdseye view, to Bionics, which teaches students to imitate nature as closely as possible, a field fusing technology, biology, and engineering.
The educational system of Germany is underlying to continuous changes and reforms. Main point in the last years was the reorganization of the Gymnasium. The nine year education was changed into an eight year education to get the Abitur. Furthermore, the academic system had changed because of the Bologna reform. The degrees obtained are now called Bachelor and Master.
Studying in Germany requires the graduate degree Abitur or the advanced technical college entrance qualification. International students have to show a similar graduate degree. Until now it was not possible to build a central organization for application and award of university places. Because of this the applications still need to be sent to every university or advanced technical college.
The admission requirements are also defined by the universities. Therefore, they can be different for the same subjects at different universities. In Germany there are three different kinds of advanced colleges or universities. Arts, film or music advanced colleges offer practical education in the artistic subjects. Advanced technical colleges however, cover the scientific and social subjects. They also set value on practical experiences in their education. The third category is the so called university. They offer all different kinds of subjects. Practical experience is an important point as well but the universities are especially famous for their firm theoretical education.
Another differentiation can be made between public and private universities. Public universities are financed by the government and do not charge tuition fees as of October 2014 in the entire country.
Private universities in contrast are financed by the fees paid by students and these can be quite expensive. In Germany can be found much more public universities than there are private ones. German law says that education should be offered to everyone and everyone should be able to afford adequate education. Therefore, German has decided to abolish tuition fees in all public universities in the country. Moreover, there are numerous possibilities to get help from the government, for example Bafög-money.
The studies in Germany are in some aspects more theoretical than in other countries and they consist of many lectures from the professor. In the lecture there are all students of one year and there are just a few exercise lessons in which the theoretical part can be practiced and proofed in reality. At the end of every term the students get grades for their final examination and for speeches, assignments and practical projects. Depending on the subject the composition of these parts can differ. Practical education can also be offered in internships which are an obligation in some subjects. For some weeks or months the students have to work in a company and use their theoretical knowledge in real life situations to gain experience. This is also a good chance to find a job for the working life after university. The graduate degrees from university are accepted and estimated worldwide. The education at German universities is considered as a good one. The first graduate degree can be obtained after six to eight terms and is called Bachelor.
Afterwards it is followed by the Master degree after another two to four terms. Both degrees require passing the exams and writing a specific graduate thesis. For the subjects medicine, dentistry, law and pharmaceutics as well as the teaching degree another degree is required which is called Staatsexamen. After the Master degree students can also do their graduation to get their doctor’s degree. Academic education in Germany should give firm basic knowledge and theoretical background as well as specific details and practical application. After successful studies the alumni should be able to work successful in every part of the working environment.
Cost – Tuition/Living/Transportation and other costs
Public universities from Germany do not charge tuition fees for Bachelor and Master programmes.(except if you plan to pursue a Master’s degree that focuses on a different subject than the one you studied as a Bachelor student).
Most of the German universities are public, so you will only have to pay an administration fee which usually costs around 100 – 200 EUR/year. This fee covers the Student Organisation services and your enrolment. Also, you will have to re-enrol every semester and pay this tax.
There are exceptions to this rule, however. If you don’t finish your degree course on time and you study in Bremen, Lower Saxony, Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt or Turingia, you may have to pay tuition fees. Also, private universities from Germany are financed from tuition fees, so some international students will have to pay up to 20,000 EUR/year.
Germany is a pretty accessible country where you will need around 800 EUR/month, including accommodation, which also is the largest expense you will have.
Larger cities, such as Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt or Dusseldorf require total living costs of 800 – 950 EUR/month while smaller cities are cheaper. If you will study in Oldenburg, Siegen or Duisburg, you will need 500 – 650 EUR/month. The most expensive study destination is Tarnow (950 – 1,050 EUR/month) and the cheapest is Wolfsburg (350 – 450 EUR/month).
Housing is the highest monthly expense you will have and it represents 34% of the total budget. Cheaper options for international students are in residence halls or in shared private rental apartments. You can also rent a single apartment. Below you will find the average accommodation costs for a student in Germany:
- Living alone: 363 EUR/month
- Living with partner/child: 351/month
- Living on-campus: 237 EUR/month
However, rooms in student residence halls are pretty difficult to secure, since only 11% of the international students find on-campus accommodation, according to a European study. Also, 55% of the students are satisfied with the accommodation in student halls.
Other costs associated with accommodation
During your stay in Germany, you will have to pay for utilities such as electricity, heating, garbage and water. These usually cost 218 EUR/month. Also, an internet pass (10 Mbps, unlimited data) is around 24 EUR/month.
As a student in Germany, you will pay a bit below 100 EUR/month on food. The price varies on the circumstances – you can either share it with your colleagues or decide to cook and shop from grocery stores. Some of the cheapest supermarkets you will find around the country are Aldi, Lidl and Netto.
If you wish to have dinner in a restaurant once in a while you will pay 10 EUR for food in a cheap one. A three-course meal for two in an average restaurant costs 40 EUR and an additional light drink will be 3 EUR.
According to a DAAD study, around 10% of the total monthly student budget is spent on transport. Students, visitors and locals mostly use bicycles, buses or rails, especially for travelling outside the city they live in. The public transport pass costs around 70 EUR/month.
Bicycles are not expensive in Germany. However, you will also find many stores that include used bicycles for sale.
Extra study materials
Throughout your university degree course, you will need additional materials such as books, research magazines and other products. You are advised to purchase them from bookstores that also sell old or used products.
Funding & student support
The German state strongly supports higher education. It finances the universities by covering the tuition fees and it also includes programmes of financial support for students.
- The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is a programme of financial aid that focuses on German and international students.
- Awards of 300 EUR/month for talented students given by the government. Read more here!
- Scholarships for researchers and targeted fellowships
List of Universities
- Otto Beisheim School of Management
- Universität Heidelberg
- FreieUniversität Berlin
- Aachen University of Technology
- Dortmund University
- Dresden Technical University
- Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University Greifswald
- Europa-UniversitätViadrina Frankfurt (Oder)
- Fachhochschule Fulda
- Fachhochschule Karlsruhe
- Fachhochschule Reutlingen, HochschulefärTechnik und Wirtschaft
- Frankfurt University
- Friedrich Schiller Universität, Jena
- GISMA Business School
- Humboldt-University, Berlin
- Institut f. SemantischeInformationsverarbeitung
- Johannes Gutenberg Universität, Mainz
- Julius-Maximilians-Universität, Wärzburg
- Martin Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg
- Medical University of Luebeck
- Otto von Guericke Universität, Magdeburg
- Ruhr-Universität Bochum
- TechnischeHochschule Darmstadt
- TechnischeUniversität Berlin
- TechnischeUniversität Chemnitz-Zwickau
- TechnischeUniversität Dresden
- TechnischeUniversität Hamburg-Harburg
- University of Oldenburg
- Universität Augsburg
- Universität Bamberg
- Universität Bayreuth
- Universität Bielefeld
- Universität Bonn
- Universität Bremen
- Universität Duisburg
- Universität Freiburg
- UniversitätGesamthochschule Essen
- UniversitätGesamthochschule Kassel
- Universität Hamburg
- Universität Hannover
- Universität Hildesheim
- Universität Köln
- Universität Kaiserslautern
- Universität Karlsruhe
- Universität Konstanz
- Universität Leipzig
- Universität Mannheim
- Universität Passau
- Universität Potsdam
- Universität Regensburg
- Universität Rostock
- Universität Stuttgart
- Universität Trier
- Universität der BundeswehrMünchen
- Universität des Saarlandes
- Universität, Hohenheim
- Universität-GH Paderborn
- Universitaet des Saarlandes
- University of Giessen
- University of Marburg
As an international student you may need an entry visa for Germany depending on where you come from and how long you plan to stay here. For more information about visa requirements, contact the German embassy or German consulate in your home country. You can find the address on the website of the German Federal Foreign Office.
When applying for a visa, be sure to keep the following in mind:
- Submit your application early enough! Visa processing can take several months and you won’t be able to enter the country without a valid visa.
- Apply for the correct visa! Tourist and language course visas cannot be converted into a student visa. With the wrong visa, you will be forced to leave the country at some point and apply for the correct visa at home.
- Schedule your trip to Germany so that you have sufficient time to enrol at your university and take care of the administrative obligations. Enrolment is a prerequisite for obtaining the “residence permit for purposes of study”.
- Make sure your passport is valid for your entire stay! If your passport expires while you are in Germany, you will have to return to your home country and extend the validity of your passport there.
Visa Requirements For Your Country
To enter the country, you will most likely need a visa, which you can apply for before your trip at a German diplomatic mission in your home country. There are exceptions for specific countries, depending on the duration and purpose of your trip.
Visit the website of the German Federal Foreign Office for the latest visa requirements for all countries.
The German embassy or consulate in your home country will provide more information about all visa application matters. You can find the addresses of all German diplomatic missions on the website of the German Federal Foreign Office.
The Correct Visa
The type of visa you need depends on whether you have already received your notification of admission from a German university. (Do not enter the country as a tourist! A tourist visa cannot be converted to a student visa or student applicant visa!)
There are two types of visas:
- Student applicant visa („Visum zur Studienbewerbung“)
If you have not yet received notification of admission to a university or foundation course, you should apply for a student applicant visa.
This three-month visa allows you to meet the requirements for admission to a German university. If you find that three months is not long enough, you may extend your visa to a maximum of six months. If you are admitted to the university or foundation course within this period, you may apply for a student visa.
- Student visa („Visum zu Studienzwecken“)
If you have received your notification of admission to university or a foundation course, you should apply for a student visa. Student visas are usually valid for three months. Within these three months, you will have to apply for an extended residence permit at the Alien Registration Office in your university town.
Required Documents For A Visa Application
You can obtain a complete list of documents required for a visa application from your German diplomatic mission in your home country. Normally, you are asked to present:
- Certificate confirming health insurance coverage
- Proof of financial resources
- Certificates of past academic work and achievements
- Certificate of German language proficiency or proof that you intend on attending a language course in Germany
- For a student applicant visa: university entrance qualification recognised in Germany
- For a student visa: notification of admission from your German university (or a statement from the university confirming that your prospects of gaining admission are good).
You have to apply for a residence permit if you
- Are not a citizen of an EU member state, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, and
- Intend to study longer than 90 days
You have to apply for a residence permit at the Alien Registration Office in your university town within your first three months in Germany.
Make sure to take the following documents with you when you apply:
- Confirmation of registration from the Residents’ Registration Office
- Confirmation of private or public health insurance coverage
- Student ID from your German university (certificate of enrolment)
- Proof of financial resources (if you didn’t present it earlier when you applied for a visa)
- Valid passport and current visa, if you have one
- Certificate of health (if applicable)
- Your tenancy agreement (if applicable)
- Biometric passport photos (if applicable)
- Money for the residence permit fee (inquire at the International Office about the current rate)
You initially receive a two-year residence permit which can be extended if necessary. The approval of an extension depends on whether your studies have proceeded “properly” (i.e. you are keeping within thestandard period of study for your degree programme). You have to present a letter of confirmation to this effect from your university. And remember: You must apply for an extension before your residence permit expires!