Last Updated: February 26, 2021
Why you should study in Germany
Germany has been one of the most popular destinations to pursue higher studies from. There are several reasons as to why such is the case, let us have a look below.
Perks of studying in Germany
- First and foremost, German universities offer their courses in English as well as german. Hence, knowing German is not all too necessary; although, it is important to keep in mind that regardless of the medium of teaching, international students have to provide german and English language certificates.
- Out of 16 states, 11 of them have no tuition fees - for the national and international students alike.
- Along with free tuition, german universities also offer scholarships for international students that help them cover accommodation and living costs in Germany.
- Has the best engineering and technical courses in the world. Moreover, it houses the best automobile companies which attract students wanting to pursue their engineering dreams.
- Germany is not just great for engineering, it has the world's top-ranked universities that provide excellent courses in any field one can think of.
- Great scholarships are provided - no matter the field you study in. Germany has an opportunity for every student that arrives to study with them, giving them profound experience as well education.
- Germany is super student-friendly. This means that they have facilities that are built for the use and convenience of students - including their part-time job rules and regulations.
Academics in Germany
As mentioned above, Germany has the world's top-ranked universities. The universities provide all kinds of courses to welcome a variety of students but the courses that Germany really stands out for are engineering and applied sciences.
Since Germany has a particularly great record of industrialization, engineering courses are increasingly popular amongst international students, leading to an increasing rate of students from all over the world coming in.
As of 2019, Germany saw a spike of a whopping 5.3% in the number of international students coming to Germany to study. Since then there has been a steady growth in the number of international students. With the ease of admission and no tuition fee - the steady growth of international students may see another spike in the near future.
Although it is true that German has a lot of top-ranked universities, there are few universities that stand at the top in Germany which are mentioned below.
Top 5 German Universities
- Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM) (Technical University of Munich)
- Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen (LMU) (LMU Munich)
- Freie Universitat Berlin
- Universitat Freiburg
- Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin
- Eberhard Karls Universitat Tubingen
These universities are majorly engineering-focused, but they offer all kinds of courses at the same level as engineering courses. Universities like TUM & LUM have several branches in and around Germany. There are no drastic changes in the courses offered due to different locations, but the medium of lecture delivery might differ. So, if you prefer a course delivered in English, it will be wise to choose the branch of the university providing the same.
What are Technical Universities?
Technical universities are the universities of Germany that focus on studies regarding engineering and such. Earlier German technical Universities restricted their teaching to technical and engineering disciplines, but since time has moved forward and with the increase in international students, technical universities now offer a variety of courses in arts & humanities. Regardless of expanding their vision to various fields of study, the primary focus of their activities is still engineering and science.
What are Fachhochschule Institutions?
The term Fachhochschule means 'university of applied sciences'. Their main coursework is more practical than theoretical in nature. This could be due to the common belief among german universities that practical work helps in better understanding than theory. This is also the primary reason why there are The courses are shorter and more students are enrolling in these Institutions.
More about academics in Germany
The academic year runs from October to July and is on the semester system. The German curriculum emphasizes independent study. Students are expected to do independent reading, prepare oral reports and papers and attend lectures and small group discussions. The student must complete a certain amount of coursework to sit for the exams.
German Universities grade on a scale of 1-5; 1 is the highest while 5 is failing. The academic record consists of the student's collection of Scheine or certificates of completion for each course.
The visa requirements for going to Germany depending on the country you are coming from. Read below to see if you would need a visa to study in Germany.
- If you are a student coming to Germany from the EU (European Union), including Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein, you do not need to get a visa to enter Germany, stay there, or study there. Germany considers the fellow EU nationals as closely as their own German nationals, hence eradicating any need for visas.
- If you are a student from the USA, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Israel, or South Korea you would be exempted from the requirement of a visa as well. Although, it is mandatory for the students from the above-mentioned countries to register themselves with their local Residents’ Registration Office and the Aliens’ Registration Office (Ausländeramt). After this registration is successful, the students will obtain an Aufenthaltserlaubnis (or residence permit) within two weeks of their arrival in Germany.
- If you are a student from Brazil, El Salvador, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Taiwan, or Honduras, you will only require a student visa if you plan to work in Germany after your course is over.
- The students from the remaining countries will require a student visa to be able to study in Germany.
To know more in depth about the visa regulations, please click here.
Students who wish to study in Germany must have health insurance and must pay for nursing care. Without insurance, you cannot register for higher education, or will be able to get a student visa, if you need one. The health insurance policy is automatically applied if you are an international student. Although, there are some exceptions.
- If you are above or of the age of 30 and have enrolled in a degree program at a university in Germany, you will have the choice to access public health insurance provider.
- If you are a student above or of the age of 30, and have enrolled in a preparatory or language course, you will not be able to access public health insurance. Instead, you will need to have private health insurance.
- If you are coming to Germany as a Ph.D. student or as a guest student, you will need to have private health insurance.
The cost of public health insurance in Germany is anywhere between €104 - €120 per month. This ensures the long-term health and care insurance.
If you are a student from the EU or Switzerland, Iceland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Israel, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia, Liechtenstein, Morocco, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey, and Macedonia, do not require another health insurance in Germany. The health insurance they have will be applicable in Germany.
As mentioned above, out of 16 states of Germany, 11 of them provide free tuition fees. Yes, this is applicable to international students as well. The other universities that charge a tuition fee could be anywhere between €500 - €3000 per semester.
Tuition fees are also dependent on the type, of course, you would be enrolling for. While maximum degree courses are free of cost, the university might charge you a fee for laboratory work, practical work, or field trips. Additionally, universities that do not charge a tuition fee will most definitely charge an application fee that ranges between €50 - €100.
In German universities, there is an additional charge for student unions. The fee paid for the student union is subject to change based on the university you would be attending.
A lot of German universities have miscellaneous fees such as student union fees. Hence, it is advisable that you check with your university regarding any miscellaneous fees so as to avoid surprise payments.
Scholarship programs are plenty in Germany. Not only does the state provide enough scholarship opportunities for international students, but German universities also do too. The scholarships that either of them provides have separate requirements, but the basic requirements are related to academics.
A national scheme of scholarship that ensures internships to international students is known as DAAD RISE. DAAD RISE is a program that allows 300 international students of engineering or applied sciences to get a 3-month scholarship and an internship with researchers or german companies.
In this program, the travel fees are paid for (if any), and a stipend is paid to the student to cover their daily needs. This program is most popular with undergraduate students but is available for students enrolled in postgraduate and Ph.D. programs as well.
To know more about the program, click here.
TestAS is an aptitude test for international students from non-EU countries who want to do undergraduate studies at a German university. It does not require any special knowledge. It tests abilities important for a successful course of studies. This test can be taken in many countries. You can take TestAS twice a year, and it is offered in German and English, both.
Working while studying
Students who are not from EEA or Switzerland can only work 90 full days (or its equivalent 180 half days) per year. In case if you want to work more it needs to be approved by the Federal Employment Agency. Jobs related to higher education don't fall under any limits, but they need to be recorded by the agency and must be classified as a higher education job.
To know more about part-time jobs, the rules set by the government, and the pay for the same, click here.