Germany, the most popular location for international students who do not speak English, has over 380 universities and over 17,000 study programs. It is clearly a popular choice for international students, as it is the world’s third most popular university location, after only the United Kingdom and the United States. It’s no surprise that there are currently 357,000 international students studying there.
It’s no surprise that there are currently 357,000 international students studying there.
Why should you study in Germany?
Depending on the study location, Germany offers a diverse range of experiences to the foreign student community. Germany has something for everyone, from oh-so-cool Berlin to the city of Frankfurt to the towering mountains of Bavaria. You won’t have to travel far to locate a calm countryside escape if the bustling cities become too much for you during the school year.
The major motivation to study in Germany is to take advantage of the free education! Free university tuition for both domestic and international students is a German government policy. Tuition payments are waived at most, but not all, German universities.
There are a few private universities that do charge tuition. In 2017/18, only 19 private universities and 93 private universities of applied sciences in Germany charged these fees, accounting for less than 10% of all institutions in Germany.
While some international students attend private universities, tuition-free public universities continue to be the preferred option.
Germany is also well-known for its educational institutions. Many renowned scientists, including Einstein, Planck, and Born, come from Germany’s higher education system, which is known as the “country of poets and thinkers.”
It is noted for its ongoing learning modernisation, with the most up-to-date and successful teaching and research methods being applied on a regular basis. Employers recognize the high quality approach to teaching and research that students at German universities will have encountered, making them an attractive choice for employment because of their great reputation.
In Comparison To The United States, German Education
The most significant distinction, as previously stated, is the absence of tuition costs for overseas students in Germany. International students can expect to pay anything from $10,000 to $50,000 per year in tuition in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Studying in Germany is a low-cost option that reduces the amount of debt students will have at the conclusion of their studies.
Study in Germany top
German universities are considered to be among the best in the world. Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin, and Cologne, for example, all have many institutions, at least one of which is regarded among the greatest in the world.
Germany is home to some of Western Europe’s most prestigious higher education institutions, including both older traditional universities and more recently formed technology institutions.
In the QS World University Rankings 2019, 30 German higher education institutions were ranked among the finest in the world, with 30 of them ranking among the top 500.
Germany’s top five universities
Despite the fact that Germany has a large number of highly regarded universities, here is a quick rundown of the top five in the QS World University Rankings 2019.
- Munich’s LMU is a public university. It is one of Germany’s oldest universities, having been founded in 1472. It is widely recognized as a great academic and research institution, with 42 Nobel Prize winners. International students account for 13% of the student body, making it Germany’s second-largest student population.
- Munich Technical University is the city’s second public university, devoted to science and technology. Over 170 degree programmes in engineering, science, and technology are offered by three university departments. Since 1927, 13 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to university connections. The institution has almost 39,000 students, including nearly 9,000 international students.
- Heidelberg University is Germany’s oldest university, with about 30,000 students. This public research university is located in Heidelberg, which is regarded as one of Germany’s most beautiful cities and a major tourist destination. Twenty percent of the student body is made up of international students from 130 different countries.
- Berlin’s Humboldt Institution is a public university in Germany’s capital city. The institute is well-known and well-respected, excelling mainly in arts and humanities courses and boasting a library with over 6.5 million books. The university has around 33,000 students, with 16% of them being international.
- Freiburg University is Germany’s fifth oldest university and a public research university. There are about 25,000 students, with 16 percent of them being international students from 120 different countries.
The university has a long history of teaching humanities and natural sciences, and it has 19 Nobel Laureates on its faculty, as well as 15 members of staff who have won the top German scientific prize.
The university is also recognized for its mountain retreat, which students can use for recreational and outdoor activities.
Germany Universities Most Popular Courses
It’s vital to remember that most university courses in Germany are taught in German. However, with an aim of hosting 350,000 international students, English-taught degree programs are becoming more common.
If you want to pursue a Master’s degree, there are numerous English-medium courses accessible, particularly in business and the social sciences.
If you want to study at the undergraduate level, the International Program search tool (from the DAAD – German Academic Exchange Service) can help you.
Currently, the tool returns 121 bachelor’s degrees that are only taught in English. Only 60 of them, however, are at no-fee universities. If you wish to learn English in Germany, you might want to look into private colleges as well.
Although paying tuition fees will be necessary, these private colleges have the freedom to determine their own costs, and many charge less than €10,000 per semester, which is still less than foreign study in other parts of the world.
If you want to pursue a business degree, another option is to enroll at ESCP Europe. On its Bachelor of Management degree, you can study in three capital cities, including Berlin and London.
While this program offers a 100% English-taught degree, it will cost you €18,000 per year as a non-EU student (€13,600 for EU students).
Students from other countries planning to study in Germany
International Students’ Fees
Tuition at public institutions in Germany is free for both domestic and international undergraduate students, as stated earlier in the article.
The sole exception is at institutions in Baden-Württemberg, where students pay €3,000 in tuition fees per year (excluding refugees and PhD students).
Among them are the universities of Freiburg, Heidelberg, Hohenheim, Stuttgart, and Ulm. Students from Erasmus member states, those with EU permanent residency, and students with a German HE admission qualification are all exempt from the charge.
Despite the fact that universities are tuition-free, all students must pay a fee to cover expenses including enrolling, administration, and student assistance. This fee varies by institution, but it is often around €350.
Students pursuing a master’s degree may be required to pay tuition fees. Fees are imposed to students who are considered “non-consecutive,” meaning they have not finished a bachelor’s degree at a German institution in the last several years.
If a master’s degree is required, tuition costs might cost up to €20,000 each academic year. Students who pursue master’s programs directly after completing an undergraduate degree in Germany usually pay little or no tuition.
Top Scholarships in Germany to Apply For
In Germany, there are various government-funded scholarships available for study. These are the following:
- DAAD Scholarships: The German Academic Exchange Service offers scholarships for undergraduate and postgraduate studies.
- Erasmus+: This program is for international students who are enrolled in a study abroad program in Europe. There are grants available to help with living expenses.
There are other non-government scholarships available for studies in Germany. These are some of them:
- International Heinrich Böll Scholarships: Available for undergraduate and postgraduate studies at an authorized institution.
- Kurt Hansen Science Scholarships are available to international students interested in pursuing a career as a science educator.
- International Incoming Fellowships (IIF) for Developing Countries: Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowships (IIF) for Developing Countries: Postdoctoral research opportunities are available. For students from underdeveloped nations, there are numerous scholarships available.
- Deutschland Stipendium: A €300-per-month grant for extremely brilliant students from any country studying at German universities.
Many universities will provide university-specific scholarships to students interested in studying in Germany. These are some of them:
Students can apply for a variety of scholarships at Heidelberg University. The Amirana Scholarship, for example, assists students from developing countries who wish to pursue a career in medicine or dentistry.
Frankfurt School of Finance and Management is a business school in Frankfurt, Germany. Doctoral Tuition Waivers:
This award covers tuition for doctoral students enrolled in English-medium courses in finance, accounting, mathematics, and business administration.
Merit Scholarships at Universität Hamburg: For students who have been enrolled for at least two semesters and have proven exceptional competence (any degree level, any subject).
International and domestic students can apply for RWTH Aachen University scholarships.
Germany’s Living Costs
Student residences are a cost-effective housing alternative in Germany, although they are in high demand and limited availability. Students can also consider shared flats, which often include communal areas, coffee shops, laundry facilities, and bicycle storage. Depending on whether you live alone, with a partner, or on campus, rent can range between €210 and €360 per month.
Larger cities will have higher rental rates. A student flat in Berlin will likely cost €430 per month, whereas rent in Munich, a more expensive German city, will likely cost closer to €665.
Students must budget for food, utility bills, and social activities in addition to rent. When studying in Germany, it is recommended that you budget €850 per month, though this amount should be raised if you will be living in one of the larger cities, such as Munich.
In Germany, students are eligible for a “Semesterticket,” which covers the cost of bus, tram, subway, and train travel. This is usually covered by the university’s administrative fees, which are paid at the start of each semester.
Obtaining a Student Visa
EU, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Iceland students:
- To study in Germany, you do not need a visa.
- Within a week of arriving in Germany, you must register with the Einwohnermeldeamt or Bürgeramt.
- You must show proof that you have a yearly income of around €8700. (for living costs).
- Health insurance must have been purchased (unless policy from your home country is valid in Germany).
- You must show that you are fluent in the language of instruction for your degree program.
Students from outside the European Union (EU):
- Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Switzerland, or the United States: Visas are not required, but a resident permit is required.
- Only need a visa if you plan to work before or after your degree in Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco, San Marino, or Taiwan. A residence permit is required.
- Other countries include: Apply for a visa (Schengen Visa for 3 months of study, National Visa for more than 3 months). Your local German embassy can help you get a visa and a residence permit.
- For a Resident Permit, go to: Register with the Residents’ Registration Office, indicate that you have health insurance, that you have access to about €8700 per year (for living expenses), and that you have a passport with visa (if needed).
- For a visa, the same documents are required as for a residence permit. You may also be required to provide proof of a clean criminal background and a medical examination.
- For your degree course, all students must demonstrate fluency in the language of instruction.