Why study a Bachelor or Master in Germany

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About Germany

Germany is one of the top study destinations chosen by international students globally, the third to be exact. Germany is a country renowned for its world-class education and bubbling with culture and great experiences. Germans are known as being disciplined, well versed and highly intelligent. This makes a lot of sense, seeing as the first book ever was printed in Germany, and the first magazine in the world was also created in Germany in 1663. 


Students flock to the country, wanting to experience this thrilling and enriching experience. The culture is also fascinating to immerse yourself in. A compelling fact is that 65 per cent of the highways in Germany have no speed limit, so they depend on the driver’s responsibility to decide how fast to go.


If you want to learn to become responsible and many other skills and earn a high-level degree under your belt, then studying in Germany is the way to go. 


Read on to learn many essential details about incomparable study destinations and why you should study in Germany so your application process can be breezy! 


As you probably expected, German is the official national language of the nation. In fact, German is the language with the most speakers in Europe, with 35 different dialects available to speak. 


What’s more, when it comes to pursuing a third language, German is the most popular choice for many international students. You can take advantage of this when you go to study in Germany, as you can take a language course and learn how to speak it. 


The currency officially used in Germany is the Euro. Before the year 2002, when all countries adopted the Euro in the European Union, Germany used the Deutsche Mark as the primary currency.

Geographical information

Geographically, Germany is in central Europe, sharing borders with several countries like Netherlands, Poland and Denmark. Berlin, located in the Northeast part of Germany, is the capital. The country has an area of around 360,00 kilometres squared, which means it is the 7th biggest European country. 


Germany has spectacular scenic landscapes, with about one-third of the country covered in rich forests and woodlands teeming with wildlife. You can also find more than 2000 castles scattered throughout the country. 


When it comes to religion in Germany, more than half of the population are Christian, with many people belonging to each of the sects of Christianity. Forty per cent of people don’t pertain to a particular religion, while around 5 per cent are Muslims. Regarding religious minorities, 0.2 per cent of Germans are Buddhists while 0.1 per cent are jews. 

Political stance

A country that is considered relatively politically stable, Germany is a democratic federal parliamentary republic. The Bundestag, German parliament, and the Bundesrat, the representative body of Germany’s regional states) have national legislative power.  


Germany is considered the European Union’s most robust and largest economy. It has a GDP of 3.73 trillion USD Dollars, making it the fourth most potent economy globally, behind the United States, China and Japan. 


Germany has a variety of distinct experiences to offer tourists who venture there. You can genuinely always find something to do, from breathtaking scenery to majestic architectural works to cultural events and festivals all year round. This means, as a student there, you’ll be spoiled for choice.


Germany is also renowned for its health tourism. Many tourists go to the spa towns with hot springs to get treatments or preventative care for conditions they may be suffering from. 


When it comes to cultural events, Germany hosts the biggest Beer Festival globally, the Oktoberfest in the city of Munich. There were many other events and activities about German culture. A fun fact is that more people go to cultural exhibitions than football matches in Germany. 

Top Attractions

Germany’s top attractions include the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, which was designed following the same architecture as the acropolis in Athens. Built for King Frederick William the second in 1791, the gate is the first neoclassical building in Berlin, made exclusively of sandstone. 


Another well-known attraction is the Cathedral in Cologne, known as the 

Kölner Dom. This stunning and majestic cathedral, which belonged to St. Peter and St. Mary, can be found on the banks of the Rhine river.


The black forest is another attraction that many tourists flock to. It is one of the most famous forests in Europe to visit, dark and eery and with hills that are full of trees.


When it comes to food in Germany, there are many yummy options. Traditional food in Germany besides baked goods, which are available in bakeries everywhere, include Käsespätzle, currywurst and kartoffelpuffer. Read on to learn more about these delicious dishes. 


Käsespätzle is a well-known pasta dish in Germany made from layering pasta with cheese on it and then topped with fried onion. This food comes from southwest Germany and is usually served with a side dish of salad and some apple sauce. 


Germans eat more than 800 million currywurst sausages annually. Because the meal is so popular, there’s a currywurst-themed museum in Berlin. 


This snack is considered fast food that is eaten on the go. It’s typically a plate made of sausages that are cut up with french fries and various sauces such as honey mustard, spicy ketchup sauce or mayonnaise.

Kartoffelpuffer & Bratkartoffeln

A dish that is similar to Rosti from Switzerland, the Kartoffelpuffer, translated to puffed potato, is a pancake made of potatoes that have been grated then mixed with egg and flour. As a breakfast dish, it is often presented at restaurants as a side with eggs and bacon. It can also be served with a steak dinner as a side for lunch or dinner. 

Another famous dish, Bratkartoffeln, is a sauteed potato or one that is hashed. 

Study in Germany

As one of the most popular study destinations globally due to the world-class level of education at the universities, Germany is a study abroad location that many students choose. Other reasons include the excellent faculty members who come from all over the world and being an affordable undergraduate or post-graduate experience. This section will teach you more exciting facts about studying in Germany.

Why should you study in Germany?

You should choose to pursue your study abroad experience in Germany, from the affordable tuition fees to the numerous options for courses to choose from to the many work opportunities that you can take advantage of while studying there. Studying in Germany is truly an excellent option for international students studying abroad. 

Affordable tuition fees

A great advantage to studying in Germany is the low or minimal tuition fees. Costs of universities around the globe are increasing at an excessive rate, but Germany is one of the countries where they don’t charge tuition fees to students. 


In October 2014, the German government decided that all international students wouldn’t pay tuition when studying in Germany. They’re only subjected to various admin costs like student union fees and public transport tickets, which is an excellent value for money and an incredibly reasonable price for a priceless education in Germany. 

Many degree courses to choose from

Because there are many universities in Germany, there are also many undergraduate and graduate degree courses to choose from. From business to law to engineering, you can find any subject under the sun you can imagine to study. 


Engineering programs are especially valued at German universities because of Germany’s industrialised nature. Still, many study programs are available in many fields, many of which Germans are leaders in, like pharmacy and medicine programs. 

Work Opportunities during the degree  

Another reason why international students choose to study in Germany is the work opportunities that students can have during their study time. International students are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week. More than 60 per cent of students studying abroad decide to work part-time while in Germany to cover their expenses or make a little pocket money. 


It’s easy to find a job while studying in Germany because there is a wide variety available and you don’t need any special qualifications. Typical jobs international students choose to pursue during their studies are working as bartenders, admin staff, subject or language tutors or babysitters, among other positions. 

Opportunity to study in English

Knowing German isn’t necessary for studying in Germany, even though it may be helpful to see a bit to be able to get around quickly. Many schools offer international degrees taught in English, especially for post-graduate level courses like masters or PhDs. 


Some schools offer free German language programs and degree courses or vouchers to get german lessons at specific institutions. This helps students learn the language to deal with people in the street or carry out services that may not speak English. You will also be able to pick up the language when dealing with people and other students and may even decide to switch to a German-language degree program!


Amazing cultural experience

Another reason why students may decide to study in Germany is the cultural experiences that people get to interact with there. Germany has many festivals and markets that suit any taste and any age group. There’s something for literally everyone.


If you are a book lover, you’ll enjoy the Frankfurt book fair while if you live for art, you can attend the German art festival called Documenta in Kassel. Check out the Hannover trade fair if you’re into manufacturing and engineering. This is in addition to the annual Easter festivals (fruhlingsfest) and Christmas markets (Weihnachten bazaar) that are held in all German cities. 


There are also over 600,000 cultural clubs in Germany to pursue your hobbies and other fans of it. These exist for hobbies like music instruments, sign language, learning about plants or sports clubs for football or basketball fans. 

How much does it cost?

After being impressed with the advantages of studying abroad in Germany, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that there are no tuition fees at German public universities. Because Germany has a federal higher education system, the different German states are responsible for this higher education, and each one has various regulations and admission fees. However, the state of Baden-Württemberg makes international students pay a general tuition cost of around 3,000 euros yearly. Additionally, privately owned universities are free to set the admission fees that they want. 


Even though there are no tuition fees, all German public universities charge administration fees called “Semesterbeitrag”, which must be paid by both EU and international students. This fee is an administrative fee of about 75 euros and a “Studentenwerk” or student union fee that ranges between 50 and 80 euros. They will also be asked to purchase a semester transportation ticket costing between 150 and 200 euros.  

Living in Germany

When it comes to living costs, it’s been said that the average amount you should put aside if you intend to study in Germany is from 7,000 to 10,000 euros yearly. These costs follow along with the average costs of living in any European country, so when it comes to living costs, Germany is typically not more expensive than other countries, nor is it cheaper. However, your monthly rent is considered your highest fixed cost. Read on to learn more about the different accommodation types available for international students and which would be the most suitable type for you.


Talking about accommodation in Germany as an international student, you must consider which city you are moving to, as costs differ significantly between them. For example, Berlin is one of the cheapest cities to live in as you can rent a one-bedroom apartment there for around 600 euros monthly. 


On the other hand, Munich is more expensive than Berlin because it is a safe and stable city with a strong economy. If you are searching for accommodation in Munich, you probably won’t be able to find a one-bedroom flat for less than 1,000 euros per month, and that is considering a relatively cheap apartment. 


Frankfurt is also an expensive city to live in, second place in costs to Munich. You can pay around 900 euros per month for a one-bedroom flat there. Cologne another famous student city is less expensive than Munich or Frankfurt but is still more expensive than living in Berlin. You can expect to pay around 800 euros monthly for a one-bedroom house there in Cologne. 


However, there are always different types of student accommodations available that come at lower costs than renting private residences. You can learn more about these accommodations in the next section. 

Student Dormitories 

The most popular student accommodations in Germany are those in student dormitories, known there as residence halls. Around 40 per cent of all international students studying abroad in Germany decide to live in this type of accommodation. These are some of the most affordable types of accommodation available out there. 


They have typically shared buildings designed with students in mind. You may have to share a bathroom or at the very least a kitchen and common area. A plus to living in one of those dorms is exposure to many international students, an excellent opportunity to make good friends. 


Student dormitories differ from one German city to another, such as building size, room design and size and the furniture available in the dorm room. 


These student dorms are typically located close to universities, which is another advantage and the reasonable price. International students living in student residences pay around 250 euros monthly, depending on amenities and services available with the room.


Another option to keep in mind is housing entities’ private dormitory options. Still, these are often more expensive than student dormitories, as they tend to include more services and may offer a bit more privacy with mini kitchenettes and bathrooms in each of the rooms.

Wohngemeinschaft “WG” – Shared Flats 

Shared flats, also called flatshares, are known in Germany by the abbreviation “WG” and are popular among international students as an accommodation option. Some people decide to stay there when they can’t find a flat in a university dorm. 


These accommodation options are private apartments rented by students and shared with their peers, usually four others. Each flatmate has their own room and shares a kitchen, bathroom and common leisure area with their other flat partners. They also split the cost of rent and utilities among them. 


For example, if you decide to rent a three-bedroom flat with a monthly cost of 1,300 euros, each one will pay around 400 euros per month and the utilities.

Private rentals

Another housing option in Germany for international students is private rentals. These are accommodation options for students who would like to live alone and crave privacy. 


Unfortunately, this is one of Germany’s most expensive types of housing options. This is because you’ll have to pay the cost of both rent and utilities on your own watch. That means that you’ll pay rent anywhere from 500 to over 1000 euros per month depending on the city and where the apartment is located. 

Short-Stay Accommodation

Finally, short-stay accommodations are also an option for those who will stay in Germany for only a short while. You could also choose to stay at these whilst looking for the perfect long term accommodation. 


Options for these short-stay accommodations include renting a room in a hostel, renting a shared room in a hostel or renting a room in a Bed and Breakfast. You could also rent a room using Airbnb or rent a couch in someone’s house using Couchsurfer.

Other costs of living

Regarding other living costs besides accommodation in Germany, you can expect to pay utilities of around 200 euros, including internet, mobile packages and TV subscriptions. You should also expect to pay around 200 euros for groceries a month and about 100 euros of health insurance on your student health insurance plan.

Universities in Germany

Universities in Germany are well known for being some of the best worldwide, with many students travelling across the globe to acquire degrees at their institutions. This section talks about some of the best universities in Germany from 

Technische Universität München to Arden University to IU International University of Applied Sciences. Read on to learn more about them and the various degree types available in Germany for students to pursue. 

Degrees available

If you want to pursue your degree in Germany, you are probably interested in the degrees available. For undergraduate degrees, bachelor’s degrees give an excellent background in subjects at regular universities, technical universities, or vocational schools. In Germany, undergraduate bachelor’s degrees typically take three years to complete. 


When discussing post-graduate degrees, master’s degrees in Germany build on the basis received during bachelor studies. They are mainly free if you choose to study them at public universities and are usually finished in two years. On the other hand, PhDs, or doctorates, are for students who have already completed master’s studies. They tend to write a dissertation with research from 2 to 5 years.


Another type of degree available in Germany is the work-study degree. This degree is the best of both worlds, offering academic degrees and work experiences at well-known companies. This means they get an education whilst gaining experience and earning good money. 

Top-ranked universities

Most of the universities in Germany are top class and are ranked highly compared with other study abroad destinations. There is an excellent university in almost every German city, so it’s worth looking into the city you love the most and checking out the universities there and the programs offered. Whether you’re a Munich girl or a Berliner guy, you can find the perfect university for you that is also excellent academically. 

Technische Universität München: TUM

Location: Munich

Ranked at number one in the country, Technische Universität München or the Technical University of Munich is located in Munich. It ranks at number 17 when it comes to reputation among employers. 


The university was founded in 1968 and focuses on teaching technology at a cutting edge campus. It is among the best 50 universities in the world for subjects like computer science, engineering and physical sciences. 

Ludwig-Maximilians – Universität München

Location: Munich

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat or Ludwig Maximilians University, also located in Munich, is the 2nd on the list of best universities in Germany. Founded as one of the earliest universities in Germany in 1472, it has almost 60,000 students. Around 15 per cent of these students are international students. A tribute to how great the university is that 42 of the university alumni are Nobel Prize winners.


Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat is one of the best universities in Europe when it comes to research in many fields. Students can pursue degrees in many subjects like humanities, cultural studies, law, economics, medicine and natural sciences, so if you want to study there, you’ll be spoilt for choice when choosing your degree.

Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Location: Heidelberg 

Another highly ranked university in Germany, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, is also ranked number 34 around the world. Founded in the year 1386, this is the oldest university in Germany and has the highest score for faculty-student ratio in the country. 


When it comes to high performing subjects, the university ranks at the top for subjects like Life Sciences and Medicine, so if this is the area you are going for, it’s worth looking into the university to pursue your study abroad journey at. 

UE University

Location: Berlin, Iserlohn, Hamburg 

The University of Europe for Applied Arts and Sciences (UE University) is an international university located with its main campus in Berlin. It’s a great university with degree programs in many areas, offering students an extensive university network that is interconnected through the internet. They offer students graduate and undergraduate degrees in any subject they can wish to pursue, from business to art and design to psychology to technology courses. 

The university also offers students who choose to study there the combination of theoretical studies and the ability to practically implement these studies with practice-oriented study degrees, allowing graduates to leave the school with a unique skill set, ready to excel in the working world. 

IU International University of Applied Sciences 

Location: Berlin, Bad-Honnef

IU International University of Applied Sciences is another exceptional German university with a unique approach to learning. They offer students a hybrid experience with the opportunity to either study on campus at the two locations of Berlin and Bad-Honnef or pursue a distance learning program. They are also free to do both together if they choose to do so. This gives students a highly flexible learning experience. 


Studying at the university is also a cosmopolitan experience, with around 90,000 students coming together from more than 110 countries around the globe. 94 per cent of students who graduate from the university are hired within three months of graduation because of the tools and knowledge they are armed with during their university studies. If you’re looking to become a global professional who knows what they are talking about, looking into the IU International University of Applied Sciences is a good idea.  

Macromedia University 

Location: Munich, Berlin

Finally, Macromedia University of Applied Sciences in Berlin and Munich is a great study opportunity for those who want to study abroad in Germany. Both campuses are in the vibrant centre of the cities, allowing students a great city life with connections to media and art hubs around them. The university specialises in business, management, media, design and creative arts so if you are interested in these fields, it could be a fantastic opportunity for you. 


The university is one of the best fashion and art schools in Germany. It gives students lifelong industry contacts that they can network with and connect to find opportunities during their study period and after graduation. 

Examples of other universities

Examples of other universities that are highly ranked and with great study programs and teaching staff are Humboldt-Universität and Freie University in Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Göttingen and University of Hamburg. It’s worth looking into these exceptional universities and the previous ones mentioned when applying to study programs in Germany. 

Student Visa - Germany

When deciding to study in Germany for your undergraduate or undergraduate studies, you will need to consider if you need a study visa or not. There are circumstances in which you won’t need a visa, and some in which you will need one. Read on to learn more about the study visa process and the requirements when it comes to studying in Germany. 

Do I need a German study visa?

There are different circumstances regarding the visas you need for studying in Germany. If your studies last up to three months, you will only need a Schengen visa. For studies that last more than three months, you will need a German study visa to continue your studies in Germany. You can enter Germany with a national visa then apply for a residence permit for your studies. However, be sure to do this while your visa is still valid to avoid being rejected. 


There are also conditions when it comes to the country you are applying to study from: 

Applying to Study from Within EU

If you are applying to study in Germany and come from any country within the EU, with Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein included, you don’t need to apply for a German student visa before coming to Germany, as you are exempted from it.  

Applying to Study from US, Canada, Australia etc

If you are applying to study in Germany from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Japan, South Korea, you also don’t need a study visa to study in Germany. You will only need to register at the local Residents’ Registration Office and the Aliens’ Registration Office (Ausländeramt) to get a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) to be able to live in Germany. You should do this within two weeks of arriving in the country. 

Applying to Study from Andorra, Brazil etc 

Suppose you come to Germany from Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco, San Marino or Taiwan. In that case, you’ll only need a German student visa if you are planning to work in Germany, either before you acquire your degree or after obtaining it. If you intend to work in Germany, you should apply before coming to Germany at your local embassy. 


In either case, you will need to obtain a residence permit once you are in Germany. Students must do this within two weeks after you get into the country. Please note that students applying from Taiwan must have a valid passport with them that has an identity card number in it. 

Applying to Study from Any other country

If you are from any other country that has not been listed in the above categories, you will need a student visa when studying in Germany. You can apply to obtain this visa through the embassy in your home country. You can expect to pay around 60 euros for your visa. 

Types of German Student Visas 

When applying for your German student visa, there are several types available. The regular German student visa is the one for international students who have already been accepted into a university and are ready to begin their study abroad journey at a full-time degree program. A German student application visa is one for students who are still going to apply for university admission in person. This visa only allows you to apply for university, not pursue a study program there. The third type of German student visa is the German language course visa, which will enable you to study for a German language course in Germany, but doesn’t allow any other type of study. 

German student visa requirements

Talking about the requirements of German student visas, the most critical ones needed are your actual visa application with the required documents, two photocopies of your passport and a birth certificate. If you are married and have children, you’ll also need your child’s birth certificate or your marriage certificate. You should also submit three passport photos. 

Admission Requirements

When it comes to admission requirements, you’ll be required to submit documents like the scholarship awarding certificate, with the amount covered, a bank guarantee by an official german bank and proof of university admission. You’ll also need to hand in proof of your student health insurance coverage. You’ll also need proof of English language proficiency, especially if you aren’t proficient in German. 


You’ll also need to submit your “Zulassungsbescheid”, which confirms your degree program admission, showing the date of start of your studies and the language you will be learning in. Alternatively, you may be required to hand in the proof of conditional admission or “Bedingter Zulassungsbescheid” and a confirmation into a German language course that lasts more than six months and has less than 18 study hours per week. You will also need to submit your previous degree certificates, from high school or bachelor’s, depending on the study level you are entering into.  

Financial Requirements

Another essential requirement is proof of financial abilities, called “Finanzierungsnachweis” in German. International Students can present the evidence in one of these forms: a deposit of 10,332 euros into a German blocked bank account, with a confirmation, or a letter of commitment from your parents and evidence of their income and financial assets or finally, a letter of commitment from any german resident who is willing to cover your costs called the “Verpflichtungserklärung”. The german residence can request this letter at the Alien’s Registration Office. 

Application steps for a German Student Visa

When applying for your German student visa, students should follow several steps if they have established that they need one. From finding your nearest German embassy to checking up on the requirements and making sure you are eligible for them, read on to learn more about the steps in detail so that the process is as easy-breezy as possible for you! 

Find the closest German embassy or consulate 

The first step when applying for your student visa is finding your local German embassy or consulate so you can find out the requirements. You can usually find this out by doing a quick search online, as all German embassies have an official website that states contact information and location to be easily found. 

Check visa requirements and make appointment 

You can usually find the requirements for your country online when it comes to student visas. You will also find the steps on how to set up a visa appointment. Be sure to check all the visa requirements and ensure that you have all the requested documents before setting up an appointment to don’t waste your time. Ensure that you give yourself enough time, as it may take you weeks to secure a meeting if all the slots are taken. This means you should book your appointment a few weeks in advance to find a space around the time you want.  

Prepare required documents

The next step required is to prepare the documents that are requested. Double-check all of your documents to make sure you have everything ready so that if you have forgotten something, you have time to prepare it before your appointment. 

Get ready for your interview

The final step is to get ready for your visa interview. Paying the non-refundable visa fee which is an average of 70 euros should be done before your interview. You should bring your payment confirmation along with you. When you are done with your visa interview and have handed everything in, you will later receive an official document saying if your visa has been accepted or rejected. Unfortunately, if you have been rejected, you won’t get the money for your visa fee back. 

When to Apply

If you’re wondering about the best time to apply for your German student visa, it is best to apply right after you have been accepted to the German university. It can take around 25 days for your visa to be processed, so always add extra time as a buffer period when you are applying, just in case. They usually are all processed within three months. 

Steps to get your student residence permit

In order to get a student residence permit in Germany, there are several steps you must take. The first thing is to find a permanent residence that is under your name. The next thing to do is to register at the government residence office in your city. Once you have registered your address, they will give you a confirmation which they call “Meldebescheinigung”.

Requirements to register in Germany

In order to register yourself and get a student residence permit, you will need a valid passport or national ID card that clearly shows your visa if you need one. You’ll also need a rental contract that has a letter that confirms your address that your landlord or apartment building owner confirms.


You’ll also need to be enrolled officially in a study program in a university within the enrollment time frame. This “matriculation” process happens when you hand in the needed documents at the university’s student office and pay the semester fee. You’ll then receive your ID card and any pertinent documents and information. 

Required documents

To acquire your residence permit, the required documents are the application form, your national passport, documents verifying your permanent address in Germany and a letter from your landlord confirming that you live there. 


You’ll also need to hand in passport photos and proof that you can financially support yourself and confirmation of acceptance into your study program. You can also expect to pay 50 to 100 euros for the application fee. If you are Turkish, this is an exception to the rule as you will only pay 28 euros. 

How to apply - Germany

After learning how to acquire your student visa, you’ll want to learn how to apply to university programs in Germany. Germany has some of the most prestigious study programs with a wide variety of subjects to choose from, so you’ll indeed find a great study program at a university perfect for you. Read on to learn more about this.

Find your Study degree and university

You should start researching at least three months before you decide to apply for the university to find the perfect study degree and institution where you intend to pursue the degree. This is the first and perhaps most crucial step when applying for university in Germany. It won’t be hard to find a great program as there are many good universities and programs with any specialisation you would love to study that will take you in the direction you want to go after graduation. 


However, because there are so many options available, narrowing things down might take some time, especially if you haven’t looked into study programs before. First, it might help to choose the city you want to live in and then start searching the universities and degree programs there. It’s better to apply to more than one university at once to have a higher chance of being accepted into one. 


Making a list of the universities and study degree programs is the first step that determines the rest of your application process. 

Make sure you are eligible

Once you have decided on your list of universities and study programs, you should check the deadlines for the applications and the requirements to be eligible for the university and the study program. It’s best to check these at least two weeks before the application is opened to start submitting it so you don’t run short on time. 


You can find out if you are eligible or not by looking into the university website and checking the admission requirements. If you are confused about what is meant by a requirement, reach out to the university through their email or phone number or directly in the Contact Us section on their website. 


You will find different requirements for each program and for each university, so be sure to list them, especially if you are applying to several universities. This is so that you don’t miss anything or get them mixed up. Missing documents or sending incorrect ones can cause your application to be delayed or even cancelled, so double-check everything before submitting them. 

General university requirements Germany 

As stated before, you’ll find specific requirements for each university and degree program, but there are general requirements for joining any German university. 


Examples of these documents typically requested by most institutions are certified copies of previous degrees like high school diplomas or bachelor’s degrees and other related qualifications, language proficiency proofs depending on the language of the degree you’re applying for and an overview of previous grades. You’ll also be asked for passport photos and a copy of your passport or another official identification document. 

Language proficiency certificates in Germany 

When it comes to language proficiency proof, it differs based on the language you are going to study in. If you will study in German, you’ll need to present one of the recognised German language certificates to prove your level, such as the TestDaF level IV, DSH Certificate II or III, 

DSD Certificate of level II. Other qualifications that are accepted are the Goethe Certificate C2, 

Telc Deutsch C1 or B2 Hochschule Certificate. 


For English language proficiency, accepted certificates include the TOEFL test with a score of IbT-88 and Pbt-66 or the Official Score Report of IELTS Test, sent directly from the British council. You must have scored a score of higher than 6.5 in the IELTS Academic. Another certification that is accepted as proof of good English language is Cambridge Advanced English Certificate A, B, or C, combined with Cambridge Proficiency English Certificate A, B, or C.

Fill out your application

Once you have completed your requirements, the next step is to fill out your application. You should double-check your documents before submitting them and make sure you don’t have to send them by post or have someone in Germany hand them in for you in person, as some universities request this instead of online applications. 


Most German universities use a system called UniAssist that you submit your application through. Some universities also run their own online application on their website. 


Try to submit your application as soon as possible as so many international students choose Germany as a study abroad destination, so the university servers are often flooded with applications. Submit as early as possible and then wait for the university to contact you about the next step. 

Learn German (If Possible)

The next step when applying for university admission in Germany is an optional one but one that is highly recommended and is learning the German language. You can expect to get to a pretty good level if you start learning it around six months before applying. Even if your program is in English, it’s recommended to learn German or at least basic skills. This is because in lectures, even in English programs, professors and students may converse in German, and you don’t want to miss out on information, even non-official lecture information. Germans are also more comfortable expressing themselves in German, so trying to meet them halfway can have benefits and earn you points. 


In general, if you are going to study for an undergraduate degree, it’s more crucial to know German as most degrees are taught in it. On the other hand, you may find more English-based programs at the master’s and PhD levels. However, learning German can also help you deal with locals and go about your daily life more smoothly, as many people such as those who offer services don’t speak English. That means you’ll need at least a little bit of German under your belt to be able to interact with them.

Enroll at the University

The final step in the process happens after you arrive in Germany. This is the enrollment into the university so you can actually get a place in the degree. 


You will need to pay a registration fee of an average of 200 euros and also a semester ticket for public transportation for six months. 


In order to enrol in your degree program, you’ll need to go to the international office of your institution and submit documents like your passport, passport photos, visa or residence permits and application form. You’ll also need to submit your original copies with degree qualifications and the letter of admission from the institution.


You will also be asked to hand in proof of your health insurance and the payment receipt with any paid fees.


After enrolling, you will be given an ID card or document that can be used for registration at the government office to acquire your residence permit. It’s important to note that you will need to register every semester at the same place, paying the exact enrollment costs for the semester.

Scholarship in Germany

After learning about the study abroad process in Germany and how to acquire a student visa and apply to universities, you may be interested in learning about scholarships. Many scholarships and study grants are available for those who want to study in Germany.


Most of these scholarships come from civil society organisations associated with political or religious parties or unions. These associations receive their funds through the German government under the scheme of the talent support funds (in German, this is called the Begabtenförderungswerke).


 The entity that sponsors the most scholarships is the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), a group of German universities and student bodies to make the German higher education system more international through streamlining exchange systems. 

What do I need to apply for a scholarship?


Every scholarship is different, and there are additional requirements for each one. Still, in general, you can expect to hand in a letter of motivation, your CV, recommendation letters, your previous grades and the application form for the scholarship itself. 

Government-funded scholarships 

Examples of government-funded scholarships are those by the DAAD that offer students bachelor, master and PhD level scholarships. You can find them in the DAAD scholarships database. 


In this case, you’ll need to prepare documents like the online application form through the DAAD website, your CV, research proposal or motivation letter, letter of admission from the institution and previous university degrees if you are going for a post-graduate scholarship. You’ll also need to hand in previous transcripts from high school or your bachelor’s and the DAAD language evaluation form (for English and for some degrees, also for German). According to the scholarship, you may also need letters of reference or reference forms. 

Non-government scholarships 

Other non-governmental scholarships are available for international students who want to study in Germany. 


The first one is the Einstein International Postdoctoral Fellowship. The Einstein Foundation sponsors this one for research. You can choose to use this scholarship at any university in Berlin.


There’s also the Heinrich Böll Scholarships for International Students. These are scholarships for students at either undergraduate or postgraduate levels at any accredited German university. 


Another scholarship for post-graduate students is the Humboldt Research Fellowships for Postdoctoral Researchers. These are scholarships for scientific students who are pursuing degrees in different scientific subjects. These are for students of all nationalities. Students from developing countries or third world countries may additionally be able to apply for the Georg Forster Fellowship.


Another option to look into is the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Scholarships. These are scholarships for masters and PhD that offer monthly stipends for students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in their home country and are under 30 years of age. These students will need to prove that they perform at an excellent academic level, do voluntary work for the good of their home country, and are interested in politics and development.  


The Kurt Hansen Science Scholarships, a scholarship option for scientists, is funded by the Bayer Foundation. They are for students who want to educate in science in their home countries after graduation. 


Finally, the Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowships (IIF) for Developing Countries are graduate scholarships funded by the European Commission for international students who wish to study abroad in Germany.  

University-specific scholarships 

There are also university-specific scholarships like the DRD Scholarships for Sub-Saharan Africans. These are for Africans from developing sub-Saharan countries who want to study for masters in developmental studies, public administration or development management at the Ruhr-University in Bochum. A similar program for South Africans partnered with the UWC organisation. 


Frankfurt School of Finance and Management also has PhD grants for students who will study an English language degree in finance, accounting, math, or business. If you are pursuing a PhD within these fields, it’s worth looking into those scholarships.