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Studying in Germany – A Complete Guide

Germany is becoming an increasingly popular destination among international students. It is considered one of the best for getting a global education  Degrees from Germany are highly respected by employers worldwide. According to figures released by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), in 2018/2019, a total of 393.579 international students were enrolled in higher education institutions in Germany. Currently, there are a total of 426 higher education institutions in Germany, including 106 universities, 216 universities of applied sciences, 52 colleges of art and 16 theological universities.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why students should consider studying in Germany:

  • Quality education system.
  • Globally ranked universities
  • Affordable education
  • German degrees are highly respected by employers worldwide.
  • Free education (with minimal fees) at public schools, even for international students!
Quality Education

Germany’s higher education system is among the top in the world. German universities are considered world leaders in medicine and engineering. Students are offered a wide range of subject choices from over 19,000 different study programmes. The country’s universities not only provide superb education, but they also have great infrastructure, research and innovation opportunities for students.
What makes German higher education stand out is the emphasis on the solid foundation of education where it:

  • Engages children intellectually, emotionally and physically.
  • Teaches them independence, decision making, as well as personal, social and political responsibility.
  • Assists them in attaining their educational goals.
  • Supports them in advancing their specialist knowledge.

German universities function under the Bologna reform, which ensures that all students get a unified and internationally recognized degree such as a Bachelor’s, a Master’s or a PhD. Many employers around the world respect German degrees, which is why students from German universities have many career opportunities available to them.

Globally Ranked German Universities

Germany is home to some of the best universities in the world. The Technical University of Munich ranks 50th in the QS World University Rankings® 2021, and top in Germany. A total of 45 other German universities are among the Top universities in the world.
Almost every city in Germany has at least one University ranked among the world’s best. A total of 14 German universities are in the world’s top 250, and 32 are included within the world’s top 500. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings has also ranked 48 German Universities. These rankings do qualify Germany’s higher education as elite.

University

QS World University Rankings® 2021

Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

Technical University of Munich

50

43

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU)

63

32

Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

64

44

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

117

74

Freie Universitaet Berlin

130

117

KIT, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

131

175

RWTH Aachen University

145

99

Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin)

148

149

Technische Universität Dresden

173

157

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

175

91

Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg

175

86

Affordable Education and Living Cost

Undergraduate and postgraduate studies in public universities in Germany are free. In 2014, 16 states in Germany abolished tuition fees for undergraduate and post graduate students at all public German universities fee except for the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg that decided to re-introduce tuition fees to international students in December 2016. Both domestic and international undergraduate students can now study for free at public universities in Germany. However, there is minimal fee that must be paid to cover administration and other costs per semester.
The tuition fees for international students in public and private universities are estimated at:

Level of EducationUniversity CategoryEstimated Cost
Undergraduate & PostgraduatePublic
  • €1,500 per semester which is €3000 per year [approximately ₹1,25,000; ₹2,50,000]
Undergraduate & PostgraduatePrivate
  • estimated at €26,000 to €40,000 [approximately ₹21,61,000; ₹32,25,000]

On average, the living cost in Germany is estimated at €850 per month with cost variance per city [approximately ₹70,000]. The accommodation cost specifically is estimated at €290 and €560 per month depending on city & type [approximately ₹24,000 to ₹46,000].

Study with Scholarships

A variety of organizations and research institutes offer scholarships to international students to enable them study in Germany. The German Academic Exchange Service or the DAAD is the largest organization to help students with a variety of scholarship options depending on their chosen discipline or field of research. The DAAD supports over 100,000 students from all over the world, including Germans. Under DAAD, there are over 188 scholarship options to choose from. These scholarships are generally open to all subjects.
The requirements to apply for DAAD scholarships differ program wise, however, here are few general requirements to keep in mind:

  • You must be an international student who is planning to study in Germany or have stayed in Germany for a maximum of 15 months against the closing date for applications
  • You must apply for a full-time course of study with compulsory attendance in Germany to qualify for the scholarship
  • You must not be funded by any other German funding organization or another state agency in Germany in order to qualify for DAAD scholarship
  • There is no fixed age limit unless explicitly mentioned

Aside this, there are many other research institutes that also offer scholarships to students and research scholars.

Live Beyond the Classroom

More than the high-tech classrooms and facilities, Germany also offers beautiful landscape with unending activities you can engage in. From canoeing in the lake to hiking in the mountains, you will never run out of activities to cool off your feet.

Famous places to visit include-

  • Franconia, the highest density of beer breweries in the world
  • Leipzig New Lakeland for windsurfing
  • The city of Kommern, discover Rehnish Culture and more!
  • Rhine Main Region, Germany’s highest climbing parks
  • Winterberg for the ultimate winter sports
  • Neuschwanstein, the ultimate fairy-tale castle
  • The Berlin Wall for a historic walk

Germany is also a land of festivals with every region in Germany having its own music festival. Rest assured, you will never run out of leisure activities. Among the popular festivals that you must attend are-

  • Fusion festival, a music and art festival, in Müritz Airpark in Lärz, Mecklenburg- Vorpommern
  • Oktoberfest in Munich, a celebration of Bavarian beer, culture, and music
  • Karneval in Cologne, one of Germany’s most colourful festival
  • Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin, perfect treat for the cinephiles
  • Beethovenfest in Bonn, the ultimate classical music festival
Work Opportunity in Germany

Yes, you can work in Germany while studying. You can either work in your university or opt for the usual student jobs such as-

  • Trainee teacher
  • Babysitter
  • Waiting staff in a café
  • Temp work at trade fairs, etc

The allotted working days for part-time job is 120 full days or 240 half days per year for non-EU students. However, this work limit does not extend to those working as student assistants.
Students can also apply for a post-study-work opportunity by applying a Residence Permit after completion of their education from a German university. As per the Immigration Law, students should apply for and get a Residence Permit of 18 months to seek for employment in Germany.
In comparison to other countries, Germany is among the safest countries to study in, which is another added (and important) benefit of choosing it as your global ed destination.

Date added
26.08.2020

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