Germany is one of the most popular non-English-speaking countries. It has a high record of international students due to its trendy student cities and little to no tuition fees. These two factors are what make studying in Germany such an enticing adventure for students.
As an international student, you don’t need to break the bank to get the best education. Much more, how to apply to study in Germany is not a puzzle.
In this blog, we’ll walk you through the process of applying to study at any German university.
- Choose a university: You need to choose your preferred university and course to begin with. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has a database of almost 2,000 programs available to search from, including 1,389 programs in English.
Opportunities for undergraduate studies are fairly limited. But the best one to choose is one that teaches in English while helping you improve your proficiency in German.
- Check the admission requirements:
Germany, just like any other country has its entry requirements. To apply in Germany, you need to meet up the admission and language requirements such as:
- Higher education qualification
- High school diploma/school leaving certificate/ university entrance exam result is necessary for prospective undergraduates
- Language Proficiency Test (German/ English)
If your course is taught in English, you will need to prove your English proficiency with TOEFL/IELTS tests.
Most courses taught in German, require international applicants to submit proof of proficiency in the German language.
The accepted grades for these tests are published on the university’s websites.
- Proof of Finances: To fulfil student visa requirements, you will need to show proof that you have, or have access to, around €10,500 per year to cover your living costs.
However, you may need more depending on your lifestyle and location (the average student spends €850 a month). But you need to have a blocked account of about €10,500 to prove you can financially take care of your expenses.
- Apply: At many German universities, it’s possible to apply for admission twice a year – to commence studies either in the winter or summer semester.
In general, applications for winter enrolments need to be made by 15 July, and applications for summer enrolments by 15 January. However, application deadlines vary between institutions, and the same institution may set different deadlines for each program.
Be sure to carefully check the specific dates for your chosen course. It’s recommended to submit applications at least six weeks before the deadline, to ensure time for corrections or additions if any information is missing. You should expect to receive a formal acceptance or rejection approximately one to two months after the deadline has passed.
The documents needed to apply to include the following:
- A certified copy of your high-school diploma or previous degrees, and any other relevant qualifications in the original language
- A translated overview of your course modules and grades
- A passport photo
- A copy of your passport (personal information and photo ID page)
- Proof of language proficiency (a test certificate or online equivalent)
You may need to pay an application fee.
- Get your health insurance: You should get health insurance that would cover you during your stay in Germany. You should do this before leaving your home country as this is required before you even enrol or get a student visa. This means that if you have public health insurance in your home country, you should be covered in Germany as well. But you will generally need to get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to take advantage of this (free to obtain).
- Get a student visa: The requirements for obtaining a student visa for Germany depend on your country of origin. You can find an overview of the countries for which a student visa is or isn’t required on the Foreign Federal Office’s website.
- Find Accommodation: Accommodation is the next most important to find once you’ve been admitted to study the course of your choice. The cost of accommodation depends on the location of your school.
Various accommodation options exist for international students. You can get a student residence or a coliving space. Agencies like Kummuni provide affordable co-living spaces for international students. Once you’ve found a place to live, you need to register at the ‘’residents’ registration office’’ (Einwohnermeldeamt) or the ‘’citizens’ bureau’’ (Bürgeramt).
- Enrol: You must enrol before you can begin learning and use university facilities such as the library.
You’ll also need to re-register before the start of every semester. This usually costs between €150 and €250, depending on the university.
There may be an additional charge of around €180 for a “Semester ticket”, which covers public transport expenses for six months.
Documents needed to enrol include:
- Passport with a residence permit or visa
- Several passport photos
- Completed registration form
- Proof of higher education entrance qualification, either original certificates or officially certified copies and translations
- Notice of admission
- Evidence of adequate knowledge of German or English
- Evidence of statutory health insurance in Germany
- Payment receipt for the semester fee
Once enrolled, you will receive a registration certificate that acts as a provisional student ID, allowing you to apply for your residence permit and register for classes.
- Settle into student life in Germany: Once you’ve completed the basics of registration, you should ensure that you’ve registered with the local registration office of the city you found accommodation in.
You’ll receive a document confirming your registration at that address which you can use for the next step. Ensure you have a student bank account which will help make payment of your bills easier. If you’re worried or unsure about anything, ask for help from the advisory committee offered by the student committee, or your university’s international office.
Choosing to Study in Germany is a wise decision for any international student. All it takes is your determination and thorough research to make it happen. nApply these processes and be hopeful you will make it in the land of ideas.