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"Studying in Germany helped me a lot with my further career. Especially in dealing with different kind of people and coping with new challenges" (John, 27 years)
Studying in Germany at a glance
A lot of high school students dream of studying abroad for one semester or even their whole university period. Countries like Great Britain or the USA might be the most popular among students, but commencing a study in Germany presents a great and affordable chance to every young person. About 300,000 international students choose to study in Germany every year. With over 400 higher education institutions, Germany has a lot to offer.
The country lies in the heart of Europe and is one of the most important economic players in the world. Universities in Munich, Berlin and Stuttgart rank among the best in the world. Most universities have a strong focus on research and practical application of theoretical knowledge. Additionally, German universities are very well-connected with companies from all over the world; students can gain valuable work experience at an early stage of their study. Many lectures have an international focus and it’s therefore easy to study in Germany in English . English is often the language of instruction at German universities.
In Germany, most degree programs are either Bachelor or Master programs. Following the “Bologna standards” most degrees and credit points earned while studying in Germany are internationally accepted. This is a huge plus if you’re thinking of coming to Germany for only one or two semesters. Your study achievements will most likely get acknowledged all over the world.
But it’s not only great study chances that make a stay in Germany so attractive: the country’s rich heritage, friendly people and numerous leisure-time possibilities create a top destination for students. Additionally the country is very safe. Germany has a very good social security system. Every student is therefore required by law to have a valid health insurance. By taking up your study in Germany, you will make great new friends, experience a new way of life, soak up the German language and set sails for the future.
Luckily, studying in Germany is affordable even for international students. Education is a state affair and funded by the government. There are no study fees at all state-run universities. Wonder about how much it costs to live in Germany? Read on in our finance section.
Graduates from Germany – especially those with degrees in technology, engineering and science – have a world class reputation and are in great demand. But even if you seek to study in another field - with a strong and growing German economy you still have realistic chances of getting a job after graduation .
Even if you don’t have a European passport, you are allowed to stay in Germany up to 18 months after graduation, in order to look for a job.
On the following sites, we’ve collected information about visa and entry requirements, admission requirements, insurances you need, and much more to help you with your first steps towards your journey to Germany.
It is vital to have valid health insurance when you come to study in Germany. This is not only
Should you be privately insured in your home country and should the insurance be valid in
Germany you need confirmation that you are exempt from mandatory public health insurance
coverage in Germany in order to be able to enrol.
If you decide to come to Germany to study you don't always need a visa. There are three
Germany has made visa agreements with several countries from a second visa group that
Citizens with passports from other countries make up a third group and need to apply for a
If you are only looking at attending a summer course, language course, foundation course or
To take up any course or degree program you first have to apply to a university. In Germany, every study course has its own application rules. One study year in Germany consists of the winter semester that starts in October and finishes in March and the summer semester beginning in April and finishing in September. You can apply till January 15th for taking up you studies in summer and until July 15th and enrol for the winter semester. If you are on exchange and only want to spend one semester abroad, these guidelines don’t apply to you. Contact your home university to apply for a study exchange place.
For all courses taught at university, you do however definitely need a school leaving certificate. You can check online if your certificate is sufficient. If you would like to study a subject like medicine, psychology, mechanical engineering or law, there usually is a restricted admission. In order to get accepted your school-leaving certificate needs a certain average grade (Numerus Clausus), because usually there are more people applying for a certain course than places available at the university. While you usually need to apply directly to the university you wish to take up your study at, there are exceptions. If you wish to study medicine, dentistry, animal health and pharmaceutics in Germany, you need to apply to the ‘Foundation for Higher Education Admission’. If your application is accepted they will offer you a place at university.
If your desired course taught in German, you will probably need proof of language competence. The TestDaF is accepted by most universities. There are several TestDaF test centres all around the world. If your German is not that good yet, you can prepare and take a German course at your local Goethe Institute.
For more details on the admission process and in order to find out which application and enrolment guidelines apply to you individually, we recommend contacting your chosen university’s International Office. In the end, it is the university that decides if you are offered a place or not.
Confused by different guidelines, requirements, deadlines and regulations? Consult uni-assist
The question of how to afford studying abroad is certainly one of the most important ones. It is
Generally speaking, studying in Germany is cheaper than in countries like the USA or Great
The cost of living highly depends on the area you will study in. While living costs in big cities like
A lot of universities have very active student unions which organise cool parties and other
A good option to fund your studies and take the financial weight off your shoulders is a
Many international students work while studying to make a bit of extra money. If you come to
Once you live in Germany, you will hardly get far without your own bank account. You will need to
A good option is to get a student ‘Girokonto'. This is a current bank account that also includes
Bank accounts can be opened online or by going to a bank branch and asking one of the
Finding a flat
Once you have enrolled it's time to look for a new place to live. In Germany, you are responsible
The most popular choice among international students and probably the cheapest option as well
Many students live in private flat-shares (‘Wohngemeinschaften'). Either an existing flat-share
you can rent out an apartment by yourself. Note that this is probably the most expensive housing
option. Depending on the city you study in, flats will start at 250 Euro and prices will go up to 700
Euro rent per month. You can start looking at apartments online from abroad, but it's possibly
easier to find a nice flat once you have arrived in Germany.
The capital of Germany is also the country’s biggest and most vibrant city. Berlin is a melting pot
of cultures, languages and people from all over the world. With 41 institutions of higher education
Berlin is not only a good place to live but also a perfect place to study. Berlin has got something
for every student: You can choose from hundreds of different courses offered by the numerous
universities. With beautiful lakes, cosmopolitan shopping malls, world-famous clubs and bars,
rewarded operas and theatres you won’t ever get bored here.
The Hanseatic city is Germany's trading hub. With Europe's second biggest port, located at the
heart of the city, there's always something happening here! Hamburg is located between the
Baltic Sea and the North Sea. Want to dip your toes in sand after a long week of studying? This is
definitely the right place for you! Hamburg has a very vibrant nightlife with the infamous
‘Reeperbahn', small scene clubs and bars. Choose from 25 universities the one that suits you
best. Courses with an excellent reputation are logistics, marine biology and mechanical
Munich is Germany's star of the south. It is an excellent choice to study in Munich because two of
Germany's top universities are situated here. The world-famous event and two-week-long party
‘Oktoberfest' takes place in Munich and makes the city go mad. If you need a break from the big
city life head to the beautiful English Gardens. With the Alps nearby you can also go for hikes and
mountain bike rides in summer and head to the skiing fields in winter. If you are a football
enthusiast you definitely have to watch Munich's world class soccer team take on Europe in the
brightly illuminated Allianz Arena.
If you are looking at studying a business course – head to Cologne! Year after year Cologne
University is taking the top places at university rankings. But Cologne has more to offer: With two
major television companies having their studios here, the city is very popular among media
students. The German Sport University Cologne is the largest sports university in Europe and
has interesting and unique courses. People from all over Germany come to Cologne to watch the
annual crazy and colorful carnival parade. In summer, get some friends together and enjoy the
sun on the large Rhine river banks!
Stuttgart lies within one of Germany's strongest industrial regions. Especially science,
technology and engineering courses are popular and universities have established strong
bonds with global-players like Porsche, Daimler and Bosch. Students have excellent
opportunities to gain work experience and take part in a number of research projects. Stuttgart
itself is a charming town with a mild climate and lots of leisure time possibilities. Highlight of the
year is the festival ‘Canstatter Wasen' with many live-bands and a huge fun fair.
Dresden is an upcoming city that is getting more and more popular among students. It is
affordable and the city's university has a very good reputation. With its beautiful baroque
architecture and the river Elbe running through the city center Dresden's nickname is ‘Florence
on the Elbe'. The strong student community also organizes a number of festivals, concerts and
open-air cinema screenings. Additionally they pride themselves with having the highest number
of student pubs in Germany. If you decide to study in Dresden you will feel ‘at home' in no time.
The city of Frankfurt is Europe's banking capital. A lot of businesses have their headquarters here
and it is rather easy to get a student job or gain work experience while studying. Frankfurt has an
impressive skyline with a number of skyscrapers and is therefore called ‘Mainhattan'. The city
lies on the banks of the river ‘Main'. By the river you can relax, meet up with friends or take a drink
in one of the chic bars. The city has a very cosmopolitan feel and provides one of the highest
living qualities in Germany.
Leipzig is a small student city in the East of Germany. Cool artists, musicians and students
moved here in the past years because the rents are low and the clubs and bars always full.
Students love the relaxed down-to-earth atmosphere and social vibe. Not only famous
philosopher Nietzsche but also Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel studied at the University of
Leipzig. So if you decide to spend some time in Leipzig, you will certainly be in good company!
The old city centre, bikes everywhere and a university with top reputation make this town in the
west of Germany a student gem. Münster is Germany's bike capital - with more than 459 km of
bike paths, you can explore the city at the push of your pedals. In summer you can cycle to the
Aalsee in the middle of the town and have barbecues and drinks at the water's edge. About 20
per cent of Münster's inhabitants are students – this town has an old shell but a very young core.