This is the first & foremost question any student would have. To answer this Question various aspects need to be considered. Undeniably the following factors play a key & influencing role in deciding the destination of study.
Germany is Synonymous with Quality. This holds true even in the field of education. Most of the Universities or colleges are state funded. So there is no concept of buying a degree as practised in other favoured education destinations. Merit is the only criteria for admission & there is no doubt about it. According to German law, universities are not permitted to discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to persons on basis of race, ethnic group, gender, or social class.
Germany is the land of ideas. Education, Science & Research has been playing a central role in the German society. To name a few inventions – Aspirin, Phenol, MP3, Diesel Engine, Tachometer, Electromagnetic radiation, Gauss, Hertz, Ohm, Roentgen, X-ray Crystallography, Automobile, Zeppelin all come from Germany. Time is testimony of the fact that Germany has produced 103 Noble laureates.
What is the worth of Education which lacks application of knowledge to solve real world problems? German Education guarantees practical knowledge in addition to solid theoretical foundation. Above all it provides a platform to launch a career by making internships compulsory & Bachelor/Master Thesis in an industrial environment.
Germany Offers free education for pupils between 6 to 18 years.
Age 3 to 6 - Children may attend Kindergarten
Grade 1 to 4 - Elementary school/ Grundschule is mandatory
Based on the recommendation of Elementary school teachers, the academic ability of the pupil & parents choices, students attend one of the 3 different kinds of secondary schools
Grades Covered: 5 to 9 (some schools offer 10th grade)
Duration: 5 to 6 years
Age level: 10 to 15 years
Direction: Leads to part-time enrollment in a vocational school combined with apprenticeship training until the age of 18
Grades Covered: 5 to 10
Duration: 6 years
Age level: 10 to 15 years
Degree: Mittlere Reife
Direction: Leads to part-time and higher vocational schools
Students with high academic achievement may switch to Gymnasium
Grades Covered: 5 to 13
Duration: 9 years
Age level: 10 to 18 years
Direction: Prepare students for university study or for a dual academic and vocational credential
Grades Covered: 5 to 10
Duration: 6 years
Age level: 10 to 15 years
Degree: Hauptschulabschluss in the 9th grade/Mittlere Reife in the 10th grade
Direction: May follow one of the directions from either Realschule or Gymnasium
Post-secondary education, students have a wide choice from more than 200 University of Applied Sciences & 300 universities offering a variety of courses & degree programs.
More theory oriented
Degrees offered includes Bachelor, Master & Doctorate
Research plays an integral part of the study
Gaining knowledge & not practical application is the goal
Faculties include Education, Law, Medicine, Social & Cultural sciences, Business Management
Technical University / Technische Universität t
Offers courses only in Engineering & Science
Degrees offered includes Bachelor, Master & Doctorate
Research plays an integral part of the study
University of Applied Sciences / Fachhochschule
More practice oriented
Offers Bachelors programs in general
Some institutions also offer Masters Program
Though research is gaining importance but the focus remains at application oriented study
Excellent job opportunities owing to the close tie up with industry
College of Arts & Music
College of Music offer courses in composition, directing, training on an instrument, voice, jazz, music theater, stage dance, and music education
College of Arts offer courses in Painting, Graphic Design, Sculpture and art education, architecture, stage design, ceramics, glass painting, restoration work, and art media
To get admission one should have demonstrate ability & exceptional talent
As there is no tuition fee or a nominal tuition fee, Universities do not provide any scholarships. But International students can apply for scholarships from numerous organizations such as:
DAAD provides scholarship only to Graduate students pursuing Masters, Doctoral students pursuing PhD, for Post doctoral work/ research etc. Unfortunately DAAD does not provide any financial support to students for undergraduate studies.
Politically affiliated foundations
Business related organizations
Check with the relevant organization for eligibility criteria & apply directly.
Google to find scholarship databases.
Part Time Work / Student Job
International students are allowed to work for 90 full working days or 180 half working days in a year provided it does not exceed 20 hours a week during the lecture period. The objective of this permit is to allow students earn while they learn without hindering or distracting them from the primary goal which is completion of their course of study.
Typical student wages range from 10 to 15 Euros an hour. Student could work in campus or outside the campus. A typical campus work could be taking up tutorship or teaching assistantship under the guidance of a professor. An example of work outside campus could be in McDonalds. Though there is no assurance but there are good chances for the one who keeps trying.
Many courses have a mandatory Internship. Internship period could be between 3 months to 6 months. Students may apply for internship to companies in their field of study. The onus of finding an internship is purely on the student. Professors could be approached for recommendation letters or references. Typically companies pay students ranging from 600 Euro to 1000 Euro per month. If internship is part of the course curriculum & explicitly mentioned to be mandatory then the student could do an internship in addition to part time job during the same financial year.
Paid Project Work / Master Thesis
Good number of Industries sponsors Bachelor/Master Thesis & some also support project work financially. Students doing Master Thesis at companies get paid around 600 € - 800 € per month for a period of 6 months. Numerous portals (such as www.stepstone.de, www.jobpilot.de) are available to search & apply for Thesis work.
Germany is home to many of the fortune 500 companies. With a robust economy & world leading position there is a constant demand for qualified & skilled labour force. Aging population & market diversification has only added fuel to the demand supply gap. According to The German engineer's association (VDI), vacancies for engineers had risen over the past year by nearly 30 percent. Non-EU students are allowed to stay up to 1 year after the completion of the study to search for a job.
No matter which part of the world you go to, German qualification will surely find preferential treatment. Top notch Universities with focus on research & practical oriented study is unparalleled. In addition no employer can neglect the unique advantage.
Work experience through Internships
Bachelor/Master thesis in an industrial setup
Multicultural & multinational student body
Students interested to take up full-time study in Germany are required to apply for a student visa. It is initially granted for a period of three months. It has to be extended by the authorities in Germany within three months of your stay in Germany. The extension is given for one year at a time till the end of the course. All International students must leave Germany on completion of the course of study.
Students have to fulfill the following requirements before being granted a student visa. Submit the following documents:
- Completed Visa Application Form
- Visa Application Fee
- Evidence of Admission
- Proof of Adequate Financial Resources
- Health Certificate
The visa is issued when the student is assessed to be a genuine student, who intends to undertake further studies in Germany, abide by visa conditions, and depart on completion of the course. The student should convince the visa officer that his German language skills are adequate for the course he/she is undertaking. That the course is relevant to his/her current academic/professional status. That he/she will comply with visa conditions and leave Germany after completion of the course.
Processing of the visa can take up to eight weeks.
As soon as you have received notification of admission from the International Office and taken the language test, you can register as a student at the respective institution of higher education (you will be given a registration number. The notification of admission also tells you by when you should register. Please note that the deadlines are often short-term and that you usually have to appear in person! Registration takes place at the Registrar's or Admissions Office. The procedures differ from one institution to another, so get hold of a copy of the information leaflet from the Registrar's Office well in advance. This will tell you which documents you have to bring with you. Certificates, usually the originals with certified translations. In any case, apart from the notification of admission, you will have to produce a health insurance certificate unless you fall into one of the exceptional categories exempt from compulsory insurance cover.
Public (state-maintained) universities in Germany do not generally charge tuition fees. Some Master's programs and the additional fees charged by some of the federal states are exceptions to this rule. Additionally, you will be required to pay a minimal social contribution which can extend 50 Euros depending on the institution, which will entitle you to a student identity card, a course record book (at universities), and several registration certificates. By registering and paying the social contribution at some institutions you become entitled to a so-called "Semester Ticket" which allows you to use public transport during the semester free of charge. The charge for the social contribution is increased accordingly. Now you are a certified student in Germany. The student identity card is usually a computer print-out, although some institutions have introduced an identity card (similar to a credit card) so that certain administrative procedures, such as registration renewal, course registration, and library lending, merely involve inserting the card into a machine. You need the registration certificates when applying for student accommodation or for obtaining reduced-price fares from the transport companies.
Don't be afraid! German Education won't cost you a fortune. Neither you have to be born with a silver spoon in the mouth nor do you have to live the rest of your life repaying study financing debts.
So how much does it cost to study in Germany?
Tuition fees (if applicable)
Historically, German Federal Government has been funding primary to University Education at public institution. In 2010, 5 of the 16 states of Germany charged tuition fees at state funded institutions while 11 out of the 16 states still provide tuition free of charge.
- No tuition fees in some states
- 500 for second degree or prolonged study duration
- 500 even for the first university degree in some states
Look at the university portal for exact details of the tuition fee for the relevant course. This may vary even from course to course in the same University
Semester contribution is to be paid by all University students depending on the services it includes. Again, this is university specific ranging from 200 to 350. Refer the respective University portal for exact information.
For an overview, semester contribution may include
- Social fees - Towards social services such as Student dining halls, Student residences, athletic facilities & administrative fees
- Liability insurance - Covers & compensates unintentional damages to 3rd party
- Student Union contribution Membership fee to the Student Union
- Semester ticket - This ticket permits unlimited usage of public transportation, in & around the university town. Depending on the city & range of ticket the price of this ticket may vary from 25 € to 150 €
Basic living expenses
Though Germany enjoys one of the highest standards of living, still the expenses are comparable to countries in Western Europe. Living expenditure depends largely on the lifestyle, city and type of accommodation. Statistically Germans spend 1/3rd of their income towards accommodation rentals. In summary, a very conservative estimate of 450 € is what a student would need for an economical & modest living.
Living expenses include (Conservative estimate)
- Rent & Utilities : 200 €
- Private accommodation > 300 €
- Shared flat or Student residence around 200 €
- Internet & Mobile phone - 30 €
- Mobile flat rate - 15 €
- Internet DSL flat rate - 15 €
- A separate section is dedicated for a detailed analysis of mobile & DSL contracts
- Health insurance - 60 €
- A separate section is dedicated for a detailed analysis of popular health insurance options
- Food & Drinks - 125 €
- Miscellaneous expenditure - 50 €
The above estimate does not include tuition fee, semester ticket, social contributions, travelling, allowances for dining, sports and anything except anything listed above.
Applicants should apply for the visa in person at least 3 months prior to departure. The visa processing may take 4 - 12 weeks.
- Application form
- 2 photographs
- Demand draft for visa fees
- Letter of Admission
- Mark sheets and certificates
- Proof of English Language proficiency
- Proof of financial means
- Declaration of the authenticity of documents submitted
Please Note Applicants are requested to prepare 2 sets of the above mentioned documents along with their photocopies. Additional documents may have to be presented if required.
Application Form for a Student Visa
The form then needs to be saved and printed and finally signed by the applicant to be submitted along with the other required documents.
The passport should have a minimum validity of 12 months.
Please note: Passports containing illegible data will not be accepted.
The photograph must be 35 mm X 45 mm in size with the face covering about three quarters of the area of the photograph. The background of the photograph should be light in color.
Letter of Admission
Applicants are required to submit the original and an A4 sized copy of the letter of admission from the German University.
Marksheets and Certificates
Applicants are requested to submit the original and A4 sized copies of their mark sheets and degree certificates. Only course completion certificates are not sufficient.
Proof of English Language proficiency
Applicants are required to submit the original and A4 sized copies of proof of English language proficiency such as TOEFL or IELTS.
Proof of Financial Means
Applicants are required to submit the following documents to prove that they can bear their financial expenses during the entire period of study in Germany:
- Confirmation of Scholarship or stipend received by them
- Formal letter of sponsorship from a sponsor living in Germany
A student blocked account ("Sperrkonto") in Germany in the name of the applicant showing a minimum balance of Euro 7.908,- and the remark that the account holder can dispose of a monthly amount of EURO 659,- (please note if your balance is not fulfilling the mentioned conditions your application can not be processed)
For information with regard to the procedure of opening a blocked account in Germany please contact a bank in Germany or an international bank of your choice.
It is highly recommended that the money transfer is made by international bank transfer. Do not send bank drafts, money orders or cheques to open the blocked-account.
- Confirmation of an annually renewable bank guarantee from a bank in Germany to the tune of € 7,908.
Declaration of Authenticity
A Declaration of Authenticity is required to be signed by the applicant as a guarantee that all information and documents provided by the applicant are genuine. Knowingly providing false information may result in the applicant being denied a visa or being deported from Germany, should a visa already have been issued.
Two dates you should mark red in your calendar: January 15th and July 15th. If you wish to begin your studies in the winter semester (October) the submission period is from the beginning of June to 15th July. If you rather prefer to start your studies in the Summer semester (April) the submission period is from the beginning of December to 15th January.
- Two Visa Application Forms (please make sure that both forms are duly filled out and signed indicating especially the address of your future residence in Germany - (question 15) as well as your complete address including telephone No. and E-Mail-address in India).
- Signed Declaration on True and Complete Information
- Three passport pictures according to biometric specifications
- Visa fee to be paid through Demand Draft made out to the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in New Delhi
- Valid passport with a validity of at least 12 months along with two copies of all printed pages
- Cover letter from applicant, explaining the exact purpose and duration of your stay in Germany
Letter of admission from the German University
- Proof that study fees have been paid, if applicable. In case the fees are not paid or due yet, the proof has to be provided that the necessary amount will be at the applicant's disposal in due course of time
- School Leaving Certificate of Secondary School
- University Certificates (Degree Certificates and Mark Sheets)
- Proof of Language Proficiency (TOEFL / IELTS, original and A 4 sized copy). Exemptions do apply in case of a written confirmation from the University that this requirement may be waived, for applicants for PhD / Doctorate studies and Erasmus Mundus Scholarship Holders.
- Proof of accommodation is required in order to fill the same in visa form & to attach in the file.
Proof of financial means to cover the costs for the time of your studies by any of the following means:
- Confirmation of scholarship/ Stipend
- Formal sponsorship letter from a sponsor living in Germany (Verpflichtungserkl�rung according to Article 68 German Residence Act)
- Blocked account (Sperrkonto) in Germany in the name of the applicant showing a minimum balance of Euro 7905, & the remark that the account holder can dispose of a monthly amount of Euro 659.
- For information with regard to the procedure of opening a blocked account in Germany please contact a bank in Germany or an international bank of your choice.
- Confirmation of an annually renewable bank guarantee from a bank in Germany in the amount of Euro 7905
It is highly recommended that that the money transfer is made by international bank transfer. Do not send bank demand drafts, money orders or cheque to open the block account.
From the moment of entering the Federal Republic of Germany you are upon request required to provide proof of a valid Health Insurance. This may be done through a regular Travel Health Insurance bought in India.
However, as soon as you formally register & enroll with the German University & begin your studies a regular Travel Health Insurance loses its validity. You are required to get a valid Health insurance from a German Insurance provider. equired to provide proof of a valid Health Insurance. This may be done through a regular Travel Health Insurance bought in India.
The German Embassy reserves the right to ask for additional documents!
Important Facts to remember during file submitting:
All the documents mentioned above should be in A4 size only & should be translated in English Language.
- All applicants have to personally sign Declaration 55 and Travel Health Insurance Notice.
- Please remember to take the courier charges of Rs.1500 from the student if they would like us to courier the blocked account details to Germany.
- 2 sets of documents are required.
- Personal appearance at German embassy is mandatory for all applicants.
Link to check VISA Fee-http://www.vfs-germany.co.in/visafees.aspx
Link to check VISA Fee-www.new-delhi.diplo.de
Processing Time- Approx. 45-60 days
- Student has to show the confirmation of fee receipt, after the payment of tuition fees.
- But in case there is a less fee & that student has to pay after arrival in Germany, then in that case student has to show Saving Account statement showing the sufficient balance that student is able to pay his tuition fees.
Also student has to show the income proof of his earning family member like parents, & it should include salary account statement or salary slips, etc. - (It is required as embassy ask from where you will going to bear your next year living expenses so student can show this that his family is earning this much that they can support him for further studies & for further living)
- Sponsorship letter is also required from parents.
- Any third party can also sponsor so, in that case income proof of third party, sponsorship letter from third party & relationship proof will be required.
Germany has a temperate seasonal climate. In the west winters tend to be mild & summer cool whereas in the East, winter can be severe & summer can be very warm.
Almost 33% of Germany is covered by forest. Germany is very much conscious of preserving the environment. Clean energy is widely promoted through incentives, subsidies & public awareness initiatives.
Federal statistics office estimates that the current population of 82 million will shrink to between 65 & 70 million (by 2060) assuming a net migration of 100,000 to 200,000 per year. As of December 2004, about seven million foreign citizens were registered in Germany, and 19% of the country's residents were of foreign or partially foreign descent. The United Nations Population Fund lists Germany as host to the third-highest number of international migrants worldwide.
In spite of the black history, Modern Germany is welcoming & progressive thinking. Democracy, Equality before law, globalization have all resulted in a free & open society giving dignity, respect, opportunity & level playing field even to foreigners.
Germany is ideally located in the centre of Europe sharing borders with nine European countries: Denmark in the north, Poland and the Czech Republic in the east, Austria and Switzerland in the south, France in the southwest and Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands in the west.
- There are more than 800 International Bachelor, Master and Doctoral programs.
- Degree programs Made in Germany are recognized worldwide.
- English is the medium of instruction for many programs.
- Combination of theoretical and practical/industrial experience (bridges the gap between Theory and Practice).
- Less expensive when compared to other destinations.
- It is an exciting opportunity to learn a foreign language and culture.
- German education offers the possibility to study with students across the globe and hence establish international contacts
- Numerous scholarships are available.
- Foreign students are allowed to stay for an year after graduation, in the event of looking for a job.
- Students are allowed to work 90 full days or else 180 half days during the course of study.
Resident Permit / Visa
Citizens of European Union, Australia, Canada, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, Switzerland & USA do not need a Visa to study & are totally exempted. All other nationals (contact the nearest German Embassy for rules & restrictions) need one of the following Visas issued in the home country or the nearest German mission to pursue education in Germany.
Language course visa
Valid only for the duration of the language course exclusively. This visa cannot be converted into a student visa.
Study applicant Visa
This Visa is valid for 3 month period. After enrolling at the University, this visa must be converted into Resident Permit for study purposes at the Local Foreigners Office.
Generally a Resident Permit for study purposes is issued upon enrollment & admission to a University for a duration of 1 year & extendable based on the proof of financial support for the duration of the study.
Steps to apply for a Visa
- Valid Passport
- Biometric photos
- Admission letter to University in Germany
- Proof of previous academic performance
- Proof of Financial support for the duration of study
- Medical fitness certificate
- Some other documents may also be needed in a case to case & country to country basis
Local German Embassy can provide checklist or detailed info on the Visa application process. The Visa application is to be submitted to the local German Embassy or Consulate & this process may sometime take longer than 6 weeks. So apply as early as possible.
A major part of the expenditure incurred depends largely on the cost of accommodation. Statistically Germans spend 1/3 of their income towards accommodation. It is highly recommended to take up accommodation in the student hostels. Looking for private accommodation should be the last choice at least during the initial days.
Depending on the city, location, size of room, services provided rental in University hostels vary from 150 Euro to 250. Approach the Studentenwerk to know more. Generally the hostels provide a private room with shared kitchen (equipped with multiple electric stoves, Refrigerator, Freezer, Electric Oven, Cupboards, dining table with chairs etc), bath & toilet. The rooms are equipped with at least
- A cot with bed
- A small wardrobe,
- Study table with lamp & a chair,
- Electrical sockets,
- Room heaters,
- Big windows &
- Personal keys to access the hostel building/ room
- Internet/ Telephone connection may or may not be available depending on the services provided
Advantages with hostels
- Close to University
- Rules are not complex to follow
Disadvantages with Private accommodation
- For a furnished accommodation, rent is high
- For an unfurnished apartment, setting up all furniture such as for kitchen etc is a daunting task.You have to bother about disposing the furniture when you plan to shift or move out
- For short duration, rent will tend to be high
- Plenty of written & unwritten rules to follow
- Difficult to search & convince the owner to rent it to you
Some Universities provide assistance in searching private accomodation to incoming international students. In such scenarios, it depends & varies on a case to case basis & the very same disadvantage could turn out to be an advantage.
Home search companies could charge more than 3 months rental as brokerage. For self search the following websites are useful
Home Search Company: email@example.com
Students are allowed to work during study. Non-European citizens or citizens of the new EU member states are however allowed to work on 180 half working days or 90 full working days without even applying for a work permit. Some states have laws allowing to work only during summer vacations. However, some other states allow working up to 20 hours a week even during the semester. In fact in some cities work inside the University is unrestricted as long as it does not impact studies. Mandatory Internships, Project work, or Thesis work are excluded from the work restrictions or work permit necessity.
After completion of study at the university, a foreign student is allowed to stay up to 1 year in order to apply for jobs. Upon receiving a Letter of Interest or Work contract one may apply for a Work Permit at the Local Employment Office. Issuance of a work permit may take around 4 to 6 weeks.