Study in Germany
Every year, over 250,000 international students choose to study in Germany. That is more than 10% of the entire student population attending German Universities. Whether you plan to visit Germany as an exchange student or enrol on a full-time degree, you will benefit from low tuition fees and quality German education. 409 officially recognised universities and colleges offer more than 14,500 international degree programmes.
Germany is the birthplace of many famous physicists such as Einstein, Planck, Hertz, Ohm and Gauss and influential writers and thinkers such as Kant, Nietzsche, Marx, Hegel, Goethe, Mann or Hesse.
The German education system has produced 103 Noble laureates.
Student information about cities in Germany
Find the best information about what to expect when studying in top cities in Germany. Read about degree course offers, career opportunities, student life, living costs, and more.
- Study in Berlin
- Study in Hamburg
- Study in Munchen
- Study in Frankfurt am Main
- Study in Dortmund
Institutions in Germany
There are three main types of higher education institutions to choose from in Germany: universities, universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschulen) and specialized universities.
- Universities mainly focus on research and are the traditional German education institution. Many of them are technical universities or colleges of technology.
- Universities of applied sciences are more practically oriented and are connected to major German companies.
- Specialized universities concentrate on specific subjects such as arts, music, film, theatre, etc.
Teachers usually require mandatory attendance. Students who miss classes may not take the final examination at the end of the semester.
A great deal of academic work in Germany is done in groups. Students often get together to revise for exams, write papers and work on class assignments.
Most degree programs require compulsory internships. Students have the opportunity to get accustomed to the industrial environment well before starting their career.
German federal states set their own education fees. Presently, only two federal states charge tuition fees: about 500 € per semester (Bavaria and Lower Saxony). All other federal states do not charge tuition, though a semester fee of 150 to 250 € is usually required.
Industries sponsor bachelor and master students. Students attending industry relevant master programmes may receive around €600 to €800 per month from companies for a period of 6 months.
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD: Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst) provides scholarships to international students and researchers coming to Germany. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung) also hosts a site dedicated to scholarships in Germany.
General application requirements
Admission to most study programmes in Germany require you to take all or part of the following steps:
- Provide a high-school graduate certificate, called Abitur in Germany.
- Find out if your certificate is recognised by the German university.
- You might have to take a written examination.
- Confirming your German language proficiency, or English proficiency if choosing an English-taught programme.
- Prove that you can pay for your stay in Germany.
- Present proof of scholarship, if applicable.
- Get health insurance – usually about 50 EUR per month. Some universities may offer service packages including accommodation, meal vouchers and a health insurance policy.
Be sure to check the German Academic Exchange Service or DAAD for any questions regarding international study in Germany.
Find more details about how to apply for a degree in a university in Germany.
Germany is home to many top international companies such as BMW, Volkswagen, Deutsche Telekom, Adidas, Bayer, Deutsche Bank and many more.
The German economy has great demand for qualified & skilled labour force. Vacancies for engineers have risen over 30 percent in recent years. Companies are always looking for German language skills.
Languages of instruction
Germany provides a wide range of English-taught as well as German-taught higher education opportunities in diverse academic fields. If you want to study abroad in Germany, you should know that knowing the German language remains a main prerequisite for admission. Recent studies show that Germany is one of the most supportive countries for international students, especially when it comes to English-taught Master’s programmes. In 2013, Germany has placed second in the growth of international English-taught programmes in Europe.
German universities tend to encourage long-term higher education for international students by providing more English study opportunities to students who plan to take their Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Germany, as a continuous study experience. As a result, students who plan to study abroad in Germany for only one semester will have a more difficult time finding universities which offer English-taught courses.
Opportunities for learning German
- Group courses like Goethe Institutes in Germany and other European countries;
- Intensive studies, such as summer courses;
- Tutoring from native German students;
- Self-paced distance learning
Preparation courses in Germany
Some international students may not be able to attend a degree in Germany because their previous studies do not match the academic system of the country. To be allowed to take an undergraduate or graduate degree in Germany, they will need to enrol in a one-year pre-Bachelor or pre-Master offered by a local university.
Popular foundation degree studies in Germany include pre-law degrees, pre-MBA courses, pre-medicine, pre-nursing studies, or other types of international foundation programmes in engineering, economics, finance, social science, science and other types of university pathway programmes. Preparation courses in Germany include academic English language training to help international students meet university language requirements for future undergraduate or graduate studies.
Foundation degrees in early years in Germany are perfect for increasing your chances of getting accepted to a German university. Pre-university business schools, law schools or med schools make sure international students develop the skills they need to succeed in the German academic system. Pre-university education also includes cultural integration classes that help students feel more at home. Some pre-university programmes guarantee enrolment to the institution if students complete the preparation with high grades.
Where can I study a foundation course in Germany?
The top German cities where students can take a foundation year programme include: Munich, Bremen and Aachen.
Read more about the enrolment requirements for international students.
English language preparation courses in Germany
Meet language requirements for university admission in Germany by choosing an English language preparation course offered by English language schools worldwide, including Germany. By taking the right English exam training course you will advance your language skills in order to get the needed scores for IELTS, TOEFL, CAE, or other English exams.
Study visa and residence permit
- Make sure to apply for the correct visa. Tourist and language course visas cannot be converted into a "student visa”.
- Make sure your passport is valid for your entire stay in Germany.
- If your study programme lasts longer than 90 days and you are not a citizen of EU member states or Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you must apply for a residence permit in the city in Germany where you are going to study.
- To get a residence permit you will need confirmation of registration from your Resident Registration Office, proof of health insurance coverage, student ID, proof of financial resources, valid passport with visa, health certificate. Additional documents might be required depending on your country of origin.
- Residence permits are issued for a two-year period and can be extended.
For detailed information about visa and residence permit requirements, contact the German embassy or German consulate in your home country.
Get more details about the student visa for Germany.