Why study in Germany?
With each passing day, the affinity of international students towards Germany is increasing. In this article, we will look at the top reasons why international students pick this incredible country for studying abroad.
The Perfect Place to Study Aboard
With a vibrant and rich culture, an intriguing history, and fun-loving individuals, Germany has become a popular country for studying abroad. There's something special about this beautiful country which draws international students from across the globe.
Also, German Universities rank among the best universities in the world. They offer students interesting international study programs and a great work environment which every student or professional looks for. German is a country which is an amalgamation of diverse cultures and one of the best international education hubs in the world.
Attractive International Education Programs
Providing lucrative international study programs is one of the primary focus areas for Germany's Education sector. This is the reason why the number of international students enrolling in German universities is increasing every day. Each German university now has a special international study program to offer to the international students. There are both, English and German lectures during the study program and experts from all over the world collaborate to make the curriculum strong.
Also, several universities have now made it mandatory for international students to learn the German language by undertaking intensive language courses. Even though some students find it challenging to balance the German language courses with their existing study curricula, being well-versed with the local language can help you grab great job opportunities after your study program is complete.
Depending on the requirements and career goals of international students, more than 400 institutes for higher education in Germany offer a wide range of graduation and post-graduation programs for them.
There are four core categories of institutes of higher education in Germany based on different norms and offering a wide variety of study programs to choose from. These are:
- Main Universities
- Hochschule or Technical Universities
- University of Applied Sciences
- Institute for Music, Fine Arts and Film
Now let’s read some more details about each of them.
These include some of the most impressive institutes recognized worldwide. The traditional approach of these universities is academic and research.
Hochschule or Technical Universities
These universities focus primarily on engineering and technology in Germany. They believe in practical knowledge as well as theoretical knowledge. Moreover, they stress more on the practical know how their students will learn during the study program.
University of Applied Sciences
These universities offer study program in two subjects – humanities and applied social sciences.
Institute of Music, Fine Arts and Films
To enroll into the Institute of Music, Fine Arts and Films, you must possess special skills related to any one of the subjects.
Deep Diving into More Details
In Germany, it takes two years to complete a master's degree and up to three-years to complete Ph.D. and get a doctorate.
For the majority of the post-graduate programs, as an international student, you'll need to appear for the Germany Language University Entrance Examination. During the exam, you will be tested for the necessary skills required to become a part of the program. Even though a large number of post-graduate programs are taught in English, there are still some post-graduate programs that make use of German language for lectures and other teaching sessions.
No matter what level the international study programs cater to or whether they are graduate programs or post-graduate programs, the curriculum is specifically designed to blend with the global standards and draw huge numbers of international students.
Top Features of German Institutes – What Can You Expect as an International Student?
- Well-structured study programs
- Superior academic standards
- An international degree (Graduate or Post-Graduate) from a globally renowned institute
- Courses in English, as well as the German language
- Student counseling
- Personal and academic support from staff and seniors
- Training opportunities abroad
And much more.
Apart from all the excellent features mentioned above, there are two great things about studying in Germany if you are an international student – no tuition fee and an impeccable standard of living which is highly affordable.
Zero Tuition Fees
In terms of education, when compared to other countries, Germany is leading the race to get the best international students from all over the world.
A brilliant thing about the German educational institutes that draws international students in a “no tuition fees” policy which was formulated in October 2014. The fee waiver is not just applicable to students who are citizens of Germany but also to students from different countries looking forward to pursuing higher studies from Germany. High-quality higher education with zero tuition fees – isn’t it a great thing about the education in Germany?
An important point to keep in mind is that the “no tuition fee” policy is not applicable to private institutes and universities in Germany.
At a public institute or university, you are only required to pay the semester fee which includes unlimited access to the public transportation for free. Also, the tuition fee waiver is applicable only to students pursuing a bachelor's degree or graduation. Ph.D. and master's degrees come with a small tuition fee.
If you look at this practically, you’ll be happier spending a few euros on the tuition fee of public universities as compared to the massive tuition fees at private universities.
Tuition Fee Structure in Germany
The tuition fee in Germany earlier comprised of two parts – Studiengebuhren and Semesterbeitrag.
The former is the actual tuition fee which ranges between 0 to 500 Euros, and the latter is a combination of the administrative fee and the fee for General Students Committee, a group which takes care of student issues for both international and national students. Apart from the administrative fee, the Semesterbeitrag sometimes also includes the public commutation ticket which is mandatory within the city. The advantages of free access to public transportation are amazing.
Now, the times have changed, and students are only required to pay the latter part of the fee structure, i.e. the Semesterbeitrag.
What If the Student is Suffering on the Financial Front?
In case a student is in a financial problem and is unable to pay the fee, there are numerous ways of dealing with the tough situation. Universities offer scholarships to talented students. Even though the whole process is exhausting, in the end, it’s all about resolving the issue and getting rewarded.
You can also apply for a student’s loan though it is not a convenient option. The last option is to fund your studies by earning in a part-time job. This way, you can meet all your everyday costs and have fun while completing your studies.
If you’re an international student, looking for an accommodation in Germany, you'll be pleased to know that accommodation in a residency is more viable than a rented accommodation.
Till a few years back, residence halls and accommodations looked old and worn-out with bare minimum facilities for the students. You did not have the option of choosing your accommodation partner. However, the scenario has changed now. Buildings have been renovated and look new. They have more facilities and are very comfortable. However, you still need to share the accommodation with someone. The residential accommodations are allotted on the first-come-first-served basis and are mostly pre-booked.
If you want a dormitory room, it’s best to intimate the student association, Studentenwerk first so that they can find a suitable place for you to stay. There are high chances that even the student board might put your hopes down due to unavailability of accommodation at that moment. There have been instances where the students were put in the waiting queue for more than a year, so, it's best to have a backup action plan in place.
Private Residential Halls
There's one more accommodation option that you can explore – private residential halls for students. The room is in good condition, neat and tidy, and comfortable. Also, they have easily affordable with your ongoing study program. If you're finding it difficult to locate these private halls, you can ask your classmates or seniors to help you with the addresses and locations.
This is the toughest option to nail. If all your efforts are going in vain and you are unable to find a suitable accommodation even after several days of scouting, you can consider checking for a vacant room at the university guesthouse. The chances of getting an accommodation are low since these guesthouses are mostly reserved for the guests at the university, professors, and lecturers. However, one cannot guess, you might be lucky to get an accommodation at the university guesthouse.
Wondering how to apply for accommodation at the university guest house? Well, you need to apply via the Foreign Students' Advisory Board. Even if you feel that the chances of getting an accommodation are low, it's never a bad idea to take a chance.
Rented Private Accommodation
If you want to stay in private accommodation, all by yourself, it's a great idea to rent accommodation near the campus so that your traveling time decreases. If you’re facing a tough time finding vacant private apartments to stay in, you can keep an eye on the university’s notice boards. However, here you’ll come across posts or notices from people looking to share a private accommodation with a batchmate.
If you want to stay alone in the apartment and you’re willing to shed money to ensure your comfort and privacy, you can check the local dailies or get in touch with the student board for more information. These are great sources to get details about vacant apartments and their rent.
You can travel across Europe with the Student Visa!
Students who belong to Europe and wish to study and stay in Germany, enjoy the same rights as the German citizens such as the permission to work in Germany or enroll into a study program without a permit.
However, as an international student, the rules are different for you. To study in a German university, you have to apply for a student visa. If you're enrolled in a summer school language course, you don't need to apply for a visa. However, if you are not, you must apply for a student's visa that permits you to stay in Germany for 90 days or more and a residency permit that allows you to rent an accommodation in Germany. Moreover, if you successfully get the residency permit, you'll be able to travel without a visa in Schengen, which provides you with an incredible opportunity to visit countries that you've wanted to since long.
When to apply for a student visa?
As soon as an approved German university sends you an acceptance letter, it is highly recommended to apply for a student visa within three months from your date of exit or your joining date.
What about the residency permit?
Once you apply for the residency permit, all your documents will be scrutinized by Germany’s Immigration Office in the same region as your university. Once your documents are verified and go through the formulated procedures, a residency permit will be issued in your name.
Please remember – if you happen to travel anywhere in Europe on the permit, it is essential to bring it to the notice of designated officials before you leave for your destination.
Health Insurance – A Must Have!
If you want to stay in Germany, it is mandatory for you to have medical insurance. Wait, let us put it this way, if you do not have medical insurance, you won't be enrolled in any German university. You must have health insurance to your name covering the basic healthcare needs. Therefore, before you plan to move to Germany to pursue higher studies, ensure that you have health insurance in place.
If you’re smart and you already have a health insurance with international services which abides by the health insurance policies in Germany, you’re not required to get a new one. But, ensure that your health insurance includes the “international” angle and provides the necessary healthcare services.
Health Insurance Domains in Germany
There are two varieties of the health insurance domains in Germany – the public domain and the private domain. Insurance agencies often sell public healthcare insurances to students because it is more affordable and provides the necessary coverage. However, if you can go a bit hard on your pocket, a private health insurance is a wonder!
Before you depart for Germany, check that your health insurance provides international coverage and has access to Schengen state or Europe health care in case of an emergency.
Dual Studies – An Incredible Feature!
Another perk of studying in Germany is Dual Studies. It is an exciting study program where you, as a student can study as well as work. You can leverage your theoretical knowledge gained at the university or institute and use it for your practical benefits. You end up saving money, making the best use of your time and liberating yourself. It is also a great way to gain maturity at a much early age.
To get accepted into the Dual Program, you need the following:
- Valid diploma of high school, equal to the entrance certificate of Germany
- Knowledge of German Language as a skill
In case you have a German High School Diploma awarded by a country other than Germany, it will be accepted the same way it is accepted in Germany. However, if you possess a non-German diploma, you must get it acknowledged by designated authorities of the source country and make it legal for use in Germany. Make sure you get your documents verified from the Embassy of Germany in your country before your departure so that you do not face any issues upon reaching Germany.
To showcase your German language skill, you'll have to furnish a certificate awarded by the Goethe Institute in your country. You may need to appear for several German language exams before you get the certificate of your proficiency in the German language.
If you’re able to present all the valid documents and submit the application as per the deadline, no one can stop you from getting enrolled in the dual study program. You’ll be able to earn good money and live an exciting life while you pursue your higher studies.
A Cultural Hub
Since Germany is the center of attraction in Europe, it is the hub of different cultures and ethnicities. The history of Germany makes it an intriguing country for international students all over the world. There simply so much to living in Germany if you are coming from a different country!
We bet you won’t get bored even for an hour since there is something special happening every moment no matter where you live.
Germany is segmented into different regions, each having its own local specialty and vibes. There must be something unique, something incredible for each one of you – sumptuous food, thrilling sports, vibrant festivals, fireworks, music and film festivals, dance and drinks, and a lot more. Germany never sleeps. The nightlife is something that you cannot get over, especially in Berlin.
Depending on your study program, your university, your ability to balance university and personal life, and your pocket-money, you can live life to the fullest in Germany. Even though you will spend most of your time in the university, if you have exceptional management skills, you’ll be able to have a gala time with your friends.
A wonderful experience that you must not miss is staying with a host family in Germany. If you are punctual, courteous, and attentive, they’ll love you.
Learn the German Language
Last and the most important, even if your university or institute doesn’t demand the knowledge of German language, it’s best to learn it. It’s always a good idea to know the local language as it helps you bond with the locals and grab local job opportunities.
Even though German is a challenging language, it’s a brilliant tool for survival in a country away from your home!
Germany is a great place to study abroad, and we hope you agree!
Now that you know so many beautiful things about studying in Germany and living there as an international student, we're sure that all your questions have been answered! However, if there are more, we'll be happy to answer all your queries.