Study in Germany
Famous as the "Best European Country for Higher Studies", Germany has made a name for itself as one of the top destinations for thousands of international students who visit the country to take advantage of its almost-zero tuition fees, and excellent curriculum. Germany offers a unique combination of great universities and high quality of life and rivals other popular European destinations (the United Kingdom, Holland, etc) in this regard.
Top Reasons To Study in Germany
Germany is the world's fourth most popular option for international students. In 2018, more than a third of students at German universities were international students. Germany is an appealing destination to pursue higher education as the lifestyle is extremely affordable, and German university degrees are highly valued by employers around the world. There are a few more important factors too that attract this many students to this place. Let’s discuss them:
- Good Quality Education: German universities are among the best in the world for teaching and science. You will graduate with a degree that is globally recognized, offering you outstanding opportunities in the global labor market
- Diversity: The variety of courses available at German universities is huge, allowing you to specialize in any field of research that interests you. You will specialize thanks to a wide range of regional and interdisciplinary degree programs.
- Rich Heritage: Learn about the charm and variety that Germany has to offer! There are numerous opportunities to learn more about your host country while you take a break from your studies. You may, for example, visit a museum, a theatre, or a theatre, relax in a beer garden, take a stroll on the beach, swim in a pool, climb a mountain, or visit an old castle.
- Study Programs: German universities provide excellent undergraduate programs, while universities of applied sciences have a variety of appealing, practice-oriented alternatives. Often universities partner with businesses. Many educational programs incorporate philosophy with experience. This will make it much easier for you to begin your career.
- Personal Development: You will make the best of yourself in Germany. You will freely improve your analytical ability and personal skills here, allowing you to achieve your full potential. If you want to do big things, you will find that ambition, inspiration, and dedication open many doors – both during and after your studies.
- Safety: Germany is a safe country in contrast to some. You can drive about easily here, whether in town or the countryside, during the day or at night. Germany provides economic and political security, making it a perfect location for you to research.
Types of Programs in Germany Universities
The country is well-known for its professional degree programs, but you can learn almost anything, particularly if you're willing to take a course delivered in German. There are many degrees available that are taught in English, especially at Universities of Applied Sciences.
Germany has recently introduced the Bologna accreditation scheme, which ensures that degree courses are consistent with those in other European countries. This means that students can now pursue a Bachelor's, Master's, or Doctorate. Some professions, such as law, education, and pharmacy, require students to pass state exams or Staatsexamen after receiving their degree.
Admission Requirements For Germany Universities
To be admitted on a German degree course, you must have a qualification in high school education (Hochschulzugangsberechtigung) or the equivalent in your home country, such as A-level certificates. International students are often required to take an entrance exam before being offered a position, particularly if they come from a country where their qualifications are not recognized by the German university. Any courses require all students to take entrance exams.
Entry requirements for Germany Universities
Check with the foreign office of your preferred German university to see whether you satisfy the admission criteria. To be admitted, you must have a higher education entrance certificate (Hochschulzugangsberechtigung – HZB) or an equivalent.
Foreign students from outside the EU will be required to take a university entrance test (Feststellungsprufung) after completing a preparatory course (Studienkolleg).
Even if you meet the eligibility criteria, you will be unable to enroll directly. In Germany, the most common degree courses are normally subject to a set of restrictions known as Numerus Clausus (NC). You would be required to go through a screening process dependent on these constraints. It is better to apply to several German universities at once to avoid being denied admission due to course constraints.
The high school grade point average is used to determine admission to German universities (GPA). The higher your ranking, the more likely it is that you will be accepted to your dream university.
Cost Of Studying In Germany
Tuition payments for undergraduate students at all public German institutions were eliminated by Germany's 16 states in 2014. This means that all domestic and foreign undergraduates at state universities in Germany can now enroll for free, with only a nominal charge per semester to fund maintenance and other expenses.
University fees for non-EU students were reinstated in the south-western state of Baden-Württemberg in the autumn of 2017. Non-EU students in Baden-Württemberg should now pay tuition costs of €3,000 (US$3,500) a year, with a discounted fee of €1,300 (US$1,600) for those pursuing a second degree.
While you can register for free as an undergrad at state German universities, there is a fee per term for enrolment, confirmation, and administration. This is usually no more than €250 (US$290) a course, although it varies by institution.
Undergraduate Costs to Study in Germany:
While you can register for free as an undergraduate at public German universities, there is a fee per semester for admission, approval, and maintenance. This is usually no more than €250 (US$290) a course, although it varies by institution.
There could be an extra fee to buy a "Semesterticket," which covers public transportation costs for six months – the price depends based on the Semesterticket option you choose.
The Federal Student Financial Aid Program (BAföG: Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz) is available to German citizens, EU students, and certain overseas students under certain restrictions. BAföG is often halved, with half being a state allowance and the other half being an interest-free credit that must be repaid in phases until the full duration of support ends.
Master’s Costs to Study in Germany:
Master's degrees at German universities are generally free if they are "consecutive" – that is, they continue straight on from a similar bachelor's degree obtained in Germany. There is once again a nominal fee per semester for admission, authorization, and administration, and also a Semesterticket. Tuition costs for “non-consecutive” master's degrees, for those who have already earned a bachelor's degree elsewhere in the country, vary by university and can range from around €20,000 (US$24,400) per year at public schools to up to €30,000 (US$36,600) at private German universities.
Germany Student Visa Process
If you are a foreigner with a letter of final admission to a German university, similarly recognized institution, university of applied sciences, college of arts and music, or other similarly recognized higher education institution, you may apply for a German student visa. You will obtain a German student visa if you want to study in any of the following fields:
- Academic studies on a full-time basis.
- German language classes for academic purposes.
- 'Studienkolleg' is a state preparatory institution. A course you'll have to take as a foreigner whose high school diploma isn't accepted in Germany. After finishing the course, you can take the "Feststellungsprüfung." If you complete the examination, you will be awarded a credential known as a university entry certification. You'll be able to apply for university entry in Germany after that.
- Propaedeutics Course
- Mandatory Preliminary internship
- Two filled-up Visa application forms.
- Valid National Passport.
- Two recent biometric passport photographs.
- Proof of admission (University Admission Letter)
- Education Certificates.
- Curriculum Vitae.
- Means of subsistence “Finanzieruungsnachweis” (Proof that you have enough money to cover living, accommodation, and education).
- Health Insurance Cover
- Receipt of Visa Application Fee
- Proof of German language proficiency (for German-only courses) and English language proficiency (for English study programs).
Top Universities In Germany
Here are the top-ranked universities of Germany:
- Technische Universität München
- Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
- Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
- Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
- Freie Universität Berlin
- KIT, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
- Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen
- Technische Universität Berlin
- Technische Universität Dresden
- Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
- Universität Freiburg
Top Courses In Germany
Here are the top and highest paying courses in Germany:
- Medicine and Dentistry
- Industrial Engineering
- Mathematics and Computer Science
- Natural Sciences
- Business and Economics
- Earth Science
Work While Studying In Germany
Different criteria are depending on where you are from if you want to pursue part-time jobs to supplement your salary while studying in Germany:
European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) students:
Students from the EU/EEA (as well as students from Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland) have the same rights as German students and have unrestricted entry to the German labor market. While learning, you can work up to 20 hours a week. If you reach this limit, you will be forced to contribute to the German social security scheme, which could have a detrimental effect on your studies.
Students from countries other than the EU/EEA:
Non-EU/EEA students can also serve in Germany in addition to their studies for 120 complete days or 240 half days per year. If you work at the university as a student assistant or research assistant, this is normally not considered against the quota. If you take on this sort of job, you must contact the Alien Registration Office.
Internship Opportunities In Germany
Your university degree in Germany can provide lots of lab-based sessions to instill a sense of job-related skills, but nothing beats real-world practice. This is why prospective employers look for people with appropriate expertise in their research areas to ensure that these persons can bring their skills into effect. Many globally and globally recognized businesses are looking for young and motivated candidates or recent graduates.
Reasons to do Internship in Germany:
- There are a lot of internship options to choose from.
- The chances of getting hired after your internship are very high.
- Internships in Germany help you learn a lot.
- Owing to its strong economy, Germany has a lot of international-recognized companies.
Career Opportunities In Germany
If you want to remain in Germany after graduation to pursue jobs, you can begin preparing for this when you are still a student. It is extremely advantageous to be fluent in German to find employment in Germany, as the number of positions available to you would be extremely small if you do not have it.
European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) students:
EU residents are free to obtain employment in Germany without the need for a work permit. In terms of access to the labor market, working environments, and social and tax benefits, you will be treated the same as German citizens as an EU citizen.
Students from countries other than the EU/EEA:
Students from non-EU countries who want to work in Germany after graduation will prolong their stay for up to 18 months in search of employment-related to their studies. You will require the following documents to qualify for an extended residency permit:
- University Degree Certificate
- Health Insurance Documents
- Proof of having enough money to financially support your stay.
The 18-month period begins after you get your final exam grades, so you can begin searching for work during your final semester. Within these 18 months, you are free to work as hard as you want to choose some kind of job to support yourself.
Once you've found a career you'd like to do, you can register for a German residency permit or an EU Blue Card (similar to the US Green Card). You should stay in Germany while your paperwork is being processed.
If you wish to apply for the Blue Card, you must've been given a position paying at least €53,000 (US$57,844) per year, or at least €41,808 (US$45,629) for mathematicians, engineers, natural scientists, technicians, or physicians.
Health Care Benefits in Germany
Foreign students in Germany are allowed by law to have health insurance when studying. To study in a German university and obtain a student visa, you must have proof of health care. Students can choose between mandatory benefits and voluntary health insurance.
The benefit of being properly covered in the sense of mind comes with the understanding that if you have a health condition, you will go to the clinic and get emergency care knowing that you won't have to pay big medical expenses out of your pocket.
There are two types of health insurance in Germany:
- The compulsory health insurance (public)
- Private health insurance.
Every student in Germany is supposed to get insurance, but depending on where you come from, you might be able to choose the coverage you already have in your home country. For more details, contact your university's foreign office.
And if you have basic benefits, often students obtain special health care policies that cover various illnesses and are tailored to their needs. When it comes to health-related matters, there is no such thing as a "one-size-fits-all" solution.
Public Transport Systems In Germany
The majority of German cities and towns have effective public transportation networks. In larger cities like Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich, they are typically operated by a transport organization that incorporates all modes of public transportation into a single network.
The commonly used public transport system in Germany:
- S-Bahn- S-Bahn is an abbreviation for Schnellbahn or Stadtschnellbahn (city rapid rail), and it is the quickest mode of mass transit, as the name implies. This is a kind of urban-suburban rail system that serves a larger metro area by connecting suburbs and commuter areas to the central city and major railway stations. The S-Bahn is represented by a white "S" on a green backdrop.
- U-Bahn- The U-Bahn, also known as the Untergrundbahn, is the German equivalent of the metro, train, or "the Tube". In Germany, the U-Bahn is traditionally represented by a white "U" on a blue sign.
- Tram (Straßenbahn)- Trams (Straßenbahnen), which sit between a U-Bahn and a bus, are referred to as "streetcars" in the United States. They run on tracks alongside normal roads and make some stops in city centers. Tram stops in Germany are often paired with bus stops and are denoted by the word "Tram" on a red background.
- Bus- Buses are a major part of many German towns and villages, connecting distant locations and working late into the night while other modes of transportation are unavailable (although S-Bahn and U-Bahn trains typically run all night over the weekend in larger cities). Bus stops, which are typically found every 300 meters or so, are denoted by a green “H” (for “Haltestelle” - stopping point) on a yellow backdrop.
- Regional trains- Regional trains are also used in some routes and are normally owned by Deutsche Bahn, the company that operates the majority of rail services in Germany. Regional trains are classified as either RB (Regionalbahn) with frequent stops or RE (Regionalexpress) with fewer stops.
Education System In Germany
The German school system differs from that of other countries in several respects, but it creates high-achieving pupils. The vast majority of German children are educated in public schools.
Kindergarten is open to children aged three to six. Following that, school is mandatory for nine or ten years. Children in grades 1–4 join elementary/primary school (Grundschule), where the lessons learned are the same for both. (In the states of Berlin and Brandenburg, Grundschule lasts until sixth grade.)
After the fourth grade, students go through a two-year orientation or assessment process in which they are segregated based on their academic ability and the desires of their families, and then go on to attend one of three types of secondary schools:
- Hauptschule: The Hauptschule (grades 5-9) covers the same topics as the Realschule and Gymnasium, but at a slow level and with some training classes. It leads to part-time participation in a trade school, as well as apprenticeship training, before the age of 18.
- Realschule- In most states, the Realschule (grades 5–10) refers to part-time vocational programs and higher vocational schools. Students of high academic success at the Realschule will now transfer to a Gymnasium after graduation.
- Gymnasium- The Gymnasium corresponds to the Abitur diploma, which trains students for graduate studies or a combined academic and technical certificate. The curriculum varies by grade, but most include German, mathematics, computer science, physics, chemistry, biology, geography, art (including crafts and design), music, history, economics, civics, social sciences, and many foreign languages. Many states have modified their curricula in recent years so that students can obtain the "Abi" after the 12th grade. Other states are transitioning, but could also need a 13th grade.
Congratulations. Now you know everything you had to about studying for your higher education in Germany. All that's left is to pack in all your essentials and fly to the land of opportunities where you can not only study, but also work- and who knows? maybe one day, settle.
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