- For several years now, undergraduate and graduate studies in public universities in Germany have been free, i.e., there are no tuition expenses to be paid.
- German universities have an excellent reputation worldwide, due to the difficulty of the study programs and the emphasis on research projects. The state provides funding for research projects, thus enabling students to conduct relevant research and learn from actual real-life situations.
- In the case of undergraduate programs, at many universities, this non-fee payment policy is still true today. Students pay only a small administrative fee of at most €200 per year. Once enrolled, students receive a student ID that covers meals at the student cafeteria, transportation, and other benefits. In some cases, students also receive concessions for bank accounts, telephone accounts, and cinema and theater tickets. This policy is true for all students, including INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS.
Cost of Living
- Although students enrolled in German public universities do not pay tuition fees, they have to find a way to fund their living expenses. On average, one needs between €800 and €900 per month to cover accommodation, transport, food and miscellaneous expenses. Housing is the greatest expense for the international student, as it includes utilities and internet access.
- Health insurance at an average cost of €960 should also be factored into one’s budget.
- The cost of living forces many international students to look for jobs to pay their bills. As such, a student must be careful to maintain the delicate balance between work and study.
Proof of Financing
- Proof of funds is a key requirement for getting a student visa.
- Every student should have a minimum of €720 in his or her bank account monthly, or €8640 for the whole year. These funds are proof that you can finance your studies if the need arises.
Fields of Study
- International students can choose to study at any of the 460 public universities in Germany. At present, the courses readily available for international applicants include Engineering, Computer Science, Economics and Medicine (only in some universities).
- Students who wish to enroll for Masters Programs are eligible for admission only if their previous studies are in the same area as the Master course.
- Some students may find that their previous studies do not match Germany’s academic system. In this case, the student must sign up for a one-year pre-Bachelor or pre-Master course at a local university before proceeding with his or her studies.
- There is a broad range of English-taught programs as well as German-taught programs, all in diverse academic fields. There are, however, more study opportunities in English for individuals who plan to take both their Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Germany than for those who want to take short-term courses.
- Note that when you apply for a visa and a residence permit, you must demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to finance your training in Germany (as indicated above).
- When making your application, make sure that you apply for the correct visa. In addition, your passport must be valid for your entire stay in Germany.
- If your study program is going to last longer than 90 days, and you are not a citizen of an EU member state, you must apply for a residence permit in the city where you are going to study. A yearly resident permit fee costs around €110. Residence permits are issued for a two-year period and can be extended.
- To be admitted to a study course you must have sufficient knowledge of the German language. The DSH and the Test DaF are the recognized qualifications (certificates) for German language assessment.
- If your knowledge of German is below par, you will need to take a preparatory course at the local Studienkolleg (student college) to improve your German language skills.
- All students are however be expected to have attained a certain proficiency level right from the beginning. You can prove that you have attained this level by presenting a certificate issued for passing a DSH or TestDaF exam (after approximately 400 to 600 class hours).
- The DSH is taken at the local university (courses are not free), while the Test DaF is taken in any country. The Test DaF exams take place five times a year.
How Do I Apply – Next Steps
- Applications frequently fail due to formal errors because documents are incomplete, or deadlines are missed. To avoid mistakes, therefore, you should check:
- What requirements must be fulfilled for your chosen study program
- Where you must apply
- Until when you can apply (deadline)
- What documentation (certified copies) must be included.
- You also need to confirm the following fees:
- Fees for certified copies and translations
- Examination fee for the German skills language test
- Application processing fee
- There are three avenues you can use to apply for the courses:
- Using Uni-assist
- DAAD covers the testing costs of any individual registered as a refugee. To qualify, you will need a certificate confirming your residency status.
- Proof of the TestAs (a standardized aptitude test for international students)
- If you apply through Uni-assist, make sure you request free application processing. Also, upload proof of refugee status via Uni-assist’s Portal for Cost Exemption. Once your request is approved, you will be instructed to apply for your course via the online portal. More information is available on the Uni-assist website.
- Applying directly to the University
- Some universities charge a processing fee for the application. Your application will therefore only be reviewed after the university receives your payment.
- Applying directly to the Trust for admission to higher education
- In this instance, you get the application form from your university of choice, the Trust for admission to higher education or DAAD website.
The following documents must accompany your application:
- A certified copy of your university entrance qualification (high school diploma, A level certificate)
- Certified copies of all relevant university certificates
- A copy of a valid passport (the page with your name and photo)
- Foreign language certificates
NB: All these documents can be certified by the German diplomatic mission in your home country.
- Winter semester: Application period is from the end of May to 15th July
- Summer semester: Application period is from the beginning of December to 15th January
How do I get more information?
- Free Scholarships – http://www.freeundergraduatescholarships.info/
- Top Undergrad Scholarships – http://internationalscholarships.ca/category/level-of-study/undergraduate/
- Top Graduate Scholarships – http://internationalscholarships.ca/category/level-of-study/graduate/
- GOT QUESTIONS – Join the Discussion at our Forum – http://myinternationalscholarships.com/forum