Free study in Germany: tips on how to apply for admission and visa



Free study in Germany: tips on how to apply for admission and visa

Education in Germany is free for everybody both EU/non-EU and international. The only problem about  studying in Germany is the medium of instruction as most of the universities teach in German language especially at the undergraduate level. But if you hope to study in Germany and do not have the German language certificate or understand the language, you could visit any German Embassy or consulate office in your home country and enroll for language classes.

In this post, I will be talking about free study in Germany, minimum entry requirements, how to obtain a study visa and lots more. So don’t go away!

Admission procedure for study in Germany

To study in Germany, a student should posses a higher education entrance qualification. This could be a secondary school-leaving certificate that corresponds to the German Abitur and entitle you to study.

Undergraduate study requirement

A school leaving certificate also known as university entrance qualification e.g High school diploma, matura, A-levels, Atestat or proof that you have passed the university entrance examination(if required in your home country)

Postgraduate study requirement

To study at the postgraduate level, a student should have a good bachelor’s degree which is recognised in Germany. Kindly contact the universities directly and find out the study requirements as different universities may have different entry requirements.

Visa requirements and how to apply

To study in Germany, you will need to obtain a visa from the German embassy in your home country. Note that EU nationals, citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland do not need visa to study in Germany.

What documents do you need to apply for a visa?

It’s best to inquire at the German embassy or Consulate in your country. You usually need to submit the following documents;

  1. Proof of financial resources: You must provide a proof of financial resources which verifies that you can support yourself financially for one year in Germany. Income or assets around 8000 euro are usually required per year( approx. 659 euro per month). Find out at the German embassy in your home country how you should provide this proof of financial resource. But on principle, several types of proof are possible and they include;
  • Proof of parents income or assets
  • Security on a blocked account
  • Bank guaranty
  • A sponsor’s letter from someone whose place of  residence is in Germany.
  1. Visa application forms: This can be obtained at the German Embassy in your home country.

How to apply for admission

You can apply directly to the university or employ the services of uni-assist.

List of top universities in Germany

  • Aachen university of  Technology
  • Brandenberg Technical university of Cottbus
  • Cologne Bussiness school
  • Dortmund university
  • Duisburg Technical university
  • European management school, Leipzig
  • European management school, Mainz
  • Free university of Berlin
  • Hamburg media school
  • International university, Bremen
  • Media university of Luebeck
  • University of Augsburg
  • University of Bamberg
  • University of Bremen
  • University of Essen
  • University of Gottingen


Getting your school and university diplomas recognised

If you want to study in Germany, you need a qualification that gives you university entrance qualification – that is, a diploma that allows you to take up studies in your home country. In Germany, this diploma is then verified to see whether it is comparable to a German diploma giving access to higher education. Many foreign diplomas are now recognised as equivalent. You can look up which of your home country diplomas this applies to and whether or not you need to take further examinations to gain access to higher education on the German Academic Exchange Service database.

Also, think about whether taking up studies in parallel to a job is a feasible option for you. This kind of course is available either part-time, full-time or by distance learning. By doing this, you can gain professional experience in Germany as well acquiring theoretical training.

You do not have a recognised school-leaving diploma? A preparatory course is the solution.

Even if the diploma from your home country is not equivalent to a German diploma giving access to higher education, you still have a chance of studying in Germany. Before taking up your studies, you must take a preparatory course at a Studienkolleg. These university-run centres for international students provide language teaching and teaching geared to the subject you have chosen to study. Courses usually last a year. If you pass the end-of-year examination, you will be entitled to apply for a higher education course in that subject. You will find out more on the Preparatory Courses in Germany Web site.

Attend your first language courses

If you apply for a course which is taught in German, you will have to prove that you know enough of the language. For courses taught in English, you do not normally have to prove that you have any knowledge of German. Even if you have attended a German school abroad or a preparatory course, you are not obliged to take this examination.

Regardless of what you study, you are advised to have a command of German corresponding to level B2. That will help you to make yourself understood without anyone else’s help, whether out shopping, at the foreign nationals’ registration office or at the doctor’s. Moreover, it will make it easier to have a social life and will raise your career prospects if you stay on in Germany.

Getting a German diploma recognised abroad

Hopefully, you will like life in Germany so much that you will want to stay here after you have finished studying. However, if you do subsequently decide you want to work in another country, you can rest assured that German Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are recognised on the international labour market. This is not the case with the Staatsexamen, the exam you take when you study law, medicine or pharmacy or teacher training. That is why you should check in advance which courses of study offer good job prospects in Germany and abroad. The German Academic Exchange Service, can help you to find the right course and a suitable university.

Enough money to live and to study

Doubtless one of the most important questions for you is how you are going to finance your studies in Germany. Moneywise, you need to plan ahead for two things

  • Semester and tuition dues: The universities in Germany do not charge tuition fees for undergraduate courses. Merely a semester fee must be paid. This includes the contributions for Studentenwerk (Student Union) and AstA (student self-government. Depending on the university, the amount is between 100 and 300 euros. Often with the payment of semester due students also receive a semester ticket for local public transport.Note: for international courses – Bachelor’s or Master’s courses in English, for example – other rules may apply. If you wish to take this kind of course, first ask exactly whether you have to pay fees and, if so, how much.
  • Living costs: German students spend an average of around 800 euros per month. Of this, nearly 300 euros go towards paying the rent and around 165 euros on food. Depending on the place where you study and whether you are married or single, or have children, you will need either more or perhaps less.

Inquire about scholarships

Would you like to fund your studies by means of a scholarship? In Germany, numerous institutions provide this kind of financial aid on a monthly basis to students who meet specific conditions. These may either involve good marks, or even social commitment. However, you need to be aware that in Germany, scholarships are rarely granted from the first semester. Students in later semesters and PhD students from abroad can apply for a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service. Some private institutions also support foreign students.

Apply for a place on a course

There are two ways to apply for a place on a course of study: at numerous universities, you can apply through a special body called Uni-Assist e.V. You can find out which universities this applies to on the Uni-Assist Web site. If there is no Uni-Assist at the university of your choice, you can send your application directly to the university. You can find out the address of your chosen university from the list of German universities.

If you want to start your course in the winter semester, you generally have to apply by July 15 at the latest. To start a course in the summer, you usually have to submit your application by January 15 of each year. Different conditions and application deadlines may apply for certain courses.

To access more scholarship offers, click any of the following links

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