Studying in Germany

  • Population: 82,000,000
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • University Students: 2,800,000
  • International Students: 375,000 (13%)
  • English-taught Programs: 1,000

Germany is a safe country with both economic and political stability. Add to that the fact that the majority of Universities in Germany are free, and you have a top study destination.

In 2017, approximately 375,000 international students attended Universities in Germany. Most of these foreign students come from Austria, India, China, Russia, France, Cameroon, Bulgaria and Turkey.

Universities in Germany

In Germany there are nearly 500 higher education institutions, including several internationally high-ranking Universities. Of these around 400 are public Universities and over 100 are private. The Universities in Germany are split into four groups: Research Universities (Universität) focused on academic work. Technical Universities (Technische Universität) that tend to focus on technology and engineering. Universities of Applied Science (Fachhochschulen) specializing in engineering or social sciences and business. Finally, there are the Colleges of Art, Film and Music that focus on the creative fields such as Fashion, Dance and Fine Arts, among others. Some of the most noteworthy institutions include:

  • University of Munich
  • Heidelberg University
  • Leipzig University
  • University of Tübingen
  • University of Freiburg
  • University of Marburg
  • University of Jena
  • University of Halle-Wittenberg
  • University of Rostock
  • University of Greifswald

Business Schools in Germany

Germany also has many Business Schools to choose from, including:

  • New European College
  • Cologne Business School
  • Munich Business School
  • WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management
  • European School of Management and Technology
  • Mannheim Business School
  • GISMA Business School
  • Berlin School of Creative Leadership

Study in English in Germany

There is a growing trend in Germany for Universities and Business Schools to offer programs, aimed at international students taught in English.

As of 2019, there are over 1,000 programs in Germany that are taught in English, including Bachelor degrees and Master degrees.

Tuition Fees in Germany

Most public Universities in Germany are tuition-free and only require a small administrative fee of 250 EUR per semester, which in some cases even includes transport. The only exceptions are the Universities in the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg who have introduced a fee of 1,500 EUR per semester for non-EU citizens.

Prices at independent private Universities and Business Schools vary greatly and can cost anywhere from 5,000 EUR to 30,000 EUR for undergraduate or postgraduate studies.

Scholarships to Study in Germany

European students can apply for scholarships from the Erasmus + program. For eligibility requirements and application requirements you are advised to consult with your home University.

The DAAD also publishes a variety of scholarships and for foreign students on their website, so check it out to see if you are eligible.

Costs of Living in Germany

Official figures from DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst), the German Academic Exchange Service, suggest that 850 EUR per month should suffice to cover living costs while studying in Germany. This should cover for your rent for accommodation, food as well as clothes and basic leisure expenses such as cultural events.

Obviously as with many EU destinations, living costs in bigger cities such as Berlin, Hamburg or Munich are going to be higher than in smaller cities such as Leipzig, for example.

Internships & Company Placements in Germany

Internships in Germany are not only popular but sometimes also an obligatory part of a study program. International students studying in Germany can apply for an internship via organizations such as IASTE or AIESEC. Another popular route to find a company placement while you study in Germany is to talk to the Career Office at your University.  Other interesting resources include or Graduate Land.

Working in Germany

International students living in Germany are permitted to legally work alongside their studies. The average number of hours a student can work is usually 20 hours per week. Foreign students are encouraged to seek work and the Federal Government even has a website dedicated to guiding them.

Applying for a Student Visa to Study in Germany

Students from the European Union or Switzerland do not require a visa to study in Germany. A residence permit however, is required. Non-EU international students on the other hand are required to apply for a student visa as well as a residence permit.

In order to apply for a visa, you will need to provide the German Embassy or Consulate in your home country with a proof of admission at an educational institution, certificate confirming health insurance coverage, proof of funds to cover your stay throughout your period of study as well as confirmation of having secured accommodation. A proof of no criminal record can also be required.

Upon arrival in the country and within the first 90 days you will be required to apply for a residence permit at the Foreigner’s Registration Office in the town where you will reside. You will be granted a two-year residence permit that can be renewed if necessary.