Study in Germany – A Comprehensive Guide

Study in Germany A Comprehensive Guide

There are over 500 universities in Germany, most of which accept international applications. Students from all over the world consider getting higher education in Germany due to many reasons. Germany is a developed country with a very high Human Development Index. Several states in the country provide free university education, with the federal government playing only a minor role. Germany is also considered to be the third-best destination for international education. It is home to some of the oldest universities in the world. Their university system has also inspired numerous other universities in the western world. Let’s find out what’s it like for international students to study in Germany further on this page. 

Why Study in Germany?

Here’s why you should consider studying in Germany – 

  1. It has some of the best universities with a wide range of programmes.
  2. The tuition fee is more affordable in comparison to other developed nations. There are also several scholarship options for international students. On top of that, university education is completely free for German citizens. 
  3. It’s a stable and developed country that is considered relatively safe. 
  4. The cost of living is affordable, because of which people from all over the world settle here. Consequently, living in Germany while studying gives a number of diverse experiences. 
  5. Education in Germany is very practice-oriented. This increases the chances of employment. 

Bachelors in Germany

Education in Germany is synonymous with quality education in the eyes of students and professionals alike. Universities in Germany provide any and all bachelor degree courses that you can think of. Since all public universities are free, international students consider pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Germany more than any other country. That being said, engineering courses are the most pursued by international students. They are closely followed by law, economics, and social sciences. 

According to, 37.6% of international students take a bachelor’s course in Germany. That is equal to about 100,000 students every year. 

Usually, in order to study for a degree in Germany, students have to study at least one year of the same course in their home countries. 

Masters in Germany

It has been observed that overseas students move to Germany for a master’s degree more than they do for a bachelor’s or a doctorate degree. The top postgraduate courses that are pursued are MBA, MS, MEng, and Medicine. Let’s take a closer look. 

MBA in Germany

After engineering, one of the most popular courses that Germany has to offer is MBA. MBA programmes in this country are known to focus on the business and management aspects of the curriculum. Places like Manheim’s Business School and ESMT are known to offer quality education when it comes to MBA in Germany. The cost of an MBA degree in Germany is also much lower than in other European countries. If you happen to study in a public university, you need not pay any tuition. However, students still have to pay a minimal administrative fee each semester. 

*Also Read – Top 10 MBA Colleges in Germany w/o Work Experience 

Medical PG in Germany

Many universities in Germany have excellent medical programmes for international students. If you are a student from a medical background, you should explore your options to study in Germany. Many Indian students also move to Germany for their medical PG courses as an alternative for AIPGMEE. 

Students can pick from a wide range of specialisations like child health, rural health, dermatology, physiotherapy, anesthesiology, etc. 

Masters in Automotive Engineering

It’s a well-known fact that Germany is a giant in the automobile industry. This reason alone is effective to get the attention of students who are interested in automotive engineering. German universities most often provide an MSc degree for students who want to study automotive engineering. The duration of this course is 1.5 to 2 years based on the university you pick. 

*Also Check Out – Cost of MS in Germany for Indian Students 

Students must have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field in order to qualify for these courses. The starting salary for graduates from this course is between 5100-13,160 Euros/ month. 

MS in Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering is another leading industry in Germany. Students from all over the world move here to get an MS degree from top institutes like RWTH Aachen University and Berlin Institute of Technology. However, getting into a German university is far from a cakewalk. 

The demand for mechanical engineering courses and the fact that they’re affordable increase competition significantly. Aspiring students must have a bachelor’s degree in relevant fields. On top of that, you need to have scored at least 75% (or 7.5/10 GPA) or more in your UG final exams. Talking of language proficiency tests, a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 and a TOEFL score of 90 or above is preferred. 

PhD in Germany

Getting a PhD in Germany is not only prestigious but it also opens up a lot of great career opportunities for students. International students from all over the world pour into Germany to pursue a PhD in a field of their choice. About 9% of all overseas students pursue PhD courses here. 

Students can choose between an individual/ traditional PhD or a structural one. Traditional PhD gives you the freedom to choose your mentor or supervisor. It also lets you do a research project of your choice independently. While in a structural programme, you conduct your research with other students in the programme, under the supervision of a common mentor. 

Percentage of international students in Germany pursuing different levels of education –

*Read more about the procedure and requirements of getting a PhD in Germany

Best Universities in Germany for International Students

A list of the top universities in Germany, as of 2021 – 

  1. University of Tübingen
  2. Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
  3. Technical University of Munich 
  4. Heidelberg University 
  5. LMU Munich 

Cost of Studying in Germany

You must already know that most public universities in Germany require no tuition fee from their students. This makes the cost of studying in Germany fantastically affordable. In addition to that, there are other expenses. You have to bear the cost of living in Germany. These expenses include rent, food, entertainment, travel, etc. The bigger city you are in, the greater will be the cost of living. For instance, rent in Munich is around Rs. 2,00,000 while that in Berlin is Rs. 1.3 lacs. 

Studying in a private university in Germany is a whole different story. Unlike public universities, these institutes are not tuition-free. The tuition in private universities can cost you between €3000 – €20,000 per year. However, there are many loan and scholarship options. 

Scholarships to Study in Germany

Students who want to study in Germany but cannot fund it need not worry. There are several scholarship options to study in Germany. Both government and public entities grant these scholarships. Scholarships in Germany are fund students from all educational levels. Both public and private scholarship options are listed below by name. 

  • DAAD Scholarships
  • Erasmus+
  • Einstein International Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Scholarships
  • Kurt Hansen Science Scholarships
  • Mawista Scholarship, etc. 

German Student Visa and Permanent Residence

There are many minute details in a German visa process. People apply for a visa for a bunch of reasons. Let us talk about student visas for now. 

Students from any of the EU nations do not need a visa to study in Germany. However, students from other parts of the world need a studying and language learning visa. To apply for this visa, students must already have an acceptance letter from a German university. The next step is to procure the following items – 

  • Application Form
  • Passport
  • Photo
  • Health Insurance
  • Travel Itinerary
  • Proof of Financial Means

Once you have everything in place, you have to submit the application form to a local visa office. You may also have to go through an interview in the German embassy in your country. 

The application fee for a short-term visa is €80, while that of a long term visa is €75. 

Part-time Jobs for Overseas Students

A German student visa allows international students to hold part-time jobs alongside their academic activities. Part-time jobs in Germany is the most common way to make some money for bills and manage other miscellaneous expenses. However, there are some limitations. Some important points about part-time jobs for international students in Germany are –  

  • Overseas students can work up to work 120 full days and 240 half days in a year. 
  • They must not be self-employed or take up freelancing roles. 
  • In order to work longer hours, they need some necessary permissions from the local employment offices. 
  • Some common part-time roles include waiters, babysitters, personal tutors, courier/ delivery person, lab assistant, etc. 


Ques – Do you need to know German to study in Germany?

Ans – Many universities offer courses in English for international students although some knowledge of German is helpful in day to day life. 

Ques – How do I shortlist Universities for Masters in Germany?

Ans – In order to shortlist the best German universities for masters, you simply need to search what universities offer the course of your choice. And compare them based on reputation, resources, ranking, etc. 

Ques – How much does it cost to study in Germany?

Ans – Tuition is free in Germany. However, students have to pay for the application fees, administrative fees, accommodation, among other basic amenities. 

Ques – Can I study in Germany after 12th?

Ans – Indian students often wonder how to study in Germany after 12th. It is possible to do so if they have meritorious academic performance. They must also be able to qualify entrance exams, LPTs, and any other tests specified by individual universities. 

Ques – Is it possible to study in Germany without IELTS?

Ans – IELTS for Germany may or may not be required depending on the university that you choose. In case it is not required, you will be asked to produce other test scores to prove your language proficiency. 

Ques – What is UniAssist?

Ans – UniAssist is a Berlin-based service provider which helps universities sort student applications better. 

Ques – What is the average salary of an international graduate from Germany?

Ans – The average salary in Germany is anywhere between 76,000 – 103,000 EUR/ year. However, your starting salary depends on the amount of experience and your field of work.