With more than 300 institutions of higher education throughout the country, Germany offers one of the largest university systems in Europe. There are 11 German universities in the QS World University Rankings Top 200 Universities, underlining the quality of both teaching and research in these institutions.
Study abroad programs in Germany offer two strands of education - one general, the other specialized. General education offers international students the opportunity to gain essential analytical and scientific skills relevant to their chosen area of study. On completion of an intermediate examination, students then move on to a period of study that is much more focused on their precise subject, developing an in-depth knowledge and understanding of their specialization.
German qualifications at all levels are regarded as being of the highest quality, based on a system of education that blends thorough theoretical knowledge with cutting-edge research, informed by contemporary technology and discoveries.
According to the Ministry of Education and Research, the Framework Act for Higher Education has paved the way for strengthening the autonomy of institutions of higher education. The introduction of internationally recognized bachelor's and master's degrees adapts study courses to the challenges of the future. The new junior professorships strengthen the independence of young scientists at institutions of higher education.
What is the application process for Germany?
Each and every student applicant from abroad must apply for admission to studies. This goes for first-year students and undergraduates as much as it does for graduate students or even doctoral students. You cannot study in Germany without a letter of admission. The admissions process requires you to meet the necessary requirements for your desired degree programs. This includes, the proof that you are adequately proficient in the German language, your school-leaving certificate or any academic achievements already gained in the home country. These must be recognised as equivalent to the respective German qualifications. However, it is also possible – depending on the university and degree program – that you may be required to meet further admission conditions. So contact your chosen university as early as possible (we would advise at least one year before the studies are scheduled to begin) to find out the requirements you may have to meet and the documents required. Contact the staff of the International Offices or Student Advice Offices for information and advice.
How much does Germany education cost?
At some universities you don't need to pay tuition fees. While some charge around 500 euros per semester. Whether you have to pay fees or not depends entirely on the federal state and at the university you are studying. Costs that you will certainly have to pay each semester are the semester contribution and the health insurance premiums (around 280 euros). The semester contributions are due when you register (matriculate) at the university and then each semester when your re-register at the Student Office. Depending on university and federal state, these can amount to between 50 and 250 euros. At some universities, this sum includes a Semester ticket. This allows you to use local public transport in and around your university town without any extra costs.
What academic degrees do German universities offer?
You can gain the following academic degrees at most of Germany's universities: Bachelor’s, Master’s, Diplom, Staatsexamen, Magister or a doctorate. All German universities meanwhile offer the regular international degrees: Bachelor's and Master's. The plans even aim to completely replace the traditional German degrees "Diplom" and "Magister" with these new ones by 2010. Until then, it will still be possible to gain a "Diplom" or "Magister" at many universities. Please contact the International Office or Student Advice Office at your university direct to find out which degrees the university currently offers.
How can I find a place to live in Germany?
The first point of contact when looking for a flat or a room is the Student Services organisation at your university. Student Services operate their own halls of residence that offer value-for-money accommodation for students. They also maintain a file with the addresses of private landlords and landladies. They additionally offer a particularly interesting service for international students: Many Student Services sell Service Sets for foreign students. These sets can be booked via the Internet before you come to Germany. In general, a Service Set will include accommodation, meals and health insurance. This guarantees that you have a place to live when you arrive in Germany.
What are the living expenses in Germany?
An international student, besides the education expenses, will have to meet the monthly living expenses. This expense can be around 630 euros on average. One third of this is spent on house rent. This differs according to the place where you live.
Can I work while I am studying?
Earning money and studying at the same time is a part of everyday reality for many students in Germany. However, international students who do not come from EU or EEA countries are only allowed to work to a limited extent in Germany. In addition, they generally need the approval of the Employment Agency before they can take up a job.
Are Scholarships available?
There are many organisations in Germany that award scholarships and grants to international students. For example, the DAAD specifically funds advanced students, graduates and postgraduates, i.e. doctoral students. Besides public funding organisations, there are also many private initiatives offered by business and industry, media and politics that are committed to supporting young international academics and researchers.
Can I stay in Germany after completing my studies?
The new Immigration Act has been in force in Germany since 1 January 2005. It aims to enable highly-qualified people from abroad to enter the German employment market more easily and to offer them longer-term prospects. For international students who have completed their studies in Germany, i.e. graduated, as per the act, after ending their studies, they can extend their stay and spend up to one year looking for a job in Germany that is appropriate to the qualifications. Highly-qualified foreigners who have a job offer in Germany, can receive a (permanent) Settlement Permit without the need for any labour market checks or the approval of the Federal Employment Agency.
Life Style & Culture:
Germany is a well-developed industrialized nation with a strong political, economic and social structure. For a person searching for something different to the norm, Germany is a goldmine of adventures. The country is the product of a long history of division. For this reason alone, it is a country of remarkable diversities. The clearly evident cultural diversity makes the modern Federal Republic. It is a mix of history and nature, fine arts and youthful rebellion. It is known as "land of poets and thinkers".
Germany is a country with a long and diverse history. Tradition, religion, political upheaval, war, and reformation are all factors that have influenced the evolution of the German culture today. Germany is home to some of the finest academic centers in Europe. Some famous Universities include those of both Munich and Berlin, University of Tübingen, University of Göttingen, University of Marburg, University of Berlin, Heidelberg University, Mining Academy Freiberg and Freiburg University, among many others.
Throughout the world, patrons are familiar with Germany's theatres, opera houses, special institutions, music schools, etc. Almost every city can boast of their libraries, museums and art collections. Germany's mark is permanent and unquestionable.
As the world's third largest economy, Germany understands the important role that immigration plays in sustaining its development. However, its policies remain both restrictive and selective in terms of who will be allowed to immigrate there.
The Germans are extremely skilled at getting people (and things) efficiently from Point A to Point B. Its world-class transportation system is one of the most commendable things about the country. The road, rail, and air systems are all extensive and well-maintained and public transport in cities is also remarkable. The local transport system provides lots of options like buses, cars, trams, light trail, subways commuter rail, taxi, etc.
Driving in these cities is generally more of a trouble than a necessity, especially with the excellent public transportation available. Nearly every town and many rural areas have scheduled local bus service. In larger towns and cities, lines crisscross the city. Where local rail service is offered, buses compliment those services. Most medium and large cities have a streetcar (tram) system, sometimes fairly broad. Trams are especially prevalent in many eastern German cities.
Some cities, most notably Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Hannover, Cologne, and cities in the Ruhr region, have relatively new light rail systems known as a Stadtbahn. Generally, these systems function very much like a regular U-Bahn system (subway) with wide-gauge tracks, longer trains, and high platforms. A few of Germany's largest cities have a full-fledged subway system, or U-Bahn.