Many European universities are known for offering free or low-cost tuition fees for international students. Along this line, Germany is proving to be one of the top destinations for international students for various reasons. You can choose from over 116 international bachelor programs being taught with English as the medium of instruction.
With prestigious universities situated all over the country, Germany offers public universities completely for free or requiring only a small amount for miscellaneous fees.
What’s great is that international students are also welcome in these universities to come and get their preferred degrees. Because of the free tuition, if you study at one of these public universities, you can study in Germany for free.
If money becomes a problem such as living expenses, students can opt for part-time jobs to help them cover their expenses while studying.
Germany offers quality education and beautiful locations at the same time. Imagine the places you can visit on your free time or when you’re stressed and just need to take a break every once in a while.
Let’s dive deeper into how you can make your German study dreams come true.
How to Study for Free in Germany
When studying in a foreign country, it is important to do some research beforehand. Keep in mind that you are entering another country, so you have to learn or at least be more familiar with their cultures and practices. Some actions that may be allowed in your own country may be viewed as “offensive” or “unusual” in another country.
Another factor you have to consider is the language barrier. Although the courses are taught in English, you will still be living in Germany. A lot of Germans speak English, but you’ll also have to learn a little German as well, in order to live more comfortably in the country.
Learn as much as you can about the country to know what you’re really getting yourself into. Once you have decided that you can handle all the adjustments, it’s time to get started and get the process rolling.
2. Finding the ideal school
It is important that you find the ideal school for you since you’ll be spending the majority of your time there. There are currently around 1,400 courses that are taught in English in various universities throughout the country.
It is also important that you consider the comfort and ease with which you will be moving around the campus so that you can focus more on your studies. If you want to study for free in Germany, you need to study at one of the free universities in Germany.
Here is a list of some of the most reputable universities in Germany offering English courses:
- Bremen University of Applied Sciences
- University of Bonn
- IUBH University of Applied Sciences
- Frankfurt School of Finance & Management
- Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
- Hochschule Bremen – International Graduate Center
3. Gather all your requirements
After you have chosen the right school for you, it’s time to gather all your requirements. Each school has its own set of requirements which every student needs to pass and fulfill prior to admission. The most common requirements are:
- A certified true copy of your high-school diploma or latest degree
- Passport photo
- Copy of passport
- Translation of the subjects you’ve previously taken and respective grades
- Proof of language proficiency – German and/or English (depending on the school)
- Letter of motivation
- Fees required for the application process
There are some schools that teach courses partially in English and German. However, international students are required to learn German beforehand. The two exclusive German tests which are recognized in all universities throughout the country are:
- Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH)
4. Save some money
In preparation for the application of your student visa, you can save some money beforehand. All applicants are required to show that they have (or have access to) around $10,000 per year.
This is to ensure that all potential international students have enough money to cover their living expenses in the country. Most students typically spend around $975 on a monthly basis.
However, this depends on their way of living. There are also certain cities that are a little bit more expensive than others.
If you qualify, you may also apply for scholarships in various universities. There are also other options, such as getting a part-time job to help pay for your living expenses. This way, you are able to study for free in Germany.
5. Submitting your application
Once you have gathered all the requirements, you can send in your application in two ways. First, you have the option of sending it directly through the university’s international website. Secondly, you may also apply through a centralized portal, www.uni-assist.de, which is intended mainly for international students.
Take note, however, that only selected universities use this portal. For greater chances of getting admitted to your preferred school, it is advisable that you apply using both methods.
6. Getting your student visa
Once you’ve completed the previous steps, the hard part is basically over for studying in Germany for free. This next step, however, may take a little longer than most. International students have to send in their application for a student visa at least three months before they plan to move to the country.
You’ll have to get in touch with the German embassy or consulate in your own country in order to start this process. Make sure that you’ve received a letter of acceptance from the university of your choice before applying for the student visa.
Here’s a list of requirements in applying for a student visa.
- Valid passport
- At least 2 photographs
- Filled out an application form
- Acceptance letter from a university in Germany
- Transcript of records
- Authentication of the required documents
- Funds to prove that you can support yourself while studying in Germany
- Proof of language proficiency (only if you’re enrolled in a German course)
International students are also required to have their own health insurance while studying in Germany. If you’re from a European country, your health insurance will be valid in Germany. International students can avail of health insurance for around $92 per month.
7. Finding suitable accommodation
After all the processes and requirements, your hard work has finally paid off. You may now study in Germany. It’s important to pick a place to stay that offers safety, security, and comfort. It is also preferable to stay in a location that is accessible and nearer to your school.
There are certain fees that you must settle first to cover for some of the school fees. These typically range between $170 – $290. The typical requirements needed during enrollment are:
- Passport photos
- Passport and Visa/ Residence Permit
- Filled out registration form
- Admission notice
- Language proficiency certification
- Health insurance
- Receipt that you have fully paid the required fees
After completing all these steps, you may now successfully study and settle in Germany and start chasing your dream degree. I hope that this article on studying in Germany for free was helpful. If you are interested, visit Germany Scholarships Page!