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Guest Post

Education in Germany: Tips for Indian students

Do you want to study in Germany but do not know about the costs it will incur? 

Indian students opt to study abroad at prestigious universities and broaden their career prospects. But due to lack of awareness and financial constraints, they drop this thought!

Many countries are pacing forward to offer affordable quality education to non-native English speakers. But Germany outranks them in terms of providing free education to students across multiple disciplines. 

The official figures reveal that in the winter semester 2019-20, Germany saw a growth of 4.3% in international students, reaching 4,11,601. From India alone, the numbers stand at 25,149, i.e., approximately a 20.85% increase. The growth rate of Indian students in Germany is almost five times that of the global average.

So, if you are an Indian student exploring international study options, Germany can be your best bet. The country offers the ideal combination of free education, job opportunities, and high living standards. These qualities make it a sought-after destination for many international students.

However, there can be many unanswered questions in mind on how to avail free education in Germany. With this article, we aim to address all your queries and provide some expert tips. Read on to know more.

What are the Main Benefits of Studying in Germany?

Public universities in Germany offer free education, luring many international students into this European country. But it’s not the only reason. There are many benefits of studying in Germany as an international student.

  • World-class education: Germany has arguably one of the highest education standards in the world. So, when you receive your degree from Germany, you can be sure of its value worldwide.
  • World-class staff: The teachers in Germany go through a rigorous training phase to be eligible for teaching. They also enjoy the high income and job security despite the cost of education. So, they’re more dedicated to their work.
  • Hundreds of academic courses: You can choose from a wide range of academic courses ranging from nuclear physics to fine arts.
  • Culturally diverse: You’ll find people and students from all corners of the world. You’ll have a culturally diverse learning experience.
  • Work opportunities: After completing your education, you can apply for work at world-class companies. SAP, Siemens, Adidas, Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler are some companies with headquarters in Germany.

How to Apply for Free Education in Germany?

Before you can apply for a course, you need to check your eligibility and apply accordingly. Some studies will demand that you complete a foundation course. So, you would have to enroll in a Preparatory Course, also known as Studienkolleg.
Then you need to select a program that you’re interested in pursuing. The DAAD or German Academic Exchange Services maintains a database of over 2,000 programs, and you can also search Expatrio's database. Each program will have its admission and language requirements, but some courses are taught entirely in English. You need to show your IELTS or TOEFL scores for these courses.
As a penultimate step, you must get your finances in order. It will help if you have the capability of investing around €10,000 per year. This will cover your lifestyle, housing, and study materials.
Finally, you need to apply for the course at the international office of the university. At many universities, it’s possible to apply twice per year for admission. Winter enrollments have a deadline of 15 July, whereas, for summer enrollments, it should be no later than 15 January.

Tips for International Students Going to Germany

If you’re going to Germany as a non-EU student, the following are some expert tips for you. You can watch this video to know more.

1. Apply for scholarships

Almost all state-funded universities offer free education for non-EU students, except for some highly specialized courses. International students in Bayern-Wurttemberg have to pay around €1,500 per semester. But international students can gain scholarships. We advise that you apply for the scholarships, which will cover your living costs.

2. Get all the documents in order

Many international students fail to produce relevant documents because of which their application is rejected. To avoid rejections, you must arrange the following documents:

All the documents are necessary for admission, and you must produce original copies whenever necessary.

3. Adjust for inflation

Most students calculate the total cost of their education but do not consider inflation. It could lead you to overspend. Please note that education inflation is much higher than global inflation. An exchange rate movement’s impact is another factor, which can change 4-5% per year. So, you need to consider it and adjust accordingly.

4. If you’re looking for job-oriented courses, apply for Fachhochschulen courses

Fachhochschulen are known as Universities of Applied Sciences offering real-life job scenarios. They award both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees designed to provide maximum practical knowledge. It will help you land jobs faster.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do German universities not charge any fees?

Most public universities in Germany do not charge any fees, except for Baden-Württemberg, which charges about €1,500 per semester to non-EU students. Germany waived tuition fees for all students in 2014. But most universities charge a certain amount of administration fees per semester, which can be as low as €250.

Is Studienkolleg mandatory?

Studienkolleg is the one-year preparatory course necessary for those whose diploma is deemed insufficient. You can check if you need a preparatory course here.

Is a German student visa necessary?

If you plan to stay for more than three months, you should apply for a German student visa.

Are there deadlines for enrollment?

Yes, 15 January (summer) and 15 July (winter) are the semester deadlines, unless otherwise specified.

Do foreign universities and employers recognize German degrees?

Yes, they are very much recognized. Germany has a Central Office for Foreign Education or ZAB to assess foreign higher education.

Can I work while studying in Germany?

As an international student studying in Germany, you’re allowed to work 120 full days or 240 half days in a given year. It does not include any mandatory internship that your program might require.

Can I stay in Germany after graduating?

Yes, you can stay in Germany for up to 18 months after graduating with a job-seeker visa. With the job-seeker visa, you can stay in Germany and find a job. 

To Sum it Up

Most students have an overall good experience studying in Germany. The facilities of a first-world country and stable Government make things easier for them. Some students even end up settling in Germany after securing a job.
If you’re considering Germany as your international study destination, it’s a great choice. But seeking the help of an educational consultant/counselor can make things easier for you.


About the author: K. C. Raj

K. C. Raj is a career counselor and recruiter with many years of experience. Interested in topics like human development, education, immigration, inequality, and many other international issues. K. C. Raj is a socialist in thinking and believes in the "One Nation, One World" theory.