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Study in Germany for Free for International Students

International students who want to study in Germany for free have a lot of options. They can choose from over 10,000 programs at German universities and colleges. Foreign students will not only get an education that is respected around the world, but they can also enjoy low living costs, friendly people, and gorgeous landscapes. The best part is that it doesn't matter what their major is - there are plenty of opportunities for anyone with a passion for learning.

Is education really free in Germany?

Yes, education is mostly free in Germany. Students only need to pay for their living expenses, which can be relatively affordable in Germany. This makes studying in Germany an attractive option for students from around the world who are looking for high-quality education at a fraction of the cost. So if you're interested in learning more about German culture and economy or simply want to get a degree with zero tuition fees, Germany is definitely worth considering as your next study abroad destination! In addition to the country's world-class universities, there are also several colleges and vocational schools that offer free tuition.

Private vs. public universities in Germany

There are two types of universities in Germany: private and public. The vast majority of students attend public universities, which the government funds. Private universities, while more expensive, often have smaller class sizes and a more international student body. Both types of universities offer high-quality education, but it is essential to do your research to find the right fit for you

Did you know that...

In addition to its many attractions, Germany is home to some of the best universities in Europe. In the latest QS World University Rankings, Germany had 47 universities represented in a total of 40 different subjects. This is more than any other European country and places it second only to the United States for top universities worldwide!

How to apply to a German university

To apply to a German university, you will need to provide your academic transcripts, proof of language proficiency, and a letter of motivation. In addition, most universities require that you take the TestAS – a standardized test designed to assess your readiness for studying in Germany. Be sure to check with the specific institution you're interested in to find out what other documents they may require.


There are a few things to consider when choosing a program in Germany. First, you'll need to decide whether you want to study at a university or college. University programs tend to be more research-oriented, while colleges offer vocational training in specific fields. In addition, you'll need to choose your major – although there are many subjects on offer, not all universities offer every degree type.

What types of programs are available to international students for free?

There are several programs available to international students studying in Germany for free. These include undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as certain certificate and diploma programs. Many German universities offer preparatory language courses at no cost to incoming international students.

Students should still check with their chosen university directly or program to see if the tuition is waived or included in the cost of attendance. Some study abroad programs also have scholarships available, which can offset some or all of the expenses associated with studying in Germany. Students interested in learning more about these opportunities should consult the websites of individual universities and scholarship organizations.

You can also use Expatrio's Study Finder to find your dream university in Germany. Navigate through more than 1,500 English-taught programs available at German universities.

Do you need to speak German to study in Germany?

Yes and no. Students are not required to speak German to study in Germany. However, knowledge of the language will certainly make life in Germany easier. Most universities offer a range of courses taught in English, and many Germans also know at least some basic English phrases. Additionally, there are a number of private language schools located throughout the country which offer German language courses for all levels of learners.


What is the cost of living in Germany for students?

The cost of living in Germany varies depending on the city or town where one lives—generally speaking. However, it is comparable to other Western European countries. Students should expect to spend between 500-700 Euros per month on food, housing, transportation, and other expenses. There are several affordable housing options available in Germany, including university dormitories, private apartments, and shared flats. Students can also take advantage of the country's excellent public transportation system, which is both efficient and affordable. In addition, several scholarships and grants are available to international students who wish to study in Germany.


Use Expatrio's Accommodation Finder to find apartments, studios, and rooms anywhere in Germany, and easily book the accommodation through one platform.

Accommodation Finder

What do you need to apply for a German student visa?

To study for free in Germany, you will need to provide proof that you have been accepted to a German university. This can be done by providing an acceptance letter from the university or a letter of enrollment. In addition, you also provide proof by opening a German blocked account.

Expatrio's state-recognized German Blocked Account (Sperrkonto) makes it easier for you to prove sufficient financial resources for your stay in Germany. Benefit from digital and fast account opening with low fees. You will also enjoy peace of mind with our money-back guarantee in case of visa rejection.

Once you acquire the university acceptance letter and a German blocked account, you must get mandatory health insurance. Take a look at the different types of health insurance you would need to apply for a German student visa successfully.

Other documents you might need include:

  • Proof of high proficiency of English via a high IELTS score or citizenship from a native English speaking country or proof of German language for German taught programs
  • A high school diploma or certificate of secondary education completion plus transcripts 
  • A Bachelor’s degree and college transcripts for post-graduate programs
  • Adequate number of required course credits for a specific field of study
  • A motivation letter (not always, please check with the respective university you're applying to)
  • Application + enrollment fees
  • German-sized passport photos


Download a more comprehensive guide to studying in Germany for free and see how you can get started on your study abroad adventure today!

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