Study in Germany for International Students

The requirements to study in Germany for international students are achievable. With a plethora of courses to choose from and several globally valued universities, choosing to study in Germany as an international student is the best decision you could make. Aside from its long and rich history, Germany offers a dynamic lifestyle mixing the rural and urban, making your visit memorable and enchanting.  

Why study in Germany as an international student?

Germany is the only leading study destination that does not charge tuition fees for international students. The German education policy of October 2014 stated that international students pursuing higher education in the country would not be required to pay tuition fees. Also, international students will only need to pay a few costs such as public transportation, which is approximately 55 euros per semester.

It is no surprise that Germany is among international students’ most preferred destinations. The latest research shows that over 357,000 international students have enrolled for a university degree in Germany, and the number keeps rising.

Life is also reasonably cheap in Germany. The only challenge is paying for your rent. Fortunately, most institutions in Germany offer affordable accommodation facilities. You can also consider sharing a room with someone to ease this financial burden if you desire to study in Germany as an international student.

What are the best courses to study in Germany for international students?

Engineering, Fine Arts and Computer Science are among the best courses to study in Germany for international students.


Engineering is by far the most popular course to study in Germany for international students. The country attracts approximately 25% of international students studying engineering. Engineering majors can choose from various specializations, including Automotive Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.

Interestingly, Germany is considered a massive contributor to the automotive industry. Germany’s automotive sector employs over 700,000 people, making it the largest employer and the biggest industry in the country.

Business Management

Also on the list is Business Management which does not stand too far from Engineering. Germany’s business schools are popular globally, offering one of the most marketable courses to study. According to major top-tier rankings like QS and FT, Manheim Business School is not only the leading business school to study in Germany for international students but also one of the top 100 business schools worldwide. 


Given Germany’s popularity in engineering courses, you may not associate social sciences and humanities with the country. However, it is important to note that the country boasts several top humanities universities, many of which are recognised by major ranking firms like THE and QS.

Computer Science and Maths

Approximately 30,000 Computer Science or Mathematics students have chosen to study in Germany, making these courses quite popular in the country. Since Germany is a technologically advanced country, international students studying the subject can access computers and high-tech labs to undertake further research.

Fine and Applied Arts

Over 24,000 international students are pursuing a degree in Fine Arts in Germany, a country in which technology is transcendent. In contrast to most countries, German universities focus less on the theory part of the course. Students are encouraged to work independently in studios so that they present their projects for critique in class.

Study in Germany for International Students 2 | Why study in Germany as an international student | Best universities to study in Germany for international students | Can I study in Germany for free | Can I study in Germany as an international student with scholarships | Germany student visa requirements for international students
Study in Germany for international students – Quick Facts and Figures

Which are the best universities to study in Germany for international students?

When seeking universities to study in Germany for international students, you will be delighted to learn that 46 German universities, including the University of Munich and the University of Hamburg, feature in the latest QS World University Rankings.

Listed below are the top universities to study in Germany for international students.

  • University of Munich
  • University of Göttingen
  • University of Hamburg
  • University of Bonn
  • Heidelberg University 
  • Technical University of Munich
  • Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen
  • University of Freiburg
  • Free University of Berlin

Can I study in Germany for free as an international student?

You can study in Germany tuition-free whether you are from EEA or the EU. However, only public and a few private universities in Germany offer free tuition.

Another catch is that you will require a residence permit if you are not from a European Union before commencing your studies.

How much does it cost to study in Germany for international students?

Most German public universities do not charge any tuition fees. Germany is one of only a few European countries where students from Africa, Asia and other continents can study for free.

Though Germany abolished tuition fees in 2014 for all undergraduates in its public universities, non-EU students at a few universities such as those studying at Baden-Württemberg must pay around 4,500 euros annually (price subject to change).

However, if you intend to study in Germany as an international student, you will need to pay a few administrative costs such as student union fees, books and student contributions totalling up to 350 euros per year. 

Can I study in Germany as an international student with scholarships?

A wide variety of scholarships are available for international students willing to study in Germany such as the DAAD scholarships and the Erasmus+ scholarship.

DAAD Scholarships

Established in 1925, DAAD scholarships mainly target bachelor’s and master’s degree graduates. Moreover, they’re not difficult to meet – you only need a Bachelor’s degree or be in the final year of your course. DAAD scholarships grant does not have an upper age limit, although applying for the scholarship soon after completing your bachelor’s or master’s degree is recommended.


The Erasmus programme provides financial support to European students wishing to study in Germany. The program, which offers grants for one-year exchange periods, has helped over 3 million students achieve their educational objectives. Further, the European Commission established the Erasmus program in 1987 to enable young people to get work placements and bring together lifelong learning systems.

Non-government scholarships are also available for international students seeking doctoral and postdoctoral degrees. Below are some of the most common private scholarships in Germany:

  • Deutschland Stipendium
  • Einstein International Postdoctoral Fellowship 
  • Heinrich Böll Scholarships for International Students
  • Humboldt Research Fellowships for Postdoctoral Researchers
  • Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Scholarships
  • Kurt Hansen Science Scholarships
  • Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowships (IIF)

Can international students work in Germany?

The benefits of studying in Germany extend to its education system and the many job opportunities in the country. Since finding employment in Germany is fairly easy, many students prefer to work while pursuing their studies.

Fortunately, German universities allow international students to work a limited number of hours while studying, currently set at 120 days per year (subject to change).

Germany student visa requirements for international students

Citizens of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Korea (Republic), the United Kingdom, and the United States of America citizens are entitled to study in Germany without a visa for up to 90 days. If you intend to study beyond 90 days, you must apply to the local immigration office (“Ausländerbehörde”) in Germany for a residence permit without obtaining a visa beforehand. All applications for a residence permit must be submitted within 90 days of your arrival in Germany.

Taking up employment is only permitted after you have received a residence permit that explicitly authorises it.

All other nationalities must apply for a student visa before travelling to Germany.

As part of the German student visa application process, you must submit the following:

  • An application form
  • A valid international passport
  • Biometric passport photographs
  • Letter of admission from the university in Germany
  • Letter of acceptance from the graduate school (for PhD students)
  • Evidence of sufficient funds in your bank account
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Visa application fees

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