Germany has been marked as one of the best countries for foreign students. International students from all over the world are looking to pursue their education in the country for various reasons.
If you have just got admission to study in Germany (congratulations!), or you are intending to apply for admission to a German University, as a foreign student, you made it to the right post! Here, we have collated important things for you to know before studying in Germany. So read this carefully as you plan to move to Germany for your studies.
Tuition in German public universities is low or free. German public institutions charge less or nothing for tuition for both local and international students. With quality education standards, this is the right country to study, if you are bothered about the cost of tuition and other charges. Another good news is, outstanding students stand a chance of getting government-funded financial aid every month, for at least two semesters.
Top German Universities
This part is for those who are researching which university to apply to. Be sure of the course you would like to study, then check out the following top German universities, if they offer your desired course.
- Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
- Bielefeld University
- Freie Universität Berlin
- Heidelberg University
- Humboldt University Berlin
- Rwth Aachen University (Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen)
- Technical University of Munich (Technische Universität München)
- University of Freiburg
- KIT, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
- Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen
Cost of Living
When compared to other E.U nations, the cost of living in Germany is not very expensive, on average, a student may spend approximately 800 EUR/month on transportation, accommodation, and feeding. It does depend on your standard of living and choice of residence. With no tuition fee paid in most universities and an average cost of living, Germany has proven to be one of the most convenient countries for international students.
International students are required to have a student visa before moving to Germany for studies. Only those who are from the European Union region, are exempted from the visa rule. To apply for a visa to study in Germany, below are the required documents you need:
- Valid International Passport
- A recognized German Institution Proof of Admission
- Proof of Health Insurance
- Acceptance Letter from your prospective institution
- Proof of sufficient funds (this is to ensure that you do not get stranded or become stranded during your studies.)
- Proof of previous studies
- Language skills (for courses where the teaching language is German)
Prepare these documents and apply for a student visa to Germany, and you are a step ahead in the right direction. Here is a recent article that completely describes how to get a German student visa.
Scholarships and Fellowships
There are fully funded scholarships and fellowships for International students, available annually. If you are an outstanding student, or you prove to be outstanding, you do not have to be burdened with financial commitments because you can apply for one or more of the available scholarships, available for international students. All you have to do is research for the one you are qualified for and apply! It is that simple. When you do this and get admitted, the scholarship or fellowship covers the tuition fee, if the university has any and accommodation! With scholarships, it is easier to get a visa for studies. For researchers, The German Research Foundation, a German research funding organization, that promotes science and research, is one of the top sources of scholarships & fellowship in Germany. You can find a list of them in the Scholarship Scooters group here.
Apartment sharing is called “Wohngemeinschaft” or “WG” for short. It is very common in German universities (and indeed, universities around the world). This enables students to save costs by sharing an apartment and splitting the bills. This is the best and recommended option for international students because, not only does it help them save costs, when you share an apartment with a German student, you get a chance of socializing with them better, learning the language, and figuring your way around the city. Choose to share with a German student because not only do they become your apartment mate, they can double as a friend, language teacher, and tour guide!
International students are allowed to work part-time, putting in about 20 hours a week at their part-time jobs. This enables students to earn money to support themselves during their studies. Students are not expected to work full time or demanding jobs so as not to distract them from studying. Work permits are given to students to take on part-time jobs during their academic pursuits, and this permit comes automatically with your student visa.
You may check our previous article about how much you can earn as a student in Germany.
Means of Transportation
Trains & Buses are the cheapest means of transportation in Germany, and you might want to get conversant with them. You could check out the ‘DB Navigator ’ app to know their schedule as soon as you get there so that you can always catch the train going to your location on time.
German transport system is known to be the best organized and affordable – the buses and trains always arrive in time, and should there be any delay, passengers will be informed in advance. Your student ID also serves as your transport ticket within the state that you live in; you do not have to pay anything extra for transport within your city/state as a student in Germany. For interstate movements, Flixbus and similar companies provide affordable & safe intercity transport services within Germany cities and in Europe.
Commute With Your Documents
Always have your documents with you for identification. Keep a photocopy of your valid passport, visa, and student ID Card with you at all times.
As with moving to a new city or country, it is important to learn the language of the environment. As an English speaker who is looking to study in Germany, you are in luck because German shares a wide range of vocabulary with English.
Their lexicons are similar, so it is easier for you to learn the language when compared to other foreign languages. Knowing German would come in handy because you need to communicate with people and understand interactions. Most institutions offer courses in English, but it is recommended to learn German as well, especially the basics, for your benefit, amongst others in the labour market, to easily secure a job.
Rules and Regulation
It is crucial to learn the rules and regulations of the country. There might be different rules than in your hometown. Learn the rules and abide by them, so you do not get into trouble. For example, smoking in public places is prohibited and deemed illegal, if caught, you may have to pay some fine for flouting the rules. You do not want to get into trouble when you are there for your studies. Be willing to ask questions and get to know the rules.
Germans are very punctual people. If you are not already punctual, and you want to study in Germany, you must learn to be punctual at all times, to classes and meetings. Germans pride themselves on being a punctual lot and expect others to be punctual as well when meeting with them. In German universities, there is a phrase “Akademisches Viertel” meaning (Academic Quarter – class timing) used to define the discrepancy between the set time of a class, and the actual start time. This is used to encourage students to always be on time, it gives the students 15 minutes to locate their next lecture or do whatever activity they need to do and be there before the classes start.
So, in German universities, lectures have usually scheduled a quarter-hour, 15 minutes, before the actual lecture time, except stated otherwise.
Here’s a fun fact, Germany has a lot of snacks and about 1500 different beers. There are big cities and nice scenes. During your holidays, you can decide to stay back and tour some places and cities with friends and go out for a nice time when you are free. Being in Germany is a guarantee for excitement and a variety of entertainment.
Home of Football
Known as “Fußball” Germany, football is a sacred sport and there are lots of fans in the country, they enjoy watching it over a beer at bars. If you are a lover of football/soccer, you should immediately feel at home once you start schooling in Germany. You will find people who support your team and share the feeling they hold with them. You can enjoy this bond during your free time.
Germany is a country in the north-central region of Europe, with a temperate climate. The weather in Germany is never extreme, it has just the right mix of every season. Germany has four distinct seasons, winter, summer, fall, and spring. The best part is the season rarely lingers for too long and none of it gets extreme. All seasons are usually moderate. Get prepared to enjoy the moderate climate of every season, all year round. The winter is not too cold, neither is the summer too hot.
Different German Dialects
There are different German dialects, a variation of the German language according to regions. You do not have to speak them all, but know this so that you do not get alarmed when you hear different variations of the same language. There are slight differences in them, but if you learn German, you can decipher what is being said and communicate effectively.
Germany is an ideal place for study as there are a lot of benefits they offer foreign students which other countries do not offer. We hope this article helped you find out interesting things you did not know about studying in Germany and will help you make that decision.