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How to Study in Germany for Free as an Indian Student?

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Yocket Editorial Team
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If you’re a study-abroad aspirant, you may have considered Germany. Now, there’s one question many ask, “Is education in Germany free?” 

Well, yes and no. “How?” you may wonder. Don’t worry, we’ll answer it in this blog.

Public universities offer free education in Germany. However, you will need to pay a small administration  fee varying between EUR 100 - 350 / INR 8,890 - 31,130 every semester. On the other hand, the average tuition costs at German private universities range between EUR 5,000 - 20,000 / INR 4,44,700 - 17,78,800. Although the latter isn’t free, it's relatively more affordable than the US or the UK. Moreover, graduates from German universities can earn up to EUR 37,513 / INR 33,37,380 per year!

Is your goal to enrol in postgraduate courses in renowned German universities? Wondering which courses and universities are the best fit for you? Well, resolve all your doubts with Yocket Premium. With its AI-based tools and end-to-end counselling services, you can realise your study abroad dreams at the earliest. With over 4,500 admissions to the top 100 institutions in 2023 and dozens of admits to popular universities in 2024 already, the premium services can assist you in realising your aspirations as well. Begin Today!

Table of Contents

Why Study in Germany?

Germany is a top destination for international students, and for good reason!  According to Livemint, the number of Indian students travelling to Germany to pursue higher education has spiked from 20,562 in 2019 to 42,578 in 2023. This has placed India at the forefront of international student representation in Germany. 

Here are some of the biggest advantages of studying in Germany:

  • Excellent Education: German institutions are popular for their strict curricula and emphasis on research. Several German universities like the Humboldt University of Berlin and the Technical University of Munich are ranked highly in the world. The most popular disciplines students pursue at German institutions are science, engineering, and medicine. A German degree is a valuable credential that can lead to postgraduate studies at world-class universities.
  • Numerous Programs: Finding a curriculum that aligns with your interests and career objectives is highly possible if you choose to study at German universities. They provide a wide choice of programs in several disciplines, ranging from cutting-edge courses in environmental science and engineering to traditional areas like the arts and social sciences.
  • Affordability: German education is an excellent value for money. Public universities charge little to no tuition fees, while private universities charge tuition fees that are relatively more affordable than most Western European countries. Moreover, accommodation prices in student cities like Leipzig, Bonn, and Berlin are reasonable. Travelling between cities in Germany is also quick, thanks to its well-connected transportation services.
  • Practical Learning: German universities combine theory will practical exposure, offering internships and placements that will allow you to learn outside the classroom, preparing you for the workforce. Additionally, Germany's strong vocational training system offers opportunities for students to combine classroom learning with apprenticeships in skilled trades.
  • Robust Job Market: Nationally and internationally, a German degree can lead to fascinating job options in various sectors, including manufacturing, engineering, and renewable energy. Therefore, employers worldwide place a high value on the experience you obtain while studying and working in Germany.

In the next section, find out the costs involved in pursuing higher education in Germany!

Cost of Studying in Germany

Tuition and living expenses constitute the two primary components of the cost of studying in Germany.

Tuition Fees in Germany

  • Public Universities: Usually, tuition fees for public universities in Germany run between EUR 100 - 350 / INR 8,890 - 31,130 every semester. They only charge a minor semester contribution fee to cover the costs of student union fees, administrative expenses, and occasionally public transit tickets. 
  • Private Universities: Tuition at Germany's private institutions varies greatly, depending upon the location, the course, and other factors. However, the annual tuition cost can vary from EUR 5,000 - 20,000 / INR 4,44,700 -  17,78,800, with programs like MBAs costing considerably more.

Expenses for Pursuing Masters in Germany.

Living Expenses in Germany

Look at the table below to get an idea of the approximate expenses for living in Germany, including rent, groceries/utilities, electricity bills, and other costs.

Factors

Average cost per month

Rent and utilities

EUR 350 - 500 / INR 31,120 - 44,460

Food and drink

EUR 200 - 250 / INR 17,780 -  22,230

Health insurance

EUR 100 / INR 8,890

Phone and internet

EUR 30 / INR 2,670

Leisure and hobbies

EUR 50 - 100 / INR 4,450 - 8,890

Other Costs

These include costs for the German student visa and the blocked account.

  • Blocked Account: To ensure that international students can sustain a comfortable life, Germany requires them to open a blocked account. A sum of EUR 11,208 / INR 9,96,400 must be deposited in the account annually, out of which students can withdraw only EUR 934 / INR 83,030 per month to cover living expenses.
  • Student Visa: Studying in Germany necessarily requires a student visa, which costs EUR 75 / INR 6,670 for Indian students. 

Total Cost of Studying in Germany.

Steps Involved in Studying for Free in Germany

Before listing the steps required for you to study free of cost in Germany, remember that private universities do charge a moderate tuition fee. So, you must predominantly look for public universities if you wish to study for free in Germany.

Here's a breakdown of the steps involved in pursuing higher education in Germany for free:

steps to study in germany for free

1. Do Your Research and Select Your Program:

  • Select Your Area of Study: Examine the courses that Germany's public universities are offering. Certain sources, such as the German Academic Exchange Service's (DAAD) official website, might assist you in finding the ideal program. 
  • Consider English-Taught Programs: Although German is the primary medium of instruction, English-taught courses are also offered in many universities. If you are not proficient in German yet, this can be useful. The DAAD provides a database of 17,000 programs, out of which 88 are English-taught.

2. Review the Entrance Requirements

  • Academic Prerequisites: Similar to other universities abroad, German universities also require students to meet entrance criteria for their programs. Make sure you possess the required degrees or diplomas to be eligible.
  • Language Proficiency: Language proficiency exams like DSH or TestDaF that evaluate your German proficiency might be required, even for English-taught programs. Moreover, scores from English proficiency tests like IELTS and TOEFL might also be required by most German universities.

3. Get Your Application Ready

  • Gather Documents: Keep the necessary documents handy, including transcripts, certifications, recommendation letters, and a motivation letter outlining your goals to study in Germany. Moreover, you must also take and submit scores for language proficiency tests.
  • Meet Deadlines: Begin and submit your university applications much before the deadlines. Some programs may have application deadlines as early as October or November, while others may have deadlines in March or April. Ensure to consider the processing time for any required documents, such as translated transcripts or standardised test scores. 

4. Secure Funding (For International Students)

  • Blocked Account: International students need to demonstrate that they have enough money to cover their living expenses in Germany. This often entails creating a blocked bank account in Germany and making a deposit of a certain amount, which varies region-wise. The amount would be approximately EUR 11,208 / INR 9,96,400 per annum.
  • Scholarships: Explore scholarship opportunities offered by your home country, the German government, and the universities you are applying to. This may assist you in paying for some of the program fees as well as your living expenses. Some scholarship options include the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) Scholarship and the Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Scholarship. The JN TATA Endowment scholarship is especially for Indian students, which funds postgraduate studies overseas. 

5. Submit a Student Visa Application

  • Once Accepted: Visit the German embassy or consulate in your native country to apply for a student visa after obtaining your acceptance letter. Ensure to schedule an appointment well in advance, as processing times can vary depending on the location. The German student visa costs approximately EUR 75 / INR 6,670 for Indian students. 
  • Visa Requirements: The primary requirements for a German visa include your passport, an admission letter, evidence of health insurance, and proof of finances. However, you may also need to provide additional documents such as academic transcripts, proof of language proficiency, or a police clearance certificate.

From the Desk of Yocket

International students can expect academic excellence from German universities in terms of both quality and cost. It provides a high standard of living, a solid social safety net, reasonably priced healthcare, and a breathtaking landscape for exploration. As such, continuing your study in Germany is a very profitable choice. So, consider your alternatives, and get ready to pursue your higher education in Germany!

Although the steps aforementioned for pursuing free education in Germany seem straightforward, messing up even one of them can hamper your chances of studying at your desired German university. Hence, if you need start-to-finish expert guidance in your study abroad journey, connect with our Yocket professionals and get personalised sessions to resolve all your doubts. Schedule A FREE Video Consultation Call Today!

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Study in Germany for Free

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