Study Destination

How about studying in Germany?

Kashyap Matani

Germany, the birthplace of kindergarten and the modern university is a dream destination of students. It is well known for courses in sciences and engineering especially automotive, mechanical and biomedical.

Getting admission into German Universities can be a huge task. The education is free, yes you read that right, 95% of the universities do not charge any tuition fee. However there is always a price to pay as nothing comes for free and the price is a great educational background.

Admission requirements are set very high by the German Universities. For UG courses as much as 90% is expected. Also, students need to either complete 1 year of Bachelors study in India or appear for IITJEE exam to be eligible to apply for a UG course in Germany. In addition to this students need to appear for IELTS or TOEFL to prove their efficiency in the language.

For PG courses students are expected to have at least 70-75% from a reputed Indian University. They are also required to appear for GRE and a score of above 300 should do the needful. IELTS (6.0) or TOEFL (100) is also required.

The courses meant for international students are called International study programs and are taught in English. Hence, students looking for courses exclusively in English must look under the section specified ‘Internationals'. Unless, a student has sound knowledge of German language there is no point in opting for courses taught in German.

The students willing to learn German must do it through certified sources and in India students need to contact only Max Muller Bhavan (Mumbai) and clear TesDaf. The level to be cleared is generally specified on the University website as it depends on what percentage of classes are conducted in German.

Some of the top universities in Germany for International students

  • University of Heidelberg
  • Humblot University of Berlin
  • Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
  • Free University of Berlin
  • Technical University of Munich

Fees and Living Costs

Education in Germany is tuition free at most of the Universities. The universities charge a semester fee of about 140 - 500 Euros which is utilized for the university's development, labs and other such facilities.

Living cost in Germany is approximately 800 Euros per month. This can go up depending on the lifestyle of a student. In a case wherein the student has exhusted all currently available funds, there's an option to use the Blocked account which is essentially a bank account for international students in case of an emergency. 

Application Procedure

There are two intakes in a year for admission in Sep/Oct and in March/April. The application and visa process in total takes about 9 months so students need to plan accordingly. The deadline for Sep/Oct intake is 15 Jan and for March /April intake is 15 July. Hence an early application is highly recommended.

Once the university receives the application they may take about 3-4 months to inform students of the outcome. Not all universities may inform, if the application is incomplete or lacking any documents, hence it is recommended that students send all the requested documents in one go to avoid any last minute issues.

The students have two options for making an application. They can either apply directly or take help from UNI ASSIST. UNI ASSIST charges Euro 55 for their service of applying to 2-3 Universities. An additional Euro 15 per Universities for further applications. UNI ASSIST assists students with its partner Universities only.

Visa and Work Permit

International students need to apply for a visa before arrival. Anyone with written approval for preparatory study measures or a university place from a university can apply for a student visa. Those still waiting on the notice of admission or who have to sit an entrance examination will need to apply for an applicant visa.

It often takes several months for a visa to be issued. It is therefore important to apply for an applicant visa as soon as possible so that you can arrive before your course commences. You should not wait to receive confirmation of a university place, as the notice of admission arrives very late in Germany. It is preferable to apply for an applicant visa with the university's confirmation of application and then convert it to a residence permit for study purposes in Germany.

As an international student, you are permitted to work for 120 full days or 240 half days in a year. This will help you in getting a bit of extra pocket-money. After completing your degree in Germany, you can stay on in the country for up to 18 months to look for a job that is in keeping with your education. Once you find a job, the residence permit issued to you for the purpose of studying, can be converted into a residence permit for taking gainful employment.

Jobs and Careers

Want a job in Germany? Learn German and make contacts. What is also equally important is the location of the university. Some of the top locations being Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart, Hannover, Bonn. The average salary is about 35000 Euros for a post grad and about 24000 Euros for a graduate.

Indian students are used to the concept of campus placements and on-campus recruitment for getting jobs where companies visit campuses and hire graduates. There is no concept of placements in Germany. Most German universities have a Career Services cell which helps you get jobs and helps you prepare for interviews. They may refer you to companies or help you get in touch with HR managers. The job search is mostly self-driven in European countries, where it is considered your prerogative.

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