How to get into German Universities:
Everything You Need To Know
Why German Universities?
Before getting into the aspects of How to get into German Universities it is crucial to understand their worth. Some of the German universities have persistently ranked among the world’s best universities. Also, outstanding research and teaching styles have contributed to their worldwide reputation. Contrary to popular belief, this place is an amalgamation of world-class education, cutting-edge research technology, a higher percentage of employability, and a quite affordable cost of living. Moreover, Germany opens the door to a rich history and a vibrant lifestyle intermixing the classical with the modern. Apart from that, it is a dream destination for students planning to settle abroad.
How to get into German Universities
Make up your mind
While planning on studying in Germany, the first thing you need to do is make up your mind. Since staying away from home and your loved ones is a big step hence one needs introspection before taking this decision. Contrary to popular belief, the German grading system is quite different from the Indian one. In addition to that, you need to convert your grade to a German grade via the German Grade Calculator. Also, you must be thorough with your research prior to application. Additionally, eligibility criteria may vary for Germany and the particular institution, so keep an eye out. Thus, for certain programs, you may need to appear for a test or an interview, or sometimes an essay would suffice.
Prepare all your documents
1. Application Documents –
Even though the application documents vary depending on the program and the university in question however some documents that are fundamentally required are enlisted below:
- Higher education entrance qualification, also known as Abitur. In case your school-leaving certificate is not recognized in Germany, then you must go through a one-year preparatory course named Studienkolleg.
- Translated Grades
- Passport size photograph
- European CV
- Letter of Recommendation(LOR)
- Statement of Purpose(SOP)
- Some universities require Non-EU students to go through an aptitude test known as TestAS.
2. Language and other Requirements –
Although Germany offers a limited number of UG courses taught exclusively in English. Whereas, most of the PG courses are thoroughly taught in English. Some of the language and other requirements include:
- If the course of your choice is available only in the German language then DSH or TestDAF is essential as proof of German language proficiency.
- Likewise, if you are not a native English speaker but the course you opted for is taught in English then IELTS, PTE, or TOEFL scores must be provided. The required scores will be uploaded to the respective university websites. Also, an average score of 6.5 in IELTS and 100 in TOEFL dramatically boosts your chances in most universities.
- Health insurance
- German student visa
Find a suitable study program and University
- Study Program
The first and foremost step is to let your desire guide you towards a suitable study program that will do justice to your interest in the subject. Since there are many universities with world-class education hence finding a suitable study program will be a piece of cake. Moreover, regardless of your discipline, there will certainly be a study program that will be at par with your studying aspirations. In addition to that, there will be programs that will help you realize your future plans.
- Choose a University
Germany is home to distinguished universities offering outstanding education. Moreover, it boasts as many as 47 ranked universities in QS World University Rankings for the year 2021. Additionally, most universities focus mainly on research-oriented learning practices that equip you to tackle future obstacles. Not to mention, a German university degree is valued and respected worldwide. Also, German graduates are sought-after in the job market and are among the highest-paid employees. In case you aim for top-notch universities like LMU, TUM, University of Bonn, University of Gottingen, the competition will get fierce. Finally, Germany has an impeccable record of scientists, who changed the face of Science namely Albert Einstein, Max Born, Robert Koch, and Werner Heisenberg.
Learning the language
In Germany, most of the undergraduate courses are taken up in their native German language whereas postgraduation courses may be partially in Germany. Hence it becomes imperative to have a basic skill in the language since while conversing with locals, that is the only way forward. Although there are plenty of English language courses. However, your accomplishment at the university immensely depends on your German language skills. Apart from that, you will be able to comprehend lectures and study materials with ease. If you are learning the language in your hometown then well and good but if you missed out on that opportunity then you can any day enroll in a German language course at your respective universities.
Check the financial requirements
Even though most universities have no tuition fees and a handful of the cities are quite cheap and affordable. However, authorities still want to be confident about your financial resources before issuing a German student visa or a residence permit. As per recent statistics, international students must possess a bare minimum of 861EUR/month or 10,332EUR annually in the Blocked bank account. Besides, the cost of living solely depends on your lifestyle and spending spree, thus keeping a little extra amount will do no harm.
Apply for Admission
There may be a handful of universities that accept applications in person or by post. Apart from that, most universities receive online applications in the present era. A centralized admissions portal known as UniAssist covers most of the German universities. Additionally, some universities run their own admission portal on their official university website. Both winter and summer semesters have different application deadlines. While the former closes on the 15th of July, the latter end on the 15th of January. It is advisable to submit the application at least 6 weeks prior to the deadline. You may anticipate a formal acceptance/rejection letter within 1-2 months after the closing of the deadline.
Get a German student visa
International students mostly require German student visas. However, a few countries don’t require visas, only residence permits for stays above 90 days. Different visas are prescribed as per the course duration. Courses that wrap up within 3 months require a Schengen visa, whereas extended courses are subject to a German National visa. Followed, by a German residence permit from Foreigner’s office.
The German visas are broadly categorized into 3 types:
- Language course Visa– This type of visa is essential while applying for a German Language Course.
- Student Applicant Visa– The visa is inevitable for students who need to be present in person for the university application process.
- Student Visa– For the few selected students who got admission to German University and are ready to take on full-time classes in Germany.
Before applying for German a visa, an amount of 10,332EUR must be present in a Blocked Bank account.
Getting a health insurance
Health insurance forms the backbone of its curriculum. EU students must acquire a European Health Insurance Card(EHIC). Whereas, Non-EU students must provide proof of health insurance. Apart from that, in case your health insurance is not valid in Germany, an additional insurance fee is mandatory. Meanwhile, if you are below 29, public health insurance providers will suffice however those above 29 must resort to private health insurance providers. Consequently, the prices will hike in accordance. DR-WALTER, EDUCARE24, and Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) are among a few well-known health insurance providers.
Look for Accommodation
Accommodations are not that pricey however one must seek the most affordable place to stay in since accommodation will take up lion’s portion of your expenses. Students mostly opt for halls of residence and university dormitories as they are quite cheap. However, they might run out quickly. Alternatively, private accommodations are also available but they tend to be a bit on the higher side. You can share them with your friends which will relatively ease the cost. A plethora of options are accessible, depending on one’s pocket capacity. Fully furnished and semi-furnished accommodations are at your dispense.
Enrolling at University
Before the start, of your course, enrolling is the ultimate step that will place you as a registered student in Germany. Most universities don’t charge any tuition fees. However, a registration fee of around 150-250EUR is mandatory. In addition to that, a semester contribution is inevitable. It covers a semester ticket for use of public transportation in and around the particular university for a period of 6 months. After enrolling, a student ID will be provided that will enable you to register for classes and apply for a residence permit.
Settling down into Germany’s student life is the final part of How to get into German Universities
Once you get admission, the next step involves settling into the German student life. Getting a student bank account to manage the expenses is essential. Usually, most banks offer these free of cost. Apart from that, a part-time job is necessary to cater to your daily needs. Non-EU students can work for 120 full days and 240 half days in a year. Besides, Germany is a dynamic place to live in hence it will present you with the opportunity to discover its rich historical heritage and versatility.
Germany attracts not only tourists but students from all corners of the world. This can be attributed to the cost of living, employment opportunities, the standard of living, world-class education, and the rich cultural legacy. It is well-known for its research and innovation. Apart from that, the breathtaking landscapes, ornamental churches, and numerous castles usually do the needful. Besides the quality education offered, it will aid in excelling in the global job market. Even though it’s quite painful to leave your native place and try out something new in a foreign land, however, a leap of faith once in a while will do no harm.