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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Who Can Study In Germany For Free?

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Every year ,thousands of international students and scholarship choose to study in Germany. There are very good reason for this -International programmes taught in English medium, excellent quality of education, low or no tuition fee, promising career opportunities and above all the vibrants social and cultural milieu to mention a few.

With over 400 universities offering a wide variety of courses in various disciplines to over 2.7 million students including 340,000 from abroad, Germany is all set to give a headstart to your career.

Who can study in Germany for free?

Everyone! That’s right: Germans, Europeans, and all non-Europeans can study in Germany free of charge - without tuition fees. It does not matter if you are from the EU or EEA. This applies to almost all study programmes at public universities. There is a tiny catch: If you are from outside the EU, you will need a residence permit before you arrive in the country; and you will have to finish your studies in Germany.

In Germany, you can study for free at public universities. There are almost 300 public universities in Germany, and there are more than 1,000 study programmes in total - so you have lots of options! 

Why do public universities in Germany not charge any tution fees

Almost anywhere in Europe and the world, universities charge tuition fees - if only from foreigners who come to that country for their studies. Germany is one of the few countries in Europe where you can study for free, even if you are from Asia, Africa or elsewhere.
Germans generally believe that education should not be treated as a commercial product, and that free access to higher education ensures economic growth and welfare for the greater population. In the recent past, there was legislation allowing public universities to charge very modest tuition fees of 1,000 euros annually. But after years of public protests, the tuition fees were abolished again in 2014.

Also, Germany’s governments of recent years have realised the economic and social benefits of immigration. Germany wants to get the smartest minds to study into the country, and ideally to stay after graduation; and that is why they generally oppose tuition fees for foreigners, as well.

If tuitions is free ,does that mean the 
universities are not very good?

Far from it! Germany’s universities are among the best in the world, and you can expect to receive a world-class education as a foreign student. Many of the larger institutions regularly rank among the top 100 in international rankings. The fact that higher education at public universities is tuition-free is a purely political decision by the German government. A degree from a German university will be respected around the world and open many doors for your career choices.

Are there any tuition fees in Germany?

Generally, you can study in Germany for free - but there are a few exceptions:
  • Only public universities are tuition-free. If you study at one of the roughly 100 private universities, you are expected to pay, and those tuition fees are on par with what you would pay in countries such as the UK or Ireland. However, because of their competition from the cheap public universities, private schools in Germany tend to offer specialised programmes, and other benefits so that you get your money’s worth. And of course, you might be eligible for a scholarship.
  • German universities distinguish between “consecutive” and “non-consecutive” Master’s programmes. Consecutive programmes are those that you can enroll in immediately after you finish your Bachelor’s degree. Non-consecutive programmes, such as “Executive MBAs”, usually require that students have many years of work experience. Such non-consecutive study programmes usually cost tuition fees, even at public universities.
  • From 2017 on, public universities in the state of Baden-Württemberg can charge tuition fees from non-EU/EEA students. That includes the universities in Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Mannheim, Freiburg, Heidelberg, and some other cities. The tuition fees are set at 1,500 euros per semester - which is still much more affordable than in many other countries in Europe.

How do I choose a university in Germany?

There are various kinds of institutions of higher education in Germany. A majority of these belong to either of the following categories:

Universities (including Universities of Technology, abbr. TU) are research oriented and offer a wide variety of subjects. These can award doctorate degrees.

Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen, abbr. FH) are practice-oriented and offer courses mainly in engineering business administration, social sciences and design. These do not award doctorate degrees.

Your interest and inclination should define which of the two kind of institutions you choose!

Are Bachelor programmes taught in English medium?

Germany offers some Bachelor programmes with English as the sole or primary medium of instruction. Most Bachelor however are taught in German, for which German language proficiency is a must.

The website gives information about study programmes offered with English as
the sole or primary medium of instruction. A comprehensive database of all study programmes, in both German and English,
is available on


  1. For bachelor's Courses:
Generally you are eligible to apply for a bachelor programme if you fulfil one of the following criteria;
  • Completing IB or similar internationally recognized examination with the requisite subject combination.
  • Successfully completing the first/second year of a bachelor programme from a recognized university in the home country in the relevant subject feild.
  • Passing the qualification assessment examination in Germany viz. Feststellungsprüfung.

A foundation course - Studienkolleg - in Germany can help you prepare for the Feststellungsprüfung. Studienkolleg is a
full-time time course and usually takes up to two semesters to complete. The eligibility for enrolment is a valid school leaving
certificate (12th) with required subject combination and proficiency in German language (approx. BI/B2 level). You need to appear for an entrance exam (Aufnahmeprüfung) for admission to a Studienkolleg.

The Feststellungsprüfung assesses your proficiency in subjects crucial to your chosen degree programme and in German
language. On successfully completing the Feststellungsprüfung you are eligible to apply for a bachelor degree programme.

2. For master's courses and PhD:

The most important document to provide for admission in Master’s Degree in Germany is a suitable Bachelor’s Degree. It does not have to be a German Bachelor’s Degree, but it still needs to be recognized by German universities.

How to get your diploma recognized in Germany?

Universities may also investigate your qualifications into more detail to ensure their relevance. It may involve the checking of the content of your undergraduate course and confirming you have earned a sufficient number of credits in relevant areas.
You also need to provide a high-school graduate certificate, known as Abitur in Germany, in case you may be required to present it.
In case your certificate or diploma is not recognized, you should get it verified for comparison to a German diploma in order to gain access to higher education in Germany. Depending on the country you obtained your Bachelor’s diploma, you will find out if it is acceptable in Germany or not. The German International Office (Akademisches Auslandsamt) is responsible to determine if your diploma is recognized/qualified or not!
Further examinations are required for non-recognized certificates. You must take the PROPAEDEUTIC COURSE. This preparation gets you equipped with German universities’ requirements (like: language and study requirements and completing additional courses to get qualified) before the Master’s courses begin.

Other admission requirements

Additional entry requirements may include:
  • Certificate and transcript of your undergraduate studies.
  • Details of your secondary education –some very competitive application processes may wish to know further details of an international’s education history.
  • Interviewing – German universities may discuss your application and your experience in an arranged interview with you. The interview may be formal, especially in highly-competitive universities with limited places, or it can also be done over conferencing platforms, like Skype to make it easier on international students.
  • Additional entry tests –this more often occurs in competitive universities, where you may be asked to complete an additional entry exam or take a standardized postgraduate admission test as part of your application. This can also be required in law, medicine, and other similar regulated professions in order to ensure the compatibility of your previous trainings. Also, business schools and MBA programs may require a particular score from recognized tests, like GMAT or GRE.
Any additional requirements should be made clear to you by your university before you apply!

Kind of foreigners in Germany

There are three categories of foreigners in Germany:
  • EU-foreign nationals who enjoy the freedom of movement within the Schengen area and consequently they can enter Germany anytime they want without any border check. However, they must register at Registration Office “Einwohnermeldeamt” or Residents’ Service Centre “Bürgerservice” to register, stating their intention of their stay.
  • Non-EU nationals coming from Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, USA, the Republic of South Korea and New Zeeland they are entitled to enter into Germany without any visa restrictions. However, willing to reside longer than three months they are called to register at the Registration Office “Einwohnermeldeamt” or Residents’ Service Centre “Bürgerservice” and at Foreigners’ Authority “Ausländerbehörde” to apply for getting the appropriate residence permit related to their purport of stay.
  • Other non-EU nationals due to entrance restrictions are ineligible to enter or stay in Germany without visa and residence permit. German Embassy or Consulates in the home country are the single ruling bodies for issuing visas. Improved chances to get a German Visa take only candidates whose application placidity designate the intention for entering Germany, supported by the sufficient proofs with a focus on University admission notification – a document issued by the university attesting your admission to pursue doctoral studies in Germany. Registering at the Registration Office “Einwohnermeldeamt” or Residents’ Service Centre “Bürgerservice” and at the Foreigner’s Authority to apply for the residence permit related to their purpose of stay in Germany upon the arrival is obligatory for the enrollment in the University.

What other costs do I have to consider when studying in Germany?

While there usually aren’t any tuition fees at public universities, you might have to pay something called a “semester fee” or “administrative fee”. But that’s a small amount: often around 300 or 400 euros for the whole semester. This then also covers a public transport ticket for your city and sometimes even the surrounding areas, at a fraction of what you would normally pay for such a ticket. Other than that, Germany is one of the more affordable Western European countries. You can get by on 800 euros per month, give or take a bit, depending on what city you study in. Larger cities like MunichFrankfurt or Hamburg are known to be more expensive than smaller towns.

Are there any scholarships available?

Funding in Germany is available mainly for research, and in some cases at the Master level. will provide you an overview of DAAD scholarship programmes. A database of scholarships offered by various German organizations can be found at

Where can I learn more about students'

experience in Germany?

To know more about student life or read what international students have to say about Germany, check out the DAAD Young Ambassadors page and video gallery on and

Can I work 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 qualification. Once you find a job, you will be issued a residence permit that allows you to take up gainful employment.

Germany has always had a very strong industry-academia linkage. A lot of research is funded by the industry. During your studies you can get the opportunity to do internships with German companies, which can open new vistas for your career.

Where can I find more information?

Study in Germany:

DAAD Scholarships

I think that
Studying in Europe, especially Germany is a big opportunity. Germany focuses on skill-building rather than theory and that enables you to have an upper hand when you apply for high-paid jobs. Another advantage is that the german public universities offer free education, i.e, no tuition fee. This is greatest advantage for the students. Moreover, you can earn a good hourly pay for part time jobs in Germany.If you want to study in Germany then it's more beneficial than others.

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