How to apply for German universities- What you should know

Wondering how to apply for German universities? Germany is one of the most coveted destinations for global students and offers comparatively affordable tuition costs along with top-class educational institutions and programs which are pathways to rewarding and lucrative careers ahead. Demand is especially high for postgraduate and master’s degrees in the country along with PhDs as well. 

How to apply for German universities- Choosing the right university 

Wondering how to apply for German universities from India? Once you have chosen Germany as your destination for studying abroad, you will now have to select a suitable university and course. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has its own database of close to 2,000 programs inclusive of 1,389 programs in English at last count. Opportunities are slightly on the lower side for studying in English at the undergraduate level although there are courses taught in both German and English. These programs usually have 2-4 semesters in English followed by semesters taught in German. This helps you study in English while improving your proficiency levels in German with classes at the University itself. Check the latest university rankings for Germany in your chosen subject/field. 

Learning about requirements to study in Germany

You can get more information about requirements to study in Germany from various channels. Before applying for higher studies in Germany, ensure that your present qualifications are recognized by your selected university. For studying in the country, you will require the HZB or Hochschulzugangsberechtigung which means higher education entrance qualification. 

Aspiring undergraduate students will require a school-leaving certificate, high-school diploma or results in a university entrance examination. The DAAD will have a database containing details on requirements for admission in chosen countries. Students with qualifications outside of Europe will have to take the entrance examination Feststellungspr√ľfung¬†post attending the Sudienkolleg preparatory entrance. You should also scrutinize the language requirements. Most courses are taught in German, requiring proof of proficiency in the language. Two key tests are offered in this regard, namely the DSH or German language examination for university entrance (Deutsche Sprachpr√ľfung f√ľr den Hochschulzugang) and TestDaF.¬†

If the course is taught with English as the primary language, unless you are a native English speaker or have previously learnt in English, you will have to prove your command over the language with TOEFL or IELTS scores. If you are studying with a platform like upGrad Abroad, then you can study at leading German universities like IU University in programs like Master Degree in Data Science, International Management and Cyber Security without requiring IELTS scores. These are flexible programs comprising of a year of online study and a year of on-campus study with higher cost savings and full assistance with the global education process. 

Get finances straightened out 

For fulfilling requirements of student visas, you will have to demonstrate proof that you already possess or have access to roughly 8,700 Euros annually for taking care of living expenditure, although more may be required, based upon your spending and lifestyles. Living costs will also vary on the basis of the location. Scholarships are often available for covering the same. 

If you are studying with upGrad Abroad (UA) Accelerator Programs, you can save up to INR 20 lakh in living and tuition costs since you study for a year online and spend a year at the IU Germany campus as mentioned earlier. 

Here are some upGrad Abroad (UA) Accelerator  Programs which could be a right choice for you:

Application Procedure 

For almost all subjects, you can directly apply to the global university office. Alternatively, you may use the www.uni-assist.de website which is a centralized portal for admissions for international students, operated by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) though it is not used by every university. You may feel like applying for multiple universities and courses separately for scaling up overall chances of admissions. At several universities in Germany, it may be possible to apply twice every year, for starting studies either in summer or winter semesters. Applications for enrolments in winter usually have to be submitted by 15th July while those for summer enrollments are required to be submitted by 15th January. Deadlines for applications will vary from one institution to another while the same institution may set varying deadlines for every program. Check the dates carefully. It is recommended that you submit your applications at least 6 weeks prior to the deadline for ensuring more time for any additions/corrections if required. You should expect to get a formal rejection/acceptance roughly 1-2 months post the deadline has concluded. 

The documents required will also vary and you will usually need the following: 

  • Certified copy of high-school diploma or earlier degrees and other relevant qualifications in original language.¬†
  • Translated overview of course grades and modules.¬†
  • Passport sized photograph.¬†
  • Copy of passport (personal information and photo ID page).¬†
  • Proof of proficiency in language (test certificate/online equivalent).¬†

You may also have to disburse the application fees likewise. For some subjects, there may be national limits on the number of students who may enroll. For these subjects, majorly life sciences, students coming from the EU along with countries like Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland, may apply via the Foundation of Higher Education Admission. Students outside the EU will be applying with the normal procedure. 

Get proper health insurance 

Prior to leaving the home country, you should make sure that you have bought health insurance for covering you throughout your stay in Germany. This is needed both prior to enrollment and prior to obtaining the student visa or the residence permit. If you are a resident of a country within the aegis of the EU (European Union) or the EEA, there has to be a social security agreement between Germany and your country. This means that in case you possess public health insurance in your home country, you should get coverage for the same in Germany too. You will mostly have to obtain a European Health Insurance Card or EHIC for tapping into the advantages of the same. 

If your health insurance plan does not have any validity in Germany, you may fork out anywhere between 80 and 160 Euros every month for covering the same. The costs are higher if you are over the age of 30 while if you are over the age of 29 while starting the course, you may only get private insurance. 

Obtaining the German student visa 

The requirements for getting the German student visa will mostly depend upon your home country or country of origin. You may find an overview of countries for which student visas are required or not required at the website of the Foreign Federal Office. You may also look up the guidelines for obtaining student visas from your country of origin. 

Get proper accommodation

Once you have obtained a position within a course and have got your student visa sanctioned, you should commence your search for suitable accommodation since most universities will not have ample accommodation for all enrolling pupils. Rent is likely to be your costliest expenditure every month and will vary, based upon which part of Germany you are residing in. For instance, in bigger cities within Western Germany like Cologne and Dusseldorf and smaller, student-based cities like Freiburg and Heidelburg, you may have to pay a little more than cities in Eastern Germany like Berlin. Once you have found somewhere to stay, you will have to register at the Einwohnermeldeamt or residents‚Äô registration office or the B√ľrgeramt which is the citizens‚Äô bureau.¬†

Enrollment

You should enroll properly before commencing the course, while making use of facilities like the library at the university. You should re-register, prior to the beginning of each semester and this may cost around 150-250 Euros on average, based upon the university in question. There may be extra charges of 180 Euros for the Semesterticket that has coverage for public transport costs for a period of 6 months. You may require several enrollment documents like the following: 

  • Passport photographs
  • Passport with residence permit or visa¬†
  • Proof of higher education entrance qualifications, either original certificates or officially certified translations and copies¬†
  • Complete form for registration¬†
  • Evidence of proper knowledge of English or German
  • Notice for admission
  • Payment receipts for semester fees
  • Evidence of statutory health insurance in Germany¬†

Once you are enrolled, you will get a registration certificate which functions like a provisional student ID, enabling applications for residence permits and helping in registering for classes likewise. 

Wrapping things up 

You should pack all essential items and documents while arranging some other aspects. Make sure that you have proper accommodation with registration in the local office. Post this, you will get a confirmation document regarding registration at the particular address. Make sure you have a student bank account and these are usually given for free by banks while making regular payment management considerably easier. If you wish to work at a part-time job while studying in Germany, find out regulations and criteria for both non-EU and EU students in this regard. If you need any additional help or assistance, check out the student committee advisory services or the international office of the university. 

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