How to Study in Germany for Free – Universities & Scholarships

how to study in germany for free

Germany is a paradise of education for international aspirants. Consequently, every year there is a surge in the number of Indian students flocking to German institutes for quality education. The most appealing factor is that they can study in Germany for free. The number of newly enrolled international students in Germany increased from around 64,000 in the 2020-21 winter semester to around 72,000 to 80,000 in the 2021-22 winter semester, as per a news report. 

Germans believe that education is a basic right of the people. It abolished the high tuition fees in higher education in October 2014. All public now offer free-of-cost education and students only have to only bear minimum administrative costs of around €250 per semester. The low education cost has made Germany the most sought-after study hub. 

Read More: How to study in Germany for free for Indian Students?

Who Can Study in Germany for Free?

Any student, irrespective of their nationality, can study in Germany for free. However, there are some stipulations to be considered by international students. The waiver is only for undergraduate students, and postgraduate and doctoral students will have to pay minimal tuition fees. Also, it should be noted that most public universities in Germany will only charge a minimal administrative fee if the master’s degree being pursued is in the same field as the aspirant’s bachelor’s studies. These are called consecutive master degrees. Meanwhile, if MS is in a different stream than previous qualifications, there will be a tuition fee charge.

Does no tuition fees in Germany mean low-quality education?

Germany has always been described as the land of opportunities and ideas. It is the most sought-after study destination for international students. The country has more than 426 universities that offer quality education with low or no fees at all! German universities focus on providing education according to the latest trends and demands in the industry. These universities offer globally recognized degrees. They are valued all over the world. The unique learning experience also gives you an extra edge in your career. You can expect high-quality learning at a low cost from the world-class universities of Germany.

Since competition to get admission in public universities is quite high, there are private institutions that charge minimal costs. Like the public ones,  private universities are also some of the best educational institutions in the world. To simplify the study abroad process, upGrad has tied up with the IU International University of Applied Sciences, where students can learn online and can move to Germany for on-campus studies for the final year. These programs are designed keeping affordability in mind. The programs offered on upGrad Abroad are more cost-effective in comparison to the full-time studies.

Read More: Career Opportunities in Germany

High-Quality Education at German Universities

The country has more than 426 universities that offer quality education with low or no fees at all. Most public universities in Germany regularly feature at the top of the annual world rankings. This vouches for the exceptional educational facilities, infrastructure and pedagogies. German universities focus on providing education in line with job and industry trends. These universities offer globally recognized degrees. 

Apart from receiving a world-class education, international students also learn in a unique and new culture that helps them build their profile holistically. 

Aspirants should keep in mind that competition to get admission to public universities is quite high. Private German institutes also offer quality education however, they do charge some minimal tuition fees. 

Top German Universities Offering Free Education

QS WUR 2023

Type

Institute

49

Public

Technical University of Munich

59

Public

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

65

Public

Heidelberg University

118

Public

Humboldt University of Berlin (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

131

Public

Free University of Berlin (Freie Universität Berlin)

141

Public

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

147

Public

RWTH Aachen University

158

Public

Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin) 

169

Public

University of Tübingen

189

Public

University of Freiburg

Important Resources to Read About Germany:

A Step-Wise Guide to Study Master’s in Germany for Free

Germany has simplified the process of studying in Germany for international students. One can follow these steps and fulfil their dream of studying in top-class colleges in Germany:

1) Choosing the right study program: 

German universities offer countless post-graduate courses that are best suited to everyone’s interest or choice. Regardless of the career path you want to choose, there will be courses that meet your requirements and study plans.

2) Fulfilling all the requirements: 

For this, you can visit the university’s website and check the admission requirements section. Most universities consider the German language proficiency test, so you need to start learning the German language. Additionally, you need to submit legal documents related to your past studies and your identity. Few universities also offer English-taught courses.

3) Checking for the right financial resources: 

Your next step should be on checking if you have sufficient financial sources to study and live in Germany. An international student should have a minimum of €10,332 (around Rs 9 lakh) in their bank account to cover the cost of living in the starting year of studies. This amount needs to be transferred to a German blocked bank account.

4) Applying to the right university: 

After verifying all the requirements, your final step is applying. Contact your university to check how they are accepting the application. Some universities receive applications via a platform known as Uni-Assist. Some universities also run their own websites so check them as well.

5) Checking for a student visa: 

If you do not reside in European countries, you must get a German student visa. Make sure to carry the documents when you go for a visa appointment.

6) Finding the right place to stay: 

When you are finally going to Germany, you need to think about finding the right place for accommodation. Staying in Germany is not that expensive for international students. So, you can easily find a place that is financially suitable for you.

Costs to be Considered by International Students in Germany

As per various surveys, students in Germany spend around € 850 on living costs every month. The biggest expenditure is rent. It may vary depending upon the province and city of residence. Students can lower their living expenses by going for shared accommodation or on-campus housing. Here is an estimate of monthly living costs in Germany for students as per the Technical University of Munich:

  • Rent for shared living or studio apartment (including utilities)- €550 
  • Food- €200
  • Local public transit- €60-100
  • Health insurance €50-120 
  • Phone/internet/radio and TV fees- €45

Pre-arrival costs:

Before you start your journey in Germany you will need to incur some pre-arrival costs that would include application fee, visa fee, airfare, etc. So, take these into account too while planning your budget.

Read More: How to Study in Germany without IELTS Score?

Top Scholarships in Germany for Indians

There are several scholarships in Germany for international students that can help them cover their living expenses. Here is a list of the best scholarship options available to Indian students in Germany: 

DAAD WISE (Working Internships in Science and Engineering) – 

Those who are pursuing a degree in engineering or science and who want to do a two to three-month internship at a public-funded German university are eligible for this scholarship. If chosen, undergraduate students will get €750 or INR 63,792 per month for living costs along with €1075 or INR 89,823 as travel subsidies and payments towards health, accident, and personal liability insurance.  

Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS)- 

Students from developing nations are automatically preferred with varying scholarship amounts. A monthly stipend of €1,200 (for three years) for PhD students. Master or postgraduate students may get €861.

Heinrich Boll- 

This scholarship is for students who have cleared their entrance examinations for universities successfully. They may choose any subject from the master’s or PhD course list and study in Germany itself. The amount is €850 each month with some extra allowances. PhD scholars get €1000 with €100 as their monthly travelling allowance. 

Kofi Annan MBA Scholarship-

Tuition fees are fully covered with €25,500 and €43,500 in funding for MIM and MBA aspirants. The scholarship also covers the costs of travelling, visas, insurance, accommodation, and networking. 

ESMT Women’s Academic Scholarship- 

Female students applying for MBA courses at ESMT (European School of Management and Technology) will be eligible to get this scholarship. The scholarship amount is €15,000.

EMS Undergraduate Scholarship- 

The EMS (European Management School) provides this scholarship for those students applying for bachelor’s courses. Those with excellent academic and social credentials may apply for the scholarship. It offers 50% waivers on tuition costs

Additionally almost all universities public or private offer scholarships for meritorious students on the basis of financial need and academic background. While applying to any university do check the website for scholarship and funding options.

Study in Germany with UpGrad Abroad

At upGrad Abroad, we are fulfilling the aspirations of many students who wish to study abroad through our cost-effective blended programs. We have collaborated with some of the top German universities to offer blended master’s and bachelor’s programs that help you save up to 1/5th of the education cost. To know more, get in touch with our counsellors.

More Resources to Read About Germany:

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How much do I need to spend to study in Germany?

Germany is a federal country that does not have any tuition fees for bachelor courses in public universities. That’s because the government pays a subsidy for education. Depending upon the financial status, some students prefer to attend a private university. They need to pay the fees set by the private university. In Germany, you can save more and get a quality education by investing a comparatively smaller amount. However, you need to bear other costs such as bills, semester fees, meals, and other expenses.

Q2. Can I study in Germany without an IELTS score?

Some German universities allow you to study without an IELTS score. For that, you need to submit an English Proficiency certificate or Medium of Instruction (MOI) at the time of getting admission to the selected university. Some of the requirements you need to fulfill are:

1) The Medium of Instruction Certificate (MOI)
2) A confirmation letter from the selected university
3) Proof of German language course
4) Student VISA

Q3. What are the reasons to study in Germany?

1) German universities are top-rated for providing the best teaching and learning experience. Along with this, you will get an internationally renowned degree that offers excellent career opportunities globally.
2) You also get a chance to develop your intellectual abilities and reach your maximum potential. When you achieve quality learning, you feel confident, motivated, and committed to your goals.
3) German universities offer numerous courses. You can excel in the area you want to study. They also have international programs that allow you to be a master in your field.

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