Study in Germany Tuition Free
Here’s the good news
For a many years there have been no tuition fees in Germany.
In the case of undergraduate studies, such as degree (or bachelor) courses, at many universities this is still true today. Students pay only a small enrollment fee. Once they have enrolled students receive their student ID. This provides a wide range of concessions: for bank accounts, sometimes telephone companies, but also for cinema and theater tickets. This is true for all including INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS.
- The above is true expect the following federal states have introduced general tuition fees of up to 500 Euro per term: Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hamburg and Lower Saxony. In these states, therefore, undergraduate studies will be subject to charge.
- Master’s courses are liable for costs. Make sure you get exact details from the university where you have applied. Ask whether they plan to introduce tuition fees! Information on this can be obtained from the students’ offices or from the enrollment offices.
Here’s the rest of the Story
COST OF LIVING – Self Funded
Although tuition is free, this is not the only expense you will encounter when studying in Germany
The financing of studies is one of the most difficult and important subjects that international students have to deal with. As early on as when you apply for a visa and a residence permit you must prove that you have enough financial means to finance your studies in Germany.
At the moment the German authorities require proof that you have 8,040 Euro for one year of studies. This proof of financing is meant to ensure that international students can finance their studies themselves since they do not normally qualify for state help in Germany.
- Even if you provide evidence of financing your financial worries are not yet over. In Germany, a budget of around 8,000 Euro per year will only allow you to lead a very modest lifestyle!
- International students often have to go to work in order to finance their cost of living, but the amount of work they are allowed to do is restricted! Unfortunately financial difficulties are part of many international students’ lives.
Summary – Just because it is tuition free does not mean everything is free, you would need to be prepared to work the maximum number of allowed hours and live a very modest lifestyle in order to manage your studies.
GERMAN LANGUAGE SKILLS – Required
Since ALL courses are offered only in Germany you need to have German language skills to be accepted as an undergrad student
So that you can be admitted on a study course you must have sufficient knowledge of the language. The usual certificates for this are the DSH or the Test DaF. In principle, both examinations are on a par, however, for some courses there are special requirements in the examination result.
What happens if I don’t have good Germany Skills?
In this case your can take a preparatory course at the Studienkolleg to improve your German language skills.
However, you will already be expected to have attained a certain proficiency level right from day one. You can prove that you have reached this level by presenting a certificate issued for passing a DSH or TestDaF exam (after approx. 400 to 600 class hours).
- This language level corresponds roughly to level B1 of the “Common European Framework of Reference for Languages”.
- Some Studienkollegs even require you to pass a DSH 2 exam. Please contact the Studienkolleg directly to inquire what language skills the Studienkolleg in your university town requires you to have.
One thing is certain, however: If you don’t have any previous German language skills, you will not be able to take a course at the Studienkolleg.
STILL INTERESTED and QUALIFIED?
HOW TO APPLY
The application procedure for German universities is a little complex. The universities have a relatively free hand in the arrangement of the procedure and for individual subjects there are different conditions and practices.
There are different addresses for your applications. For some courses of study you must apply directly to the university, for some to the admissions office “uni-assist” and others go to the foundation for the allocation of study places.
Very often applications fail due to formal errors because documents are incomplete or deadlines are missed. In order to avoid mistakes, therefore, you should check thoroughly:
- what requirements you must fulfill for your chosen course of studies
- where you must apply
- until when you must apply
- what documentation (certified copies) must be included.
Information on the above is provided by the students’ offices or the academic international offices of the universities.
VISIT – Uni-Assist
- It is an association of German universities.
- It was founded on the initiative of the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). uni-assist (originally ASSIST) is a certification office founded to make the application procedure for international student applicants easier and at the same time to support German universities in the selection of their foreign students.
- All applicants wishing to study at one of the member universities of uni-assist must send their applications to uni-assist rather than to their chosen university.
Additional Scholarship Options
- You can check the DAAD Scholarship Database to find out more about grants and scholarships that might be offered.
- I have also written another post about DAAD Scholarship for East Africans – it contains a lot of helpful information for hose wishing to study at the Graduate or PhD level – http://internationalscholarships.ca/daad-scholarship-in-germany/