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Germany Study Guide

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Germany Study Guide

Studying in Germany

A great reason to study in Germany, is the broad spectrum of educational opportunities offered here. Read more about the different types of higher educational institutes available in Germany and a few practical details you should consider during your preparations for studying in Germany.

Education in Germany:

  • Universities in Germany
  • Universities of Applied Sciences in Germany
  • Colleges of Art, Film and Music in Germany
  • Church-maintained Colleges in Germany
  • Private Universities in Germany
  • Universities of Cooperative Education in Germany
  • Admission to study in Germany

Getting a student visa for Germany

International students from a country within the European Union or Australia, Japan, Canada, Isreal, New Zealand, USA, Switzerland, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino do not need a visa to apply to study in Germany. However, if you are from a country not included in the above you will need to apply for one of the following visas. Make sure that you apply for the right visa; a tourist visa can for example not be converted into a student visa.

  1. Language course visa: valid only for the duration of the course.
  2. 3-month study applicant’s visa: valid for those who have not yet been admitted to a university. Upon admission, it must be converted into a resident permit for student purposes at the office for foreigners’ affairs as quickly as possible.
  3. Visa for study purposes: valid for one year. Student must provide proof of admission and financial support for the duration of study to receive this visa.

Required documents to apply for a student visa:

  • Valid passport
  • Passport photos
  • Entitlement to university admission, as recognized in 
  • Germany (usually a high school diploma or graduation examination certificate)
  • Evidence of previous academic performance
  • Proof that complete financial support for one year is guaranteed

These documents should then be submitted at the German Embassy or the German Consulate in your country of residence together with your visa application.

Working While Studying in Germany

Earning money alongside studying is a way of life for many students in Germany. Students from the European Union and the EEA stand practically on equal terms with German students and have free access to the German job market. However, for students who do not come from the EU or EEA countries, work is restricted; you are only allowed to work 90 full or 180 half days in a year. To do this you do not need authorization from the Employment Agency, i.e. the German authorities. There are exceptions, so please check employment regulations before taking on a job.

Student Housing in Germany

The student housing options in Germany usually depend on what type of studies you conduct. Students on an exchange programme are usually provided a room in student accommodation. The German student affairs association (Deutsches Studentenwerk) offers around 180,000 places in student housing all over Germany and is the cheapest form of housing for students. There are different types of housing ranging from simple rooms sharing the kitchen, bath/shower and WC, self-contained housing in a flat share/community and single or double apartments.

In Germany, there are often communal rooms such as cafés, laundry facilities and cellars for bicycles. An increasing number of housing also offers cheap internet access. Students who only need a room temporarily can lodge in Guest houses/student hotels. To find out more about you student housing options, enquire at the University of your choice!

Cost of Living in Germany

When estimating cost of living in Germany the rent is on average about 250 Euro per month, is the largest monthly expense for students. However, the amount depends mainly on the type of accommodation and the place of study. You should reckon on spending between 540 euro and 670 euro per month on your cost of living (including mandatory health insurance, social contributions to the higher education institutions, etc.). Students in major cities may spend more.

Deutsches Studentenwerke offers a specially-developed value-for-money service package for foreign students which substantially help foreign students begin their studies and life in Germany.

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