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germany FAQ – Germany

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Must I speak fluent German to study in Germany?

Not necessarily. TheInternational Degree Programsat German universities let you take German language courses parallel to the degree course itself, because these degree courses are partly or even completely instructed in English in the first academic year. For all other degree courses you will be required to take aGerman language proficiency testfor admittance.

Students without strong German skills who are interested in short-term programs should look intoGerman University Summer Courses, some of which are in English and almost always have a language-learning component. But regardless of program requirements, any experience in Germany is bound to be more fulfilling if the student has – or is willing to acquire – at least a basic level of German ability.

Is the academic calendar the same in Germany and North America?

No. The official semester dates are:
Winter Semester: October 1st — March 31st
Summer Semester: April 1st — September 30th
However, these days may vary from state to state and from institution to institution, thus we recommend to check the website of the university you are interested in.

Are there deadlines for direct enrollment?

The entrance application must be submitted by January 15 each year for the summer semester (beginning on April 1) and by July 15 for the winter semester (beginning on October 1). Students from outside Germany now have the opportunity to apply to several universities with only one set of documents through the Application Services for International Students (assist) . assist will check that all necessary documents have been included and that they meet the necessary formal requirements, and will then forward them on to the respective universities. The “Application Services for International Students” is a joint venture of the DAAD, the Conference of University Rectors and 50 German universities.

Will a German degree be recognized in the US and Canada?

Critics have long decried the lengthy duration of German universities’ degree programs and the incompatibility of German degrees internationally. TheBologna Process, creating the European Higher Education Area, promises to enhance the academic exchange not just within Europe but also between the U.S. and Germany. Started in 1999 to reinforce the international competitiveness of the European system of higher education, the Bologna Process initiated the implementation of the two-tiered system leading to the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree respectively. The new system promises to widen the opportunities for exchange, especially for graduate students.

In this new system, one can obtain a Bachelor’s degree after only six semesters. Students may then continue on for another four semesters and earn a Master’s degree or the traditional German “Diplom”. None of the old German qualifications will be abolished; the diplom, magister and staatsexamen will continue to serve as the standard final qualifications for German programs of study despite their incompatibility abroad. It has been left up to individual institutions to decide whether to offer the new qualifications alongside the traditional German degrees.

What’s the difference between a Master’s degree and a German Magister degree?

A Master’s degree is not the exact equivalent of a German Magister – nor of a German Diplom or 1st State Exam. Although a Master’s and a Magister are generally comparable, it takes more time to earn a Magister in Germany than it does to earn a Master’s in the US or Canada.

Which are the best universities for my field of study?

Each year, theCenter for Higher Education Development(CHE) publishes Germany’s most comprehensive ranking of higher education institutions. This multidimensional ranking uses up to 40 different indicators to provide a differentiated and detailed view of the strengths and weaknesses of German higher education by subject areas. This is complemented by a research ranking published every fall to provide specific information on the research contribution of German higher education institutions. On theCHE website you can find out what the top-ranked German universities are in every subject area.

How much does it cost to study at a German university?

Institutions of higher education in Germany usually do not charge any tuition fees. But education policy in Germany is increasingly seeking to change this. A number of states now charge tuition fees for students who study for considerably longer than the stipulated period for course completion.

Apart from the relatively low semester fees (generally no more than 100-200 euros), students at German universities are not required to pay from their own pockets at any time. Student fees pay for student services association as well as the student union. In many university towns and cities, the student fee also buys you a ticket for free local transportation for the semester.

How can I do an internship in Germany?

Through DAAD:

Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE) arranges paid summer internships for North American undergraduates to help German doctoral candidates with research projects at German universities.

Undergraduate Scholarships can be used to fund an internship in Germany.

The EMGIP Program (Émigré Memorial German Internship Program) offers internship opportunities for US and Canadian students in the German parliament, theBundestag.

DAAD is also the international representative of theIAESTE Technical Internship Program , which places university students into paid technical internships in approximately 40 of our 80+ member-country network. Internships are open to college sophomores, juniors, seniors, and grad students pursuing a degree in science, engineering, mathematics, architecture, computer science, or other technical fields.

In addition, the following institutions will provide contacts and give advice regarding internships in Germany:

Is there any chance that a German university might not let me enroll?

If you plan to direct enroll at a German university in order to complete a full degree program in a popular field of study, there is a chance that you might have a problem with “numerus clausus”. The term “numerus clausus” refers to policies of limited admission for overcrowded fields. Students from Germany and the European Union must undergo a selection procedure if they want to enroll in a degree program in an especially popular field. Students from other countries are not subject to this procedure. But that doesn’t mean that an unlimited number of students are accepted. In subjects such as medicine and psychology, for example, only a fixed number of foreigners who are not EU citizens are admitted. Here the selection process is subject to the average grade laid down by the institution of higher education.

However, if you are planning to stay only one semester or year in Germany, and therefore are not a degree candidate, you will usually have little or no difficulty obtaining admission.

What steps should I take to direct enroll at a German university?

Here are some guidelines for you if you don’t want to participate in an organized study-abroad program and would prefer to design your own semester or year of study in Germany.

Start your preparations early!

Make sure that your home institution will give you credit for your study, internship or research project.

Get in touch with faculty members in Germany and find a mentor. If you have trouble finding a contact in Germany, speak to your academic advisors for suggestions. Your application will stand a much better chance of being approved if you can provide evidence of an established contact at your chosen German host institution.

What are the requirements to study in Germany?

As a student applying for undergraduate programme, you need to complete your 10+2 from a recognised institute. For engineering courses, some universities may demand GRE while for Business Management courses, some universities may demand GMAT. Some universities require the student to take entrance test either online or upon arrival at the campus (in the later case conditional admission is provided). Having prior work experience, project work/thesis and extracurricular activities is highly appreciated.

Is it required to study German language in order to apply to a German University?

It is not necessary to learn German language as universities in Germany also provide education in English. However, if the course is completely in German, then proof of proficiency in German Language (German as a Foreign Language Test -TestDaF) or German Language Test for the Admission of Foreign study applicants (DSH) is required.

If the course is in English, then proof of proficiency in English – TOEFL (550 and higher (PBT), 213 and higher (CBT), 79 and higher (IBT) or IELTS 6.0 is needed.

What is the VISA procedure to study in Germany?

As a student, you will initially get a visa for a period of up to three months by German Embassy or Consulates General. The visa will be extended for one year up to the duration of the course by the competent foreigner’s registration office. One has to register within the first three months of stay in Germany. The application forms are available free of charge from the Consular Section of the German Embassy in New Delhi and the Consulates General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai.

What are the documents required while applying for VISA to Germany?

The following documents are required to apply for a VISA to Germany:

  • Two VISA application forms

  • Signed declaration on ‘True and Complete Information’ form

  • Three passport pictures according to biometric specifications. The size of the face from the bottom of your chin to the hairline must be between 28 mm and 35 mm.

  • Visa fee to be paid through Demand Draft made out to the “Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, New Delhi”, payable in New Delhi.

  • Valid passport with a validity of at least 12 months along with two copies of all printed pages.

  • Cover letter from applicant, explaining the exact purpose and duration of your stay in Germany.

  • Letter of admission from the German University.

  • Proof that study fees have been paid, if applicable.

  • School Leaving Certificate of Secondary School.

  • University Certificates (Degree Certificates and Mark Sheets)

  • Proof of Language Proficiency (TOEFL / IELTS, not older than 12 months, original and A 4 sized copy). This document is mandatory for the VISA process; even it is not required by the German University. Applicants for Ph.D / Doctorate studies and Erasmus Mundus Scholarship Holders are not required to show this proof.

  • Proof of financial means to cover the costs throughout the duration of your studies (stay in Germany including university related fees).

  • Proof of a valid Health Insurance.

How much would I be spending during my stay in Germany?

Being a student in a German university, you have to pay semester contribution depending on the services it includes. The contribution may range from €200 to €350. You can also refer to official website of various universities. The semester contribution may include:

  • Social fees: It is a fee towards social services such as student dining halls, student residence, athletic facilities and administrative fees.
  • Liability insurance: The insurance covers and compensates unintentional damages to third party.
  • Student union contribution: includes membership fee to the student union.
  • Semester ticket: Include the ticket payment which permits unlimited usages of public transportation in or around university.
  • If you are planning to move to Germany for your education, then the average expense of your stay will come up to €450 for a modest living. The expense may include rent & utilities, private accommodation, shared flat or student residence around, internet & mobile flat rate, internet DSL flat rate, health insurance, food & drinks and miscellaneous expenditure.

Can I work in Germany during the course of my study?

Foreign students in Germany are allowed to stay for a year after graduation in order to look for a job and are also allowed to work 90 full days or 180 half days during their course of study.

Can I study for a Germany qualification by distance or online?

There are colleges in Germany which provide distance and online education offering various courses like Business Management, German, and many more. If you don’t have the budget to visit the country you can still have a degree from a university of Germany in your kitty. For admission requirements you need to contact the particular college offering distance education. Also, always check with AICTE if a university is authentic or not. There are various institutions that have collaborated with Indian colleges too.