Study Overseas in Germany

Study Overseas in Germany

A study abroad opportunity in Germany will provide students with a fantastic educational opportunity. Students will be exposed to so much more than they could possibly learn from a textbook or traditional course of study. Historically, Germany holds a major role in the politics and financial aspects of Europe, making the country a huge draw for those who are interested in international business programs. In addition, the strong focus on engineering, science and technology means that the rich education that you receive will be second to none around the world.


The German educational system is internationally recognized and is also much more affordable than its American competitors. German universities rank among the best in the world, with over 40 universities listed in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.  There are also 29 public universities offering students FREE tuition to international students.  You can find a list of these universities here.

Tuition Range for Universities in Germany


Public University Tuition Costs



Tuition is FREE to all EU/EEA students. However, students are responsible to pay their admission and registration fees, including accommodation and living expenses.


Most public universities offer free tuition to international students. However, students are responsible to pay their admission and registration fees, including accommodation and living expenses.

*You can find a list of Public universities in Germany offering FREE tuition here.

Some public universities have started charging international students tuition. Since 95% of the universities in Germany are Public,  tuition is still very affordable compared to other countries like the United States and the United Kingdom. 

Private University Tuition Range

Bachelor Degree

$7,500 to $25,500 annually

Master’s Degree

$9,500 to $25,500 annually

Tuition estimates based on 2017/2018 calendar year.

Application Deadlines in Germany

The following dates are general deadlines at most universities in Germany.  However, it is important for students to inquire with the university before applying.

Winter Semester:

  • Application period: from around the end of May to 15 July
  • Acceptance letters are sent out in August / September.
  • Rejection letters are sent out in September / October.

Summer Semester:

  • Application period: from the beginning of December to 15 January
  • Acceptance letters are sent out in February / March.
  • Rejection letters are sent out in March / April.

Deadlines vary between universities. Some degree programs only commence in the winter semester, which means that the application period may end earlier than indicated above. Inquire at the university of your choice about application deadlines and when your desired degree program will begin.

Admission Requirements in Germany

Students applying to a Bachelor’s program will need a high school diploma and need to have met the following academic requirements:

  • 4 units English with a minimum grade C: English IV or Honors or AP English,
  • 2 units Second Language,
  • 3 units Social Studies,
  • 5 units in total Mathematics and Science:
  • 2 or 3 units Mathematics with a minimum grade C: Algebra II or Trigonometry and Precalculus,
  • 2 or 3 units Science with a minimum grade C: Biology, Chemistry or Physics,
  • 2 academic units free to choose.

*GED – high school equivalency exams are not accepted.

Student’s Applying to a Master’s Program

Anyone with a degree from a university or a higher education qualification is eligible to apply to study in Germany.

How to Apply to a Program in Germany

There are different ways to apply to a university in Germany.  How you apply will depend on the school, the program and degree level.  It is also important that students are aware of the varying deadlines between universities.

There are three places where international students can apply to a university in Germany:

The Trust for Admission to Higher Education

Allocates a certain number of places in subjects that have a restricted admission policy.


A student is able to prepare one application that can be used to apply to several universities in one centralized location.  The final admission decision is made by the university not Uni-Assist.

Apply Directly to University

Students can submit their application and apply directly to the university.

Financing Your Studies in Germany

Student’s have the following options for financing their study abroad experience in Germany:

Financial Aid

The U.S. Department of Education makes Direct Un-subsidized Loans and Graduate Plus Loans available to eligible student borrowers at participating institutions in Germany. Students may apply for a Direct Un-subsidized Loan up to $20,500 per academic year or a Graduate Plus loan (amounts vary).


The DAAD German Academic Exchange website  offers a comprehensive list of scholarships available to international students from around the world.  You will find the tool to be very intuitive and easy to use. Select your country and start searching for scholarships today.

Local grants and loans for foreign students

Non-EU/EEA students may be eligible for the BAföG grant (use Chrome or Google Translate – website is in German)However, 50% must be paid back by the student. Students will need to apply for it through their university’s Student Union or Financial Aid office. International students must be legal residents and under 35 years of age to apply.

Non-EU/EEA students may also be eligible for the Deutschlandstipendium grant.  It is awarded by the university, it is merit-based and there is no residency requirement.  The grant consists of a monthly payment of 300 €, provided on a 50/50 basis by the state and private businesses.

Loans are also available to foreign students, but a co-signer will usually be required and the applicant may have to show that they intend to remain in Germany to work after graduation.

Student Jobs in Germany

There are many jobs to be found for international students in the tourist industry, such as at hotels, cafes, clubs and restaurants.

Non-EU/EEA students are allowed to 120 full or 240 half days a year, without authorization, to help support themselves during their studies in Germany.  Non-EU/EEA students must also have a valid residency permit. To work more than the required hours stated above, a student will need to get permission from the Employment Agency and the Aliens Department.  However, there are exceptions for research and PHD students working at a university.

 EU/EEA students have free access to the job market in Germany.


To study in Germany you will need to have health insurance.  If you do not have health insurance you may not be able to enroll in a German university.  Either before you enter the country or quickly upon arrival, you must enroll in some type of health insurance.

There are two types of health insurance for students:

  • Public/Compulsory health insurance
  • Private health insurance

EU/EEA Students

If you have statutory health insurance from your home country, you can register this insurance to have coverage in Germany. You will need to contact your home country health insurance agency to convert.

Non-EU/EEA Students

There are two types of possible health insurance plans for students, Public/Compulsory or Private health insurance. Most students are required to hold at least Public/Compulsory health insurance. However, there are exceptions for post-graduate students, participants in language courses, students 30 years and older, etc.

Private Medical Insurance

 If you are a post-graduate student, visiting scientist, participant in a language course, student 30 years and older, or a student studying for 14 semesters or longer, then you are required to have private health insurance.

List of Private Health Insurance Providers in Germany

There are many health insurance companies in Germany to choose from.  Some health insurance companies provide special offers for students from abroad. Please contact the particular insurance companies for advice and compare different offers yourself.

If you have any questions regarding plans or services offered, please contact the insurance provider directly.


EU/EEA Students

Students from within the EU or from Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein, do not need a visa to study in Germany.

Non-EU/EEA Students

If you are a Non-EU/EEA student from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, North Korea, Japan, or Israel you do not need a student visa to enter the country.  However, if your studies require you to stay in the country for longer than 90 days, you will need to apply for a resident permit for purpose of study within your first two weeks in Germany.

Non-EU/EEA Students from other Countries

A student visa is required to enter the country.  You will need to apply for your visa from the nearest German embassy or consulate in your home country.

How to Apply for a Resident Permit for Purpose of Study

Several documents are necessary when applying for a resident permit:

  • Permit fee
  • Birth certificate/marriage certificate
  • Acceptance letter from university stating length of program
  • Proof of registration at university
  • Proof of private or public health insurance
  • Proof of Funds ($9,390 dollars )
  • Valid passport (must be valid for entire length of stay)
  • Proof of residence (Rental agreement, contract)
  • Two passport photos

How to Apply for a Student Visa

It can take up to three months to process a student visa application. Therefore, it is important that you start the process as soon as you receive your letter of acceptance from the university.  You will need to contact the German embassy or consulate in your country to start your application.

A list of the documents you will need to apply for a student visa in Germany:

  • Proof of sufficient funds in the amount of at least $9,390
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Letter of acceptance to a university
  • Official transcripts from previous study
  • Valid passport with two passport photos

How to find Student Housing in Germany

If you want to study in Germany you will have to make your own housing arrangements. German universities do not offer accommodation to international students upon enrollment. Therefore, students are encouraged to begin their housing search as soon as they receive their acceptance letter from a university.

Student Housing Options Vary in Germany

There are many housing options in Germany ranging from dormitories to flat-share arrangements. The different types of accommodation that can be found include the following:

Room in Residence Hall

Students do not need to be in the country to apply for a room at a student residence.  Students can expect to pay from around $325 to $600 a month, depending on the size and living arrangement.  Another advantage is that the rooms are furnished.

Flatshare/Single Room

Students have their own room in an apartment they share with other students.  Everyone shares the bathroom and kitchen.  The benefits of this arrangement are that it can be very economical for students.  Students can expect to pay anywhere from $333 to $450 a month.  However, the apartments are generally not furnished and will require the student to buy furniture.

Single or Double Apartment/Flat

Renting an apartment is the most expensive and difficult option for international students. You will not be able to rent an apartment before moving to the country.  You will need to have some type of temporary housing lined up before entering the country.  It could also take some time finding this type of accommodation.

Student Hostels

Students can find affordable temporary accommodation with local student hostels throughout Germany.  However, this type of accommodation is only temporary and will eventually require a student to find a more permanent housing situation.

Students Should Start Searching for Housing through their University

Many universities offer a Student Union or International Office that can offer advice and provide suggestions for housing.  They may also have a housing bulletin board or newsletter advertising available accommodation. Many universities in Germany also work with different student housing providers to help students find accommodation. Some common housing providers include:


There are 58 Studentenwerke throughout Germany providing support to international students and 180,000 students with accommodation.  They also run over 700 refectories and cafeterias.  Some Studentenwerke also manage several colleges and universities in smaller German towns.


The Studentendorf-Schlachtensee  and Studentendorf-Aldershof provide high quality student flatshares and furnished apartments, including all utilities,  in Berlin, Potsdam and Wildau.  Both student villages offer accommodation with easy access to universities in all three areas and a fast and reliable internet connection.   Students also benefit from many social opportunities.

Studierendenwerke Berlin

Studierendenwerke-Berlin is part of the Studentenwerk throughout Germany and provides subsidized housing and support to international students studying in the Berlin area.

Apartment Rentals in Germany

There are many housing portals online which a student can use to find long term and short term apartment rentals.

Immoblien Scout24 is one of many housing portals available for students online. Use Chrome or Google translate to translate into English. 

Interim Housing Options

If you do not have accommodation when you arrive, there are several interim options available to students:

Student Sublet – Many students traveling or studying abroad may offer their apartments to sublet. You can often find listings in the Student Union or International Office for Students.

Hostels – There are hostels located all over Germany.  A quick search online will offer many options available in your area.

Bed and Breakfast – B&B’s are known for being very affordable temporary accommodation.  You can also find this type of accommodation by doing a quick search online in your area.

Student Hotels/Hostels/Guest HousesSingle or Double Apartments to Share

You May Also Like:

10 Reasons Why Students Should Consider Studying in Germany

The Best Countries to Study Abroad in Europe for Students on a Budget

Strategies to Finding Affordable Study Abroad Opportunities

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