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Study in Germany

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1. Country Overview

1. Country Overview

Germany is one of the largest economies in the European Union. Being a highly advanced and technologically-driven country, Germany has a rich past of innovations to its credit. The beauty of studying in Germany is that students besides getting high quality education stand to gain from developing an all round personality and high confidence to face complex challenges in their career pathways.

German being the official language, is widely spoken besides Deutch and English. However, English is the main official language and also the language which is used for teaching in most of the German universities. Factors such as the high quality of education, and easy access to it, personal security and tranquillity in life, great lifestyle and high employment prospects make Germany one of the TOP choices for education.

2. Why Study in Germany?

2. Why Study in Germany?

International Students prefer studying in Germany for the some of the following many reasons:

  • Germany has much to offer as a place to study
  • Internationally recognized qualification such as Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral Programs (PhD General and Ph D (ASA)
  • Education in Germany allows accumulation and transfer of study and exam modules
  • Germany is one of the most highly developed industrial nations in the world
  • After USA and Japan, Germany has the world’s third largest national economy
  • Germany is a land of IDEAS!.
  • Education, Science and Research play a central role
  • Preferred by International Students because of its status as a hub of cutting-edge international research and a constant source of new patents
  • Germany is a place of remarkable beauty and spectacular, picturesque beaches and landscapes
  • Germany has been associated with learning as the oldest University in Germany was founded in Heidelberg in 1386
  • Germany currently has more than 300 institutions of higher education that include 82 universities, 132 such institutions that offer shorter and practically oriented courses,
  • Germany has a high turnout of foreign students as it offers a high range of study possibilities.

3. German Education System

3. German Education System

German Universities offer courses in Medicine, Engineering, Management, Law, English and various other disciplines. Academic freedom is one of the main characteristics of the German University System and is one of the reasons why public universities in Germany don’t charge any fee.

No Tuition Fees (for German Citizens only)

  • Education in Germany is public, i.e. most schools, colleges and universities are paid for by the taxpayers and therefore do not charge tuition (Studiengebühren)
  • The Department of Education in each of the 16 Federal States (Länder [pl.]) oversees the state’s Primary, Secondary and Career Training Schools and much of Higher Education.
  • A framework for Post-Secondary Education exists at the Federal level
  • The standard of teaching and testing is relatively equal throughout the country, although curricula may vary from state to state

Students with Limited German Language Skills

  • The German constitution guarantees all GERMAN Citizens the right to fully develop their human potential which includes the right to choose one’s occupation and to have access to the appropriate career training.
  • Children (dependents of International Students studying in Germany),AND International Students studying in Germany), whose native language is not German are deemed to have the same rights as native Germans
  • They are taught together with German-speaking children
  • In addition they also receive three to five hours of instruction per week in their native language taught by instructors from their native country
  • These courses cover native language skills, history, geography and religion of that country
  • There is also a special program to assist such students in preparing for job-skills training and securing paid internship positions

Compulsory Education

  • Compulsory Schooling begins at age six and continues through age 18
  • Children between the ages of three and six may attend a Kindergarten (day-care centre or a nursery school)
  • Enrolment is optional

Note: Kindergärtens are operated by municipalities, churches and charitable organizations and are not part of the state’s compulsory school system

Elementary Schools

  • In the first four grades of elementary school (Grundschule), all children are taught together
  • The curriculum stresses on language skills and mathematics
  • During the fourth year of elementary school, children and their parents usually decide on the type of secondary school which begins with Grade 5

Hauptschule, Realschule, Gymnasium or Gesamtschule

  • The choice is determined by a student’s aptitudes, career aspirations and grades.
  • In order to facilitate the choice, most states offer a two-year transition period or orientation phase (Orientierungsstufe) for grades 5 and 6.

The choice of secondary school is not necessarily final. In recent years the educational system has become more “permeable”, i.e. it has become easier to transfer from one type of institution to another, thus making it possible to revoke earlier decisions.

Early Job-Skills Training

  • German students have the opportunity to pursue formal job-skills training at a much younger age than in the U.S.
  • About one third of the German secondary student population graduates from Hauptschule after the 9th or 10th grade with a Hauptschulabschluß, a diploma certifying the equivalent of a 10th grade education at a U.S. high school
  • They can transfer to a Berufsfachschule (full-time job-skills training school) or pursue a formal dual-track job-skills training program

Dual-track Job-Skills Training Program

  • This is a three-year paid internship paired with classroom instruction
  • Graduates of the program enter the employment market as specialists in labour and technical fields
  • Many people work in open small businesses in the service industry and they can upgrade their specific skills by continuing formal training at a Fachschule (upper level career training school) .

Upper Level Career Training School

  • Graduates of the training program also have the option of continuing formal education at a Fachoberschule (specialized college-oriented high school)
  • Grades offered are from grades 11 through 13, and this helps students in obtaining a Fachabitur, a certificate which allows college-level studies in restricted fields of majors at a Fachhochschule (polytechnic university).

More Career Training

  • Another third of German Secondary Students attend Realschule
  • They graduate after 10th grade with a Realschulabschluß, which is the equivalent of a U.S. high school diploma
  • They can transfer to a Fachoberschule or pursue a formal three-year career training program in the dual-track mode.
  • As graduates of a Fachoberschule they can transfer to a Fachhochschule for college -level studies in a restricted field of majors.
  • As graduates of the career training program they will seek employment in the area of health care, technology, government, business and industry, e.g. as nurses, social workers, technicians, mid-level supervisors and managers.

General Secondary Education

  • A third of German Secondary Education Students attend Gymnasium (grades 5 through 13), an academically-oriented high school, offering a curriculum of general education which is not career-specific.
  • Such Students graduate with the Certificate of Allgemeine Hochschulreife or Abitur, a prerequisite for admission to a German university where students have an unrestricted choice of majors.
  • The course work in grades 12 and 13 is equivalent to lower division courses at the freshman and sophomore level at a U.S. college
  • However, U.S. colleges and universities typically will grant only sophomore standing (30 semester credits) to a German transfer student with Abitur.

Comprehensive Schools and Special Education

  • A Gesamtschule (comprehensive high school) offers all three secondary courses of study: Hauptschule, Realschule and Gymnasium. Students can wait till grade 11 before transferring to the college-oriented Gymnasium-curriculum.
  • There are also special education programs for developmentally and physically disabled
  • These comprehensive schools came into being in the early 1970’s and do not exist in all states of Germany.

Impacted Majors

  • Those secondary students who are headed for the Allgemeine Hochschulreife (Abitur) take courses in core academic subjects (Grundkurse) and in areas of concentration (Leistungskurse) in grades 11 through 13
  • Mandatory subjects include German, a foreign language and one area of natural science
  • The grades of the last four semesters (Gymnasium grades 12 and 13) and the examination results of the written and oral Abitur-examination determine the Abitur-GPA. This GPA determines how quickly students are admitted to their majors.

Note:

Some university majors are heavily impacted, especially in medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, pharmacology, psychology, biology, architecture and agriculture. Therefore it has become necessary to impose a Numerus clausus in these majors, i.e. a restriction on the number of students who are admitted each year. University applicants compete for the limited number of openings on the basis of their GPA and a student’s admission may depend on a tenth of a point.

Evolving Changes in Higher Education

  • German students enter university at a later age, generally 20 or 21, with a major and minor firmly in mind
  • They rarely take courses outside those fields
  • University study is intended to be specific and career-oriented rather than general and broadening in approach
  • Much of what is required in the first two years at a U.S. college has been accomplished at the Gymnasium
  • Therefore the tenor of instruction and the learning environment are more akin to those at upper division undergraduate and graduate level, when U.S. students focus on their major.
  • Today more and more students are seeking a university degree to better their chances in a competitive job market and the government is struggling to keep up with a growing demand while facing shrinking financial resources.

Types of Universities

German students tend to choose a university for particular professors, not for the reputation of the school. Just as there are individual graduate institutions in the U.S. specializing in law, medicine, theology and business, there is a variety of German colleges and universities.

Re-entry and International Students

Those who are already employed but never had a chance to attend or complete a Gymnasium or Fachoberschule may also qualify for university or college study

They can obtain an Abitur certificate or equivalent through special adult education or by passing an assessment test

These alternatives are know as der zweite Bildungsweg, the “second route to higher education”.

Students from abroad must have a Secondary Education Certificate deemed equivalent to the Abitur

Some students complete a preparatory course in their major at a Kolleg before enrolling in regular course work

But all students must demonstrate sufficient German Language Proficiency to be able to meet the challenges of German college reading and writing.

German being the official language is widely spoken besides Dutch and English. However, English is the main official language and also the language which is used for teaching in most of the German universities. Factors such as the high quality of education, and easy access to it, personal security and tranquility in life, great lifestyle and high employment prospects make Germany one of the TOP choices for education.

It’s worth mentioning here that all German educational programs areorganized, financed and administered by the state government. The Department of Education of each state administers the state’s primary, secondary and career training schools and higher education.

Post Secondary Education: This follows a designed framework which has been done by Federal Government of Germany. The standard of teaching and the quality of education are the same throughout the country. However, curricula may vary from state to state.

Educational Programs in Germany

All such Programs are organized, financed and administered by the State Government. The Department of Education of each state administers the state’s primary, secondary and career training schools and higher education.

Post Secondary Education

Post Secondary Education in Germany follows a designed framework designed by the Federal Government. The standard of teaching and the quality of education remains consistent throughout the country. However, the curricula may vary from state to state.

4. Costs

4. Costs

What is the cost of studying for Masters/Bachelors/Diploma Courses Germany?

Annual Tuition Fees charged by Universities in Germany for Masters Programmes are approximately between € 650 Euros and several thousand Euros per Semester.

Semester Contribution Fee: As an International Student, you have to pay a semester contribution fee which costs around € 50.

Living Expenses: Approximately € 800 per Semester. Living expenses include accommodation, food, utility bills and loca travel. Your expenses further depend on HOW you wish to live in Germany – austere, normal, rich, extravagant or lavish!
Documentation: Your list of required documents should include College Admission Letter, Valid Passport, Proof of Sufficient Funds to maintain yourself in Netherlands, Two Passport Sized Photographs, Previous Educational Certificate(s), and Proof of English Language Proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS) Test Score Card.

What is the cost of studying for a PhD or Doctoral Degree Programme in Germany?

Annual Tuition Fees: Universities in Germany charge several thousand Euros per Semester.

Living Expenses: Approximately € 800 per Semester. Living expenses include accommodation, food, utility bills and local travel. Your expenses further depend on HOW you wish to live in Germany – austere, normal, rich, extravagant or lavish!

Documentation for a PhD or Doctoral Degree Programme of Study in Germany: College Admission Letter, Valid Passport, Proof of Sufficient Funds to maintain yourself in Netherlands, Two Passport Sized Photographs, Previous Educational Certificate(s), and Proof of English Language Proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS) Test Score Card.

What is the cost of studying for a PhD ASA in Germany?

Annual Tuition Fees: Universities in Germany charge several thousand Euros per Semester.

Living Expenses: Approximately € 800 per Semester. Living expenses include accommodation, food, utility bills and local travel. Your expenses further depend on HOW you wish to live in Germany – austere, normal, rich, extravagant or lavish!

Documentation for a PhD ASA Programme of Study in Germany: College Admission Letter, Valid Passport, Proof of Sufficient Funds to maintain yourself in Netherlands, Two Passport Sized Photographs, Previous Educational Certificate(s), and Proof of English Language Proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS) Test Score Card.

5. Student life in Germany

5. Student life in Germany

Accommodation

  • Shared dormitory and flat sharing system makes it easy for students to manage an accommodation.

Housing

  • Housing is not a problem for the students
  • They have the option of university and privately operated dormitories
  • For food they can go to college canteens or they can cook for themselves (cheaper)

Internet Access

  • Students have internet access from the hostel where they stay as Students have full access to internet in their computer labs (They pay an additional fee which is very nominal)
  • Internet cafes are also easily available (Off-Campus)

Transportation

  • Germany has an excellent, well-maintained, highly efficient and multi-modal transportation system
  • Students can purchase a Student Valid Pass for a mere 50 EUR as to travel by buses, subways and trams.

Entertainment & Shopping

  • Also availability of cheap super markets and pubs – a great to relax from the overload of education and campus life!

Student Activities On-Campus

  • Plenty of skill-building activities available On-Campus
  • A marvellous place where students make up one more than one third of the population

Cafes, Restaurants & Entertainment Centres

  • Germany has plenty of cafes, restaurants and entertainment centers
  • Students get a lot of opportunities to socialize with other fellow friends
  • They involve themselves in lot of community work
  • Universities offer lot of extracurricular activities that includes arts, music, sports and cinema
  • Going for movie is the favourite past time for many students

On-Campus Activities to keep you BUSY!

  • Students never have shortage of things to do
  • Students can form group and move in or around the city to explore Germany
  • The activities vary largely from tracking, bowling, to boat tours and museums visits.
  • Students are advised to participate in all the events and programs
  • This kind of participation would give you enough opportunity to interact and make up your social groups

6. Application Procedure

6. Application Procedure

Intakes

September; Deadline: from 15th Feb till 31st May.

Note: Few universities offer Intakes in March; Deadline: from 15th Nov till Jan Last.

Entry/Eligibility Requirements

For Under Graduate Degree Programs

  • 13years of Education mandatory (12 years of Secondary Education +1year of University)
  • If not so, students can go via 1year Foundation Course (in Germany)OR
  • 10 year Education + 3 year Diploma (with an IELTS – 6.0 Overall or TOEFL – 80 points (IBT)

For Masters Degree Programs

  • 15 & 16 years of Education with 75% or 2.75 GPA.
  • IELTS – 6.0 Overall or TOEFL – 80-85 points (IBT)

For MBA Programs

  • 15 & 16 years of Education with 75% or 2.75 GPA.
  • IELTS – 6.0 Overall or TOEFL – 80 – 85 points (IBT)
  • Work Experience of 2 – 3 year at managerial level
  • GMAT – 550 (exceptionally required)

Further Entry Requirements

MASTERS

  • 15 & 16 years of Education with 75% or 2.75 GPA.
  • IELTS – 6.5 overall or TOEFL 80 – 85points (IBT)
  • GRE – 1300
  • German language up to 200 hrs

Document Required

  • Mark Sheets/Transcripts from Class 10th onwards (all mark sheets/transcripts, consolidated mark sheets – Provisional and Degree
  • English Language Proficiency Test Score Card- IELTS or TOEFL
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Two Letters of Recommendations (one from University & one from the employer (if available)
  • Updated CV with details mentioning years of education and marks scored in Subject for each Educational Qualification
  • Extra-curricular Certificates and Language Certification (German, French, etc.)
  • GMAT and GRE Score Cards (if available)
  • Passport copy (Passport should be valid for at least 6 months)
  • Ten passport size photograph

Note:

  • All academic documents, IELTS-TOEFL & GRE-GMAT and Passport (Front, Information Page and Back Page) should be Notary Attested.
  • Letter of Recommendations (LOR’s) should be in sealed Envelope.

7. Visa guideline

7. Visa guideline

Germany Student Visa is designed for International Students who wish to pursue their studies in Germany. Under the Immigration Laws of Germany, obtaining the visa is a must before commencing education. However, Student visa applicants from the European Union and from states with special agreements such as Honduras, Iceland, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and the USA are exempt from applying for a Germany Student Visa.

Documentation: Your list of required documents should include Duly signed Visa Application Form, College Admission Letter, Valid Passport, Proof of Sufficient Funds to maintain yourself in Germany, Two Passport Sized Photographs, Previous Educational Certificate(s), and Proof of English Language Proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS or other English Language ability) Test Score Card, and Proof of German Language Proficiency.
Besides the Germany Student Visa, there are other types of Visas available for International Students:Germany Study Applicants Visa
This Visa is similar to the Germany Student Visa as it is designed for International Students who have already applied at a German university (or its equivalent). They should also have received a confirmation letter regarding their admission. Required documents are the same as for a Germany Student Visa applicant (please see as mentioned above).
German Language Course Visa
Since Proficiency in the German language is a must for International Students wishing to study in Germany, you have to just provide only a few documents such as your mark sheets, financial statement, passport and admission letter.
Post- Graduate and Scientific Research
International Students who are keen to complete their postgraduate studies in Germany or who want to be actively engaged in scientific research in Germany for periods of more than 3 months are required to apply for a Germany Student Visa (please see details under Germany Student Visa). Your Visa application should have an invitation letter from the university/scientist.

Proof of Funds requirement: You need to demonstrate proof of funds relating to your stay in Germany ONLY in case you do not have any salary as your income in Germany or from your home country.

Documents Required:

  • Two Visa Application Forms (please make sure that both forms are duly filled out and signed indicating especially the address of your future residence in Germany – (question 15) as well as your complete address including telephone No. and E-Mail-address

Signed Declaration on True and Complete Information

  • Three passport pictures according to biometric specifications
  • Visa fee to be paid through Demand Draft made out to the “Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany” in (city name i.e. Islamabad or New Dehli).
  • Valid passport with a validity of at least 6/12 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. In case the fees are not paid or due yet, proof has to be provided that the necessary amount will be at the applicant’s disposal in due course of time
  • School Leaving Certificate of Secondary School
  • University Certificates (Degree Certificates and Mark Sheets)
  • Proof of Language Proficiency (TOEFL/IELTS, original on A 4 sized copy

Note:

Exemptions do apply in case of a written confirmation from the University that this requirement may be waived, for applicants applying for PhD/Doctorate studies and Erasmus Mundus Scholarship Holders.

8. Work Permits for Students

8. Work Permits for Students

Part-Time Employment in Germany for International Students

  • International Students can work up to 20 hours a week during term time and full time during vacations.
  • Students can earn around 6 – 8 Euro per hour i.e. Approx 500 – 700 euro per week
  • Students can work full time during vacations
  • Students could look out for part-time jobs by looking in the local newspapers and job shops
  • Being in regular touch with the Universities and Colleges Career Cells is also a god idea as this where all information about JOBS and VACANCIES is available.

Employment in Germany – Eligibility: Eighteen month Job Search Visa AFTER completion of Studies in GERMANY

  • Students are allowed to work during study
  • Non European citizens or citizens of the new EU member states are however allowed to work for 180 half working days or 90 full working days without even applying for a work permit
  • Some states have laws allowing students to work only during summer vacations
  • However some other states allow working up to 20 hours a week even during the semester
  • In fact in some cities, work inside the University is unrestricted as long as it does not impact the student’s studies

After completion of study at the university, International Students are ALLOWED to stay up to eighteen month in order to apply for jobs. Upon receiving a Letter of Interest or Work Contract, you as an International Student graduated from Germany are ELIGIBLE to apply for a Work Permit at the Local Employment Office. Issuance of a Work Permit may take around 4 to 6 weeks to process.

Note:
Mandatory Internship, Project Work or Thesis Work is excluded from the work restrictions or Work Permit necessity.

9. Frequently Asked Questions

9. Frequently Asked Questions

10. Universities and Colleges

10. Universities and Colleges