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Study in Germany

Study in Germany – one of the popular study abroad destinations for international students after the USA and the UK.

Germany has a long history of academic partnerships with India. Many great intellectuals have visited India over the years to conduct research on ancient Indian texts and have published translations of works like the Vedas, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Both the World Wars and the perception of Germany after the wars and the split and the unification of the country are all recorded in history. What needs to be examined is the sheer perseverance and skill with which Germany rebuilt itself and the great advancements made in science and technology accomplished by German engineers. A fair bit of credit for this goes to German universities that offer top-quality education.

The Education system in Germany

The higher education system in Germany is quite popular, and every year many Indian students go for it because they rely on its quality of education. The type of college or university that you choose in Germany will depend on your interest. There are both public and private institutions. Primarily there are three categories of German institutions: Universities, Universities of Applied Sciences and Colleges of Arts, Film and Music.

Why study in Germany?

Why study in Germany?

Germany is a great place for students to live and study. If you can secure on-campus accommodation it is a good deal for you. You can cross-check if you can sign-up for meal plans or if your on-campus residence halls allow you to do your own cooking in shared kitchen or en-suite kitchens. Alternatively, if you can afford to live in a private apartment near your campus that’s a good choice as well. A private apartment will not force you to stick to strict timings and will allow you to retain your independence.


The country is well-connected by a rail network and within cities, buses and the metro trains offer affordable travel options. The Intercity-Express popularly known as ICE connects major cities, including international destinations in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland. If you love travelling by the bus, you can opt for the IC Bus service as well. Students usually spend vacation time opting for the Eurail Pass and travelling across beautiful cities in Europe.

In Germany, students can visit awe-inspiring castles, museums, churches, memorials of the World War and discover quaint little restaurants in mountain villages. If you can afford to travel, then you should not miss out on the beauty of Germany. The Oktoberfest where the world comes together to sample fine beer is a great event to attend. The Berlin Film Festival brings together some of the world’s finest filmmakers and their creations on one platform.

Life Experience

Germany offers a fascinating life experience. Be it football, food, music or the environment, there are strong opinions among the public for every cause. For most of the older citizens, the memories of war, the bifurcation of the country and the fall of the Berlin Wall are still haunting memories and it is best to avoid bringing up such topics in conversation. The new generation of high-performing achievers is focused on creating a better life for themselves and the ‘work hard and party harder culture’ is quite prominent in the country!

Study options:

The primary intakes take place in September each year, at most German institutions, though the intake cycle may vary from university to university. Another intake that is available for students to apply is in March.

Some institutions might require students to do a bridge course before they enrol themselves for an undergraduate programme in Germany. The bridge course is aimed at compensating for the 13 years of schooling in Germany, for which students need to have a basic understanding of the German language. Any preliminary certification in German from a recognised institute of language might help in that case.

Cost of studying in Germany:

German institutions charge relatively less for higher education since they believe that good education is a must, irrespective of people’s financial constraints. Most institutions are publicly funded and, therefore, free. However, some private universities do charge fees to students.

The average tuition fee at a German institution is €9,170 per year, which varies depending on the university you choose to study in. The cost of living depends on the city that you choose to live in. Munich is an expensive city to live in Germany whereas cities like Tarnow and Wolfsburg are cheaper options.

We talk about the average cost of studying in Germany which encompasses the following:

1. Tuition fees

German institutions have comparatively lower education costs. According to the DAAD, the average cost of studying in Germany is €9,170 per year. The figure varies depending on the programme you choose and what type of institution (public or private) you are enrolled at.

Majority of German institutions are autonomous and are funded by the government so these institutions charge very less to absolutely no tuition fees (depending on select conditions) whereas private institutions charge nearly €20,000 per year.

Undergraduate tuition fees:

Undergraduate tuition fees are nil to minimal (please cross-check further with the institution you apply at). Irrespective of tuition fees (depending on the institution) you are liable to pay a charge per semester for enrolment, confirmation and administration which is nearly €150–250.

A semester ticket will cost you nearly €100 which will cover the transport costs for 6 months. if your stay exceeds four semesters than the usual study period, then you are liable to pay a long-term fee charge of €800 per semester.

As already discussed, private institutions charge a little more than the public ones, but there are a number of funding options available from the government for students. You need to visit the website of DAAD to learn more about the norms of studying in Germany.

If you are planning to study in Germany, you should know about BAföG which refers to the ‘Federal Student Financial Aid Programme and is open to foreign nationals but under certain conditions. This aid comprises basic living and training costs and provides opportunities to take up a low-interest loan.

Postgraduate tuition fees:

There are two categories of PG degrees available in Germany –

Consecutive – which is the continuation of a bachelor’s degree at the same institution; usually it involves no or minimal tuition fees for masters.

Non-consecutive – if you have completed your bachelors elsewhere and apply for your masters at some other institute in Germany, then you will be pursuing a non-consecutive master’s degree for which you should be paying nearly €10,000 at public universities and nearly €30,000 at private German universities, per year.

For PhD:

The highest form of formal education, a PhD is dependent more on grants and funding provided to you for your work. The cost of studying a PhD is almost nil to minimal at German varsities, but a semester contribution of €150–200 might be involved

2. Living costs

Well, living costs are unavoidable. Carefully choose your accommodation since some cities tend to be very expensive such as Munich and cities across Western Germany, where a simple accommodation may cost nearly €350–1000 per month. The most expensive study destination in Germany is Tarnow (€950–1,050 per month) and the cheapest is Wolfsburg (€350–450 per month).

You can save money on rent if you stay in a shared apartment or on-campus which will cost nearly €298 or 240 per month, respectively. But accommodation costs may vary depending on whether you live alone or with a family.

3. Additional costs

Some additional expenses need to be considered while studying in Germany. According to the DAAD, the average cost for food in Germany is nearly €165 (unless you learn to cook), for clothes = €52, for transport = €82, telephone and Internet = €33, study materials, including books and other stationery items = €30 and leisure = €68. To dine out in a restaurant (a cheap one) once in a while will cost you around €10.

According to the DAAD, you will be spending 10% of your budget towards transport. You can probably buy a bicycle for your daily use and try to cut down your expenses.

Other secondary, but equally important, costs which should be considered include the cost of applying for a German visa. The best source of information on German visas is the German Embassy whom you can call and find out what the procedure of applying for a visa is and how much you will need to pay. 

The majority of students studying in Germany are expected to pay health insurance; expect to pay between €80 and 160 to cover your insurance, if it is invalid in Germany.

Scholarships for international students:

Some of the popular scholarships that international students can apply for to study in Germany include – DAAD, Heinrich Boll and Erasmus Mundus scholarships.

* The Erasmus+ Programme: the Erasmus+ is a European Union programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport that develops the employability quotient of youth in Europe and supports their education. There are a number of partner countries outside Europe who can also benefit from this programme. India falls into the category of an Erasmus partner country and students who meet the eligibility requirements can apply for an Erasmus grant to study in Germany.

This works if you are already enrolled as a student in an Indian university which is a member of Erasmus Charter for Higher Education. You can then apply to study for a higher degree at a German university, which is also a part of the Erasmus Charter.

Benefits of studying in Germany

As a student it is imperative that you focus on your goals and complete your degree. Have the right balance of studies and fun and make the most of your time in Germany! Now that you have all concrete information in one place, do visit the course listings and apply for a programme at a University in Germany that fits your requirements.


Winter Intakes in Germany

International students interested in admission to Germany’s winter intakes should follow the timeline below.

Summer Intakes in Germany

The following is the timeline for admission to summer intakes in Germany:






(Winter Semester)


(Class lecture commences on October 15)

October 1–March 31

September–February: Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen)

October–March: Universities (Universitäten)

Primary intake


(Sommer Semester)


(Class lecture commences on April 15)

April 1–September 31

March-August: Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen)

April–September: Universities (Universitäten)

Secondary intake

Here is the process to study in Germany for Indian students:

Find Your University and Study Program

First and foremost, you need to decide what you actually want to study in Germany. Fortunately, there are countless options available as Germany counts over 380 recognized higher education institution where over 17,000 courses are taught. So, finding one won’t be that hard, unless you don’t have clear and defined future goals.

Carrying out online research to collect names of all those universities and course modules is a solution, but not recommended as it may take you a lot of time. Instead, you can check our comprehensive database of universities in Germany to help you navigate through all of them.

What you can do at this point is you can skim through their course schemes and see if there are German universities that offer precisely what you are looking for. From there you can come up with a shortlist of universities and courses that you think would best fit your academic goals.

Now that you have set your goal it’s time to know what you need to do to achieve it. You need to check the entrance requirements at the University of your choice.

For that, open the university’s website and read carefully their entry requirements section. Take notes if necessary and make a plan to complete each requirement one by one. If there’s anything you don’t understand about the procedures never hesitate to reach the university by email and ask them a few questions.

Note that entry requirements to study in Germany for Indian students change from university to university and depending on the chosen course

Indian students who want to study in Germany for a Bachelor’s degree must submit the following documents:

As for language proficiency, keep in mind that there is hardly any undergraduate study program in Germany offered in the English language.

Also, note that if you haven’t attended any year of master’s studies in India you will only be allowed to study in certain subjects as they expect you to complete a preparatory course.

Indian students who want to study in Germany for a Master’s degree must submit the following documents:

University Application Process for Indian Students

After you have completed the application documents it is time for you to submit your university application. You can carry out the application online, by post or in person. Note that although the online application is the most frequent, there are universities in Germany, which only admit applications by post or in person.

Most German universities are part of the UniAssist platform which allows you to apply online for the chosen course. On the other hand, there are still universities that run their personal online application platforms.  Either way, you will have to submit the application paperwork in PDF or JPG format.

Getting The University Admission Letter

After you have successfully submitted your application, you must wait for the university’s admission board to check your application. You must be aware that German universities collect a large number of international applications, therefore, the processing of your application takes time.

In normal conditions, the university will send you an email to confirm whether you’re given or not a place at their institution within several weeks.

German Student Visa for Indian Students

To study in Germany as an Indian student, you have to get a visa beforehand. Once you receive the admission letter, you print it out and go to the German embassy located in your home country. Officers working there will list the documents and the procedures you must go through to apply for a student visa to study in Germany.

The most important documents for a student visa to study in Germany for Indian students are the followings:

One of the most important documents is your German Blocked Account confirmation letter that proves you have enough finances to study and live in Germany as an international student for one year.

Popular German Universities for Indian Students

Requirements to study in Germany for Indian students include university requirements and student visa requirements. Thus, if you’re a student-to-be from India you need to meet both requirements to be permitted to seek your degree in Germany.

But what are these requirements and how you can make sure to meet them?

University Requirements for Indian Students

It is of the utmost importance that you first meet university entry requirements for the type you’re willing to apply. After you have made up your mind about a particular university and a certain course in Germany you can launch the university’s website and read carefully their section for entry requirements.

If there’s anything left to your imagination or you just cannot understand properly, it is an immediate need you contact the university to ask about it because a minor error in your application paperwork has a declined application as an outcome.

Entry requirements change from university to university and even from one type of course to the other. It is hard for one to come up with a definite list of documents and procedures required for applying to German universities.

However, there’s a common list of documents that is required from Indian students to study Germany, as shown below:

Previous Educational Qualifications

First and foremost, every university is interested to know your previous educational background to evaluate if you stand at the required level to attend their course. And Germany is not an exemption from this rule.

That said, your previous education qualification is the first document required to apply for a degree program in Germany.

However, note that not all foreign qualifications are recognized by the German education system. If this is the case with you, the university will require you to attend a preparatory course which will prepare you to enter the aimed regular course.

Grades Transcript

Everyone can take a degree, but grades separate the best from the rest. Grades are very important because they show, to a certain degree, your strengths in particular subjects that are related to your future study field.

Therefore, a university in Germany wants to take a look at your performance to assess your academic gains and evaluate if you’re the right candidate. For example, if you want to study natural sciences, the university’s admission board will scope for those applicants whose scores in math and other related subjects are significantly high. So never neglect the major role your grades play in your admission.

Language Proficiency

As an Indian student attending a course in a foreign language, you need to submit the scores of a standardized language proficiency test. Note that almost all undergraduate courses in Germany are offered in the German language so in case you’re aiming to attend such a course you will have to learn English.

In the postgraduate, on the other hand, there are numerous study programs taught in English, including some which are delivered both in German and English at the same time.

Additional Standardized Tests

Depending on the course you’re willing to attend additional standardized tests aside from language tests may be required. For example, if you’re willing to apply for an MBA course a certain level of GRE or GMAT scores may be required. These tests may play a major role, especially at highly-reputed universities, where the applications load is heavy and selection criteria are stringent.

Motivation Letter or Recommendation Letter

A motivation letter helps the admission committee to know what is your motivation to study at that particular university and course and how do you think that will help you improve toward your goals.


Depending on the type and the academic level of your course, a CV may be required. The university expects you to describe your skills as important for the study field you’re applying for. You join with it any proof of relevant activities related to that study field.

ID Documents

Two copies of your ID or your valid passport are mostly required in PDF or JPG format.

An important note: If you have been studying in Germany previously as an Indian student but, for some reason, you would like to switch to another one, a certificate of withdrawal is required from the new university.

Indian students must submit the following documents when applying for a German student visa:

A valid passport. – Note that your Indian passport must have been issued within the past 10 years and its validity has to extend at least 12 months after the scheduled return.

An application form filled properly. – You can download it from the website of the German embassy/consulate you will apply at.

A copy of your Indian Passport. – Format A4

A cover letter. – Explaining the purpose of your visit.

A letter of admission from a German Institution.

The payment of university fees (if applicable).

Proof of language proficiency. – English or German depending on which language is your course taught.

APS certificate. Issued by the APS (Academic Evaluation Centre).

Proof of financial means. – To cover the cost of living in Germany. You can prove the required financial capacities by means of a blocked account. Read more about the German blocked account for Indian students.

Proof of health insurance. – To cover your medical needs in Germany (Initially you can purchase travel health insurance in India to cover you for at least three months which should suffice to arrive in Germany and enrol in your course.

Important note: Make sure your application includes a copy of each document mentioned above alongside the original copy. Also, note that the German embassy/consulate in India can request your additional documents if needed.

Germany Study Visa Fees for Indian Students

Indian students applying for a German student visa are charged certain fees.

The table below shows the current fee costs for German D-Visa in India:

Type of Visa Visa Fee (Rupee)    Visa Fee (Euro)

National Visa (under 18 years old)       3100  37.50

National Visa (over 18 years old)          6200  75

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