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Studying in Germany

Germany is widely popular with international students all over the world. By studying and residing in Germany as a foreign student, you can take advantage of a top-notch educational system that will help you grow in your career, learn a new language by meeting new friends and socialising with other students, and acquire an incredible life experience to remember for years to come.

Numerous German universities offer free or exceptionally affordable tuition fees for international students. Germany is the place to be if you wish to pursue medicine, engineering, business or architecture. Students from throughout the world come to Germany primarily to combine a top-notch education with a unique cultural experience.

Work Rights During Studies

Students from the EU/EEA are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week during the semester similar to German students. The money you earn while on semester breaks is unlimited. Anyone from a nation outside the EU may work 120 full days or 240 half days without the approval of the Federal Employment Agency (BA). As an overseas student pursuing academic education, you can typically choose between working an internship or be self-employed. It is crucial to remember that any self-employment activity requires prior approval from the relevant Foreigners' Authority. The Authority will decide, among other things, whether the occupation will prevent or delay the student from pursuing their academic objectives.

Bringing your dependents

A German family visa (Visum zur Familienzusammenführung/Familiennachzug) enables relatives of foreign students to join up with them while they are studying in Germany. In other words, as an international student with a German student visa or student residence permit, you have the right to bring some of your family members with you.

Remember that not all of your relatives are allowed to accompany you while you are studying. In general, your spouse (wife, husband), child, and parents are eligible to accompany you while you study in Germany, depending on the specific circumstances. It's important to know that depending on who will accompany you, different family visa requirements apply.

To put it another way, the paperwork and requirements for your child to join you differ from those for your spouse to join you on your German student visa.

How long is the validity of a family reunion visa?

The family reunification visa is good for at least as long as you are enrolled in an institution. In other words, the duration of a German family visa is at least one year. The family reunion visa for your spouse, for instance, will be valid for at least 2 years if you are pursuing a 2-year Master's degree in Germany and you brought your spouse with you on a student visa.

Work rights for your spouse

Yes, family members who are joining you while you are a student in Germany can work on a family reunion visa. For instance, your spouse will have roughly three months from the time they arrive in Germany with a family reunion visa to change it into a residence permit for spouses. Your husband or wife will be eligible to work in Germany as soon as the residence permit is approved.

Note: Your spouse must submit an application to the local Foreigners' Authority (also known as the local immigration office, in German, Ausländerbehörde) in order to obtain the necessary residence permit.

Post-Study Work Rights / Stay Back Option

After graduating, students who complete their education in Germany are qualified to find employment in the country. The study duration listed on your German Study Visa is in addition to this time. Students can apply for an extended 18-month Job Seeking Visa, also referred to as a post-study work visa, in order to locate employment that is relevant to your studies. The additional eighteen-month duration is called post-study work permit in Germany. The candidates are free to work as much as they like and pursue any employment to support themselves throughout these 18 months.

What if you Wish to Stay Longer?

Although your residence permit renewal permits you to remain in Germany and hunt for suitable employment prospects, it only permits a stay of 18 months. So, its recommended that you apply for the EU Blue Card, which is given exclusively to non-EU/EEA graduates of German universities who want to remain and work in Germany.

Overview

Studying in Germany is an excellent choice for international students due to its renowned education system, research opportunities, and cultural diversity. Here are some key points to know about studying in Germany:

High-Quality Education

Germany is known for its world-class education system. German universities consistently rank among the top in global university rankings. The country is particularly strong in fields such as engineering, natural sciences, technology, and medicine.

Diverse Study Programs

German universities offer a wide range of study programs across various disciplines. Whether you're interested in natural sciences, humanities, engineering, social sciences, or arts, you can find a program that suits your interests and career goals.

Tuition-Free Education

Most undergraduate programs at public universities in Germany are tuition-free for both domestic and international students. However, there might be some administrative fees and semester contributions that students need to pay. Some private universities and specialized programs may have tuition fees.

Scholarships and Funding

There are numerous scholarships available to international students studying in Germany. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers scholarships specifically for international students. Additionally, universities and other organizations provide various funding opportunities based on academic merit, research projects, or specific fields of study.

Research Opportunities

Germany is renowned for its research and innovation. Many universities have well-equipped research facilities and collaborations with industry partners. As a student, you can engage in cutting-edge research projects and work with leading researchers in your field.

Strong Economy and Job Opportunities

Germany has the largest economy in Europe, offering abundant job opportunities for graduates. The country has a strong emphasis on practical education, and universities often provide internships and cooperative education programs, enabling students to gain valuable work experience.

English-Taught Programs

While German is the primary language in Germany, there are numerous English-taught programs available, especially at the master's and doctoral levels. This makes it more accessible for international students who may not be fluent in German.

Cultural Diversity and Student Life

Germany is a diverse and multicultural country, welcoming students from all around the world. You can experience a rich cultural life, attend festivals, explore historical sites, and engage in various student organizations and activities.

Post-Study Work Opportunities

After completing their studies, international graduates from German universities are granted an 18-month post-study work visa, which allows them to stay in Germany and search for employment related to their field of study. Germany also offers various work visa options for graduates to continue their careers in the country.

When considering studying in Germany, it's important to research and understand the admission requirements, application procedures, and specific regulations of each university and program.

Institutes in Germany

Germany is home to numerous excellent institutions offering a wide range of programs and disciplines. While opinions on the "best" institutions can vary depending on individual preferences and specific fields of study, here are some of the top-ranked universities in Germany:

  • Technical University of Munich (TUM)
  • Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU Munich)
  • Heidelberg University
  • Freie Universität Berlin (Free University of Berlin)
  • Humboldt University of Berlin
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
  • RWTH Aachen University
  • University of Tübingen
  • University of Freiburg
  • University of Göttingen

These universities are renowned for their academic excellence, research contributions, strong faculty, and diverse study programs. However, it's important to note that there are many other excellent universities and specialized institutions in Germany that may excel in specific fields or have unique strengths.

Course Duration

The duration of courses in Germany can vary depending on the level of study and the program. Generally, undergraduate programs (bachelor's degrees) take three to four years to complete, while master's programs typically last two years. Doctoral programs (Ph.D.) can take three to five years or more.

Course Structure

German universities typically follow a structured curriculum that combines theoretical coursework, practical exercises, and research components. The courses are designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter, and many programs also include internships or practical training opportunities.

Credit System

German universities use the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) for measuring academic workload and credits. ECTS credits represent the student's workload, including contact hours, individual study, and examinations. Typically, one academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS credits.

Grading System

The grading system in Germany is typically based on a scale from 1 to 5 or 1 to 6, with 1 being the best and 6 the worst. The specific grading scale may vary slightly between universities and faculties. The grades are often given in verbal form as well, ranging from "very good" (Sehr gut) to "fail" (nicht bestanden).

Language of Instruction

While German is the primary language of instruction at many universities in Germany, there is an increasing number of English-taught programs available, particularly at the master's and doctoral levels. It is essential to check the language requirements of the specific course or program you are interested in.

Admission Requirements

The admission requirements for courses in Germany can vary depending on the university and the specific program. Generally, you will need to provide academic transcripts, language proficiency test scores (such as TOEFL or IELTS for English-taught programs), B1 or B2 level german language certificate for few courses, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and in some cases, a standardized test (e.g., SAT or GRE).

Intake Seasons

In Germany, the main intake seasons are typically the winter semester (starting in October) and the summer semester (starting in April). However, not all programs have both intakes, and some programs may only admit students once per year.

Tuition Fees:

Public universities in Germany offer tuition-free education for both domestic and international students, with the exception of a few federal states that have introduced tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students. However, there may be semester contributions, administrative fees, and living expenses to consider.

Scholarships and Funding:

There are various scholarships and funding opportunities available for international students studying in Germany. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is a primary provider of scholarships, and many universities, foundations, and organizations offer their own scholarship programs.

Courses in Germany

Germany offers a wide range of courses across various disciplines. Here are some popular fields of study and courses available in Germany:

Engineering and Technology:

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Computer Science and Engineering
  • Renewable Energy Engineering

Natural Sciences:

  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Geosciences
  • Materials Science

Medicine and Health Sciences:

  • Medicine (Human Medicine)
  • Dentistry
  • Pharmacy
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Public Health
  • Medical Biotechnology
  • Nursing Sciences

Business and Economics:

  • Business Administration
  • International Business
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Supply Chain Management

Social Sciences and Humanities:

  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Political Science
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Linguistics
  • Cultural Studies

Arts and Design:

  • Fine Arts
  • Graphic Design
  • Film and Media Studies
  • Music
  • Architecture
  • Fashion Design
  • Industrial Design

Agriculture and Environmental Sciences:

  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Forestry
  • Horticulture
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Sustainable Development

Law and Legal Studies:

  • Law
  • International Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Corporate Law
  • European Law
  • Criminal Law

Education and Pedagogy:

  • Education Sciences
  • Special Education
  • Adult Education
  • Early Childhood Education
  • School Psychology
  • Educational Leadership

These are just a few examples, and there are many more courses and specializations available in Germany. It's important to research specific universities and their course offerings to find the one that aligns with your interests and career goals. Additionally, keep in mind that some courses may have specific admission requirements, such as language proficiency or prior academic qualifications.

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