Study abroad in Germany: a full guide for international students

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By Samyr Ahmad

Study abroad in Germany: a full guide for international students

To study abroad in Germany as an international student. Learn about the top German universities, required qualifications, how to apply, fees, scholarships, accommodation and student life and everything else you will need to study in Germany.

If you want to study abroad in some of the world’s best universities in Germany, you will find many opportunities for international students.

Germany is an increasingly popular choice for international students who want to study abroad. There is a plethora of world-class universities spread right across Germany, more and more courses are taught in English, and most universities don’t charge undergraduate tuition fees.

Top universities in Germany

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Germany has a high number of world-class universities. There are 42 universities in the QS World University Rankings 2014-15, which is more than any other country after the United States and the United Kingdom. There are 28 universities in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2014-15 top 400, with six in the top 100: Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (29), University of Gottingen (67), Heidelberg University (70), Humboldt University of Berlin (80), Free University of Berlin (81), and the Technical University of Munich (98).

Higher education in Germany

There are more than 2.5 online payday NH million students enrolled in German universities and more than a quarter of a million of these are international students. About 85 percent of these students arrange to study in Germany themselves while the remaining 15 percent come to Germany on exchange programs. Additionally, some 15 percent of TU9 top technological universities in Germany are international students.

In , all tuition fees for undergraduate courses at state universities were abolished for international students as well as German students. The German government continues to invest large sums 2.4bn approved in the last two years alone in its higher education institutions as part of its Excellence Initiative and has a focus on technology.

There are around 450 state-accredited universities in Germany, offering more than 17,500 programs, including more than 1,000 courses taught in English. You can search for university courses in Germany.

The academic year is divided into two semesters at German universities, generally from September/October to February/March and then March/April to August/September. Dates vary from university to university.

Types of universities in Germany

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There are state-funded and private universities in Germany, including universities, universities of applied science, and colleges of art, film, and music. Some universities were founded back in the Middle Ages, while others were established after World War II.

The majority of universities in Germany are state-funded and the responsibility of individual states (lander). Most German students go to state universities. About 5 percent of universities are private but recognized by the state and are usually universities of applied sciences, which have strong links with industry and an international focus. A few universities are run by either the Protestant or Catholic church and usually specialize in specific subjects, like social work, education, and, obviously, theology. Some information about private universities can be found at private-hochschulen.net (in German).

Qualifications awarded in Germany

Almost all Germany’s courses are now the two-cycle Bachelor/Master courses, following the Bologna ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System). Some technical and engineering courses still award a Diplom (four to six years, includes the equivalent of post-graduate education), while medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, law, food chemistry, and some teaching degrees are Staatsexamen. Note that the degrees offered by some private universities in Germany may only be recognized internationally if the university itself is officially recognized by the German government.

  • Grado Bachelor’s, three to four years, 240 ECTS.
  • Posgrado Master’s, one to two years, 60120 ECTS.

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