With its outstanding universities and worthwile living environment Germany attracts more and more international students. If you consider studying in Germany here come our 10 steps how to start studies in Germany.
Find a Study Program
The first step to studying in Germany is to find a study program that suits your interests and career goals. There are hundreds of universities in Germany, each offering a multitude of programs. German universities are renowned for their teaching methods and course structure, and have a strong focus on research, making them a top choice for students from around the world. You can utilize various online resources to search for programs, and most universities provide detailed information about the courses on their websites.
Once you’ve found a program of interest, delve deeper to understand the course content, faculty, and the reputation of the department in the wider academic community. Also, consider the location of the university, as each city in Germany offers a unique cultural and social experience. Comparing and contrasting your options will allow you to make an informed decision.
Lastly, check the start dates for your chosen program. While many courses start in the winter semester, there are also plenty of programs that begin in the summer semester. Knowing the start date will help you plan your application process accordingly.
Meet All Requirements
Once you’ve identified your study program, the next step is to ensure that you meet all the requirements for admission. The exact requirements can vary based on the university and the specific course, but typically include a high school diploma or equivalent, transcripts of previous academic work, and potentially letters of recommendation.
For postgraduate studies, you’ll likely need to provide proof of your undergraduate degree, and some programs may have additional prerequisites such as specific coursework or work experience. It’s important to thoroughly review the application guidelines provided by the university to ensure you meet all the criteria.
Bear in mind that Germany has a strict application process, and all documents must be correctly filled and submitted by the specified deadline. Missing or incomplete documents can lead to the application being rejected. Therefore, start gathering your documents well in advance to avoid any last-minute issues.
Learn The German Language
While an increasing number of programs in Germany are being offered in English, especially at the postgraduate level, proficiency in the German language is still a requirement for many courses. If the course you’re interested in is taught in German, you’ll need to provide proof of your German language skills. This is typically achieved by passing a recognized language test such as the TestDaF or DSH.
Even if your program is taught in English, learning German can significantly enhance your experience. Not only will it make day-to-day life easier, but it can also open up additional opportunities for part-time work, internships, and social activities. Many universities offer German language courses for international students, which can be a great way to improve your skills.
It’s important to start learning German as early as possible. Being proficient in the language will not only make your academic journey smoother, but it will also help you integrate into the community, make local friends, and fully experience the rich German culture.
Find Financial Resources
Studying in Germany is financially feasible compared to many other popular study destinations. Public universities in Germany do not charge tuition fees for most undergraduate programs, though there can be some administrative costs. However, you still need to consider living expenses, which can vary depending on the city.
Start by estimating your monthly expenses, including rent, food, transport, health insurance, and other personal expenses. There are various scholarships and funding options available for international students in Germany, both from public institutions and private organizations, which can help offset these costs.
Also, consider part-time work to support yourself financially. As an international student in Germany, you’re allowed to work a certain number of hours per week during the semester. This not only provides a source of income but also valuable work experience.
Apply For Admission
Once you have found a suitable program and ensured that you meet all requirements, the next step is to apply for admission. The application process can vary by university, but generally involves submitting an online application along with all required documents. This typically includes academic transcripts, proof of language proficiency, a copy of your passport, and sometimes a motivation letter or CV.
Be sure to apply before the deadline, which is usually several months before the start of the semester. After submitting your application, you may need to wait a few weeks or months to receive a response. If your application is successful, you will receive an admission letter, which is required for the next step: the student visa application.
Get Your German Student Visa
If you are a non-EU or non-EEA student, you will need to apply for a German student visa. The process starts in your home country at the German embassy or consulate. The exact requirements can vary, but you’ll generally need to provide your passport, proof of financial resources, health insurance, and your university admission letter.
The visa process can take several weeks or even months, so it’s important to start as soon as you receive your admission letter. Once you arrive in Germany, you will need to register at the local Residents’ Registration Office and the Aliens’ Registration Office.
Finding accommodation is a crucial part of preparing for your studies in Germany. There are various options available, from university dormitories and shared apartments to private rentals. Each has its pros and cons, so consider factors such as cost, location, and personal preferences before making a decision.
Start your search early, as the housing market in some German cities can be quite competitive. Many universities offer support services for international students, which can include assistance with finding accommodation. Once you’ve secured a place to live, you’ll also need to register your address at the local Residents’ Registration Office.
Enroll At Your University
After you have arrived in Germany and sorted out your accommodation, the final step is to enroll at your university. Enrollment, also known as matriculation, involves officially registering as a student and receiving your student ID and documents.
The enrollment process and deadlines will be communicated by your university. Make sure to complete this process within the specified timeframe to avoid losing your university admission. Once enrolled, you can sign up for classes, use university facilities such as the library or sports centers, and start your journey as a student in Germany.
Attend Orientation Programs
Orientation programs are an invaluable resource for international students. They are typically organized by the university at the start of the semester to help new students get acquainted with the campus, academic procedures, and life in Germany in general. These programs often provide useful information on a wide range of topics, from academic advising and course registration to practical matters like public transportation and healthcare services.
Attending orientation programs also gives you a chance to meet other students, both local and international. This can help you build your social network, which can be particularly helpful in a new country. You may also learn about various student organizations and extracurricular activities that you can participate in to enrich your student life.
Remember, everyone is in the same boat during these sessions, so don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek help if needed. The staff are there to assist you and the friends you make during this time can turn out to be your support system throughout your time in Germany.
Establish a Routine and Start Studying
Once you’ve settled into your new accommodation, enrolled at your university, and attended orientation, it’s time to establish a routine and start studying. University life can be exciting, but it’s also academically challenging. Getting into a good study routine early can help ensure your success.
Start by familiarizing yourself with your course structure and requirements. This includes understanding the grading system, assignment deadlines, examination schedules, and any required readings or materials. Use a planner or digital tool to keep track of all these details and stay organized.
But studying in Germany isn’t just about academics. It’s also about experiencing a new culture, making friends, and developing as an individual. So, your routine should also include time for social activities, hobbies, exercise, and relaxation. Striking a balance between your academic and personal life will help you make the most of your time studying in Germany.