Step 1: Determine the type of Stay Determine the type of Stay
Are you planning to come to Germany before, during or after your studies? You can choose between different options: for example, a language course, an exchange semester at a German higher education institution, or an internship at an exciting company. Another alternative is to make Germany your home for several years by deciding on a complete degree course or a PhD.
– German higher education institutions run a variety of short-term courses in the summer and winter academic breaks. Specialist and language classes can deepen your knowledge, provide opportunities to meet others and are a lot of fun.
Step 2: Check the requirements Check the requirements
Your Path to a German Higher Education Institution
To study at a German institute of higher education, you will need a Hochschulzugangsberechtigung (HZB – a certificate of aptitude for higher education), in other words a secondary-school degree that qualifies you to study in Germany. If your secondary-school degree isn’t recognized in Germany, you will usually need to attend a preparatory college (Studienkolleg).
The Test for Foreign Students (TestAS)
If your degree is recognised but you still feel unsure of yourself, you can voluntarily take a language or preparatory course. It’s important to note that the language of instruction for most courses is German. So if you decide on a course in German, you will need to offer proof of your language skills to be admitted.
Do you need a visa? That depends on which country you come from and how long you want to stay in Germany.
All students, however, need two documents. One is a proof of financial ressources (Finanzierungsnachweis) that shows you have enough money to support yourself during your studies. The minimum is currently 10,332 euros annually. You will also need to prove that you have health insurance while studying in Germany.
Where Do I Get the Information I Need?
You can inform yourself about possible visa requirements and the proof of financial resources at the German embassy or a German consulate in your home country.
Step 3: Choose your study options Choose your study options
Your College or University Town
Germany’s university towns are very diverse: from places with historic centres full of cultural treasures and cosy bars to big cities famous around the world. But not every higher education institution will necessarily offer the course you’re interested in. So take a close, preferably first-hand, look at the various options.
Your College or University
Whether you’re interested in geography, economic psychology, film or violin, Germany’s higher education institution landscape has something for everyone. You can choose between three types of higher education institutions in Germany:
- universities of applied sciences
- film academies, universities of the arts and conservatories.
Which suits you best will depend on what you want to study.
The Higher Education Compass
The question of what degree you’ll be working toward in Germany is another major decision-making factor. Depending on the courses, German institutions of higher education offer bachelor’s, master’s degrees and “State Examination” (Staatsexamen) – in rare cases also “Magister Artium” or “Magistra Artium” and “Diplom”. There are also lots of opportunities for young scholars to get their doctorates
Step 4: Start to prepare Start to prepare
The best way to reach a destination is to take one small step at a time, and that includes staying in Germany. You will have several things to do between the point at which you decide to go to Germany and when you arrive there. Tip: start early, make sure you’re aware of what’s required, keep an eye on important deadlines and focus on the following topics.
Whether it’s rent, food, public transport, semester fees or health insurance, you should prepare financially.
Whether you’re applying for a spot at a German university or an internship with a company, there are important requirements and deadlines.
As a rule, you need to prove you have German skills to be admitted to a degree course, although in internationally oriented disciplines, German language proficiency isn’t always a must.
Your confirmation of enrolment is proof that you’re registered at a German higher education institution and is an important document. Once you have enrolled you will receive your student ID.
In Germany, students arrange their own accommodations. Many university and college towns have dormitories, and a room there is often the most affordable accommodation. As the rooms are in great demand, you should start looking before you leave your home country.
1. Types of Stay