In Germany, you can find numerous courses, degree programmes, and some of the highest-ranked universities in the world. Almost 400,000 international students are currently pursuing their degree in Germany, making this country one of the top choices for international students. For those who are interested in pursuing a degree in Germany, we have compiled a list of requirements you will be expected to fulfil, so take a look at them below.
Here are the requirements for studying in Germany:
1. Study Programme
Although not a requirement as much as an essential step to studying in Germany, finding a course you like will get you started on all the upcoming requirements. If you have set your mind to pursue your qualification in this picturesque Western European country, it is important you gather as much information as possible regarding the requirements and university admission criteria in Germany.
If you have not yet chosen a program yet, then you can go through our database of international study programmes in Germany, and search for options based on your preferences.
2. University Admission Requirements
Once you find the study programme you’re interested in, you begin worrying about the admission criteria. Before anything else, you will have to meet the criteria set by the university in order to gain admission to that particular programme.
To be admitted to a German university, your qualifications must be recognized by the university you have chosen. What this means is that you need to have a recognized ‘higher education entrance qualification’, also known as Hochschulzugangsberechtigung (HZB) or Abitur. (Learn more about Abitur here). If your school-leaving certificate is not recognized in Germany, you will be required to attend a one-year preparatory course known as Studienkolleg.
Some universities also require an aptitude test, known as TestAS, which is a test specifically designed for international students from non-EU countries.
Language requirements are also among the university admission criteria. If your degree programme is entirely in German, then you will be required to provide proof of German language proficiency such as Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH) or TestDaF. Alternatively, if your course is taught in English and you are not a native English speaker, you will be required to provide IELTS or TOEFL scores.
3. University Application Documents
Although each university has its own specific admission requirements, some documents are usually expected in order to submit an application.
The documents you typically need are:
A duly completed application form.
Certified copy of high school diploma.
Relevant recognized academic certificates.
Translated overview of your modules and grades.
Copy of your passport and a passport photo.
Proof of language proficiency.
4. Financial Means
If you are a citizen of the countries who need a student visa to study in Germany, then you will be required to provide proof of financial means when you apply for your visa. As of 2023, an international student needs €11,208 per year to cover their expenses during their time in Germany. The best way to provide proof of financial resources at the German Embassy is through a blocked account.
Learn more about opening a blocked account at Expatrio.
5. Health Insurance
Health insurance is also important if you want to study in Germany. International students must be insured in the healthcare system while they are in Germany. If you are a resident of one of the EU/EEA members states, then you will likely be able to use your health insurance from back home. However, you will need to obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
On the other hand, if you are not a resident of EU/EEA member states, then you will need to provide proof of health insurance for your student visa application as well as university enrolment. You will be expected to pay a monthly amount to the public or private (if you’re over 29) health insurance providers.
Learn more about student health insurance in Germany
6. Student Visa
If you come from a country who needs a student visa to enter Germany, then you will have to properly apply for one at the German Embassy/Consulate in your home country. You will have to gather the necessary documents, attend an interview at the embassy, and wait for the response. The student visa processing time is typically two weeks under normal circumstances.
Learn more about getting you Germany student visa.
There are many accommodation options to choose from as an international student in Germany. You can choose between German halls of residence, private apartments, as well as shared flats. However, it is important to keep in mind that rent in Germany doesn’t come cheap and it will most likely be your biggest financial challenge during your time in Germany. However, once you find a place to live in, make sure to register your address at the registration office in Germany.
Learn more about accommodation in Germany for international students.
8. University Enrolment
University enrolment comes after being admitted to a German higher education institution. This means that after you get admitted, you should submit a number of documents at the Office of Student Affairs and get your courses registered so you’ll be able to attend lectures, exercises, and examinations.