If you’re wondering about what you need to do to study in Germany, and you’re confused by the amount of information available on what steps you need to take, you’re at the right place. We have simplified the process of studying in Germany as an international student into 8 steps you need to go through. Follow these 8 steps one by one to keep track of where you are right now and what you need to do to make your dream of studying in Germany a reality.
Important things to know
Find a Study Program
(Start researching at least 3 months before deciding)
Finding a university and choosing a study program that suits your interests is the first step to planning your studies in Germany.
This is not supposed to be a major problem because there are many universities and countless study programs available – and their quality is undoubtedly world-class. Regardless of what direction you want to go in life, there will certainly be a study program that will match your studying aspirations and future plans.
Meet All Requirements
(Two weeks before the application is opened)
Now that you have decided what university and what study program you want to attend you must check out all the requirements. For this purpose, you check the university website and their admission requirements section. If there are things you don’t understand never hesitate to contact the university directly.
Entry requirements are different depending on the university and the type of course you choose, so it’s recommended to read the requirements section multiple times.
Bad timing and missing documents are the most common issues that happen at this stage and both can lead to delayed admission or even rejected applications. To avoid such a possibility you must prepare these documents early enough.
Learn The German Language
(Start learning it 6 months before the application or the course commencing)
Your success at university highly depends on your skills in the German language, even if your program is in the English language. Having a solid-rock knowledge in the German language guarantees you will comprehend study materials, understand what is taught in lectures while being able to express your thoughts properly.
In Germany, most undergraduate courses are taught in the native language, whereas many study programs at higher academic levels are taught entirely or partially in the German language. Other than at university, you will often have to speak German with locals.
Learning German from scratch can be difficult, but if you start early, by the time you come to Germany you’ll be speaking German perfectly. We recommend starting at least 6 months ahead of the commencing of your course (or before the application if German language proficiency is a requirement) to gain a basic comprehension of the German language.
You can also check out our list of the top language schools in Germany.
Find Financial Resources
(At least two weeks before you apply for a German student visa)
The next step is making sure you have the required financial means to live and study in Germany. Under the current law, every foreign non-EU or non-EEA student must have proper financial means to finance their stay in Germany during their studies.
An international student in Germany must possess a minimum of €10,332 which is estimated to be enough for a student to cover the cost of living for the first year of his studies. This amount of money needs to be deposited into a German blocked bank account.
Naturally, for a student, this a large amount of money and takes time to collect. It’s highly recommended you start saving money a long time before you initiate your university application, except when you’ve been granted a scholarship, and use it as proof of your financial means.
Normally, 6 months before your application would be early enough to start collecting this money, and two weeks before applying for your student visa you must have them deposited. Here are some ways you can finance your studies in Germany.
Apply For Admission
(As soon as you complete requirements)
After double-checking your application documents, it’s time for you to submit the application. The application can be carried online, but there may be universities that receive only applications in person or by post.
Contact your university to see which way you can submit your application. Most German universities are part of the national university online application platform known as UniAssist. In addition to this, there are universities that run their own online admission platform on their website.
Keep in mind that universities in German are a hub for international students and admission committees are heavily loaded with foreign applications. Going through all the applications takes time and you need to submit your application as soon as possible to take advantage.
You must submit your application once the call for application is opened and then wait for the admission letter.
Depending on what level of studies you’re pursuing in Germany, the application procedures vary slightly.
Here are our detailed guides on how to apply for university in Germany:
Get Your German Student Visa
(As soon as you receive the admission letter)
If you’re a student coming from a non-EU and non-EEA country you must get a German student visa.
For detailed guidance on how to get your student visa, please read our article “German Student Visa Requirements“.
By the time you are collecting the documents, we suggest contacting the German embassy/consulate in person and make a visa appointment.
Make sure you have secured proper financial means for studying in Germany. One of the easiest and the best ways to convince the authorities that you have enough money to cover your study and living cost is by opening a so-called Blocked bank account.
We suggest opening a blocked bank account with Fintiba. Fintiba is a German company and is officially approved by the German Federal Foreign Office.
Along with other documents, the German embassy/consulate in your home country will also require you to get a health insurance policy before granting you a student visa.