10 things to know about studying in Germany

Germany is a popular destination for international students. The high standards of German universities allow students to develop contacts, broaden their knowledge and sharpen their skills for the career paths they have chosen from the start of their studies.

On top of all this, students have so much to do during their stay in Germany, whether it’s visiting historic sites, exploring nature, or sampling the local cuisine.

1. The cost of education

Germany offers education at its public universities at usually low or no tuition fees. Each trimester or semester, international students pay a small fee ranging from €100 to €300 and an administration fee of around €50. However, some universities charge tuition fees for non-European Union students, but these are usually still cheaper than those in other countries.

However, if you choose a program at a private institution, you will be charged tuition fees, just like students from the rest of Europe.

2. Not everyone needs a visa to study

Germany offers visa-free travel for students from certain countries or regions, including the EU, Australia, Canada, Japan, and the United States. If you are from one of these exempt countries, you do not need to apply for a visa, but you will need a residence permit for any program lasting longer than 90 days.

If you need a visa, there are three options. The language course visa, candidate student visa and student visa.

3. Learn the language

Whether your university course requires you to speak German or not, the ability to speak the language is an advantage when studying in Germany. Many people speak some English; however, it will be easier for you to immerse yourself in the country if you know some basic vocabulary. Many universities offer courses for international students, and you can also learn with a private or online tutor.

4. Finding accommodation can be tricky

Accommodation in Germany can be very different from student accommodation in other countries. Not all universities offer student accommodation, so it is common for students to live alone in private accommodation or to share with other students.

It is common for international students to stay in temporary accommodation upon arrival. These include hostels, hotels and guesthouses. This option allows students to begin their studies while visiting nearby private accommodation to select their permanent residence.

5. Punctuality is important

In German culture, it is essential to be punctual. You will find that public transport will be on time, and it is often considered rude to arrive even a few minutes late.

So be sure to plan your time in advance and make sure you’re not late for classes or social events.

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6. Health insurance is required by law

The law requires everyone in Germany to have health insurance, including international students. Most international students enrolled at a university in the country have the option of registering with the German public health insurance.

However, if you are over 30, studying a language and preparatory course, completing your doctorate, or visiting as a visiting scholar, you must register with private health insurance. Public health care costs between €100 and €115 per month. Private insurance can vary in price, so it is best to contact the insurer directly.

7. The cost of living is quite reasonable

International students may find that they need around €850 per month for living expenses. Food, bills, transportation and clothing are all very reasonably priced. The only major expense that students might find is the monthly rent. However, if you choose to share accommodation with other students, this will also help you share the costs.

With the right visa, international students also have the opportunity to work part-time during their studies. In addition to the extra money students can earn working, they will also find it a wonderful opportunity to develop their language skills, immerse themselves in the culture and meet new people.

8. A fairy tale environment

Germany is the perfect mix of modern big cities and idyllic small towns. The cities of Marburg and Freiburg are full of magnificent castles and churches, while larger cities like Berlin and Hamburg are full of art galleries, museums and bars.

Germany is a great country to explore because there is so much to see and so many different places to discover.

9. The train system is awesome

Continuing from the previous point, Germany is quite easy to navigate thanks to the awesome train system. Trains are very punctual, there are good connections across the country and ticket prices can be quite reasonable.

You may find that you can get a student discount on train tickets, so take advantage of this and be sure to book day trips and weekends to fully explore the country.

10. Food from around the world

Germany is a multicultural country, but finding food in your home country can often be difficult. It’s much easier in big cities like Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Frankfurt, all of which have excellent food scenes, including Turkish, Lebanese, Indian, Chinese, and Thai restaurants.

However, it can be a great opportunity to try well-known German dishes that might incorporate some of the flavors you’re used to, like currywurst and sauerkraut.