As a powerhouse of European finance, culture and education, Germany is seen as one of the go-to destinations for studying abroad. The number of international students in Germany is consistently increasing every year, and this is due to the excellent studying and living conditions that have become commonplace in this European country.
The internationally acclaimed universities with highly-qualified academic staff, in addition to the living costs and its unique and wonderful culture, make Germany an extremely attractive study destination, and one that is recognised throughout the world.
So, how can you become a student in Germany? What steps do you need to take? And is it worth the experience? All these questions will be answered in this: The Ultimate Guide for Studying in Germany.
Becoming a Student in Germany
The first step to becoming a student in Germany is actually the first step for living in Germany. That is to learn the German language!
Not only are most courses at undergraduate level taught in German, but if you’re planning to enrol in higher academic programs, such as a Master or Doctorate, these courses are almost always taught either mostly or entirely in German.
Even if you wanted to do a course taught in English, living in Germany without speaking German can only get you so far, and if you want to meet the locals then learning the language opens up doors for you that would otherwise have remained shut.
Use popular and engaging language apps, like Duolingo, that you can download to learn languages. Having a basic understanding or a footing in a foreign language doesn’t actually take that long to gain, and by using apps like these it’s not boring! With this understanding, you can adapt better to German life and culture, and your German will get better a lot faster if you already have just a little background in it.
Choose Your Course
As Germany is an extremely popular spot for students, there are so many courses offered by universities throughout the country.
You could always decide on the city you want to live in before finding a course that suits you there, or alternatively find a course and search the smaller universities to find your ideal situation.
Meet the Requirements
Like all universities, there will be a set of criteria you need to meet in order to be admitted to the course and then be able to apply for your visa (if you’re from a country that needs one to enter Germany).
To be accepted by a German university, you will need to have the necessary academic qualifications in order to attend higher education. This ‘higher education entrance qualification’, also known in German as (take a breath) Hochschulzugangsberechtigung (HZB) or Abitur, has to be officially recognised by the German authorities. If your educational certificate isn’t recognised in Germany, you will be required to attend a one-year preparatory course known as Studienkolleg.
Some universities might make you take an aptitude test, known as TestAS, which is specifically designed for international students who come from non-EU countries. More information on that can be found by clicking here.
If you are from a non-EU country, to have a student visa you will need to have proof of accommodation and of financial means. At this current moment, an international student is required to have proof of at least €11,208 per year to cover their expenses during their time in Germany. This is in terms of actual living costs, like rent, electricity and food, as the majority of universities in Germany offer free tuition.
Culture in Germany
In this next section, we’re going to talk a bit about German culture. Now, there are a lot of stereotypes about Germans, such as that they drink a lot of beer (which is true), the people are generally hardworking and punctual (also true), and that the rate of unemployment in Germany is very low (true again). But despite these stereotypes, Germany is not full of drunk workers doing very well at their jobs, there are also many artists plying their trade here.
Art is a very important part of German culture, just look at the train stations in the capital, Berlin. You’d think from these stereotypes that these train stations would be uniform, but it’s the contrary. Every single train station in Berlin is decorated and layed out completely differently, in order to reflect the specific culture of the area where it’s located. This gives so much character to the capital, as well as the different places within it.
Literature has been ingrained into German culture since, well, the beginning. The first book and the first magazine to ever be published were both in Germany, and the International Frankfurt Book Fair, regarded as the most important book event in the world, is held in Germany too. Also many famous philosophers, such as Nietzsche and Marx, were German.
Nowadays, music in Germany is more focused on electronic music, hip-hop and rock & roll. Whereas many renowned composers, most famously Mozart, Beethoven and Bach, came from this European country.
As for food, we already know Germans drink a lot of beer, eat sausages and make bread of different taste. This isn’t simply a stereotype, but a true fact. It’s actually estimated that the average German consumes around 140 liters of beer per year, the second most on average behind the Czechs – a country with less than one eighth of the population of Germany. But the Germans don’t just consume these things, they actually have a lot of choices, vegan and vegetarian too, that have become normal in their culture.
It may seem daunting now, but after all these processes have been completed and you’re living and studying in Germany, it’s almost impossible not to enjoy yourself.
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Living and studying abroad is always a great experience, no matter which country you decide to go to. Pick up the culture of the country, the city, the people, and grow as a person. There are also many other incredible opportunities to live and study abroad, if you want to learn more, click here!