Study in Germany

Higher Education in Germany

The appeal of German universities for students both from within Germany and outside comes from the high quality of education and the absence of tuition fees other than a small, symbolic fee called the semester contribution. There are around 350 institutions offering higher education, these include universities, vocational higher education and universities for arts. Universities can be found in almost all of the states and large cities, within the 16 German states, institutions offer different practices and have different regulations. As Germany is a federal parliamentary republic, each state has a different Ministry for Higher Education responsible for the conduct of their universities. This is why the education system may have differences among different states, including differences in research facilities and educational programmes. Accommodation in East Germany is cheaper, probability for finding work is higher and chances of being accepted to a University is also higher.

Different Higher Education Institutions

Universities in Germany are split into three groups:

  • German Universities (UNIVERSITAT)
  • Fachhochschule (FH)
  • Technical Universities

The newest classical University in Germany is about 300-400 years old. The education language is heavy and entrance requirements are difficult to meet. They focus heavily on research and theory and have many libraries.

-Fachhochschule are among the newer institutions and entry requirements to these institutions are easier compared to classical, older Universities. The number of years to complete a programme is about 3,5-4 years (6-8 semesters). A student finishing these would receive a Bachelor’s degree.

*Compared to classical Universities, they focus more on practical knowledge rather than theoretical and projects. Fachhochschule master’s programmes can be in English, there are over 500 programmes and 2-3-4 semester long post-graduate programmes.

-Studienkolleg: International students are required to pass a foundation course, duration of which is 2 semesters. (Once the student completes the foundation, they are admitted without having to take DSH or TestDaf exams)

Education and Life Expenses

  • There are no tuition fees for international students, including the foundation programme (Studienkolleg). The only fee required is a symbolic semester fee around 70 Euro per semester.
  • Most students prefer university accomodations with en-suite rooms for 250-450 Euro p/m. Otherwise they move into shared flats with other students.
  • Travel costs can be up to €70 per/year.
  • On average a student should not need more than € 600 per/month for pocket money.

Other Expenses

  • Health Insurance for students € 50 p/m(all students are obliged)
  • Optional second language course € 50 p/m
  • Monthly food costs € 150
  • Airport Travel (one-off and same city) € 50

Student Accommodation

Staying at University accomodation will cost students € 150-200 p/m to € 160-210 p/m. There are very limited differences between state and private student accommodations. All students have shared kitchens between 3-4 people.


Germany allows international students to work 90 full days or 180 half days. Average pay is € 7.