< Study in Germany guide

A quick overview of higher education in Germany

Start here if you're interested in Bachelors, MS, MBA or PhD in Germany, especially if you are an international student.

January 4, 2024

Are you thinking of applying to universities for higher education? Germany is an amazing student destination with top class facilities, free education and low competition. This blog will give you a sense of whether higher education in Germany is an option for you.

Approximate process and timeline

It takes 6 months to apply to MS / MBA or PhD in Germany. These are major steps:

  • Get a Passport (1 month) - You need this to give exams like IELTS & GRE.
  • Shortlist universities (1 month) - This blog explains how.
  • Write exams (2 months) - IELTS/TOEFL are the most commonly asked exam. Some programs need GRE as well.
  • Get documents and APS certification (5 months) - Your degree certificate, marksheets etc. APS certificate is the troublesome one taking nearly 4-5 months for students. Read about it here.
  • Profile building (2 months) - Writing your CV, Statement of Purpose and getting Letters of Reference from professors. Read article
  • Applications (1 month) - This is where you fill up the form on university websites or Uni-Assist.

After receiving an admit, it'll take about 3-4 months more to start your studies:

  • Create a blocked account and apply for education loan if needed.
  • Get health and travel insurance.
  • Book the flight to Germany.
  • Apply for a Student visa.
  • Pack your bags and hello Germany!🎒

That's the overall process if you want to pursue higher education in Germany as an international student. Here are the pros and cons of studying in Germany to help you decide whether it is for you:

Pros of studying in Germany

  • Free education in public universities - This applies for international students as well. You only pay for your living expenses (food, housing etc.)
  • High quality education 🔬 - Public universities in Germany are one of the best globally. 22 out of top 200 universities in the world are German!
  • Booming job market 🧑‍💻 - There is a massive demand in the German industry for top talent. Also, the salaries and labor laws in Germany are among the best in the world.
  • Diverse student community - Germany is very welcoming to other cultures. More than half a million international students are currently pursuing higher education in this country.
Growth of international students in Germany

Cons of studying in Germany

  • Some fields require knowledge of German - If you're in disciplines like finance, medicine, law etc. then majority of the industry operates in German language. This will affect your chances of internships and jobs.

How does it compare against US?

US is the most popular global destination for higher education. How does Germany compare against it?

Here's where Germany does better:

  • Affordability - free education removes a huge financial burden.
  • Visa - student and work visa of Germany are simple and give you freedom to explore other ventures like starting your own business / freelancing etc.
  • Competition - Less people know about the English based options in Germany. Now's a great time to apply since you have better chances of getting an admit from top universities.

Where does the US do better?

  • More English based programs - Germany has a huge number of programs in English, but US has more 🤷‍♀️
  • MBA - Language is again the biggest factor here. You need to collaborate with organizations in the country which is harder in Germany with the language barrier. This is not a problem for fields like Computer Science but for MBA, it definitely is. Also, most MBA programs do not fall under the "zero tuition fee" bucket.
Attractive country for university study: international students at TUM

When to apply for Masters in Germany?

There are 2 intakes in Germany when you can apply:

  • Winter intake - Semester starts in September and application deadlines are between March - July.
  • Summer intake - Semester starts in March and application deadlines are between December - January.

Winter intake is aligned with the academic year and has a larger number of programs. Check for the availability of courses in the summer intake.

Useful resources

These are the websites you need as a student if you're applying to higher education in Germany:

If you have further questions, write to us at hello@careersky.de 👋

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