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Study in Germany

Study in Germany - Europa Programme

Studying in Germany is becoming an increasingly popular option at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and many of the students on our Europa Programme are interested in applying to German universities.

One of the major reasons is the fact that German public universities are not only outstanding in terms of teaching and resources, but also (virtually) free. If you go to a public university, you will only be expected to pay between 150 and 300 euros a term, to cover the costs of registration, use of sports facilities, bus travel and joining the students’ union.

Each university website will give you a precise figure of the contribution they charge and what it covers.

Study in Germany – overall view

Germany has a great deal to offer. It is a beautiful, prosperous country, with a lively cultural scene, diverse landscapes and historical riches, many job opportunities and provides a high quality of life to citizens and visitors alike.

German‘s higher education sector is divided into public and private universities. 90 per cent of all universities in the country are public institutions and do not charge EU students tuition fees.

Research Universities focus on teaching a core curriculum, lectures, seminars and independent reading and study.

Universities of Applied Sciences, in contrast, offer practical training, external placements in local industries, a focus on the job market and group work. Whether you are keen on hands-on engineering projects, or researching an obscure point of international law, you will find your academic niche in a German university.

Which are the public universities in Germany?

Well-respected, tuition-free German universities include:

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Which are the best ones?

Which courses can I study in Germany in English for free?

Although approximately 120+ courses are currently taught in English if you want to study in Germany, if we exclude postgraduate degrees and the private universities, which charge between 7,000 and 20,000 euros a year in tuition fees, at bachelor level there are around 60 available courses.

The most popular bachelor’s degrees include:

  • engineering
  • natural sciences
  • economics
  • maths
  • law
  • social sciences
  • international management
  • business

There are currently no, or very few, courses taught in English for:

  • medicine
  • languages
  • veterinary medicine
  • art
  • sport

Master’s applicants have a far broader range of choices to study in Germany, and can study a wide range of subjects, including:

  • Robotics
  • Mechatronics
  • Finance
  • International Management
  • Advertising
  • Digital Business
  • Product design
  • Aviation Management
  • Gaming and Animation
  • Applied mathematics etc

Do remember, however, that not all these courses are taught at public universities, and some may only be available at private universities, where tuition fees apply to study in Germany.

For example, both the excellent Munich Business School, which concentrates on degrees in business administration, and the top-ranked EU Business School, where you can take a bachelor’s degree and an MBA, are private institutions. And then there is Lancaster-Leipzig. The UK’s Lancaster University has a campus in Leipzig, where students gain a UK degree.

Lancaster-Leipzig offers 280 bachelor’s programmes as well as local internships and placements and was voted International University of the Year, in 2020. However, as a UK university, it charges fees, irrespective of the fact that its campus is located in Germany.

As you have no doubt gathered, this is a fairly complicated area, and it is essential to check the status of your university, or to contact Elab for information. Before filling in an application, you have to make sure the course you are interested in taking is being offered in English, at the right level and that you know  whether tuition fees  apply – and, if they do, how much they are per year.

How do I apply to a German university?

You may need to apply directly to the university to study in Germany, or through the German central admissions service,, a centralised system which, however, does NOT cover every university. If you submit an application through uni-assist, you will pay a fee of 75 euros for your first choice, and 30 euros for each subsequent choice.

Once you know where you wish to study, you should check the admissions procedures  on the university website, or contact us at Elab, and we will give you any information you need. Remember, certain German universities expect applicants to go through the uni-assist website and to contact their international admissions department.

Most universities will ask you for some, or all, of the following documents:

  • A copy of your high school diploma/certificate
  • Officially certified copies and translations of your grades
  • A copy of your passport – the main page with your personal details
  • CV
  • A cover letter
  • One or more passport photographs
  • A Personal Statement and/or references

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In addition, since you are applying to take a course taught in English, you will need to prove your language proficiency by providing a language certificate. If you are sitting IELTS, you will need a score of 6.5 or more, and your TOEFL score needs to be 80, and above. This is a rough guideline, since requirements vary from course to course and university to university.

Which are the application deadlines to Study in Germany?

You must submit your application by 15 July if you want to start your course in the winter term (September/October).

You must submit your application by 15 January, if you want to study in Germany from the summer term (April).

You will receive a response 4-8 weeks after sending in your documents and application form.

Study in Germany – the cost of living

As is the case in every country, the biggest expense faced by students is the cost of their accommodation.

If you want to study in Germany, as a rough rule of thumb, there is a 35 per cent difference in what you will pay in rent between the south of the country and the far cheaper east. For example, rents in Munich can reach 1,000 euros a month for a one-bedroom flat, whereas comparable accommodation in Leipzig will cost you 490 euros. This differential applies across the board, so you will spend less on food  and leisure in eastern Germany than in other areas. If you are offered a place in halls, this will normally cost 350 euros a month, while a house share is slightly more expensive at 500 euros a month. Expect to pay slightly more if you study in Frankfurt or Munich.

It has been estimated that you will need around 850-900 euros a month to cover your expenses , but remember that you are entitled to earn 450 euros a month, tax free, as a student. Once you earn above this threshold, you will pay tax. Although it is possible to find a job without speaking German, your options will greatly increase if you make an effort to learn the language to B2 level.

Study in Germany – do I need to buy health insurance?

No. Your EHIC card is valid in Germany.

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Study in Germany – the next step

Elab’s Europa Programme covers studying throughout Europe and introduces you to the education systems, options, costs and regulations which apply in countries as different as Ireland, Denmark, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands, etc. We will provide you with detailed information on student registration and visa regulations – if applicable – and the application requirements and documentation you need to prepare. If you are as yet unsure where you would like to study in Europe, come and join us and sign up for the Europa Programme.

If, however, you have set your heart on studying in Germany, then let us work together and find the perfect course and university and start the application process, to maximise your chances of getting a place at the German university of your dreams.

Elab is here to help. Call us or send us an email and one of our experienced consultants will get in touch with you.