How to Apply to Study in Germany

Longing to study in Europe? Germany is the place, as such this article on how to apply to study in Germany is for you.

A brief history about Germany

Study in Germany

Germany is a developed country located in Central and Western Europe with a largely temperate seasonal climate. With its high standard of living, Germany upholds maximum social security, universal health care system, environmental protection, and tuition-free university education.

Many international students have to make a decision on which of the countries abroad to study, and Germany is usually among these countries to study.

Studying in Germany is a great opportunity for any international student when it comes to bachelor, postgraduate master, and Ph.D. degrees.

Read also: What Are The In-Demand Courses to Study in USA

To apply to study in Germany, these are some guidelines and steps to follow:

  1. Pick a German University of your choice.

The first and important thing to do in order to apply to study in Germany is to choose a university and the course you desire to begin study. A list of programmes to search from is in the database of the DAAD (The German Academic Exchange Service).

Currently, opportunities to study English in Germany at the undergraduate level are limited, although there are some courses taught in both German and English. While making your decision, you may also like to consider the latest rankings of the top universities in Germany or check the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject to find the top German universities in your field of study. This will help you to narrow down universities before choosing.

  1. Check the requirements for admission

Before applying, check the requirements of your chosen university and documents needed. Also, have a list of all general requirements needed by the German Universities. In order to study in Germany, you have to obtain a recognized “higher education entrance qualification”.

A high-school diploma, school-leaving certificate or university entrance exam result is usually needed for prospective undergraduate students, and information on admission requirements for selected countries can also be found in the database of the DAAD.

Students with qualifications from outside Europe may have to sit for a test called the university entrance assessment examination (Feststellungsprüfung) after attending a preparatory Studienkolleg (preparatory course), although high-achieving students may be able to bypass this.

Language requirements should also be checked. German universities require international applicants to submit proof of proficiency in the German language as most courses are taught in German.

There are two main available tests for this purpose; the TestDaF and the Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH, meaning “German language examination for university entrance”).

Also, unless you are a native speaker or have previously studied in English, you will need to prove your knowledge of the language with a test such as IELTS or TOEFL if your course is taught in English

Read also: Graduate Programs that do not require a GRE Test Score in Australia

  1. Getting your finances in order

Proof that you have, or have access to, around €8,700 per year (~US$10,000) to cover your living costs will need to be shown in order to fulfill the requirements for acquiring a student visa. Although more than this may be needed, depending on your lifestyle and spending habits (the average student spends €850/US$975 a month).

The cost of living also varies depending on your location. To quell your concerns about costs, scholarships are available to support students studying in Germany at various study levels.

  1. Apply for Admission

For most courses, you need to apply directly to the international office of the university or use the centralized admission portal here which is controlled by DAAD (if you’re an international student).

You may also apply directly at the university website to increase your chance of admission as not all Universities use the DAAD centralized portal. You can apply for admission at some German universities twice a year for a study at winter or summer semester.

It should be noted that deadlines for application varies for many universities as deadlines will be given by the university. Endeavor to check the deadline date for the chosen course of study.

It is highly recommended to submit applications at least six (6) weeks to deadline. This is to ensure any required documents,  additional or missing information are added.

When to Expect Admission?

Notice of admission acceptance or rejection are given mostly between one to two(1-2) months after admission deadline.

What are the Required Documents?

Application process and specific required documents will be set by the university, but typically the following documents will be required;

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  • A copy of your Passport.
  • Letter of Reference (2 -3 References).
  • A certified copy of your previous degree or any relevant qualification.
  • Proof of language efficiency ( a test certificate).
  • Application fee (may be required).

Be sure to check the required documents demanded by the university.

  1. Getting a Student Visa

The requirements for obtaining a student visa for Germany is determined by your country of origin. An overview of the countries for which a student visa is or isn’t required can be gotten from the Foreign Federal Office’s website.

Read also: Australia Student Visa: A Step by Step Guide

  1. Securing a Health Insurance

A health insurance which covers your health during your stay in Germany should be gotten and secured before leaving your country. It is basically needed before application and also in getting student visa/residence permit.

For residents of EU or EEA countries, a social security agreement should be in place between your country and Germany. This means that if you have public health insurance in your home country, you would be covered in Germany as well.

A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which is free to obtain is generally needed to take advantage of this. Those whose health insurance is not valid in Germany are expected to pay between €80 (US$92) and €160 (US$176) per month to cover it. If you’re over 30, the cost is higher and if you’re over 29 when starting your course you can only obtain private insurance.

  1. Getting an Accommodation

Most German universities do not provide accommodation for enrolling students. So once you have secured an admission and visa, start looking for accommodation. Rent varies depending on which part of the country you live in.

Once you have found a place to live, you need to register at the ‘residents’ registration office’ (Einwohnermeldeamt) or the ‘citizens’ bureau’ (Bürgeramt).

  1. Student Registration/Enrollment

You need to register/enroll as a student in order to use the university’s facilities and commence your study. You will need to re-register every semester, with a registration fee usually within $170-$290. Also, registration for semester tickets which covers public transports needs to be done.

In registering, some documents are still required to be presented. These include;

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  • Admission Letter/Notice.
  • Passport with Visa/ Residence Permit.
  • Passport photos.
  • Evidence of health insurance in Germany.
  • Payment receipts for the semester.
  • Completed registration form

Read also: How To Apply For A Canadian Study Permit As An International Student


How to apply to study in Germany is a question that has been asked several times online, so in the quest to profer an answer to the repeated question birthed this piece of information. Kindly help us to share as you wouldn’t know who needs to read this.

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