Recently, Germany has become a center of attraction for international students from all over the world. Studying at university in Germany used to be less well-known and less popular. So “why is Germany becoming increasingly popular?“
If you are seriously planning to study in Germany, there are many things you need to know. I strongly recommend you to take a look at my other articles. I aim to create a completely free platform where I try to share my experiences, research and insights about studying in Germany. Here are a few reasons why you should choose Germany.
Studying in Germany
First of all, Germany is a university paradise. There are more job opportunities in Germany than in any other country, many universities in the top 1000 worldwide (54 last time I checked) with relatively affordable living costs, countless majors to choose from, and bachelor’s and master’s degree programs that are valid worldwide.
Unsurprisingly, Germany ranks among the world’s top destinations for international students. According to the latest official statistics, there are more than 394,000 foreign students seeking a university degree in Germany, and the number is growing.
Education in Germany is Free!
With higher education becoming a necessity due to the ever-increasing need for skilled personnel, the cost of going to university is skyrocketing and Germany is the only country that does not charge tuition fees for foreign students at its universities.
In October 2014, a law was passed exempting international students attending a public university in Germany from paying the normal tuition fees. When studying at a public university in Germany, they only have to pay a few administrative costs, such as a Student Union (Studierendenwerk) contribution of roughly €60 – €90 per semester (depending on the university and the city) and a semester ticket of €175-275 (i.e. no further public transportation for the entire semester). Exception: The state of Baden-Württemberg has been charging a tuition fee of €1500 for international students since the winter semester 2017/18, which is still cheap when you consider that in the Netherlands it is €10,000 per year.
Internationally recognized and highly respected universities
According to 2020 official records, there are 399 public higher education institutions in Germany, 121 of which are universities. Some of these schools are consistently ranked among the world’s best universities by international rating agencies (last time I checked, 54 universities were in the top 1000). Students choose these universities for the quality of their education, the practical opportunities during their studies, the opportunities to develop academically during and after their studies and, most importantly, the safe environment.
Students studying in Germany enjoy this world-class reputation thanks to their world-renowned teaching and research potential, built on a long and rich tradition of higher education. Some German universities are among the best and some are the oldest in Europe.
Traveling around Europe on a student visa
If you are going to Germany for higher education from outside Europe, you need to apply for a visa. Apart from enrolling in a summer school language program, for other schools you will need to apply for a student visa that allows you to reside in Germany for more than 90 days and you will also need to obtain a residence permit so that you can live and move around the country. The residence permit will also allow you to travel visa-free throughout the entire Schengen Area, which creates great opportunities to visit the countries you are interested in at any time.
Once you have received your acceptance letter from the German University of your choice, I recommend that you apply for a student visa at least 2 months before your departure. After your files are reviewed at the consulate, they will be forwarded to the immigration office of your destination city and your student visa will be delivered to you by the consulate after it is approved in Germany. Please be informed that the process can sometimes be long. After you go to the city, you will reapply for a residence permit when your visa is about to expire.
Convenient Transportation to Germany
Germany is a destination easily accessible from many cities around the world. It attracts businessmen and visitors from all over the world due to its developed industrial and trade networks and fairs.
Also transportation within Germany is very comfortable. The German railway network is so extensive that almost every village can be reached by train. Students can use all public transportation for free thanks to their semester ticket, and they have the chance to go wherever they want within the state. You can see the most prominent universities in Germany and their transportation options on my interactive “Germany University Map“.
Program Diversity of German Universities
With a large number of universities, you can find a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs in Germany designed to suit everyone’s interests. As an industrialized country, Germany has invested heavily in engineering degrees and engineering programs in the country are highly valued both nationally and internationally. German engineering degrees are highly valued not only in Turkey but also around the world. However, in addition to Engineering, there are also many other bachelor’s degree options available in Germany, such as Medicine, Pharmacy, and other globally prominent disciplines.
What’s more, the list of traditional majors at German universities is rapidly expanding and changing to meet the requirements of new fields of study and the latest scientific developments. No matter what you want to pursue, there is a very good chance that you will find a reputable program in Germany, taught by the most respected professionals in the field.
Relatively Affordable Cost of Living
Living in Germany may seem expensive compared to your home country because the Euro is a valuable currency. However, with some smart financial management and small changes to your old lifestyle, the cost of living in Germany can be cheaper than the cost of tuition at private schools in your home country. Normally, living costs in big cities will be higher than in countryside university towns.
Rent is the biggest financial issue you will have to deal with while studying in Germany. However, there are many options available to you and although the cost of rent varies (depending on the city or the location of the apartment), it is generally not that expensive (expensive is a relative concept). Student dormitories are an option, but I know from my surroundings that in some cities it is really hard to find a dormitory. Still, even if you have to rent, you have other options.
You can find someone to share your apartment with to ease your financial burden, or you can rent a shared apartment with someone who wants to share their apartment. This is called WG for short and is quite common among students in Germany. The process works in a systematic way through websites similar to our house rental websites. For more information on finding accommodation for students studying in Germany, please see my article “Finding accommodation in Germany“. Other than that, the cost of food and other similar goods and services is not high to be feared. Public transportation, which is usually expensive for those living in big cities, is free for students thanks to the semester ticket. These tickets are usually valid for all public transport in the whole state and sometimes in neighboring states.
I have already written that the cost of living varies from city to city, and I will try to provide information about the average cost of living in a university city. You can find the cities I have visited and researched in the “Cities” menu. I will try to write about others as I find time.
Study Opportunities for Students in Germany
I have already written that the cost of studying in Germany can be cheaper than private school fees in your home country. However, there are other ways to reduce this family allowance. German law allows international students to work part-time for 20 hours a week or up to 120 full days a year. Surveys have shown that more than 60% of current international students work part-time while studying in Germany.
You don’t need to have a qualification in the first place because there is a wide variety of jobs available and you can probably find something suitable. Students in Germany often work as teachers, bartenders, administrative staff, babysitters, etc. The last time I was there, shopkeepers told me that there was a serious problem in finding part-time staff. I think this is partly due to the “pandemic period”, but I have not heard of anyone looking for a job and not finding one.
Working part-time alongside studying is an option you should seriously consider in Germany, you may not need the extra money to cope with the cost of living, but your work experience will also increase your practice in German and your future employability. You can also learn to add discipline to your lifestyle and live independently by working part-time. Of course, it all depends on what you study (in some programs you will not have time to scratch your head)
There are various websites for open student affairs, I will put a link to one of them here and you can easily access the others via Google.
Work Life in Germany and Your Future Planning
A degree from a German university is a highly respected and valued qualification all over the world. As a proof of this, German university graduates are highly preferred in the job market all over the world. Therefore, once you have obtained your degree, many employers rely on your German education and come with a series of attractive offers to hire you, and these graduates are often the highest paid employees. However, whatever your academic field and whichever country you want to find a job in, your German degree will help you find an excellent, high-paying job.
Please feel free to send me your questions or comments, positive or negative, via recep[at]recepdayi.com.tr e-mail address, my social media accounts or the comments section below.