Study in Germany

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Planning to study in Germany? Know more about top universities in Germany with details such as rankings, courses, admission requirements, costs, financial aid, and living options. Choose the right course with a unique curriculum and multiple career options. Get in touch with experts for free counseling and also get details about the entrance examinations for studying in Germany.


Studying abroad is gaining popularity among Indian students with more admissions taking place in top countries like the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, etc. Find out some of the advantages of pursuing higher education in Germany as compared to other countries.

Why Choose Germany for Higher Education?

Germany is one of the popular study abroad destinations among Indian students especially in the fields of Engineering, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Law, Economics, and Social Sciences. It is a higher education paradise and home to many worldwide ranked universities, a wide range of high-quality and up-to-date degree programs, and globally valued degrees that promise high employability. Germany is ranked among the world’s top destinations for international students with over 357,000 international student enrollment in various German universities. 

Affordable education is proved by the fact that 11 out of the 16 states in Germany do not charge tuition fees from students and other states charge a nominal fee of €500 for administrative costs like student contribution, student union fee, and a public transport ticket. DAAD (The German Academic Exchange Service) offers several scholarships for international students to fund their studies and living expenses in Germany. 

International students are allowed to work part-time for up to 20 hours a week or 120 full days of a year in order to support their education and living costs. Currently, over 60% of international students work part-time while studying in Germany. The cost of living in Germany is average as compared to other countries such as the USA and the UK. It comes up to €700- €800 and includes rent, food, transportation, medical insurance, study material costs, and other personal expenses. 


Related Articles

Here are some articles listed that help you understand the benefits of studying in Germany. These articles guide students in choosing the best universities, entrance exams, scholarships & financial aids, etc. Explore for more related articles!


Study in Germany Requirements: IELTS, Visa, Proficiency and Admissions Requirements

There are various study in Germany requirements that international students must know before pursuing their higher education in Germany. Some of the major requirements include academic transcripts, English language proficiency proof, German language proficiency proof, copy of Ppassport, entrance qualifications, etc.

Apart from the above mentioned requirements, students must have a health insurance and a student visa in order to study in Germany. This article details all the admission requirements for studying in Germany. In addition to this, you will understand how to apply to the German universities, deadlines, fee structure, and more.

Table of Contents

  • Germany Admission Requirements for International Students
    • Germany Student Visa Requirements for Indian Students
    • Is IELTS required for Germany?
    • German Language Proficiency Test Results
    • Aptitude and Entrance Qualifications
  • Health Insurance Requirement
  • Where and How to Apply to a German University?
  • Application Deadlines of German Universities
  • Cost of Education in Germany for International Students
    • Undergraduate Germany University Fees
    • Masters in Germany Cost
  • Living Expenses in Germany

Germany Admission Requirements for International Students

International students are required to submit the documents mentioned by the German universities. The educational qualifications are to be decided by the university and it is completely based on the student’s choice of course. The students have to fulfill German education requirements to go through the admission process. The Germany college requirements are based on the student's home country and course option. A student visa is one of the essential study in Germany requirements. 

Germany Student Visa Requirements for Indian Students

As an international student, one has to buy a student visa for completing his admission procedure and to achieve a seat in the university. They will be getting a confirmation letter from the university after submitting the initial documents. Such a confirmation letter is to be submitted to the German Embassy for the application for a student visa. There are two types of visas depending on the admission stage and notification.

  • Prospective Student Visa: Visa applied by the students before receiving the admission notification
  • Student Visa: Visa applied after the admission notification for the course applied in the university.

Is IELTS required for Germany?

The Language of instruction in most of the universities is German and several programs are taught in English. Many of the English-taught programs are, particularly at the postgraduate level. Students are required to submit their English Language Proficiency Test results to the university for their application. Not only IELTS, but TOEFL test results are also accepted by several universities. The IELTS score for Germany is completely based on the university and course options. The minimum scores to be achieved by the students vary for each university. The IELTS requirement for Germany Student Visa is variable and test results are to be submitted beforehand of student visa application.

German Language Proficiency Test Results

The language of instruction in most of the universities in Germany is German. International STudents are required to submit their German Language Proficiency Test result proof for the application. Though the students opt for English-taught programs, the students should learn the basics of the German language for better communication. Some of the German Language Proficiency tests accepted by the universities are the Test of German as Foreign Language (TestDAF), Goethe Institut German Language Diploma (GDS), and German Language University Entrance Examination (DSH).

Aptitude and Entrance Qualifications

Aptitude and Entrance Qualifications are among the important study in Germany requirements. Most of the German universities prescribe aptitude tests as the entrance qualification. TestAS is the standard exam that is considered by most of the universities in Germany. It is mostly conducted to test the aptitude knowledge of the students joining undergraduate degrees. Master’s in Germany requirements does not include aptitude tests for admission. The scanning of the tests varies for each university and it is an obligatory requirement for bachelor’s admission in Germany.

Germany has been the traditional hub of education for most of the countries across the world. The German degrees are highly valued and validated by several global institutions. It also ensures growth and employability for the students in and around Germany. The study in Germany requirements are comparatively less and the application process is very flexible as well. Students can apply for the desired university easily with needed documents in hand with the student visa for German studies.

Health Insurance Requirement

Health insurance is compulsory for Indian students in Germany. Hence, you should obtain health insurance in order to be covered in case of an emergency in Germany. Please note that you must obtain your student health insurance coverage before enrolling into the German university. Students from abroad have two major options available for getting a health insurance to study in Germany:

  • Public/ Private health insurance from Germany
  • Private insurance from home country

As soon as they arrive in Germany, students must contact a German health insurance provider to obtain their health insurance certificate. Indian students can also contact DAAD in India or the student councils (Studentenwerk) of the university they plan to attend.

Where and How to Apply to a German University?

Students from abroad can apply to German Universities through the Uni-assist platform or directly through the official website of the university. Firstly, you need to check if you meet all the eligibility requirements of the university and your chosen course. Often, even if you meet the admission requirements, you will not be eligible for direct enrollment.

Many degree programs in Germany have a restriction called Numerus Clausus (NC). Based on these restrictions, there will be a selection process. By applying to multiple German universities at once, you can avoid being rejected because of course restrictions. The GPA (grade point average) is an important criterion for admission to German universities. A higher score will increase your chances of admission to your dream university in Germany. International students also need to appear for certain entrance examinations to study in Germany.

Application Deadlines of German Universities

The following options are available to students planning to enroll in German universities:

  • Applications for winter enrolment must be submitted by the 15th of July
  • Summer enrolment applications must be submitted by January 15

The deadline for submitting applications varies from one higher education institution to another. Always check the deadlines and begin the application process as early as possible. This could be of benefit to you if something unexpected happens or if you have to resubmit a few documents.

Cost of Education in Germany for International Students

Among all the European countries, Germany is one of the countries that provide free higher education for students across the world. Hence, the overall cost of studying in Germany is very reasonable for international students. The German tuition fees for international students were made free to enhance the learning opportunities for students in Germany. Few universities charge tuition fees from the students which are considered to be minimal and affordable.

Undergraduate Germany University Fees

Students are required to pay the semester contributions, transportation tickets, and several other student support services. The literal tuition fees for the students are free in most of the public universities and charged affordably by some other colleges. Several other fees paid to the university vary for each university and level of study. 

The fees charged on the enrollment and administration in the college are around EUR 250. The Transportation ticket is charged to the student for the transport expenses per semester that ranges around EUR 500. Several German universities provide financial assistance to the students through scholarships, grants, and loans to overcome their financial difficulties.

Masters in Germany Cost

The Postgraduate tuition fees vary for each university between EUR 20,000 - EUR 30,000. MS in Germany cost is free for the students securing consecutive degrees in Germany. The tuition fees for the doctorate studies are completely free for the students Which enhances the research-based study opportunities in Germany. 

  • The cost of MS in Germany for Indian students vary for each university that ranges between 11,825 - 2,74,000 rupees
  • The cost of MBBS in Germany is completely free for students across the world. Such aspiring students have to be aware of their living costs in Germany.

Living Expenses in Germany

Though the study cost is free in Germany, students cannot avoid the living expenses. The cost of living in Germany is comparatively expensive than the other cities across the world. This can be handled by proper budgeting of expenses by the students. Following table provides the various living expenses in Germany, along with estimated costs:

Category

Costs (in US$)

Food

$205

Accomodation

$343

Transport

$115

Work/Study Materials

$25

Other Expenses (Internet, Phone)

$38

Recreational Expenses (Shopping, Entertainment)

$50

 

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Cost of Studying in Germany: Education Cost, Visa Fees, Expenses, Flight Cost & Undergraduate Fees

The overall cost of studying in Germany is much lower when compared to other study abroad destinations. Most of the public universities in Germany do not charge a tuition fee. Therefore, a large number of international students enroll in top-notch German institutions every year to pursue their higher education.

Germany is one of the study destinations that ensures high employability with affordable study costs. The German universities are known for offering fast unique and emerging courses that are globally recognized. In this article, you will get complete details about the cost of studying in Germany, including the cost of education, living expenses, and more.

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Study Cost in Germany for International Students

Among all the European countries, Germany is one of the countries that provide free higher education for students across the world. Hence, the overall cost of studying in Germany is very reasonable for international students. The German tuition fees for international students were made free to enhance the learning opportunities for students in Germany. Few universities charge tuition fees from the students which are considered to be minimal and affordable.

Undergraduate Germany University Fees

Students are required to pay the semester contributions, transportation tickets, and several other student support services. The literal tuition fees for the students are free in most of the public universities and charged affordably by some other colleges. Several other fees paid to the university vary for each university and level of study. 

The fees charged on the enrollment and administration in the college are around EUR 250. The Transportation ticket is charged to the student for the transport expenses per semester that ranges around EUR 500. Several German universities provide financial assistance to the students through scholarships, grants, and loans to overcome their financial difficulties.

Masters in Germany Cost

The Postgraduate tuition fees vary for each university between EUR 20,000 - EUR 30,000. MS in Germany cost is free for the students securing consecutive degrees in Germany. The tuition fees for the doctorate studies are completely free for the students Which enhances the research-based study opportunities in Germany. 

  • The cost of MS in Germany for Indian students vary for each university that ranges between 11,825 - 2,74,000 rupees
  • The cost of MBBS in Germany is completely free for students across the world. Such aspiring students have to be aware of their living costs in Germany.

Germany, being the home of several best universities provides a free-of-cost education in several sectors with globally valid degree certificates. The universities charging fees also provides several scholarships for the students to enhance their financial availability for the academic expenses.

Living Expenses in Germany for International Students

Though the study cost is free in Germany, students cannot avoid the living expenses. The cost of living in Germany is comparatively expensive than the other cities across the world. This can be handled by proper budgeting of expenses by the students. Following table provides the various living expenses in Germany, along with estimated costs:

Category

Costs (in US$)

Food

$205

Accomodation

$343

Transport

$115

Work/Study Materials

$25

Other Expenses (Internet, Phone)

$38

Recreational Expenses (Shopping, Entertainment)

$50

Germany Visa Fees

This is another important expenses involved in the total cost of studying in Germany. Germany Visa fees depend on the country of origin and type of visa applied. The German student Visa cost of the application will be around EUR 80. Students are required to submit some of the documents for the visa application. They can also apply for a residence permit for a residential stay in Germany which costs around EUR 110. This is another way of choosing living options.

Germany Visa Fees in Indian Rupees

India is one of the Schengen Area Member States that has succeeded in an agreement with Germany. The German study visa cost is the same for all the member countries and it is applicable also for India. Depending on the currency exchange rates, the Germany visa fees from India range around 4,786 rupees.

India to Germany Flight Cost

India is the global hub of air transport with several flights departing to the study destination of Germany from important metro cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad. The minimum cost of the flight was around 17,000 - 20,000 rupees. February is considered to be the cheapest month for German travel with June and July as the costliest.

Other Expenses for Studying in Germany

The cost of studying in Germany also includes some other expenses like health insurance and blocked bank account. Let us understand each of them in detail:

  • Health Insurance: Having health insurance in Germany that covers your health emergencies is very important. Before you arrive in the country, the authorities check if you have health insurance. Thus, this is another expense you'll have to make while studying in Germany. On average, student health insurance plans cost between €80 and €150 a month.
  • Blocked Bank Account: Students from abroad need to open a blocked account in Germany. To study in Germany, students must demonstrate they have enough money to survive for a year. Typically, students are required to show about $10,000 for a year. A withdrawal of €895 per month will be permitted for a year.

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Germany Student Visa: Fees, Visa Application Process, Checklist, Form and Requirements

A Germany student visa is required for international students willing to live and study in Germany for a definite period of time. The quality of higher education, research infrastructure, teaching methodology, low-cost studies, and career prospects offered in Germany are incomparable to other countries. This attracts international students from all over the world to pursue their higher education in Germany. 

A Germany study visa is an authorizing official document required to permit non-German nationals to enter and stay in the territory of Germany for the purpose of studying, in a specific intended period. The student visa for Germany from India should be applied at the Embassy or Consulate of Germany. Students required to stay in Germany for more than 90 days (3 months) will be called to also get a Residence Permit early enough after their arrival in Germany. The Germany visa process should be started typically 3 months before the start of planned studies

Students are required to use a blocked account as proof of financial support to increase their chances of getting a Germany student visa. A blocked account is a special type of bank account in Germany for international students to prove enough funds for one year of study. International students should have a minimum of €10,332 in the bank account before applying for a Germany student visa.

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Why is a Germany Student Visa Needed?

Germany offers tuition-free education for international students at public universities and also has an affordable cost of living compared to other top countries. Around 37% of the international students in Germany pursue engineering courses with other popular courses being the law, economics, and social sciences. A Schengen visa is needed for a short stay in Germany for a course of duration less than 3 months. For a course that lasts more than 3 months, international students should apply for a German National Visa. International students should plan on getting a blocked account and travel insurance before applying for a Germany study visa. Details about the Germany student visa are given below: 

  • A Germany student visa is needed for all international students willing to study in Germany excepts students from European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), and Swiss nationals
  • International students with a German National Visa are required to apply for a Residence Permit to extend their stay in Germany. This should be done while the entry visa is still valid
  • A Residence Permit in Germany is valid for 2 years and can be extended depending on the duration of the course

Types of Germany Study Visa

A Germany study visa is issued for a range of study levels and degrees. Students enrolling in a pre-academic measure or a non-academic German language course also require a valid study visa to be able to live and study in Germany. The three types of Germany student visas are listed below:

German Student Visa (Visum Zur Studienzwecken)

This is the most common type of student visa opted by international students who are already admitted to one of the German universities and are ready to pursue their education at a full-time university program. Students must note that after the first three months, it is mandatory for them to apply for a residence permit in order to continue their studies in Germany.

German Student Applicant Visa (Visum Zur Studienbewerbung)

International applicants require this visa if he/ she needs to be in Germany to apply for university admission in person. The student applicant visa for Germany does not facilitate students to pursue studies in Germany and can only be used for the university application process.

You can use this visa to explore German university campuses, study options, or ways to spend your time while in the country. Student applicant visas are usually granted within several months and are allowed to stay for three months with the option of an additional six months.

German Language Course Visa

This type of visa is required for international students willing to study German language courses in Germany. The duration of these courses is generally three months to one year. The German language course visa remains valid for up to one year.

When and Where to Apply for a Germany Student Visa?

You should contact the German Embassy or Consulate in your country to obtain a visa. Visit the German embassy's website for available dates for the interview and schedule an appointment. The application for a student visa should be made at least three months prior to your arrival in Germany.

It may take up to 25 days for your application to be processed. Following the submission of the required documents, they are sent to the immigration office of your university, where they are approved and then returned to your country's embassy.

How to Apply for a Germany Student Visa?

International students who have received a letter of acceptance from the German university can proceed to apply for a Germany student visa. All necessary supporting documents should be ready for a smooth Germany visa process. The step by step Germany visa process is explained below:

  • Students should first locate the nearest German Embassy or Consulate in their home country to get more information about the requirements and to set up a visa appointment
  • He/ she should then go to the student visa sections to review all the specific requirements for their respective country and the procedures to set up a visa appointment
  • The applicant should then schedule a visa appointment by following the steps described on the official website of the German embassy. This should be done well in advance as a particular embassy could have many visa applications and it could take a longer time to process the Germany visa application form
  • Once the visa appointment date is confirmed, the student should check if he/ she has all the documents ready and make sure to have everything together
  • Finally, the applicant should get ready for the visa interview and pay the visa application fee of €60.00- €75.00. The payment confirmation should be shown at the time of the visa interview.

Eligibility Criteria and Documents Required for Germany Student Visa

International students applying for a Germany study visa are required to submit certain documents supporting the information they provide. It is mandatory to attach all the documents along with the visa application. Listed below are a few Germany student visa requirements:

  • Valid Passport and copy of the passport’s information page
  • Germany visa application form
  • Letter of admission from a university/ institution in Germany
  • Official academic transcripts- Degree certificates and mark sheets
  • Proof of German language proficiency
  • Proof of finances
  • 3 passport-size photographs
  • Birth certificate
  • Health Insurance
  • Proof of payment to the German university/ college
  • Demand Draft for the Germany student visa fee
  • Applicants should also submit a declaration stating that the information provided is true and complete
  • A cover letter should also be attached explaining the reason for the Germany visa application. The student may also be required to attach a German translation of this document

Language Requirements

 When applying for a long-term visa, you will need to demonstrate at least basic German skills. Therefore, you will be required to submit any one of the following test results (the results must not be older than 4 years):

  • A1 certificate issued by the Goethe Institute
  • KCSE certificate from KNEC
  • TestDAF

You must meet this requirement even if you are taking an English-taught course. There will also be a discussion in German in the visa interview at the German embassy, so you will have to demonstrate that you can converse in basic German.

Germany Visa Fees

The Germany visa fees for international students is €75. The fees have to be paid via bank transfer. Cheques and credit card payments are not accepted. International students should send the money order in the name of the Embassy/ Consulate in their home country and it should not be older than two months. In the case of the visa application being rejected, the Germany visa fees are not reimbursed. 

Candidates applying for a Residence Permit on arrival to Germany would have to pay up to €110 and wait for anywhere between 8-12 weeks for it to be processed. International students are therefore advised to apply for a Germany study visa as early as possible.

Germany Visa Processing Time

The processing time for a Germany student visa may take approximately 6-12 weeks from the day of application. The Short-stay Germany visa process takes about 15-30 days.

How To Get Your Student Residence Permit in Germany?

The following steps will help you understand the process of obtaining your student residence permit in Germany:

  1. Look for a permanent house: After arriving in Germany with a study visa, you need to find permanent housing within a week of your arrival.
  2. Register at the Resident’s Office: Your next step is to register this living address with the local resident's office. As soon as you register, you will receive the confirmation of your registration, also called "Meldebescheinigung".

In order to be registered in Germany as an international student, the following documents must be presented:

  • You must have a valid national passport or national ID card. The document must demonstrate that you have a valid visa if you are a visa-regime citizen
  • Rental contract
  • A letter that confirms your living address, issued by your landlord
  1. Enroll in studies: In order to participate in courses and get access to university resources, you need to formally enrol at the university. Within the enrollment period, which is indicated in the letter of admission, you must enroll at the university.

Known as matriculation, this process requires the submission of a list of documents to the student affairs office (Studentensekretariat) of the university you will be attending. You will also be charged a semester fee before receiving your ID, password, and ID card.

International students who wish to enroll at a university in Germany must provide the following documents

  • National Passport/national ID Card
  • Confirmation of admission to the university
  • German University Entrance Qualification, or any equivalent qualification that allows you to start studies at a German university
  • Recent passport-sized photographs
  • Student Health Insurance
  1. Obtain a residence permit to study: Once you’ve been enrolled in the university, you need to get your visa extension by applying for a residence permit through the local Foreigner’s Authority (Einwohnermeldeamt”).

To apply for a residence permit in Germany for studies, you need the following documents:

  • Application for a residence permit, duly completed
  • Your national passport/national ID card. Your valid visa must be shown on the document if you have entered with a visa.
  • You must provide proof of your permanent address in Germany
  • Confirmation of registration
  • Rental contract
  • Your landlord's letter of confirmation of your permanent address
  • Recent passport photos
  • Evidence of financial sufficiency (Provide the same evidence you submitted when you applied for the visa)
  • Proof of admission to studies. (certificate of enrollment/ confirmation of admission)
  • Proof of payment of the application fee. Application fees range from 56-100 euros for first-time applicants to 49-96 euros for extension applications. There is a 28.8 euro fee for Turkish students.

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TestDAF VS DSH: Which Language Proficiency Exam to Take?

Germany is home to top-ranked universities that provide quality education and globally valued degrees at affordable costs. German universities offer a diverse range of English and German-taught programs. For those looking to study in Germany, language proficiency tests are an essential requirement of the application process. There are two German language tests that German universities widely accept: TestDAF and DSH. Students applying to German universities often face the dilemma of deciding which language proficiency test to take: TestDAF vs DSH. This article offers a comprehensive overview of the key differences and similarities between these two language proficiency exams so that you can make an informed decision.

TestDAF - Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache

TestDAF (Test of German as a Foreign Language) is a standardized language test to assess your proficiency in German on a B2 C1 level. Germany's TestDAF Institut conducts this exam, and it is accepted by most of the universities in the country. With close links with DAAD and many premier institutes, such as the Goethe Institute, the institute is able to conduct the examination in over 90 countries. Therefore, this is the most popular examination for students applying to universities and colleges in Germany. 

DSH - Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang

DSH is also a popular German proficiency test accepted by several German institutions. It is a non-standardized test that is conducted individually by the universities in Germany. The test consists of two portions (written and oral), held on different dates. First, students have to pass the written exam before taking the oral exam. Then, a total score is calculated by adding the scores from each of the two sections.

A Comparison: TestDAF vs DSH

Both exams test your writing, reading, listening, and speaking skills, have the same level of B2 C1 and are widely accepted by many universities. However, there are a few differences, as we have attempted to summarize below:

Criteria TestDAF DSH
Basis of Evaluation Different language skills are assessed by TestDaf, including reading comprehension and listening comprehension, as well as written and oral proficiency.  DSH evaluates applicants on their oral and written German language proficiency.
Exam Centres Candidates can appear for this exam at various centres across 90+ countries. It is possible to take this test in Germany only.
Validity The validity of the TestDAF exam is indefinite. DSH validity is two years after the exam is taken.
Frequency TestDAF is conducted around six times a year. DSH is conducted around four times a year.

Fee The fee for taking the test is approximately 90 euros.  Test fees range from 40 to 140 euros, depending on the university.
Grading and Results TestDAf has three levels of grades: TDN 3TDN 4 TDN 5 DSH has three levels of grades: DSH-1 DSH-2 DSH-3
Minimum Scores Required Students must have a minimum score of TDN 4 or above to apply to universities in Germany. However, some German technical colleges accept TDN 3 as well. A majority of the universities accept DSH-2 and DSH-3, while some technical colleges may admit students with DSH-1 
Number of Attempts Allowed Multiple attempts can be made to improve your scores. There are usually only two chances to take this test at most universities.
Standardization Every university follows a standardized pattern for this test. The difficulty level varies from one university to another.

Exam Pattern The test comprises 4 sections:
  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking
The duration of the exam is 3-3.5 hours.
The test comprises two sections:
  • Written
  • Oral
The weightage of the written exam is 75%.
Grading Path Grading is done across the paths so that you can improve with each step. To qualify for DSH, you must score at least 57% in each exam.

Grammar Grammar is not an important part of this exam. Grammar is an important part of the written exam.

Exam Pattern: TestDAF vs DSH

There are four sections in the TestDAF exam.

  • Reading Comprehension consists of three reading texts with thirty questions for 60 minutes.
  • Listening Comprehension consists of three listening tests with 45 questions for 45 minutes.
  • Written Production has one writing test lasting 60 minutes.
  • Oral Production, wherein you will be asked seven speaking questions that must be answered in about 30 minutes.

The DSH exam is divided into two sections as follows:

Written Examination

  • Listening comprehension is around 5500-7000 words and determines 20% of your result. The duration of this section is 60 minutes.
  • Reading Comprehension contains a 60 lines text, including a graph. This section accounts for 20% of your test result and has a duration of 60 mins.
  • Reading comprehension tests your grammatical knowledge. Its duration is 30 minutes and accounts for 10% of the test. 
  • Text production requires you to write a text of about 250 words explaining a given topic. This section determines 20% of your test result and has a duration of 60 minutes. 

Oral Examination

  • You will be required to speak on a given extract for 20 minutes, which will make up 30% of the test score.

TestDAF vs DSH: Which is Easier?

TestDAF is a standard test, so each of its sections follows a certain pattern of examination. On the other hand, the difficulty level of DSH differs from university to university. Therefore, you may also select a university with a lower difficulty level where you can take your exam, giving you a better chance of scoring than TestDAF, which has the same difficulty level across all test centres. 

With regards to the skills tested, the DSH is easier since it only assesses oral and written skills, whereas the TestDAF tests oral and written skills as well as reading and listening comprehension. As a result, it is easier to qualify for DSH than TestDAF.

TestDAF vs DSH: Which One is Better?

As both tests are popular options for proving proficiency in German, choosing between TestDAF and DSH can be challenging. However, cost-wise, DSH has an advantage, since it offers both high and low-cost versions, whereas TestDAF has a fixed cost.

In contrast, TestDAF is accepted across most German universities, while only a few accept DSH. In other words, the best option for you will differ based on the requirements of the university you plan to apply to and your language proficiency. Hence, you must consider these two factors when choosing between TestDaf and DSH. 

As we have seen, each test has its own advantages and disadvantages. DSH is easier to qualify for and less expensive as compared to TestDAF. However, TestDAF is widely accepted in colleges across countries. Therefore, before you choose, it is recommended to review the university requirements, assess your language proficiency, and then select the most appropriate test option.

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Free Universities in Germany

The number of international students studying in Germany is rising steadily. Germany is a great destination to study abroad due to its world-class facilities, top-notch universities, and excellent industrial interface. Another major factor that makes Germany an attractive study destination is its low cost tuition fee structure. International students who wish to study in Germany will be delighted to learn that some public universities do not charge any tuition fees. This article will help you explore free universities in Germany in detail.

Who can study for free in Germany?

Tuition-free education is available in Germany to everyone! The country offers free tuition to all citizens - Germans, Europeans, and non-Europeans. It applies to almost all academic programs offered by public universities. However, there is one tiny catch: you will need a residence permit if you are from outside the EU, and you will also have to complete your studies in Germany.

Why do Public Universities in Germany not Charge Tuition Fees?

Germans believe that education is not a commercial product and that free access to higher education makes an important contribution to the social welfare and economic growth of the nation. 

In the past, public universities in Germany were allowed to charge very modest tuition fees, usually around 1,000 euros. Due to public protests, most universities eliminated tuition fees for students in 2014. Currently, Germany has very few public universities that charge tuition fees.

Tuition-Free Universities in Germany

It is important for students to know that no tuition fee does not mean any fee at all! In Germany, universities and colleges require students to pay specific fees such as semester Fees, student union fees, semester passes, registration & application fees, and even social contributions. The following is a list of tuition-free universities in Germany, along with the details of the semester fees charged by each of these universities:

University Approx. Semester Fee (In Eur)
Technical University of Munich 144.00
Ludwig Maximillian University Munich 144.00
University of Kiel 120.00
University of Tubingen 135.00
University of Ulm 160.00
University of Stuttgart 165.00
RWTH Aachen University 200.00
Dresden University of Technology 250.00
Johannes Gutenberg University 270.00
University of Bremen 273.00

Technical University of Munich

The Technical University of Munich is among the top German universities and ranks 53rd in the world. Approximately 5000 international students attend the university each year. Over the years, it has been selected multiple times as the best university in Germany due to its high educational standards. Additionally, the Technical University of Munich is a member of a highly regarded group of German research institutes called the TU9. The alumni of this university have consistently been recognized as leaders in their fields.

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Ludwig Maximillian University Munich

LMU was founded in 1472 and is the second-highest ranking university in Germany. It is ranked among the top 100 universities around the world. The alumni list of Ludwig Maximillian University Munich includes over 40 Nobel laureates. This university offers free-of-cost education and has over 50,000 matriculated students, making it one of the largest universities in terms of the number of students.

University of Kiel

Located in Schleswig-Holstein, the University of Kiel is one of the oldest higher education institutions in the country. The university has been a member of the German Universities Excellence Initiatives since 2006. According to CWUR World University Rankings, it has achieved a global rank of 233 and a national rank of 19. Kiel has an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio and emphasizes research-oriented teaching and learning.

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University of Tubingen

The University of Tübingen is among the most renowned research universities in the world. It is consistently ranked by numerous international ranking organizations. The university currently employs nearly 4,900 scientists and researchers, many of whom are world-class experts. The University of Tubingen offers multiple academic programs at the undergraduate, master, and doctoral levels for international students. These programs are provided in a variety of disciplines, such as medicine, law, theology, economics, etc.

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University of Ulm

The University of Ulm is among the top public research-driven universities in Germany. The major areas of study are medicine, engineering, economics, computers, and natural sciences. The university has a student population of 10,284. 23 undergraduate programs and 38 postgraduate programs are offered at the university. Students can choose from various subjects in these programs in line with their areas of interest. In addition to this, the University of Ulm participates in various exchange programs with more than 200 universities worldwide.

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University of Stuttgart

As one of the leading technical universities in Germany, the University of Stuttgart has a global presence. In terms of research, it views itself as a university-based, non-university, and industrial research centre. In addition, it aims to ensure quality and holistic teaching, with a focus on research-based learning. The university is actively engaged in the transfer of knowledge and skills to society, both in its core capacities and in emerging fields. 

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RWTH Aachen University

With an enrollment of over 40,000 students, RWTH University is one of the most highly regarded technical universities in Germany. More than 140 courses are offered at the university. While it is predominantly a technology-oriented university, it offers a range of courses in arts, medicine, business, and humanities. Since the university abolished its tuition fee policies in 2011, students can study at this university for free. 

Dresden University of Technology

The Dresden University of Technology is a leading university in Germany for academic excellence. The origins of this prestigious university date back to 1828, when the Royal Saxon Technical School was established. The university combines technical education and humanities. The Dresden School has an interdisciplinary approach and offers undergraduate, postgraduate, and certificate courses.

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Johannes Gutenberg University

The Johannes Gutenberg Universität (JGU) in Mainz, Germany, is ranked among the best public universities in the country. According to the QS Global World Rankings 2022, it is ranked 427. It is among the country's most diverse and largest institutions of higher education. JGU hosts national conferences and international symposia on a wide range of academic topics, attracting a large number of students and scholars from around the world.

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University of Bremen

This medium-sized institute in Bremen, Germany, enrolls around 20,000 students. It provides over 100 programs for both undergraduates and graduates. The university has 2,300 academic and research staff members. In addition to this, the University of Bremen is a part of Young Universities for the Future of Europe (YUFE), which is devoted to creating a new model of higher education in Europe based upon research-based learning. 

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Tuition Fees at Private Universities

The private universities of Germany, just like the other renowned universities across the globe, charge tuition fees from both local and international students. Private German institutions offer specialized courses in order to compete with free education. 

For Indian students, an average program at a private university in Germany costs between 1,21,000 INR - 28,30,000 INR, plus about 200,000 INR for accommodation. 

Cost of Living in Germany

It is quite affordable to live in Germany, but the costs vary from one city to another. The cost of living in large cities like Munich, Frankfurt or Hamburg is higher than in smaller towns. The table below provides a basic overview of typical living costs for students in Germany:

Category Estimated Average Cost Per Month (In Euros)
Rent and Utilities 300 to 500
Food 200 to 250
Books and Stationery 30
Health insurance 100
Phone and Internet 30
Recreation 50 to 100
Transportation 80

Scholarships in Germany

Besides the fact that studying in Germany is affordable due to its moderate living costs and low tuition fee, international students can also benefit from scholarships provided by most German universities. Listed below are some of the top scholarships available to international students to study in Germany:

Name Maximum Amount Per Student
BrokerFish International Student Scholarship 1,000 USD
The Financial Sumo Educational Scholarship Program 1,000 USD
Global Study Awards 10,000 GBP
Central Sector Scheme of National Overseas Scholarship 33,800 USD
Go Clean Scholarship 3,500 USD

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Guide to Study Ph.D in Germany for Indian Students

Germany is the fourth most popular study destination among international students coming from all over the world. German universities are home to over 380,000 international students with around 10% of students being Ph.D candidates. Ph.D in Germany for Indian students are offered in a variety of fields such as business and management, geoscience, law, and more.

Ph.D in Germany is a 2-6 year program offered at zero tuition fees at most German public universities. International students are charged administrative fees (50 Euro) and contribution fees (250 Euro) for pursuing a doctoral course in Germany. Doctoral programs in Germany are student-oriented leading to a wide range of career opportunities.

The Ph.D fees in Germany are approximately €800- €900 per year. Students can also avail themselves of financial assistance in the form of scholarships to bear the tuition fees and living costs in Germany. A Ph.D in Germany is globally recognized with research institutions, universities, and companies offering excellent research opportunities to researchers from all over the world.

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Why Study Ph.D in Germany?

Ph.D programs in Germany are pursued either as individual research or as a structured doctoral program. International students are provided an outstanding research environment with exceptional infrastructure for their Ph.D project. Some of the reasons to study Ph.D in Germany are listed below:

  • Germany is home to several globally-ranked universities as compared to any other country outside the USA and the UK. Around 8 universities in Germany are ranked in the top 100 universities in the world
  • Germany has dedicated research institutes in addition to its top-quality educational institutions for research purposes. There are also specific collaborations between universities and research institutes such as the Max Planck Schools
  • Most of the German universities do not charge tuition fees from students regardless of their nationality. Students are charged €310 to cover the semester as well as traveling fees which is minimal as compared to other countries
  • Germany is a country with long cultural and scientific tradition having a large choice of higher education institutions awarding doctoral degrees and also several German companies involved in research in Europe
  • Students having an excellent academic record and a promising doctoral thesis project have good prospects of receiving a scholarship or a funded doctoral position. Scholarships such as the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) supports nearly 5,000 international doctoral students every year
  • Germany is ranked #3 for its quality of education after the UK and the USA. There are several German non-university research organizations that contribute to proficient education in universities for a Ph.D in Germany
  • Germany is one of the world’s safest and freest countries where the freedom of arts, sciences, and research is highly valued. Research students are also provided with an opportunity to travel to other European Union countries to conduct research or study.

Top Universities in Germany for Ph.D

Germany is popular as a study destination and also enjoys a global reputation as a world leader for technology innovation and research. It is particularly renowned for education in the fields of engineering and manufacturing and more than 40 German universities ranked in the top 1000 in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2022. Given below is the list of universities in Germany for Ph.D for international students ranked at by QS World University Rankings 2022:

University QS World University Rankings 2022 Location
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich 64 Munich
Technical University of Munich 50 Munich
Heidelberg University 64 Heidelberg
Humboldt University of Berlin 128 Berlin
RWTH Aachen University 165 Aachen
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology 136 Karlsruhe
University of Göttingen 204 Göttingen
University of Freiburg 172 Freiburg im Breisgau
Free University of Berlin 127 Berlin

Popular Ph.D Programs in Germany

Known to have first introduced the Ph.D degree in the nineteenth century, Germany has universities and specialist research centers that offer innovative, tuition-free, postgraduate programs. Ph.D programs in Germany are offered in various fields such as management, law, business, and more. Some of the popular Ph.D programs in Germany for international students are tabulated below:

Financial Maths Computer Science
English Chemistry
Finance Law
Physics Economics
Management Neuroscience
Mechanical Engineering Political Science

Types of Ph.D in Germany for Indian Students

Indian students planning to pursue a Ph.D in Germany can choose between different forms of study. This depends on the discipline, research area, personal circumstances, and formal qualifications of the students. The different ways to pursue a Ph.D in Germany are discussed below:

  • Individual doctorate
  • Structured Ph.D programs

Individual Doctorate

An individual doctorate is the "traditional" or "individual" path to a doctorate in Germany. It is based on independent research in the form of a thesis or dissertation carried out alone under the supervision of one professor. This type of Ph.D in Germany offers a great deal of flexibility and also demands a high degree of personal initiative and responsibility. A professor supervises a Ph.D student but most of the research work is conducted independently. The duration of an individual doctorate is usually 3-5 years and largely depends on the candidates’ own time schedule or the duration of their work contract. 

Structured Ph.D Programs

Structure Ph.D programs differ from individual doctoral programs and follow a structure similar to that of English-speaking countries. Research candidates are supervised by a team and will attend courses, lectures, and seminars together with other doctoral students. Here, a team of supervisors looks after a group of doctoral students. These types of Ph.D programs often have a strong international orientation with English as the team language. These are less flexible as the doctoral students and their research proposals have to fit in with an existing Ph.D program. 

A structured Ph.D program comes with compulsory attendance at lectures or seminars and interim assessment (credit points). Students are often taught academic and scientific methods or soft skills, such as presentation techniques. The research candidates work steadily at realizing their research project within the team and with intensive support from a group of academic staff called the “thesis committee”. The duration of a structured Ph.D program is generally 3-5 years and involves a fixed curriculum within which candidates are expected to work on their thesis.

Eligibility for Ph.D in Germany

An interview is one of the most important Ph.D requirements in Germany for international students. International students should get their postgraduate degrees recognized before applying for a Ph.D in Germany. Candidates willing to pursue an individual research project need to find a German professor (supervisor, mentor) who is ready to supervise their research and thesis work during studies. Find below some of the other Ph.D Germany requirements for international students:

  • Outline of the doctoral thesis
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Master’s degree equivalent to the German one
  • Statement of purpose
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Relevant work experience
  • Interview

How to Apply for Ph.D in Germany?

Ph.D admission in Germany is either done for structured doctoral programs or individual doctorate courses. Applicants looking for an individual doctorate in Germany need to recognize a supervisor and wait for their approval. Students applying for a structured Ph.D program should directly enroll with the institution offering the doctoral degree. Given below are the details of a Ph.D application in Germany for international students:

  • Applicants should first find a supervisor after fulfilling all the admission requirements
  • He/ she should then submit a thesis proposal to the admissions committee
  • The candidate can expect a positive or negative reply after sending the application
  • If accepted, one should be prepared for an interview and a meeting with the supervisor
  • After being selected in the interview, the student will have to apply for a student visa for Germany.

Cost of Studying Ph.D. in Germany for International Students

Most public universities in Germany do not charge specific tuition fees for a Ph.D program. A Ph.D in Germany costs is basically just the living expenses. Private universities may charge a fee that ranges between €300- €3,000 a year. International students applying for a student visa for Germany must be able to prove access to a minimum of €10,400 a year. The detailed Ph.D fees in Germany for international students are given below:

Pre-arrival Expenses for International Students

International students should bear certain pre-arrival expenses for Germany such as the application fees, travel fare, student visa fees, etc. Listed below are some of the pre-arrival expenses included in the total Ph.D in Germany cost:

  • IELTS Fees: €229- €233
  • TOEFL Fees: €228
  • German Student Visa Schengen: €60
  • German Student Visa: €75
  • Health Insurance: €1,236- €1,341

Tuition Fees for a Ph.D in Germany

Public universities in Germany do not charge tuition fees from students irrespective of their nationality. Students who are not able to complete their Ph.D courses on time will have to pay a specific semester fee that varies according to the university. Certain private universities in Germany may charge a tuition fee ranging between €3,000- €5,000 per semester.

Living Cost in Germany for International Students

International students are required to bear the living expenses in Germany such as rent, semester fees, bills, and food, which usually comes to around €850 - €1,000 a month. Accommodation charges are one of the highest estimated monthly expenditures for international students. Given below are the other living costs in Germany charged every month:

  • Rent, Electricity, & Utilities: €323
  • Food: €163
  • Transportation: €85
  • Entertainment: €61
  • Books & Stationery: €20
  • Accommodation: €250- €350

Germany offers several scholarships for international students willing to pursue a Ph.D course that awards complete cost waivers. There are several institutions offering a scholarship for Ph.D in Germany for Indian students such as the DLR-DAAD Research Fellowships in Space, Aeronautics, Energy, and Transportation Research, Helmholtz Research Schools and Graduate Schools, etc. Given below are some of the Germany Ph.D scholarships for Indian students along with their scholarship amount:

  • German Academic Exchange Service(DAAD): €1,200 
  • Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation: €3,170
  • German Research Foundation: €1,350 
  • Green Talents: Offers to fund for research
  • Helmholtz Research Scholarship: €3,700

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