Boasting many universities within the World Rankings, Germany offers high quality education opportunities. Germany also has a strong reputation for research. Renowned for their forward thinking and modern facilities, Germany is a great choice for international students. Despite being slightly smaller than Japan, and much smaller than some other popular study abroad destinations such as the USA, Germany offers a wealth of cultural experiences. It is a great location to further your education if you already hold a degree. The country offers many postgraduate opportunities, especially at doctoral level.
Bordering with 9 other European cities, Germany is the ideal location for foreign students. This is, in part, due to how easy it is to explore Europe from Germany. The country is an incredibly popular destination for international students, for both undergraduate and postgraduate level studies.
Germany’s higher education institutions are split into three main types; Universität (university), Fachhochschule (university of applied sciences) and Kunstschulen, Musikhochschulen, or Filmschulen (colleges of art, music, or film). Thousands of programmes are offered, meaning there will be a course for everyone. Whilst many of the institution types offer similar courses, their focuses are slightly different. Universitäts generally focus on research-driven programmes, whereas Fachhochschule offer a more practical approach to subjects.
Germany also offers a wide range of unusual degrees including Aerial Archaeology, which studies the history of the earth from a bird’s eye view. Another example is Bionics, which teaches students to imitate nature as closely as possible, fusing technology, biology and engineering.
Germany is the most populous member of the European Union, with more than 84 million inhabitants. The country is known for its turbulent history and relationship with neighbouring countries. However, in the 21st Century, Germany has established itself as a global powerhouse, and has fostered a welcoming and inclusive attitude. It has a strong economy, with the 4th largest nominal GDP in the world (2023). This makes it a fantastic place for employment once your studies are complete. It boasts a universal healthcare system, environmental protection and tuition-free higher education system.
Whilst the climate does change from the Northwestern and Coastal regions of the country as you head inland, the overall climate of Germany is moderate. The country tends not to have any long periods of cold or hot weather, and enjoys four distinct seasons.
With a long and established tradition for culture and tourism, Germany has many interesting and historical attractions that are worth paying a visit! Many of the museums and art galleries throughout the country offer reduced prices for students, which is definitely worth taking advantage of.
The official language of Germany is German. Many courses are offered in both German and English, however some are only offered in one language.
If your course is taught in German, you will need to prove your German language skills are good enough. You can do this by passing either the TestDaF or the DSH before applying. If your course is taught in English, you will need to prove your English language skills are sufficient. You can do this by providing evidence of scores of an accepted English language test. These tests are known as the IELTS and TOEFL. You should check with your institution to see what their required test scores are, and what tests they accept. If your language skills in German or English do not meet the required standard, many institutions offer language courses to help you improve.
If your course is offered in English, it is still encouraged that you try your best to engage in the new language. Speak to your course-mates and locals to pick up language, and make an effort to communicate in German. This skill will look fantastic on your CV!
The capital city of Germany, Berlin is home to more than 3.7 million people. This makes it the second most populous city in the EU. One third of the city’s area is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers, canals and lakes, making it a beautiful city to explore! Berlin is a world city of culture, politics, media and science, and it has a strong economy based in a many different sectors. In 2016, around 18% of enrolled students had an international background, making Berlin perfect for students wanting to mix with other cultures.
Find out more about Universities in Berlin.
Read more: Why Study in Berlin?
Located in Northern Germany, Bremen is a historic city with a population nearing 570,000. This Hanseatic city is cradled by the River Weser, giving it a serene ambiance dotted with parks and waterfront spaces. Bremen boasts a rich maritime heritage, dynamic arts scene, and a blend of Gothic and Renaissance architecture. The city is home to prestigious institutions like the University of Bremen, which attracts a diverse range of students. With its vibrant student community and rich cultural tapestry, Bremen is an enticing destination for international students seeking a unique educational experience amidst historic charm.
Find out more about Universities in Bremen.
Situated in North Rhine-Westphalia, Dortmund is home to over 580,000 residents. A former coal and steel powerhouse, the city has transformed its industrial sites into green spaces, with almost half its area featuring parks, gardens, and lakes. Dortmund is known for its technological research, particularly at TU Dortmund University, and its passionate football culture, represented by Borussia Dortmund. With a dynamic mix of academia and cultural activities, Dortmund draws international students looking for a vibrant learning environment amidst a backdrop of industrial heritage and urban regeneration.
Find out more about Universities in Dortmund.
Located in Hesse, Frankfurt is home to over 700,000 people, making it the fifth-largest city in Germany. The cityscape is adorned with the River Main, forests, parks, and gardens, offering an urban oasis to its residents. As a major financial hub, Frankfurt houses the European Central Bank and boasts a skyline dotted with skyscrapers. Renowned for its Goethe University and cultural events like the Frankfurt Book Fair, the city attracts a diverse academic crowd. For international students, Frankfurt presents an opportunity to immerse in a dynamic blend of finance, culture, and education in Germany’s financial powerhouse.
Find out more about Universities in Frankfurt.
Nestled in Northern Germany, Hamburg is home to over 1.8 million inhabitants, earning its title as the second-largest city in the country. Interlaced with canals and the Elbe River, and boasting the massive Alster Lake, almost a quarter of the city’s expanse is covered with green spaces and waterways. As a pivotal port city, Hamburg has a rich maritime history and is a contemporary hub for media, commerce, and culture. With institutions like the University of Hamburg, the city attracts a multitude of international students, making it an enticing blend of academic excellence and maritime charm.
Find out more about Universities in Hamburg.
Located in Lower Saxony, Hannover is home to over 500,000 residents. Generously dotted with gardens, forests, and the serene Maschsee lake, the city offers ample scenic beauty. Hannover is globally recognized for hosting one of the world’s largest trade fairs, the Hannover Messe, highlighting its significance in commerce and innovation. The city’s Leibniz University and other institutions have a growing international student community. For students seeking a blend of modernity, nature, and robust academic opportunities, Hannover stands as a promising destination in the heart of Germany.
Find out more about Universities in Hannover.
Munich, the capital of Bavaria, houses over 1.5 million residents. Nestled at the foothills of the Alps, this city blends modernity with rich traditions. A vast expanse of its area boasts lush parks, gardens, and the serene River Isar, offering a picturesque setting. Renowned for its world-class universities, Munich is also the hub of art, technology, and Oktoberfest festivities. With prominent institutions like TU Munich, the city attracts a diverse student population, making it an ideal locale for international students eager to experience a blend of academia, culture, and German charm.
Find out more about Universities in Munich.
Situated in Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart houses over 600,000 residents. Nestled within valleys, hills, and vineyards, the city offers an appealing mix of urban and natural landscapes. Renowned as the ‘cradle of the automobile,’ Stuttgart is the headquarters of world-famous companies like Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. The city’s University of Stuttgart and other academic institutions attract a diverse set of students, fostering an international academic community. With its blend of technological innovation, rich cultural events, and beautiful vistas, Stuttgart offers international students a unique educational and cultural experience in the heart of southern Germany.
Find out more about Universities in Stuttgart.
Can I study in Germany for free?
Many public German universities offer their higher education programmes at a very low price for both domestic and international students. This often means that you do not pay any tuition fees, but pay a very small registration fee each semester. Private universities are allowed to set higher tuition fees, so studying at one of these could cost you a lot more.
Can I study in Germany as an international student?
Germany is a great place to study as an international student, and is very welcoming of the international community. As an international student, you will likely need to obtain a visa in order to study in Germany. For more information about this, take a look at our German Student Visas page.
Do I need IELTS to study in Germany?
If your first language is not English, you will need to provide evidence of your language proficiency. Most German universities accept an IELTS or TOEFL certificate.
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