Study in Germany for Free: An Ultimate Guide to Studying in Germany for International Students

Education

Who can study for free in Germany?
Any student, regardless of where they come from, can study in Germany for free. Most German public higher education institutions are tuition-free. Instead of tuition fees, students are expected to pay a compulsory semester fee before the start of each semester, usually around €300 per semester, to cover administrative costs and also transportation to move around the Federal state.

Although the state of Baden-Württemberg has re-enforced the €3,000 (~$3,350/year) charge to non-EU students at public universities, which is still relatively cheap compared to the US (average fee of $26,290) or in the UK (starting at around £10,000~$14,130 and going up to £38,000~$53,700 or more for medical degrees), international students can study for free in other other federal states.

Also, students can benefit from various scholarships offered by German universities, mainly government-funded institutions. They have incredibly favorable programs for foreigners seeking support to finance their studies in Germany.

Can I study in Germany even if I don’t speak German?
Yes of course!

German higher education institutions offer international students a wide range of study programs in English. There are approximately 2,000 English-taught degree programs in 66 specialist fields at 215 German universities. These are distributed in more than 154 cities in Germany. So you can study at the German university of your dreams without any knowledge of German.

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Unfamiliarity with the German language should not be a barrier for international students wishing to study in Germany, as there are more and more German academic institutions offering courses in English. About 835 courses are available in English in 58 higher education institutions ranked in the top 1,000, including 726 master’s programs and 109 bachelor’s programs. You can still study and take courses in English, which serves as the basis for teaching the courses. This is why Germany is second only to the Netherlands in the number of degrees offered in English, making it an attractive destination for international students. However, it is always better to know if the universities or study programs of your dreams are offered in English. Do not hesitate to visit our study portal to check.

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Should I (still) learn German even if I study in English?
Fluency in German is essential if your study program is in German. You should submit your German language certificate for your university application. But what if your study program is in English? Should you still learn German? Good question! The answer: yes!

Now it all depends on the level you need to reach. For someone who only speaks German in everyday situations, you should have at least a language level of A2-B1. It will make a big difference in your daily life and even later when you apply for a job in Germany. For example, the employees of the Aliens Registration Office do not all speak English. So, if you have questions about your student visa and need to communicate with employees who are not fluent in English, German will come in handy.

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There are several opportunities for you to learn German. Once you arrive in Germany, you will have a linguistic environment in which you can evolve. You can also study online. Due to Covid-19, many courses are now taught online and no longer on campus, which makes it easy to follow them even if you are not yet in Germany. Other online learning resources are also available for German training. Deutsche Welle, for example, offers free video and audio resources as well as online exercises. If you prefer a formal education, you can follow the courses offered by the language centers of your university. Registration fees are lower than in private centers and you will also have the opportunity to meet friends from different disciplines at your university. Another solution is to search for tandem partners via German universities. This is a special offer from the schools for international students to make new friends and practice their German.

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