Why should you study in Germany?

In 2018 Germany came on top of a ranking done by Study.eu as the most attractive country in Europe for international students. No wonder then that Germany as the world’s 5th most popular education destination welcomes over 200,000 international students annually.

Recent statistics state that Germany as a study abroad destination for Indian students has seen a definitive growth. Of the total number of international students studying in Germany, Indians constitute a significant 5% of the overseas student community. One of the reasons that has made Germany an attractive destination for Indian students is because the country has developed one of the best education infrastructures in the world. It is also a nation that offers specialised programs in engineering and technology.

Emphasising on the international domain, the majority of the universities that are a part of the German education system have incorporated an international study program in their curriculum. These courses are conducted in English and German languages. Most programs in Germany requires all international students to take up a module in learning the German language. This is an intensive module but definitely has double benefits for the student.

STEM courses have become popular amongst students over the past few years. Indian students too have been pursuing programs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in the hope of securing a prosperous career in the future. While USA, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand have always been the traditional favourites for Indian students pursuing a program overseas, recently certain countries in Europe have also been gaining momentum. Joining the list is Germany that is now a popular study abroad destination for Indian students, especially for those who are interested in opting for STEM subjects.

With combination of a rich and complex history, a stimulating culture, people who are energetic and fun loving, makes Germany an ideal study abroad destination for Indian students. Many of the German universities have received top rankings from global agencies as they offer international programs that are modern and innovative. An extremely diverse country, Germany is worth exploring as an overseas education destination because of its balance of natural and intellectual resources.

Top Universities in Germany:

The state-accredited institutions of higher education in Germany are generally categorized as:

  • Universities
  • Universities of Applied Sciences
  • Colleges of Art and Music
  • Cooperative State University of Baden-Wuerttemberg

The German higher education system consists of approximately 400 institutions that has:

  • 150+ Universities
  • 180+ Universities of Applied Sciences
  • 50+ Colleges of Art and Music

‘The Unity of Learning and Research’ is the significant guiding principle of the German higher education system. According to this, all universities under the system must regulate all activities that are taking place within the universities. This is also known as the dual education system. A combination of the practical along with an apprenticeship and the theoretical, is what make the institutions of higher education in Germany set their teaching and research mechanisms to co-exist side by side with synergy.

With some of the highly ranked universities globally, Germany is well known for their overall academic excellence.

Germany is home to some of the top ranked universities in the world and is known for its overall academic excellence. As per the 2019 QS world university rankings, the top 5 German higher education institutions are:

  • Technical University of Munich
  • Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • Heidelberg University
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

German universities are only behind USA and UK universities in world rankings. No doubt, their institutions are recognized worldwide and held in such high esteem.

Top Courses in Germany:

The one country that automatically props into our minds when we talk about the automobile industry is of course Germany. Investing almost 1/3rd of the Research and Development funds into their largest sector, is also a reason why many Indians have chosen to pursue higher education in Germany. Here is a list of the top courses that are in demand amongst prospective Indian students:

  • Engineering
  • Business Management
  • Humanities
  • Maths and Computer Sciences
  • Fine and Applied Arts

Cost of Studying in Germany:

Most public owned or state accredited higher education providers in Germany have a no fee or low fee policy, even for international students. This is another reason why Germany has gained such popularity amongst Indian students over the last few years.

The west state of Baden-Württemberg, in 2017, reintroduced tuition fees for non-EU students who enroll into state accredited institutions in Germany. It is possible that other states may follow suit in the future. Therefore, keeping in mind that non-EU may have to pay a tuition fee at a public university, the cost currently stands at approximately EUR 3,000 per year. If you wish to get a second degree in the subsequent year, an international student pays a reduced tuition fee of EUR 1,300 for the whole year.

Private institutions on the other hand are free to charge a tuition fee to international students that are variable.

The average cost of living in Germany is about EUR 9,600 per year. Again, a lot will depend on the actual location and the type of accommodation. Topping the list of monthly expenses is the rent for which a student should allocate around EUR 280 – EUR 340 per month in a shared flat or approximately EUR 230 – EUR 290 for university accommodation.

As released by DAAD, here’s how a student in Germany can allocate his or her monthly budget:

  • Food: EUR 170
  • Clothes: EUR 50
  • Transport: EUR 100
  • Telephone, Internet and TV License: EUR 35
  • Stationary and Study Materials: EUR 25
  • Leisure Activities: EUR 65

Note: The given costs are only indicative in nature. Both tuition fee and living costs are variable depending on the institution and its location.

Scholarship Information:

The Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst or DAAD is the German Academic Exchange Service that gives support to international students to access funding in order to study and reside in Germany. Here is a list of available scholarships.

Government-funded scholarships to study in Germany:

  • DAAD Scholarships
  • Erasmus+

Non-government scholarships to study in Germany:

  • Einstein International Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Heinrich Böll Scholarships for International Students
  • Humboldt Research Fellowships for Postdoctoral Researchers
  • Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Scholarships
  • Kurt Hansen Science Scholarships
  • Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowships (IIF) for Developing Countries
  • Mawista Scholarship
  • Deutschland Stipendium
  • The Helmholtz Association

University-specific scholarships to study in Germany:

  • Frankfurt School of Finance and Management Doctoral Tuition Waivers
  • FRIAS Cofund Fellowship Programme for International Researchers
  • Hamburg University of Applied Sciences Masters Scholarships
  • HHL International MSc Scholarship for Effective and Responsible Leadership
  • Amirana Scholarship
  • Humboldt University International Research Fellowships
  • KAAD Scholarships for Developing Countries
  • Kofi Annan MBA Scholarships for Developing Country Students
  • Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids
  • Ulm University Scholarships for International Students
  • Universität Hamburg Merit Scholarships
  • RWTH Aachen University scholarships

If you are looking to apply for a scholarship, then its best to start the process at least 8 months in advance. Remember that these scholarships are highly competitive and you should have plans for a back-up budget like an education loan too to finance your study abroad program in Germany.

Standardised Tests:

Most universities in Germany will test the international student on two criteria - Language Proficiency and Aptitude for the desired course.

  • Language Proficiency:

For both undergraduate and post-graduate studies, either IELTS or TOEFL are acceptable in terms of demonstrating a student’s proficiency in the English Language.

Some programs in Germany may also require the student to establish proficiency in the German language too. If that is the case, the acceptable standardised tests are:

  • Conducted by TestDAF Institute, Germany, Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache (Test of German as a Foreign Language) or TestDAF is a standard test for the German language.
  • Conducted by universities independently, the Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang or DSH test is also an acceptable test for the German language.
  • Aptitude Tests for Undergraduate Studies:

This is a requirement by universities in Germany where they need to establish that the international applicant is at par with the German Equivalent of a "Hochschulzugangsberechtigung" or  HZB, which is a university entrance examination.

Indian students can appear for the following tests:

  • JEE Advanced
  • Feststellungsprüfung (FSP)
  • Aptitude Tests for Postgraduate Studies:

At the postgraduate level, the following tests are acceptable to German institutions:

  • GRE
  • GMAT

Admission Process:

Germany higher education institutions offer various start dates for their programs. Usually there is one intake in the beginning of the year (February-April) and another one towards the latter part of the year (September-October).

Mayfair Global Education has immense experience as study abroad consultants for Germany and will be able to guide you through the admission process.

Visit one of our offices or send an email to book an appointment and Register with us. Bring along your updated resume and academic documents. Our trained counsellor will check the documents, discuss your interests and get the necessary information to create a Profile. Once that is done, we will request you to bring further documents like a Statement of Purpose, Letters of Recommendations, Employers References and Portfolio (if applicable) that we will Review and Edit.

In order to apply to become an international student in Germany, you will have to appear for Standardised Tests like IELTS, TOEFL and GRE / GMAT if going for post-graduation studies. You will also have to go through Aptitude Tests which are required by German institutions. If you already have the test scores in hand, we will review and evaluate the same. If you have to appear for any of the tests, we will assist you with coaching classes so that you are through in your very first attempt.

The next step is to sit and decide the courses that interest you and which universities in Germany are able to offer you the programs. Post Shortlisting the Courses and Universities, we will start filling in the university application forms.

As your dedicated overseas education consultants for Germany, we will guide and hand-hold you through the entire admission process.

Visa Counselling:

Once you have received your offer of Admission from your selected education provider in Germany, we will also assist you with your Visa Application. Through comprehensive Visa Counselling sessions, we will build your visa application file as per the published guidelines on the German Immigration Website.

Once you receive your student visa to Germany, we will have a pre-departure briefing with you where you will get an insight into what your life will be like as an international student in Germany.

Future Prospects:

Germany is primarily a manufacturing dominated economy and therefore presents a lot of employment prospects for engineers. There are industrial hubs spread all over Germany. International students from India who are pursuing STEM subjects will always remain high on the demand list with prospective employers.


It is possible for students who have completed a degree program in Germany within the standard period of study to apply for a 18-month residence permit, which when granted allows one to take up any kind of employment while looking for a job that is relevant to their attained qualification in Germany.