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"Study in Germany" for foreign students

Studying in Germany, but how? Until then and foreign students have found their place in German lecture halls, there are a few hurdles to overcome. The proportion of foreign students at German universities is at least 10%. studieren.de has compiled the most important information on admission.

Which university entrance qualifications are recognized?

To study in Germany, you need a university entrance qualification that would also allow you to study in your home country. Secondary degrees include High School Diploma, Matura, A-Levels, Bachillerato. This applies to applicants from EU countries. In the database of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (anabin), you can find out whether the German university entrance qualification is equivalent. Applicants from non-EU countries should contact the International Office of the university at which they would like to begin their studies to check their university entrance qualification. If the certificate from the country of origin is not recognized, German universities take a so-called assessment test. Studienkollegs are offered throughout Germany that prepare for this exam.

If you want to bypass this test, you can start studying in your home country and then, for example, apply to a German university after completing an undergraduate degree and join directly.

It is also possible to complete a preparatory college in Germany.

When do i need a visa?

All applicants from non-EU countries need a visa (there are a few exceptions such as Switzerland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA). A student visa is different from a tourist visa and must be applied for separately. The German representations (embassy / consulate) abroad are responsible.

The following types of visas are available for international students and applicants:

  • a language course visa (caution, this is not a visa for study purposes and cannot be converted later)
  • a student applicant visa for three months (this visa is given to an applicant who has not yet been admitted to the university. If the admission was successful, this visa must be converted into a visa for study purposes at the immigration office at the university location)
  • a visa for study purposes, which is valid for one year (this visa is only granted to those who can prove that they have been admitted to study or the preparatory college and have sufficient financial security)

Do I need knowledge of German to study in Germany?

Sufficient knowledge of German must always be proven to study in Germany. This does not apply to applicants who did their Abitur at a German school abroad.

There are three ways in which sufficient language skills can be demonstrated.

  • Successful participation in the DSH "German language test for university admission for foreign applicants". After being admitted to the subject, foreign applicants take part in the DSH, which usually takes place around three weeks before the start of the semester. The DSH is taken on site at the university selected for the course.
  • a successful test of the TestDaf. The TestDaF is a central, standardized test for German as a foreign language that can be taken at many test centers in Germany and abroad.
  • successful participation in the "Central Upper Level Examination" of the Goethe Institute.
  • The "telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule" test is also recognized by universities in Germany as proof of language proficiency. This means that the test is on an equal footing with the DSH exam, the TestDaF exam and the Goethe Institute test.

Is it possible to study in English?

Yes, most universities and colleges have individual courses that are offered in English. This is especially true for internationally oriented master’s courses.

An international degree program is also conceivable - well listed on the DAAD website. Knowledge of German is acquired here in parallel to the degree course.

studieren.de search: A small flag indicates courses that are taught exclusively in English.

What is there to say about the admission restrictions at German universities?

As an approximate guideline for application dates, the same applies to applicants from EU countries as to German prospective students: Most courses in Germany start in the winter semester. The application deadline for "high school graduates" is May 31st, this applies to courses that are awarded through Hochschulstart. hochschulstart.de coordinates the awarding of courses for which admission is restricted nationwide: medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmacy and dentistry. Courses with restricted admission within the university usually have a "deadline" of July 15. For courses with no admission restrictions, it can be assumed that it will be in mid-September.

Non-EU citizens apply directly to the universities or via uni-assist.

Can I take a postgraduate degree in Germany with a foreign degree?

Theoretically this is possible, there will be no problems within the EU as a result of the Bologna Process. If you graduate from a non-European country, it is important to have your previous academic achievements recognized. Once this has happened, a classification within the course will be carried out. The best thing to do is to ask the international office of the new university which body is responsible for the recognition of academic achievements.

What is the best way to proceed if I want to do a doctorate?

In general, if you want to do a doctorate, you need a professor as a supervisor for your doctoral thesis. This contact must be made personally. How this is best proceeded varies from person to person. More and more universities are now also offering doctoral programs and graduate colleges to which you can apply for a doctoral project.

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