Five Quick Points
• Nearly one-tenth of world’s international students go to study in Germany
• New bachelor-master system offers degrees which are internationally compatible
• Emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, international outlook, and theory balanced with practical applications
• Very green, environmentally aware society
• Blend of modern and traditional cultures
Why Study in Germany
Students normally don’t have to pay tuition fees at German universities, and if so, the fees are very low. Most German universities receive considerable financing from the government. Bachelor’s degree programs are usually tuition-free at public universities. German higher education is one of the best in the world! Whether it’s cars or education, people everywhere recognize “Made in Germany” as a seal of quality.
Location and Geography
Germany (Deutschland), the sixth largest country in Europe by land area (349,520 square kilometers), is situated in central Europe, with coastal access to the North and Baltic Seas. It is bordered by nine other European countries to the north, east, south, and west. It comprises lowlands (north), uplands (center), and the Bavarian Alps to the south. Berlin (in the northeast) is the capital.
Living Conditions & Cost of Living
International students living in Germany can generally live on €750–€950 a month: accommodation €230–€400, food €220, books/stationery €50 and other €250 (e.g., transport, entertainment, laundry, telephone) depending on location and type of housing. Tuition fees, where applicable, are an additional cost. Health insurance is usually around €50–€60 a month. Student accommodation is less expensive than renting a flat. International students should be aware that often flats are let unfurnished and that there may only be a sink in the kitchen area. Tenants then have to provide all other kitchen facilities.
The fundamental structure of the German education system is similar to that of many Western countries. It consists of elementary (primary), secondary (lower and upper) and tertiary/higher education. It is in the detail – especially in relation to the range of institutions that deliver tertiary/higher education – where the differences lie. International students planning to study in Germany need to be able to identify these differences in tertiary/higher education; a brief outline follows: Most of these institutions are public (government). There are some privately run institutions; however, public education is the first choice for most (more than 90%).