Education in Germany
Germany is one of the most popular countries for international students. About 11% of the country’s students are foreign citizens, particularly from China, Russia, Austria and India.
Primary and secondary education
Kindergartens (Kindergärten) accept children from three to six years old. There are also
Germany has about 50,000 schools that are attended by more than 12.5 million pupils. Education is free and compulsory until the ninth grade (twelve or thirteen years of learning).
Primary school (Grundschule) starts at six and lasts four years. Children entering secondary education are organised by academic ability.
|Don Bosco Berufsschule
|IGS Schaumburg||Stadthagen||Lower Saxony|
|Jeetzeschule in Salzwedel||Salzwedel|
Germany has a lot of universities. There are 379 accredited, 240 public and 99 private universities along with the 40 under the jurisdiction of the Church in Germany. Students have 14,000 academic programmes to choose from.
Technical universities are highly respected in the country. Among the top universities are Heidelberg University, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and the Technical University of Munich.
|3||54||Technische Universität München|
|5||127||Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, KIT|
|7||141||Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen|
|9||147||RWTH Aachen University|
|10||150||Freie Universität Berlin|
Before applying prospective students should learn about the requirements on the university website or contact the International Office (Akademisches Auslandsamt or Dezernat Internationales) where they can consult the information on academic programmes and learning environment. Applications for the winter semester application close on July 15 and for the summer semester on January 15. Decisions are made within four to six weeks.
- completed application
- secondary education certificate (German translation)
- German language proficiency certificate
- academic transcripts for
post-graduateapplications (German translation)
Education equivalency issues
Students must find out if their education is recognised by the German system. More information about this can be found in Anabin.De. Some secondary and university diplomas are not enough to gain access to a German university, in which case they have to gain a “university entrance qualification” (Hochschulzugangsberechtigung). This can be a general higher education entrance qualification (allgemeine Hochschulreife or Abitur) or an entrance qualification for universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschulreife). To do so, the student can apply to a university in their country that offers this programme or enroll on a preparatory course in Germany (Studienkolleg). Many German universities accept applications via
The majority of German universities do not have entrance exams but international students must prove their knowledge of German. Exceptions to this rule are the Universities of Performing Arts that hold competitions based on creative skill and certain Medical Universities.
Studies are free in almost every university but the students have to pay a
Students can live in dormitories (Wohnheim), shared flats (Wohngemeinschaft or WG) or separate accommodation. Renting property costs at least €300 per month, with average monthly living expenses of