Germany is a country rich in diversity, culture, and history. Their universities offer many courses for any career. For international students looking to add a lot of weight to their educational backgrounds, a year, two, or even more years studying in Germany is a huge plus.

Not only will you get an excellent education, but you can also acquire connections and credentials. These can be a vital aspect in trying to stand out in today’s competitive job market. So first things first. How do you apply to universities in Germany? We have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s begin.

First of all, breathe. The decision to travel to a different country to study is a very important one to make. One that should not be decided hastily. Consider the many aspects involved in living in Germany for at least a year.


Things to Consider When Applying to Universities in Germany

The next few points are things that you need to keep in mind before applying to German universities. I will go over those points which are the language barrier and financial load, and you need to think deeply before making the final choice.


The Language Barrier

Language can be a primary issue, considering not every country knows and speak English. Odds are, you may have to take classes to learn the language – in this case, German. Of course, if you look thoroughly, you can find universities that offer courses in English.

But since you will live in the country, the best option is still to learn the country’s culture. Learning the language can go a long way, and can even open doors for your desired universities. Most even require that a possible student is proficient in the native tongue.


Financial Load

Another thing to consider when applying to universities in Germany is the expenses. Germany can be a very expensive country to live in. Watch out for cities like Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and especially Munich. If you look, you can find universities offering free tuition, which tends to be the heaviest financial obstacle. You can find those universities in this article.

But outside that, you still have to deal with rent, daily commute, and food. These can pile up and if your budget cannot handle it, then it’s going to be a tough road ahead.

To even go through the initial requirements of a university, international students must show proof that they can handle the financial aspect of living in Germany. On average, a student must show they can afford $727 monthly ($8722 annually) for daily living expenses. And that is just the minimum.



To apply to universities in Germany, proper documentation should also already be sorted on your end. Most countries often require:

  • A passport
  • A Visa
  • Valid IDs

And these are just to get into the country. Gaining access to universities requires a lot more. Universities often require the following for interested international students:

  • Your educational history
  • Certified copy of diplomas and previous degrees
  • Proof of proficiency in the German language
  • IELTS or TOEFL certification (if looking for English courses)
  • Letters of recommendations
  • Proof of Higher Education Entrance Examination (or your country’s equivalent)

Requirements vary with the different universities, so researching your chosen school is a must. Make sure to have these all ready to go before trying to find a university, as some of these may take time (up to months) to acquire.


Picking the Right University

Deciding where to study depends on your preferred school, preferred area, and class availability. Not to mention if they offer English courses, or if they have scholarships you can take advantage of. These factors can be a very difficult thing to balance, and you may have to sacrifice one to get the other. As always, research is the key. Consider all possible factors before picking a final school (or schools) that you will apply.

Picking a school is not the end of the journey, however. In fact, you are still on murky waters. The university still needs to accept your application before you can study there. This can require waiting for responses, checking class openings, and taking their specific tests.

Check Also: Germany Programs for International Students


Looking up the Application Procedures

Now, you need to take a look at the actual application procedures for every university in Germany that you want to apply to. How do you do that? You need to look up the application procedures on the university website.

They have all the application information such as application deadline, forms, requirements. The information above was general, but now, you have to look up specific information about each university. I hope that you have great luck in applying to universities in Germany.

It is difficult to give you the specific application procedures because each university’s application procedure can be so different from others. The best way for you is to make a list of universities and look up the application procedures.


Now What?

Being able to study in Germany can be a fun and worthwhile experience. To maximize your stay, make sure your paperwork is in order. Finances are also a must.

If you are in a tight spot financially, scholarships can create an easier time living in the country. These scholarships often go outside the fees and include bonuses like lodging and groceries. There are plenty of opportunities for scholarships both in your chosen university and beyond. Cities and organizations often offer these to international students for an easier adjustment to the country.

You can even consider getting a host family to help with lodging, food, along with giving you a taste of the German life and culture.

Just do your research, choose wisely, and your time at the university will fly by.


I hope that this article on how to apply to universities in Germany for international students was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Germany!

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  1. Anonymous - Reply

    Thank you very, the information above was really helpful. I am new with the whole process, I guess I will get there eventually.

    • Hyun Lee - Reply

      Sure, please feel free to ask any questions if you have any:)

  2. Anonymous - Reply

    Thanks for this information really helpful but please can I start application process while I gradually provide the requirements on demand like the previous degrees and stuff though I haven’t taken any English test.

    • Hyun Lee - Reply

      Hi, you do need to meet all the requirements in order to apply for German universities. If you are applying for bachelor’s, you do need German proficiency for most universities while for Master’s, you do have an option of either German or English taught degrees. I’m not sure which degrees you are applying for, but you do need to meet the requirements before applying.

  3. Zamokuhle Magagula - Reply

    Thank you so much for the information, it was really helpful. I have been considering studying in Germany for quite sometime now but have serious financial constrains. I need a a scholarship to cover everything. I wish to study Master in International Health Management.

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