Germany is a nation in Central Europe known for having one of the largest economies in the world. It is home to magnificent castles and cathedrals, delicious food and beer, strong football teams, festivals, and the most popular car manufacturers.

Travelers have a lot to see and experience in the country. In addition, people go to Germany for first-class yet affordable higher education. It has a long, rich history and has witnessed developments from all disciplines. Therefore, you can expect the broadest and highest quality of teaching. In this article, we will be looking at the best universities in Germany for international students.

Is Germany good for international students to study in?

Germany is home to many high-ranking universities, as well as time-honored and monumental institutions. It has the kind of education system that has produced notable personalities throughout history in science, technology, philosophy, theology, and economics.

You can study in Germany at relatively low costs and most of the time for free, especially in public universities. There will only be a small amount of semester fee or administrative fee. Living in Germany is also very affordable. With around 850 EUR a month, you can experience a safe, efficient, and culturally-rich living experience in Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt, and many other picturesque cities.

Check Also: Germany Programs for International Students

Can international students work in Germany while studying?

International students can work in Germany while pursuing their degrees. You can work for 20 hours a week if you are an EU national or a student from Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. If they work for more than these hours, they will pay insurance contributions as German nationals do. Students from non-European countries can work up to 120 full days or 240 half days in a year. If you want to extend your work hours, you can seek permission from the Federal Employment Agency.

There are no limits on workdays or hours for academic assistants within a university. This job includes working in the archives or administration office of the university. However, it’s best if you still inform the regional foreigner’s office. Other possible jobs for students are private tutors, wait staff, courier services, or working at trade fairs.

Can international students stay in Germany after graduation?

After graduation, international students can stay in Germany and join the country’s job market. If you are from an EU country and those mentioned above, you can immediately work in Germany without any visa. For graduates of non-EU countries, you need to secure a visa for the type of work you want to pursue.

Qualified professionals can also apply for an EU Blue Card once they have secured a job offer with a specified minimum salary. After 33 months of employment, EU Blue Cardholders are entitled to a permanent resident permit.

Best Universities in Germany for International Students

1. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU Munich)

The Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich was founded in 1472 and initially taught philosophy, theology, jurisprudence, and medicine. The university included the natural sciences during the Age of Enlightenment. Today, LMU Munich is the best university in Germany for international students and has grown into a diversity of fields with 18 faculties and several research centers. Besides first-rate teaching and research, LMU Munich is associated with renowned faculty and alumni in several disciplines. The institution also boasts 43 Nobel laureates who made relevant contributions in science, especially in quantum mechanics.

LMU Munich is Germany’s second-largest university when it comes to the student population. With a student body of 50,000, 17% of them are international students. Many subject areas are available in English as part of the university’s internationalization. There are English-taught courses in the fields of business, management, physics, and psychology.

2. Technical University of Munich (TUM)

The Technical University of Munich is a preeminent research university in technology, engineering, medicine, and the natural and applied sciences. These disciplines are organized into 15 departments across three campuses in Bavaria. In terms of research, the Technical University of Munich is highly-regarded in Europe. This top university in Germany for international students receives funding for several research projects dealing with energy technology, astrophysics, and neurology. The university is host to state-of-the-art research centers for these purposes and more.

TUM ranks 25th worldwide for engineering and technology and among the top 50 in natural sciences and computer science. Over 15,000 international students come to TUM to pursue first-class higher education, but the school also made efforts to bring education outside Germany. In 2002, they established a campus in Singapore and was the first German university with a subsidiary abroad.

3. Heidelberg University

Heidelberg University is Germany’s oldest university, established through a papal charter in 1386. Modeled after the University of Paris, its first faculties are philosophy, jurisprudence, theology, and medicine. Today, the university comprises 12 faculties offering programs in Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. levels. Most notable among the programs are medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, and law. Heidelberg University is a top-performing institution in terms of research outputs. They are recognized internationally for scientific achievements such as the invention of the Bunsen burner, spectroscopy, the discovery of almost 800 dwarf planets, and many others.

The university is located within and around Heidelberg, an old town and cradle of Romanticism in Germany. Housing various institutes, the campuses also include the medical school, theatre, museums, athletic facilities, and Germany’s best library.

4. Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

The Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin is one of the best universities in Germany for international students and has one of the largest university hospitals in Europe. It comprises 17 departments known as Charité Centers and is distributed on four campuses all over Berlin. The university’s motto means “Research, Teaching, Healing, Helping,” so 13 of these centers are dedicated to patient care while the rest focus on teaching and research.

The university is associated with prominent medical professionals and specialists. In fact, more than half of the Nobel Prize winners for medicine and physiology in Germany are from Charité. As the most competitive medical school in Germany, it receives various grants and scholarship support from industry and university partners worldwide.

5. University of Tübingen

The University of Tübingen is a highly-regarded research university for theology, humanities, and natural sciences. It is associated with eminent personalities in science, philosophy, and theology like Johaness Kepler, Friedrich Hegel, and Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI). Centuries of teaching and research in the University of Tubingen fall into seven faculties. These are Protestant Theology, Catholic Theology, Humanities, Law, Medicine, Science, and Economics & Social Sciences.

This top university in Germany spreads out in the old town of Tübingen, and about one-third of the city’s population are students. International students will take their classes on time-honored architectural buildings. The University of Tübingen is rich in sports and cultural activities and active student unions for international students to participate in.

6. Humboldt University of Berlin (HU Berlin)

The Humboldt University of Berlin, one of the best universities in Germany for international students, is a pioneer of higher education in Germany, with over 200 years of teaching and research. As one of the oldest universities, prominent historical figures have attended the school, such as Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Arthur Schopenhauer, George Friedrich Hegel, Alfred Wegener, and Albert Einstein. This first-class education exists to this day in nine faculties, independent institutes, and research units. Its highest-ranking disciplines include Arts & Humanities, Classics & Ancient History, and Philosophy.

HU Berlin collaborates with academic institutions abroad, such as Princeton University, the University of Warwick, and the University of Vienna. HU Berlin does not only provide quality education within its campus. It is also a model institution for many universities in Europe and the world.

7. University of Freiburg

The University of Freiburg has a long-standing academic reputation for teaching humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, & technology. Like other medieval schools, it was established by a papal decree and has since grown into a university complex. There are over 180 degree programs in theology, philology, economics, biology, engineering, environmental sciences, and more. The University of Freiburg emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to academics; that’s why students have the option to add one year to their Bachelor’s degree for multidisciplinary subjects.

International students constitute over 18% of the student population at this top university in Germany. They enjoy classes in monumental buildings, active student organizations, sports, cultural activities, and the university’s career center.


We hope that this article on the best universities in Germany for international students was helpful. To know more information like this, check out the Germany Programs for International Students.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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