Guide for applying to universities in Germany for undergraduate studies Watch

wolfmoon88
Badges: 21
#1
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#1



Guide for applying to universities in Germany for undergraduate studies


Name:  Heidelberg.jpg
Views: 686
Size:  193.7 KB


Picture: The main building of the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg’s university library – Source: University of Melbourne Study Abroad Page-

This guide was created in order to help any potential applicants looking to study in Germany for their undergraduate studies.

Why should you consider studying in Germany?

One of the greatest selling points for studying in Germany is that tuition is free for all students regardless of nationality in most public universities. (A registration/semester fee is required to be paid to the university: approximately 300 British Pounds per semester) If the free tuition isn’t convincing enough for you to consider Germany as a destination, Germany is also an important centre for trade and industry. By learning German/ German way of thinking through studying in their higher education institutions, this may make you a more highly coveted employee; allowing you to work in German companies in the future or to be a liaison to companies with immense German ties.

*The federal state of Baden-Württemberg (which includes popular student destinations such as Stuttgart, Freiburg, Karlsruhe, and Heidelberg) has decided to make free tuition unavailable to Non-EU international students. Tuition of 1500 euros per semester will be required for all Non-EU international students starting from the winter semester of 2017/18.

How to choose your course and university?

The first point to focus on is of course (other than German language requirements which I will talk about later): what do you want to study in university? For some, this may be a simple answer but for others, this may be one of the hardest choices they are making in their short lives. Some key questions to consider are: What are your hobbies/interests? What are your talents? What field do I want to study in/work in? I won’t go too much into this because this process is the same as if you were applying to universities in the UK or other countries. However, it is important to point out that if your choice, of course, is relatively unique; there’s a chance that it will only be offered in a limited number of public universities or not at all. Therefore you may have to look into private universities for some courses and for private universities you would need to pay tuition fees, i.e. BSc Intelligent Mobile Systems at Jacobs University. There are also some universities that offer dual study programmes. A dual study programme allows students to combine their degree course with practical training/work experience. For more information about these programmes and a search engine to find a list of these programmes, I will include a link below. Be smart about your course choice… For example, if you are not looking to practice law in Germany… is it the best idea to take a law course in Germany which primarily focuses on German law. Do your research on the course content and make sensible choices. Note that there are no English language programmes to study Medicine in Germany.

Some courses have a Numerus Clause (NC) attached to them. (Medicine, Dentistry, Vet Med, Architecture etc...) This is because there are more applicants than places available for these courses. Numerus Clauses are usually calculated in regards to the lowest grade based on Abitur that a student is admitted into the course. (Other criteria may be used to gauge the NC as well such as interviews etc…) There are two types of Numerus Clauses: Local and Germany-wide. Local Numerus Clauses are admissions restrictions determined by the universities themselves for specific subjects; these are only limited to individual universities. Germany-wide Numerus Clauses are applied to courses that are so popular that admissions restrictions are applied to all such courses. NC requirements can change every semester depending on the quality of applicants and supply/demand. To check if your chosen course has a Numerus Clause, check individual university’s websites or contact the International Office of your chosen university. If your course does not have a NC, then you will most likely get in if you make the minimum entry requirements for the course.

The second point to focus on is what types of higher education institutions you would like to apply to. In Germany, there are three main types of higher education institutions: Universities, Universities of Applied Sciences, and Colleges of Art and Music. The difference between universities and the universities of applied sciences in general terms is that universities focus more on the theoretical and research aspect of education and universities of applied sciences focus more on the vocational/practical aspect of education- sort of like the distinction between polytechnics and universities that formerly existed in the UK. The purpose of Colleges of Art and Music are self-explanatory. (Unlike most higher education institutions in Germany, it is possible for talented students to get into Colleges of Art and Music without the prerequisite of having a qualification for admission in higher education) (I.e. A-Levels certificate) Factors to consider as well when looking for suitable universities: small or large student population, rural or urban, industry connections and focused or broad course choices. These factors should all play a role when you are picking a university.

What are the Entry Requirements?

After you have a shortlist of courses in universities that you would like to apply to, it is time to look at entry requirements for the specific courses you have on your shortlist. The most important prerequisite is a higher education entrance qualification. This means that to apply to German universities, you have to finish secondary education before you qualify as an applicant. (No, you cannot apply to German universities with your predicted grades.) If you are a student from the EU/EU Economic Area or Switzerland (or you hold an IB Diploma Certificate), your secondary education certificate qualifies you for direct entry into German Higher Education Institutions. If you are not a student from these places, you would need to check whether or not your higher education entrance qualification will allow you to qualify for “direct general admission”. (Two links below are included to help with this checking process) It is recommended that you check directly with the International Office of the university that you are applying to as well to ascertain/confirm whether or not your higher education entrance qualification qualifies you for direct entry into German universities.

*Note for applicants applying with A Levels: Since the Abitur is more like the IB diploma in the fact that a wider variety of subjects are studied, there may be some general requirements that an applicant must be wary of. Generally speaking, German universities require a student to have 3 A-level subjects and 1 AS level subject with one of the 4 subjects being a language for all courses. The language can be studied only until AS level. Many universities will also require mathematics to be studied until at least AS level for humanities students. For some universities, 2 AS levels can constitute as 1 A level - for subject-specific requirements, check your university’s website or contact the International office if it is unclear. (From my experience, they also generally like facilitating subjects more because a couple of the universities I contacted wouldn’t accept my Psychology SL as a part of my IB diploma…)

If you do not qualify for “direct general admission”, you may have to take a foundation/preparatory course. These foundation courses are called “Studienkollegs” and they are offered at many public universities free of charge. (Note: If you go to a Studienkolleg that is affiliated with a University of applied sciences, it may not qualify you to study in a University.) In these Studienkollegs, you study a preparatory course that is specifically geared towards your area of study. To enter a Studienkolleg, you will need to take an entrance exam. (Usually a German Language Exam and in some universities a Mathematics Exam)

University Studienkollegs offer specific preparatory courses in these areas:

M-course: for medical, biological and pharmaceutical degrees

T-course: for mathematical, science or technical degrees

W-course: for business, economics, and social science degrees

G-course: for humanity degrees or German studies

S-course: for language degrees

University of applied sciences Studienkollegs offer specific preparatory courses in these areas:

TI-course: for technical and engineering degrees

WW-course: for economics and business degrees

GD-course: for design and art degrees

SW-course: for social science degrees

At the end of the course which will usually last one year, you will take a final exam (Feststellungsprüfung) to pass the course. (Note: If you take a preparatory course in a specific discipline, it only qualifies you to study in degrees that are in that area. e.g. S-course graduates cannot be admitted to study economics)

The other important entry requirement is the language level. To study in a course taught in German, one must have a language level of at least C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. To enter a Studienkolleg, one must have a language level of at least B1. During that year, you will take language courses to bring your language level up to C1. The language tests that you can take to show your language abilities to the universities are TestDaF (which can be taken in over 100 countries, including the UK) and the DSH (which can only be taken in Germany). Both exams results are accepted by German universities. If you are applying to an international programme that is taught in English, it is usually not required for you to have German language abilities. However, it is recommended by universities that a student still knows basic German in order to communicate and socialise with peers and the community at large. The required level of English for international programmes is usually 6-6.5 in the IELTS. Other entry requirements may include: a motivation letter on why you would like to study in Germany/your course, an interview, etc… depending on the specific course you are applying to.

How to Apply?

There are two application periods for German universities. For most public higher education institutions, the application period for the winter semester starts in early May and ends on July 15th and the application period for the summer semester starts in early December and ends on January 15th. Letters of acceptance are sent August/September and February/ March respectively. Some courses are only offered in the winter semester. If your course has a NC, it is possible that you could be waiting until very close to the semester to get an acceptance letter and here’s why. German universities will rank applicants based on your scores, standardised test scores when applicable, interview rating when applicable, motivation letter and reference when applicable, etc… Say the university in question has 100 places. They will give an offer to the top 100 applicants on their list. Then say 30 applicants reject their place to the university, then the university will give an offer to the next 30 people on the list and so on… until all 100 places are filled. (Because this is the case, it is also technically possible to apply and get in even if your grades are slightly below the NC clause score that is given.) This has caused many people I know trouble because they are waiting for a university say the University of Heidelberg, but the semester is almost starting at their second choice university. Do they keep waiting for the possibility of an offer from the Heidelberg or do they enroll in their second choice university? If the offer from Heidelberg doesn’t come, they might risk losing the offer from the second choice university as well. My best advice to people who find themselves in this situation is to go for it if you are confident that you will get into your first choice university!

Depending on your course/university foreign students apply to courses using different application systems. The picture below taken from the German Academic Exchange Service website will hopefully let you know which application system you need to use.- If you are still unsure, please contact the prospective university's international office for more information.

If you notice, I have not mentioned rankings at all until this point. That is because a German university’s international admissions officer once told me that, they do not care about rankings and neither should we, especially for undergraduate studies. Pick a university based on the factors that I mentioned above that fits you then think about the ranking of the university afterward.

Living in Germany (Accommodation, Cost of Living, Expenses etc…)

The cost of living in Germany is affordable compared to other European countries; approximately 850 euros per month including the cost of accommodation that takes up the bulk of your monthly expenses. Like I mentioned above, universities will require a student to pay a semester fee. This semester fee sometimes covers a semester ticket for the public transport in your city/state. Other monthly fees include food and drink, transport (if not covered by semester fee), and insurance.

If you live in big cities such as Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt etc… or traditional university towns such as Freiburg, accommodation costs may be significantly higher. Eastern Germany and Berlin among the big cities are often much more affordable, with accommodation costs sitting around 300-380 euros per month on average. Flat sharing will lower your cost of accommodation. University student residences are in-demand and one may not be able to secure a place. Therefore it is important to look for other options for accommodation before arriving in Germany. The International Office of your university can also assist in finding suitable accommodation.

During breaks, a student can travel around Germany or Europe. Germany has an extensive railway system which allows convenient transport to each state. Many of these transportation systems also have discounts for students. If you want to travel around Europe, there are many options available. There are a lot of coaches and trains that will go to various locations in Europe. If you prefer to fly, Germany has many large international airports where it would be easy to find flights to any destination you would like to visit.

I hope this guide helps, and leave your comments below if there are any questions you have or if there is further information you can offer.

Helpful Links and Resources

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) website- https://www.daad.de/en/

DAAD database of admissions requirements (To check you secondary school qualifications)- https://www.daad.de/deutschland/nach-deutschland/voraussetzungen/en/57293-daad-database-on-admission-requirements/

Anabin database for information on all foreign qualifications (In German)- http://anabin.kmk.org/anabin.html

Guide for IB Students applying to Germany- http://www.ibo.org/contentassets/5895a05412144fe890312bad52b17044/recognition-international-student-guide-germany-17-en.pdf

Dual Study and Work Programmes Database- https://www.hochschulkompass.de/en/degree-programmes/all-about-studying-in-germany/forms-of-study/dual-work-study-programmes.html

Information on Studienkollegs- http://www.studienkollegs.de/home.html

TestDaF website- http://www.testdaf.de/fuer-teilnehmende/infos-in-ihrer-sprache/englisch/

Eunicas (To find English language programmes in Germany and Europe as well)- http://www.eunicas.co.uk/

Study in Germany website- https://www.study-in.de/en
Attached files
7
reply
Snufkin
Badges: 21
#2
Report 2 years ago
#2
Darn, I can't rep you - but great thread. Ganz toll (well done)!!

I'd love to study in Germany. :moon:
0
reply
wolfmoon88
Badges: 21
#3
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#3
(Original post by Snufkin)
Darn, I can't rep you - but great thread. Ganz toll (well done)!!

I'd love to study in Germany. :moon:
Thank you

Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
motmaria
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#4
Report 2 years ago
#4
Hi!
I have a question about apartments...How to define the good quality ones? Once i was living for 2 months in Germany while studying, renting... After that i bought one flat there but my friend is struggling to find apartments in another region!
Hope to see some advises)
Maria
0
reply
wolfmoon88
Badges: 21
#5
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#5
(Original post by motmaria)
Hi!
I have a question about apartments...How to define the good quality ones? Once i was living for 2 months in Germany while studying, renting... After that i bought one flat there but my friend is struggling to find apartments in another region!
Hope to see some advises)
Maria
Hi Maria,

Is your friend looking for an apartment to rent or to buy? Unfortunately, I do not have concrete advice to give. Depending on the price range and quality your friend is expecting, it will be harder to find apartments in certain regions. If your friend is looking for an apartment to live in during his/her studies in Germany, I would suggest that he/she contacts the prospective university's international office. He/She can get more comprehensive information from them and most international offices will assist students from abroad in finding suitable accommodation options.

I hope this helps a little bit and am sorry that I couldn't give a more comprehensive answer to this question.

Sincerely,

wolfmoon88



Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
b_udall
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#6
Report 2 years ago
#6
Hi,
I finished sixth form in July 2017 and am going to be studying at Heidelberg University in November 2018. I have written a detailed blog post on how to apply as a UK student on my blog: benthegappy.com. Please take a look.
0
reply
wolvessoccer2
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#7
Report 2 years ago
#7
Oh my god finally something related to A levels in Applying to German unis. I have a critical question though. The results will come out in like august or sth like that and the deadline for the unis is july 15. What should I do then? I mean this will be a problem unless they give me a conditional acceptance. Thanks for your time!
0
reply
wolfmoon88
Badges: 21
#8
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#8
(Original post by wolvessoccer2)
Oh my god finally something related to A levels in Applying to German unis. I have a critical question though. The results will come out in like august or sth like that and the deadline for the unis is july 15. What should I do then? I mean this will be a problem unless they give me a conditional acceptance. Thanks for your time!
Hi wolvessoccer2,

Apologies for the late reply. For most (if not all) German universities, you would need to apply post-results day... as conditional acceptances are not given. Perhaps you would need to see if the programme (s) you are looking at, is available for entry in the summer semester. If not you would need to wait until the winter semester next year to matriculate in the university you would like to go to.

Another possible way is to apply with AS scores if you have them and predicteds; then submit the results when you get them in August... but you would need to contact the universities you would like to apply to's international office to coordinate this and ask if it is ok.

Good luck and I hope this helps!

Sincerely,

wolfmoon88
0
reply
Rxxmemo
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#9
Report 1 year ago
#9
How old do you have to be to apply to studienkolleg are there age boundaries?
0
reply
wolfmoon88
Badges: 21
#10
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#10
(Original post by Rxxmemo)
How old do you have to be to apply to studienkolleg are there age boundaries?
I don't think there is an age requirements, only academic ones but I would check with individual studienkollegs
0
reply
Ahmed Samer
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#11
Report 1 year ago
#11
I am currently studying AS level Mathematics, AS level Biology, AS level Chemistry and AS level Arabic as a first language, i also have 7 regular O-Levels, is this enough for me to attend a medical studienkolleg course in Germany?
0
reply
wolfmoon88
Badges: 21
#12
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#12
(Original post by Ahmed Samer)
I am currently studying AS level Mathematics, AS level Biology, AS level Chemistry and AS level Arabic as a first language, i also have 7 regular O-Levels, is this enough for me to attend a medical studienkolleg course in Germany?
You would need to finish A levels (Not just AS) and prerequisite level for German language. For more specifics, I would check with the studienkollegs.

Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
MIKESPIKE10
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#13
Report 1 year ago
#13
So the rankings of universities in Germany don’t matter? Also I'd like to go starting in winter semester 2019, but my a levels won't have finished before the deadline and I didn't take AS levels (new system) so would I have to wait for a whole year before I could apply? Great informative post though!
0
reply
wolfmoon88
Badges: 21
#14
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#14
(Original post by MIKESPIKE10)
So the rankings of universities in Germany don’t matter? Also I'd like to go starting in winter semester 2019, but my a levels won't have finished before the deadline and I didn't take AS levels (new system) so would I have to wait for a whole year before I could apply? Great informative post though!
They don't really matter in terms of quality of education; what matters more is the type of institution and the course you are applying for. You could apply with your predicted grades, but apparently German universities do prefer results in hand when making your application. I would contact the specific institutions that you are looking to apply for (their international office) to ask for more specifics on applying with predicted grades. (Unless you are applying to an English language programme, you would need to check that you meet the language requirements as well)

Thank you, hope it helped in some shape or form.
1
reply
MIKESPIKE10
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#15
Report 1 year ago
#15
Thanks for the reply, in regards to the german proficiency requirements, I feel that going for the Studienkolleg would be very helpful for improving my german skills (I do study for A level so not a beginner but naturally need a boost!). Do you apply to them through universities or just through uni assist?
0
reply
wolfmoon88
Badges: 21
#16
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#16
(Original post by MIKESPIKE10)
Thanks for the reply, in regards to the german proficiency requirements, I feel that going for the Studienkolleg would be very helpful for improving my german skills (I do study for A level so not a beginner but naturally need a boost!). Do you apply to them through universities or just through uni assist?
I believe you would need to apply to the universities in question first, and then they'll send you further information about entrance examinations for Studienkollegs. I would check with the international office of the universities you are applying to for more information and university specific guidelines.
0
reply
A.H.A
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#17
Report 1 year ago
#17
Hello!Danke für this amazing article its really beneficial But i have a small question to ask you I study under the IGCSE system in a non EU country and my certificate will be ready in August. How can i apply? Does the term * direct entry* applies for me too in this case? Because its quite confusing. Thank you
0
reply
Biano
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#18
Report 1 year ago
#18
Thank you so much for this! It is extremely well written!! I do have a couple of questions unanswered, however.
1) I'm taking IALs (International A levels) and I was wondering if they also require 3 subjects for those or more.
2) What type of grades do the top Universities expect for medicine? A*AA or AAA or something else?
Danke schön!
0
reply
moonmilk
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#19
Report 8 months ago
#19
Hey I was thinking about taking a level 3 extended diploma btec and would they accept that if I took an extra A-level as well?
0
reply
cacademic
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#20
Report 7 months ago
#20
For those with experience with uni-assist, how long did it take for you to get your VPD? Thanks in advance!
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • Bournemouth University
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Wed, 19 Feb '20
  • Buckinghamshire New University
    Postgraduate and professional courses Postgraduate
    Wed, 19 Feb '20
  • University of Warwick
    Warwick Business School Postgraduate
    Thu, 20 Feb '20

People at uni: do initiations (like heavy drinking) put you off joining sports societies?

Yes (204)
67.11%
No (100)
32.89%

Watched Threads

View All