Things to know before studying in Germany:
If you are planning to study abroad, it is very likely you will include Germany as one of your options. It is because, whether you want to take up any of the STEM courses or go for a destination that is light on the pocket, Germany ticks all the right boxes. Undergraduate fee, for example, is abolished at public universities in Germany, while postgraduates only pay minimal fee for some selected courses, which helps keep cost of studying low. Also, German institutes of higher education aren’t restricted to STEM courses alone, as courses like business management and humanities have proved to be immensely popular among international students.

But while academic reputation is, and rightly so, the guiding principle based on which one selects a destination, you stand to achieve more by reading up on other crucial facets of the country, like its culture, food habits, dos and don’ts, and also work opportunities available for students. Remember, you will be all alone to fend for yourself in a foreign land, and every bit of detail will come in handy. So, we present you a list of things to know before studying in Germany prepared for you, which once internalized, will help you at every step of your stay.

Things to know before studying in Germany --our take!


JaywalkingDos and don’ts when studying in Germany: Germans are a very affable people; well ok, they may be a bit frank, which may seem rude to some, but once you break the ice and get to know them better, you will come to appreciate their hardworking and genuine nature. One caution though: while they are not always looking to pick up a fight with any stranger that meet on the street, still there are things that can piss them off, and therefore you should avoid.

  • Don’t ever try the Nazi salute: It will not only get you in conflict with the public, but you may even find yourself behind bars (and that too with a maximum 5-year prison sentence). Many Germans also get offended if you bring up the war, so stay away from these sensitive topics.

  • Water bottles are not for the bin: Yes, you heard it right; and every time you throw a bin, you lose 25 cents. This is because, you are charged 25 cents extra for every bottle of water you buy, which you get back only when you return the empty bottle to the shop. Bottles that are returned this way are sent for recycling.

  • Getting drunk in public won’t cover you in glory: If you create a nuisance in public after getting drunk, you may be frowned upon.

  • Appointments are made to be kept: If you have given someone time for an appointment, don’t back out at the last moment. Germans consider it rude and unprofessional; after all who haven’t heard about the famous German devotion to discipline, which today has percolated to every sphere of German life.

  • Dining etiquette: Germans eat almost everything with fork, and consider using fingers uncultured. So, if you plan to study in Germany, learning how to use a fork is a good idea.

Accommodation: If there is one drawback of studying in Germany, it is related to housing. Whether the city in concern is Munich or Karlsruhe, accommodations are hard to come by, which has a lot to do with the fact that dormitories in the country aren’t administered by the universities; in fact most universities don’t even have on-campus housing. Instead, it is organizations like Studentenwerk Berlin that is responsible for administering public dormitories in Germany. If you are studying in Freie Universität Berlin, for e.g., you can stay in dormitories with a maximum travel distance of about 40 minutes by public transportation. The good thing in all this is universities work closely together with different housing providers to ensure that students get an affordable and safe accommodation to stay in while studying in Germany.

Turning back the wheelsTurning back the wheels of time and then fast forward again! Germany has such a colorful history that you will be dazed to say the least. Cities like Berlin, at one point in time inspired giants like Bismarck and Marx, Einstein. Berlin, in fact, has risen from the ashes, after it was turned into rubble by allied forces during the Second World War. Today you can almost relieve those perilous moments in the century old structures that line the city, museums and the iconic Berlin Wall. But the past no longer haunts Berlin, as a free-whiling spirit drives the people, and creativity thrives in the form of concerts and operas, while international stars jostle for their moment of glory under the sun. The story is no different in other German cities, as they too have qualities that are unique, but somehow threaded together by a larger German identity. Studying in Germany, you can get soaked in this German spirit, but don’t forget to take some time out and explore the countryside as well, as it is no less impressive.

Learn the German language and get a head start: Learning German isn’t a prerequisite for studying in Germany if you apply for an international course, as instead you are required to show your English language proficiency. But nonetheless, if you are proficient in the German language, you can start off your studies in Germany on the right footing.  It is because, with language no longer being a barrier, you can attend many key seminars and lectures held in German, which you would otherwise skip. Additionally, you will be at ease when interacting with faculty, who might not follow English, and also be able to read German texts. Then again, learning the language goes much beyond than just being an academic requirement, because upon mastering the language, you will be able to discover Germany in its true colors, warts and all!

For courses other than international courses, students are required to have adequate knowledge of German. It is because these courses are generally administered in the German language. Students looking forward to study in Germany can take any of the two tests to show their proficiency in the language:

  • DSH - German language test for admission to university for international applicants

  • The German as a foreign language test (TestDaF)

In addition to Germany, TestDaF is held in over 90 countries. So, you can complete the test at home. However, DSH is held only in Germany and so to sit for the exam, there is no other option, but to travel to Germany.

Best student citiesBest student cities: German cities like Berlin and Munich aren’t ready to rest on past laurels, as can be seen by their continued presence in lists like best student cities in the world. What such recognition does is it portrays a city in a very different light, where aspects like quality of life, employment opportunities, an active student community, and of course, the general affordability get prominence. And it helps the student, in many ways; suppose, a situation comes where he has to choose between two universities of equal academic weightage and reputation, he can then take into account the positions of the respective universities in the best student cities in the world list to arrive at a conclusion.


Work opportunities: Students today aren’t easily satisfied, as they also want to work while studying in Germany. But while students of the EU are treated at par with German students and face limited restrictions to pursue work during study, students from other nationalities face some limitations. These include:

  • Permission to work for a maximum of 120 full or 240 half days

  • To work more than the prescribed limit, students need a permit from the "Agentur für Arbeit" (Federal Employment Agency) and the foreigners' authority

  • Additionally, students from outside the EU or EEA aren’t permitted to work in the capacity of as freelancer of be self-employed

Also, laws regulating employment of international students are very strictly followed and non-compliance may even lead to expulsion from the country. Also, there is the concept of mandatory internship and optional internship. If you do mandatory internship, which is considered integral to your degree, it doesn’t affect your 120 day limit. But if you do optional international internship, it will be deemed regular employment and so deducted from your quota of 120 days.


Meanwhile, working as an academic or student Assistant has benefits, as you can work as long as you want.


Scholarship: While cost of studying in Germany isn’t a patch on the like of the USA or Australia, it still costs more to study in Germany than many other countries. After all, you have to bear living costs and expenses related to other miscellaneous items like insurance and gym membership, which can rake up quite a significant sum. Many students then take the scholarship route to meet expenses, with DAAD being the most prominent of the lot. DAAD has the distinction of being among the world’s largest funding organizations that provide funding to international students and scholars.


One of the popular DAAD scholarships offered to international students is Educating Professionals for Sustainable Development (EPOS), which sponsors talented graduates with two years’ experience to undertake a postgraduate course in Germany. The funding is provided for 12-36 months and carries a monthly payment of â‚¬750 for graduate students and €1000 for doctoral students, in addition to tuition fees. Apart from DAAD, students looking to study in Germany are also encouraged to apply for Heinrich Boll Scholarship, another popular award that supports around 1,000 undergraduates, graduates and doctoral students across all subjects and nationalities every year. 


Health Insurance: If you are studying in Germany, you have to buy health insurance just like in all the top study-abroad destinations. Just in case you haven’t bought health insurance back in your home country covering you stay in Germany, you can purchase it from statutory health insurers in Germany at discounted rates. Insurance fee could be in the range of 80 euros a month and includes benefits like health and nursing insurance. In place of the statutory insurance, students are free to go for private covers provided they provide similar coverage and are approved by the university. In either case, you are required to submit the certificate issued by the insurer to the university at time of enrollment.  


FoodFood: If you are a foodie, you have the perfect opportunity to embark on a culinary journey during your study in Germany. To start with, you will melt in the sweetness of German sweets, what with sweet brands like Ritter Sport, Haribo and Kinder, which come in many flavors and sizes, putting all the sweetness you can conceive on a single platter. Then there is the omnipresent Doner kebab, which is a special type of bread with meat fillings, and really puts your taste buds on fire. Another very popular item, and one that you need to have on your bucket list, is the currywurst. Also, while many of us have been hearing about the famous German beer-making tradition, you now have the opportunity to explore German beer by going on brewery tours, visiting beer gardens, and even attending beer museums. And believe you me; by the end of it all you are going to feel positively overwhelmed!


Stay tuned to for more news and updates on Germany

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Questions related to Germany

Showing 79 out of 79 Questions

what is the duration of MBA in Germany - MBA is difficult or easy - fees structure - stay cost - expenses cost - A to Z total cost

Smeet Almeida 13th May, 2020

Greetings, aspirant!

Germany is the largest economy in Europe and offers much more immigration friendly laws as compared to USA.

The duration of full-time MBA in Germany can last anywhere between 12-24 months depending on your university, state norms, specialization choices and such. You can opt for part time MBA as well if you're a working class individual in which case, your classes are held in the evenings and/or weekends.

Some of the best Universities for MBA in Germany include:-

  • Manheim University :- the MBA program in Manheim spans over 24 months and the fee structure stands at around 3.5 lakh rupees for the first year
  • Leipzig University :- the MBA program in Leipzig spans over 2 years as well and fees structure stands at 50.3k for the first year.
  • Technical university of Munich :- the MBA program of TUM spans over 2 years and the fee structure is a bit hefty at 25.7L for the first year.
  • EU business school (Germany) :- the MBA program here spans over 1 year and costs about 23L for the first year.

The living cost in Germany depends on your lifestyle preferences as well as the area of accomodation as apartments in major cities cost substantially more than those in the outskirts.

The eligibility criteria for applying in a German Based University is different for each University. However, the common tests include IELTS, GRE, GMAT, TOEFL etc.

Hope this information helped you!

Best of Luck!


How to read *MBA germany there for free Tell me step by step, sir

Sonali Sahu Student Expert 18th May, 2020


the only way to make a free degree is to get a scholarship. if you have good education qualification or merit then you can apply for scholarship by performing best in the test/exams.

Nothing comes for free. even expecting a free degree from Aboard won't be logical. You have to pay fees and have personal expenses like hostel, mess.

You have to appear GRE/TOFEL and clear it so that you will be eligible for going aboard. Choose a college and go through the selection process. meanwhile prepare and apply for scholarships programs.

Hope it helps!


BCA+MCA BCA+MBA (which specialisation is best for future) BCA+MS which is best for future *i can do masters in Germany

Rehan Alam Student Expert 12th May, 2020

Dear Aspirant,

All the streams you have mentioned have a good career with the following equation:-

BCA+MBA( IIMs/FMS) == BCA+ MS(foreign) > > BCA + MCA

If you do your mba from a top institute or go for masters from Germany then surely you will have a good career as compared to doing MCA.

The difference is in MBA you will make a career in finance or managment roles while in MS you make career in tech field.

Hope this helps. Thank you.


What engineering cgpa is minimum required for Ms in Germany?

Devanshi Adhikari 12th May, 2020

Hello aspirant,

To do MS in Germany, the minimum CGPA requirement is 6.5. To get admission in a good university you need to get a very good score in IELTS and your CGPA must be above 8. You will also need to do research work and also have them published from organizations like IEEE , it can be on any field.

Thank you.


Could someone do B pharma from other country like Germany, Sweden etc

Bhawna Mehbubani 12th May, 2020

Yes, you can surely do B.pharma outside India. I would recommend some countries like Singapore, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Germany,Sweden and USA.

There are many scholarships tests available as well. For studying abroad you may need to give TOEFL exams and pass with a required score.

I wish you All the best for your further studies !

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