If you have decided to study in Germany, you have to choose the right course and right university which offers that course. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has a database of almost 17,000 programs, including 88 programs in English. In most of the universities, the medium of instruction is usually German. The courses with English as the medium of instruction are very limited for undergraduate programs compared to postgraduate programs. Some undergraduate programs will have English as the medium of instruction for the first two to four semesters and will change to German after that. In this case, your university may offer or you have to get training in the German language at a proficient level before switching from English to German. While choosing a university and a course, you should also make sure that the course content suits you. You should look up the university website for more details about your university and your course. You can also directly contact the university through phone or e-mail for additional information.
In Germany, a recognized higher education entrance qualification is required for international students to apply for higher studies. This could be a high school leaving certificate for undergraduate students or a degree certificate for postgraduate students. You will also need to meet the German language requirements before applying for a study program in Germany. Most courses are taught in German, requiring international applicants to submit proof of proficiency in the German language. There are two main tests that you have to take to prove your eligibility in the German language. They are the Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH, meaning ‘German language examination for university entrance’) and the TestDaF (formerly Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache, meaning ‘Test of German as a foreign language’). For English universities, you need to take IELTS or TOEFL tests according to the requirements of your university.
You should apply directly on the university website by filling out their online application. You can contact the university for any further assistance. You also need to submit all the necessary documents as per the requirements of your university. The typical documents for application are a certified copy of your high-school diploma or previous degrees, a translated overview of your course modules and grades, a copy of your passport, proof of language proficiency etc.
In many German universities, admission is open twice a year – to commence studies either in the winter or summer semester. The summer semester runs from March to August at Fachhochschulen and April to September at universities; the winter semester is from September to February and October to March respectively. You need to apply before July 15 for winter intake and before January 15 for summer intake. However, these deadlines may vary according to the regulations of a university. It’s recommended to submit applications at least six weeks before the deadline, to ensure time for corrections or additions if any information is missing.
For getting your students visa, you need to show proof of your finances to fund your education in Germany. You need to have around €7,908 per year to cover your living expenses depending on the place you live and the university. If you are going to study with a scholarship, you have to provide the necessary proof for that.
You need to take health insurance before you leave for Germany. This is required both before you enroll and before you get a student visa and residence permit. You should apply for the German student visa after getting the acceptance letter from your university.