Requirements To Study In Germany

What kinds of documents and papers one needs for the entry to Germany depends mainly on where he or she comes from and on how long he or she wants to stay in Germany. It is important to get the necessary information and to put together all the papers quite early and in time before the studies abroad.

Germany Study Visa requirements

For citizens from the EU or from the countries Island, Norway, Switzerland or Liechtenstein it is only necessary to have an identity card to entry Germany. It is not necessary to have a visa. Citizens from other countries instead need a visa if they stay in Germany for more than 90 days. There are some more rules for the visa application as well. Citizens from the countries Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea and the USA can apply for their visa even after they arrived in Germany.

For citizens from other countries it is necessary to apply for the visa before coming to Germany.

Language Skills

If you are enrolled in an English-language degree programme, you generally require no knowledge of German. On the other hand, you must have a good level of proficiency in English.

For degree programmes taught in German, you will need better proficiency in German for the social sciences than in the natural sciences – particularly in terms of writing and speaking.

Your language ability must be sufficient to understand lectures and participate in discussions in seminars. You will also have to understand scientific texts. You should be able to adequately discuss scientific topics orally, and analyse and argue positions in written form.

When you apply to a degree programme at a German university, you will have to submit certificates confirming your German proficiency. Of course, this shouldn’t be the only reason to learn German. Even after you’ve passed a language examination or achieved the necessary test results, you should continue working to improve your German.

Language skills are not only necessary for your studies. Knowing German is important for life outside the university. It will help you master daily life, participate more intensively in German society and significantly improve your chances of making contact with others.

Proof of financial resources

You need it, to pay your rent, to go shopping and to party: money. Before you begin your studies, you will have to show how you intend to finance your stay. You must provide what is called a “Finanzierungsnachweis” or “proof of financial resources”. In most cases, you are required to include this document with your visa application. At the latest, you will need it when you apply for a residence permit.

At present, foreign students must prove they have at least 7,908 euro per year at their disposal (about 670 euro per month). Proof of financial resources can be provided in various ways. The following forms are generally accepted :

  • Your parents submit documents certifying their income and financial assets.
  • A resident in Germany provides the Aliens’ Registration Office a guarantee to cover your expenses.
  • You submit a bank guarantee.
  • You receive a scholarship from a recognised scholarship provider.
  • A security payment is deposited into a blocked account.

Be sure to enquire at the German embassy in your country as to which form of financial proof is required.

University admission requirements

All students from abroad must apply for admission to a German university. This applies to freshmen, postgraduates and doctoral candidates alike. The admissions procedure ensures that applicants fulfil the necessary requirements to study at an institute of higher education.Students from abroad must apply for admission from the university of their choice. For your application, you will require :

for a Bachelor's degree

  • A school-leaving certificate (also known as "university entrance qualification", e.g. High School Diploma, Matura, A-Levels, Bachillerato, Atestat, baccalauréat) or
  • Proof that you have passed the university entrance examination (if required in your home country)

for a Master's degree and PhD programmes

  • Recognition of your university degree from your home country or another country.

Not all higher education entrance qualifications apply to all study programmes. There is a general qualification (“allgemeine HZB”) which entitles students to study all subjects at universities and universities of applied sciences, and a subject-specific qualification (“fachgebundene HZB”) which entitles students to study certain subjects only.

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