While the Covid-19 pandemic punctuated students’ study abroad dreams, 2021 emerged as a year of respite for students when countries opened their borders again. As they scout for options, their attention is back on the usual preferences—Germany being one of them.
In the winter semester of 2019-20, out of the 4,11,601 international students, the number of Indian students in Germany stood at 25,149, a record figure which was a 20.85 per cent hike from the year before, as per data from the Federal Statistical Office of Germany. Back then, Indians formed the second-largest group of international students in world-class German universities with most of them going there to study engineering, management and social studies, mathematics, and natural sciences.
Even post-pandemic, Germany has continued to see an influx of Indian students with a German Academic Exchange Service survey saying that most of the 158 surveyed higher education institutes reported an increase in newly enrolled students from India and other countries like Turkey, Iran, Italy, and France.
The number definitely will rise in the near future, says Piyush Bhartiya, co-founder of AdmitKard, an ed-tech platform that helps students in their study abroad journey.
He says, “Over the years, the number of international students applying for education in Germany has been steadily increasing. From 2014-2019, the number of Indian students going to Germany has increased by 30.9 per cent and the growth trajectory displayed a rise of another 8.19 per cent till 2021.”
So, why has Germany remained an Indian favourite and why is it a good study abroad option? There are reasons aplenty.
For an international student, Germany has a lot to offer—from its education system to its student-friendly policies.
Its state-run universities, which hold significant ranks in the prestigious Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings list, charge nothing or close to nothing for tuition fees. In 2014, a government plan was introduced which abolished tuition fees for all students enrolled in public universities and the same is applicable for international students. The country’s high literacy rate can be attributed to its cheap and advanced education system that provides top-notch employability skills.
In terms of courses, there are thousands of courses across fields for students to choose from. Not knowing German may create some problems, although there are numerous choices for students who prefer English as their medium of education.
The compulsory 20-hours-a-week work rule also prepares students in their respective fields while offering them practical experience related to their field of education.
While education in public universities is free, private universities could charge anywhere between €15-30,000 in Germany. That, however, can be managed by applying for the right scholarships offered by universities.
The living expenses are a whole different ball game. Saurabh Arora, founder and CEO of University Living, an online global student accommodation marketplace, says that applicants have to prove that they have €10,332 at their disposal for a year.
In terms of accommodation, the monthly rent can range from €550 to €1,500 depending on the city, area and room type.
Utilities will cost another €150 to €350 depending on the city and the size of accommodation, says Arora.
How To Apply
Like any other country, the process starts with you choosing the right course in your preferred universities. Here, you need to make sure that you have the required test scores that are demanded by the universities, including language proficiency scores.
To prove your proficiency in English, taking a Test of English as a Foreign Language is mandatory. Other than this, a certain level of proficiency in German will also be needed for the completion of the admission process.
In that context, two exams are recommended—the Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache (advanced-level language exam) by TestDaF Institute, Germany and Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (required to join a German university) that is generally conducted by the specific university that you have applied for. Here, you will have to check the eligibility conditions of the universities carefully so you know beforehand which of these exams is mandated by them. Proficiency in English and German will also help you when you apply for the student visa.
Other than this, you will also need to have in place the documents that will prove that you have the financial resources to fund your studies in Germany.