Study in Germany after 12 – Germany enjoys an excellent reputation globally as a sought-after destination to study abroad. As per the most recent data provided by the ICEF Monitor, 36.5% international students in Germany are attending a bachelor’s degree course. In addition, a report published by the DAAD or German Academic Exchange Service for 2018-2019 shows that Indian students comprise the 2nd largest number of international students enrolled in German universities.
So why do students get attracted to Germany for undergraduate programs in such huge numbers?
- Firstly, German universities offer high quality classroom instructions based on a practical approach to research and employability.
- Another reason for its popularity as a study abroad destination is the fact that most of the German public universities do not charge tuition fees (although there is an enrolment, confirmation and administration fee). German public universities oppose the idea of charging tuition fees from foreigners because the state believes in acquiring the smartest minds from all over the world and keeping them in the country after graduation for economic benefits. However, while free tuition attracts many international students, there are several limitations to this factor for Indian students, discussed in the article below.
- Another attractive factor for the popularity of undergraduate programs internationally is that an undergraduate degree from a German university makes the admission process into a master’s course much more easier.
Now that we’ve discussed in brief a few of the benefits and disclaimers pertaining to undergraduate studies in Germany, let’s discuss the most popular bachelor courses and universities in Germany, admission and other crucial requirements and post study work benefits.
Latest reads: German Universities & Study in Germany in English
Study in Germany after 12 – Popular Undergraduate Universities and Courses
German universities rank highly in the QS World Rankings, with 8 of them ranking amongst the top 150 institutes in the world. The rankings take into account factors like academic reputation, research impact and employment rates of graduates in reputed companies. German institutes of higher education are renowned for offering quality programs to their students, taught by professors that are not only devoted to their students but are dedicated researchers as well. If you are lucky enough, you might even get a chance to be taught by a Nobel laureate as 10 scientists from Germany have been awarded the honour in the last 17 years.
Some of the top ranked German universities that offer undergraduate degrees are:
- Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
- International Business School of Hochschule Fresenius
- Code University of Applied Sciences
- Free University of Berlin
- University of Freiburg
The following is a list of some of the most popular undergraduate courses selected by international students studying in Germany:
- Bachelor’s in Engineering
- Bachelor’s in Business and Administration
- Bachelor’s in Social Sciences
- Bachelor’s in Computer Science
- Bachelor’s in Information Technology
- Bachelor’s in Film Studies
The latest figures released by the Federal Statistical Office of Germany for 2017-18 winter semester show that 70% of Indian students in German universities are enrolled in Engineering courses, 12% in Mathematics and Natural Sciences and 13% in Law and Social Studies.
Study in Germany after 12 – Admission Requirements
Universities in Germany are autonomous and they each have their own separate criteria for admitting students. However, there are certain mandatory requirements that apply to all Indian students looking to apply for undergraduate courses in Germany. Technically, you are eligible for a bachelor’s program if you fulfil one of the requirements listed below:
- Successfully completing the first year of a bachelor program from a recognized university in India in the relevant subject field.
- Clearing the IIT Joint Entrance Examination (Advanced) for admission to courses in technology and natural sciences.
- Completing an IB (International Baccalaureate) or similarly recognised examination with the subject combination as required by the university you wish to apply to.
- Passing the Feststellungsprüfung, a qualification assessment examination.
You will also be required to submit the following documents during the admission process:
- Entrance Qualifications
- Transcript of Grades
- Proof of Language Proficiency
- Letter of Motivation/Purpose
Some universities may also ask applicants to provide a letter of reference or a letter of recommendation. These are considered essential for admission into certain programs and allow the admission officer to understand the student’s previous academic history or any work experience as described by a former teacher/employer. A good letter of reference/recommendation makes an application stand out and may prove extremely valuable for degrees that aren’t overly reliant on transcripts, grades or scores but need proof that a candidate is authentic, creative and can keep up with the rigours of their chosen program.
Planning to study in Germany? Explore courses in Germany here
Note: Please check the university website and the specific program you are interested in to find the exact requirements for admission.
Study in Germany after 12 – Qualification Assessment Examination and Preparatory Course
Indian students who wish to study in Germany for their undergraduate degree may also have to clear the Feststellungsprüfung, an examination conducted by most universities that is designed to evaluate your proficiency in the core subjects of your degree program and the German language as well. To help you prepare for this exam, there is an option of attending a Studienkolleg in Germany. A Studienkolleg functions as a foundation course and prepares you for the assessment exam. It is a full-time course that takes 2 semesters (1 year) to complete.
This course has two components:
- The German language
- Subjects relevant to the study program
The minimum criterion for admission into a Studienkolleg is –
- A relevant school leaving certificate with subject combinations relevant to the bachelor’s degree you wish to pursue.
- Proficiency in the German language at B1 or intermediate level (according to the Common European Framework of Reference). A Studienkolleg has an entrance exam where the subject knowledge and German proficiency of a candidate will be evaluated.
After preparing and successfully taking the Feststellungsprüfung, you will be eligible to apply for a bachelor’s degree course in the university you wish to attend.
Note: According to the DAAD website, there are a limited number of undergraduate courses and Studienkollegs that use English as a medium of instruction, hence being at least intermediately proficient in German is a prerequisite for any student looking to pursue a degree after 12th in Germany.
Study in Germany after 12 – Financial Requirements
In 2014, 16 states in Germany abolished tuition fees for all students, international and domestic, at all public universities. However, in the autumn of 2017, the state of Baden-Wurttemberg in south-west Germany reintroduced tuition fees for international students. Foreign students who are enrolled in universities in Baden-Wurttemberg will now have to pay tuition fees of EUR 3000 per year for undergraduate degrees at public universities.
The rest of the states still do not require tuition fees for undergraduate courses at public universities, but students still have to pay a charge per semester that covers enrolment, confirmation and administration. It’s usually no more than EUR 250 per semester, but may vary slightly amongst different universities.
However, one must know that finding free or low cost English-language programs at German public universities isn’t easy. This is because most of the undergraduate courses at German universities are taught in German. According to the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), 116 bachelor programs are taught completely in English, but when the search is narrowed down to bachelor degrees with no tuition fee, only 60 programs remain. Therefore, in order to get a top-notch bachelor course, one either has to show excellent proficiency in German language by the way of a German language standardised test, or pay tuition fees at a private German university in order to study a chosen course in English (while learning German on the side). Either way, learning German is necessary to be able to explore and understand the country, network with locals and fellow university mates and enjoy post study work benefits.
A majority of universities in Germany are public, however the private institutions that exist are usually dependent on outside funding and tuition fees for their finances. As such, they charge a significantly higher fee which can start from EUR 2,000 per year and go beyond it as well.
Study in Germany after 12 – Post-Study Benefits
After completing your undergraduate degree from a German university, you can avail the benefits listed below:
- International students are eligible to apply for a permit that will allow them to stay in Germany for 18 months after the completion of their degrees. You can use this time to search for and apply to jobs in the fields related to your studies.
- You can transition easily to a consecutive master’s degree, i.e. a degree that is directly related to your field of study in your bachelor’s program.
- If you secure a job offer in your 18 month stay-back period, you can accept the position and apply for EU Blue Card or German Residence Permit which will allow you to stay and work in multiple European countries.
- If you wish to settle permanently in Germany, you can apply for a settlement permit 2 years after you receive your EU Blue Card.
Study in Germany after 12 – FAQs
Q. What kind of programs are available at the undergraduate level in Germany?
Germany offers a wide range of programs that encompass a large variety of subjects at the undergraduate level. Most of these programs have German as the medium of instruction, but English language courses are available too. Earning an undergraduate degree from a German institute will make it easier for you to apply for a master’s degree in Germany too.
Q. What are the eligibility requirements to apply for a bachelor’s degree course?
Since every university in Germany is autonomous, all of them have their own set of criteria for admitting students. You can check the official websites of the universities you are interested in to find the exact requirements. However, in principle, you are eligible to apply for a bachelor’s program if you:
- Pass the qualification assessment exam known as Feststellungsprüfung.
- Complete the first year of a bachelor program from a recognized university in India, in the relevant subject field.
- Clear the IIT Joint Entrance Examination (Advanced) if you wish to apply to technology or natural science courses
- Complete a degree similar or equivalent to the International Baccalaureate.
Q. Do I need to know German to apply for a course after 10+2?
The answer to this question is a bit complex. The number of bachelor’s programs taught entirely in English is low compared to courses at the master’s level. Hence, you are at least required to be at the B1 or intermediate level of German proficiency before you decide to apply. Even if you don’t need to be fluent in German to apply for a course, you will need it to get around the city you are studying in and interacting with people around you.
Q. What is a Studienkolleg?
A Studienkolleg is a foundation course specifically designed to help international students who wish to study in Germany and need to pass the qualifications assessment exam. It acts as a bridge that allows you to familiarise yourself with the academic culture in Germany and polish your language and other skills that you need to clear the qualifications assessment exam. The duration of a Studienkolleg is 1 year or 2 semesters. You don’t need to pay a fee to attend a Studienkolleg but you do have to clear a final exam at the end of the course.
Q. What is the ‘Feststellungsprüfung’?
The Feststellungsprüfung is an examination that is conducted by universities to screen potential candidates on the basis of their proficiency in the subjects they wish to study and the German language. The test has a written and an oral component and if you clear the exam, you will be eligible to apply for a bachelor’s degree course. Please note that clearing this exam does not guarantee admission to a university, rather it opens up more options in terms of universities you can apply to.