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?
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.
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:
The following is a list of some of the most popular undergraduate courses selected by international students studying in Germany:
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.
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:
You will also be required to submit the following documents during the admission process:
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.
Note: Please check the university website and the specific program you are interested in to find the exact requirements for admission.
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 minimum criterion for admission into a Studienkolleg is –
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.
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.
After completing your undergraduate degree from a German university, you can avail the benefits listed below:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.