No tuition fees and many benefits and facilities available to students notwithstanding, the combined costs of living and studying in Germany can be considerable – various scholarships and part-time work during studies are the most common ways of coping for students, and should be duly considered as means of funding.
Get a Scholarship to Fund Your Studies
In English speaking countries such as the United States, Canada, UK, Australia and developed countries of Europe, the tuition fees are high and a burden not only for international students, but for local residents as well. That’s why Germany has become a popular choice for many students wishing to study abroad and get great education, while not burying themselves in debt after graduation. As of October 2014 Germany offers literally free higher education for its residents and international students alike. Regardless how low the tuition fees might have been; now they are gone and more money will be saved by the struggling students. Six of the top 100 Universities in the world are German, where many Nobel laureates have studied.
Following a judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court in 2005 Universities in Germany required students to pay registration and tuition fees, yet this was practiced only in four Federal states out of 16. The tuition per semester used to be €500 in the states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hamburg and Lower Saxony, while in other states for undergraduate studies you only have to pay a symbolic €50 for registration. With the recent changes and the abolishment of tuition fees no wonder Germany attracts a large number of international students wishing to get an education or further their studies in Masters or Doctoral programs, at established and internationally recognized Universities. However tuition is only free for postgraduate students regardless of their origin; postgraduate studies still charge a certain tuition fee depending on the federation.
Although Germany has an outstandingly good and free of charge education system, the cost of living there can be pretty high for international students; and since there is little financial support, it’s advisable to apply for a scholarship before leaving your home country, to help you with different expenses such as accommodation, books, study materials and health insurance among others, that are around €600 – €800 per month. In metropolitan areas like Munich or Berlin, living expenses can get up to €1000 per month.
Postgraduate studies are not free like undergraduate ones, so you have to pay for admission and confirmation fees. Students who stay more than the designated number of terms must pay €500 per semester, thus a scholarship will help you greatly to finance your studies and life in Germany.
Who awards Scholarships?
There are many organizations that help students financially, but the main institution that mediates between international students and financial aid is the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst) or DAAD for short. Since German Universities don’t offer grants for students, you should apply through DAAD, which offers scholarships to international students via partner institutions.