What is an Interview Session for a German Student Visa?
Some International students wishing to pursue their studies in any German education institution are double challenged. First, they will have to experience the pressure of taking a seat at their preferred German university. Secondly, but no less worrying is the effort of getting together all the needed documents for the German student visa application process, including preparation for the visa interview session.
In the visa interview session general, personal and specific questions are to be answered, together with questions about the future plans of the applicant after they have completed studies in Germany.
Student visa Interview questions categories
Despite that no one can certainly conclude about the exact questions to be asked to the next German student visa applicant, there are common questions that are typically asked.
These questions point out the following matters:
- Decision on following studies in Germany
- Knowledge about Germany
- Information about future studies in Germany
- Current academic and skills level
- Current and future financial status
- Common information about the study field
- Accommodation in Germany
- Relationships with people living in Germany/Europe
- Holidays and semester-break
- Plans of the future
Answered German student visa Interview questions
Decision on following studies in Germany
- Why do you want to study in Germany?
Answer: Deciding Germany for studies abroad does not surprise anyone, knowing that it stands amongst the three worlds’ top attracting countries for international students. Germany is famous for having high-quality and best academic and practice-oriented programs and all of this in low-tuition or no-tuition fee at all. Other reasons to choose Germany is the enjoyable level of freedom, security, as well as rich culture, history and diversity characterizing it.
Tip: you might get additional information on Why Germany?
- Why this city?
Answer: You might answer by saying you did not choose the city, but I have chosen the university which is located in this city, and show the thrill to explore the city as well. If being asked name some interesting spots of the city that you would like to sightsee and some attention-grabbing features you would like to experience when you would go there.
Tip: get to know more about the benefits of studying in different cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig, Bremen, Aachen, Munich, Bon, Frankfurt, Augsburg, so to know more about what these cities have to offer.
- Why did you choose this course? Is it relevant to your previous study?
Answer: If the course is related to your previous studies, you should point that that is the main reason for choosing it. While, there might be also other factors for decision i.e. high-ranking, quality of the course, practice-orientation, alumni, else. On the other hand, if you are seeking to study in a new field, explain how you got interested in the course i.e. you were doing your own research on the internet about the available study programs in Germany and you chose the course which mostly fulfilled your expectations for studies. Name which are these factors that made you choose this specific course amongst a wide range of courses offered.
Tip: Before the interview, you are advised to visit the webpage of the university and get some insights about how the course relates to your interests for your future career.
- Why did you choose this university and how did you find about it?
Answer: Explain how you got the information about the university you are about to study at and let them know what made you decide on this one. I.e. you may say that you have found that this university has a very appealing program for international students, reach study program, great internship opportunities, alumni, non-expensive study costs, the eminence of the academic staff, or else. In case you are about to study through an Erasmus + program, you have to explain you are benefiting from an intra-university cooperation of your home university with the German university you are about to study at.
Tip: Before the interview, you are advised to visit the webpage of the university and get some insights about what makes this university feasible for your studies.
- Isn’t this course offered by any university or college in your country?
Answer: You might answer this question cleverly by highlighting the difference in study quality and course structure between Germany with that in your country. Germany is everyone’s dream when it comes to studying excellence, and just a few world countries are serious competitors on that. You can state that studying in Germany would be of great benefit for your future career due to the combination of contemporary knowledge and practice that German universities offer it.
Tips: Get to know more about the latest World University ranking, so as to have realistic information about the position of your German university in the world to have better-kept information on your answer.
- Which are the other universities you have applied to?
Answer: In case you did apply to another university in Germany, you must let them know. Explain that you are contented you have been accepted for studies by the current university and you are excited to start the enrollment in studies.
- Who motivated you to go to Germany?
Answer: Let them know you have been constantly supported by your family, friend, or partner during the entire journey since the beginning and it continues so far. Name the person which mostly motivated to chase your overseas studies in Germany.
- Why do you want to study in Germany and not in Canada or the USA?
Answer: Germany competes with other countries as of first-class quality, practice-oriented and internationally-oriented study programs, but also as of the low-cost or no-cost studies. You might answer that studying in Germany is more affordable and feasible compared to in Canada or the USA.
- Can you tell me some facts about your university?
Answer: Make a summary of the university activity including who was the founder, in which year was founded, which are main study fields, number of students/yearly, number of graduates/every year, number of departments, number of innovations and laureates, internship programs, type of courses offered, course structure, how many international-oriented programs, research programs, and so on.
Tip: Before the interview, you are advised to visit the webpage of your university and keep notes of key features about its so-far activity, including the statistics. Remembering numerical data such as i.e. number of yearly enrollment of university will add an extra value to your seriousness as a prospective student. You might get relevant short information about top universities in Germany – if your university is included in the list.
Knowledge about Germany
- Name any tourist places in Germany and why they are famous?
Answer: Mention a few German museums, palaces and national parks, castles, berlin wall, and other attractive spots that are considered the country’s top attractions and talk in short about their distinctiveness and key features.
Tip: visit the webpage Germany travel to understand which are mostly visited spots in Germany and get to know more about their history of reputation
- Do you know German?
Answer: Usually international students applying for studies have to know the German of the upper basic level which is B1. In case you have been required to know German for your studies, then state which level of knowledge you possess is.
- How many borders does Germany have and with which countries?
Answer: Germany has nine neighbouring countries Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, and Switzerland.
- Which are the top most expensive cities to live in?
Answer: There are five cities in Germany known as most expensive to live in: Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt am Main, Düsseldorf and Bonn.
Tip: Get some general information about these cities, in case you will be asked about specifics of these places.
- How many states are there in Germany, and can you name some of them?
Answer: Germany consists of sixteen federal states: Baden Wurttemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hessen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Niedersachsen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rheinland-Pfalz, Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, and Thuringia.
Tip: you might want to have some general information about Germany federal states.
Information about future studies in Germany
- What’s duration of your course?
Answer: Let them know how much does your course last and if needed starting and ending date. If being asked let them know how many semesters the course has.
- What is the scope of your course?
Answer: Name the department and the subject of your studies. I.e. Law department and the study program/course name, and which its main objectives are. Mention also main subjects/modules of the course.
Tip: You might use this as a sample for your prior preparation.
- What is the course structure?
Answer: Explain in short how many semesters, full time or part-time, core subject areas, credits per semester, total hours of lessons per semester, study methodology and activities are, and so on.
Tip: visit the website of the university and get the needed information in the section courses.
- In which university you are going to study? What is the location of your university?
Answer: Let them know which your university you have chosen is and the city where its location is.
Tip: Practice with spelling the name of the university and the city correctly so you will appear familiar enough with the university.
- Why do you think the university is awarding you a scholarship?
Answer: Mention your high GPA scores, GMAT scores and/or TOEFL scores. If there was any other reason why you have been granted a scholarship that you know, mention it too.
Tip: make sure to recall all the requirements for getting a scholarship were, so you can be more confident on how to respond.
- What benefits can this course bring round you?
Answer: Mention the career options you are expected to have either as an employer or self-employed person, after your graduation at a German university. Let them know about the lack of expertise in your country in the field you are about to study for, and the level of eagerness the country has for filling jobs with qualified people of a first-rate knowledge/practice.
Tip: get prior information/statistics in your country about the demand of qualified people in the field of your studies. This will add a realistic piece to your answer.
- What is the course start date?
Answer: let them know where you are about to start your enrollment as a student.
Tip: you have this information on your admission letter from the university, and anytime you might require additional information from the International Office about the course schedule.
- What will be the total cost of studies per year?
Answer: Tell them the estimated study tuition fees for the entire study course, all study years.
Tip: do not include in your calculation the amount of living costs, as this is only costs for studying.
- What is the name of the course?
Answer: name the course which you are about to study for. I.e. Biology.
Tip: do not tell them about the content of the course, they are simply asking for the name.
- Do you have a conditional or unconditional letter of acceptance for studies?
Answer: This means whether you have complied completely with the study requirements and been accepted to register for studies, if not, you have met most of the requirements but needs to meet also another requirement. If you have a conditional (provisional) letter of acceptance for studies, means that you have been accepted to study provisionally – meaning that you must undertake the preparatory course for sitting the final exam “Feststellungsprüfung” – upon successfully passing it a “Hochschulzugangsberechtigung” University Entrance Qualification will be issued, which will guarantee you a seat to study.
Tip: Learn more about what is the University Entrance Qualification, so you can be more prepared.
- Can you name some of the modules you will be studying?
Answer: Mention the main modules of the course you are about to study, i.e. if you are about to study architecture, the main modules may be: architectural design, urban and landscape transformation, cultural heritage and so on.
Tip: Make sure you get the needed information on the webpage of the university – usually found under the subcategory of degree-awarding programs – course outline on the webpages.
- Is the course completely in English?
Answer: Tell them whether you are accepted to study in an international program or a regular program. Usually, international programs are fully in English, but some can include also lessons in German.
Tip: make sure you have the exact information about the language of your future studies, so you do not get confused and leave a bad impression.
- What is your intended travel date?
Answer: Your travel date must be the same as the one showing on your travel ticket and has to be early enough so you can register and enrol in your studies.
Current academic and skills level
- What was your latest academic degree taken? When you received it? Who issued it?
Answer: Name the academic title you have received and the institution which have been granting you such a degree, i.e. a Bachelor of Finance, the year and month being issued and the location of the issuing institution.
Tip: Do not make a gaff appearing uncertain about the exact date of your graduation, so check your degree-awarding diploma to recall all the needed details.
- Which was your grade point average (GPA) received at the end of such studies?
Answer: Tell them which latest GPA grading you have reached by the end of your latest studies, by offering supporting documentation such as your latest degree-awarding certificate.
Tip: do not use the interview talking about your previous GPA from other earlier studies.
- Which are your IELTS scores?
Answer: Speak about the results you have achieved on your IELTS without having to give other details without being asked.
Tip: Make sure you recall once more your IELTS early enough before the interview.
- What have you done since your latest graduation?
Answer: Explain which was your main activity and interests ever since you have graduated from previous studies. It can be paid work, following trainings, engagement in charity activities, completing a reading-list of science/academic volumes, researching, preparation for studies in Germany, learning/advancement of English/German/other foreign languages, social engagement, voluntary job, online job, you have been taking care of a person in need, etc.
Tip: saying that you enjoyed study-free time by doing nothing does help at all, so make sure you discern useful engagements you have been engaged in during such period.
- Have you taken any English course? Have you taken any specific course related to your studies?
Answer: Name the English course and level of the English language taught, in case you were following such a course. Also, if you have been enrolled in a subject-related course to prepare for future studies, speak about the main topics taught. You might tell which the institution offering such courses was, and related dates if asked.
Tip: If enrollment before studies in such courses was not a mandatory thing, do not feel uncertain to say you did not take any of the courses.
Current and future financial status
- How are you going to fund your education?
Answer: Different answers might be given depending on the situation. You might be either using your own money you have collected for future studies- a security payment deposited in a blocked bank account (Sperrkonto), somebody is sponsoring you (father, someone in Germany, else), a study loan, you have been granted a scholarship, other.
Tip: You cannot mention any sponsor that is not legally qualified as your sponsor, meaning that has not issued you a sponsorship letter with details of the amount and ways of support.
- How much money is available for your stay in Germany?
Answer: Give numbers of how much available money you have on your bank account that you will have at your disposal in Germany for studies and living. The amount of money you present has to be in line with your “Finanzierungsnachweis”- proof of having enough money to cover your study and living costs in Germany.
Tip: Be concise and sure about the amount of money you present, as it has to be realistic and in line with the costs of studying and living and supported by the needed documentation.
- Who is sponsoring your education? How much do they earn in a year?
Answer: If you have a sponsor tell your relationship with them, i.e. a father, a sister, a brother, else, what job they do and their annual salary. You have to show the needed supporting documents to prove such a statement.
Tip: Be early enough to familiarize yourself with the details about your sponsor’s annual earnings and their job position.
- What proof do you have that your sponsor can support your studies?
Answer: If you are about to study using sponsor’s funds, you can support this question by offering any of the following supporting documents: Certified Income statement (with their latest three salary statements and employment contract) and financial assets – if a parent is a sponsor; A letter of guarantee issued by the “Ausländerbehörde” Foreigners Registration Office – if a permanent German resident is a sponsor; or A scholarship awarding certificate – if you are about to study using a scholarship fund.
- Who are all earning members in your Family?
Answer: Name all the family members who are currently engaged in a paid job and make sure you mention also their job positions, and if asked also their employers name.
Tip: Take the needed time to discuss with your family members about their job details, so you will not end up uninformed in the interview session.
- How much you will be able to earn after completing your studies?
Answer: Let them know which would be your annual salary for a job that can be potentially encountered when you get back in your country as a graduate from a German university. Also, in case you have already a business idea, you should present the business plan, including expected business incomes/yearly– but make sure amounts are based on a realistic prospect.
Tip: Make some own research by checking which the offered common salaries are in your home country, for the jobs which you can potentially be qualified to get by the end of your studies.
Common information about the study field
- Name some of the famous researchers in your field of study?
Answer: Mention several role model researchers/innovators in the field you choose for your studies, which you’ve been using as your inspiration. It can be Alan Guth – physical science, James Watson for biological science, Einstein, Timothy Berners- Lee – computer science, or else.
Tip: make the time to recall and make a list of all your inspiring researchers and their key findings.
Accommodation in Germany
- Where will you stay in Germany?
Answer: Let them know which your accommodation type is. Different ways of accommodation are practised by international students in Germany which includes: private accommodation, student residence hall, youth hostels, shared room (flatshare), or other means. If you have already found your long-term place of stay in Germany provide the needed address, while if you don’t and expecting to search for your permanent place of stay when in Germany, show the hostel/hotel reservation document with the address included.
Tip: you might contact the international office of your university for supporting you in finding the right accommodation for you.
Relationships with people living in Germany/Europe
- Do you have any relative in the respective country or Europe?
Answer: Mention close family members which currently live in Germany, or have lived before if being asked.
Tip: do not include in the list distant relatives living in Germany, only parents and siblings.
Holidays and semester-break
- What do you plan to do during your vacations?
Answer: Answer by showing no interest at all in getting a job in Germany. You have to express the intention to get back to the home country to reunite with family members during the semester break.
Tip: Saying you will get a job on your semester break might be interpreted as the lack of financial capacity to cover your costs or as an attempt to travel to Germany for employment instead of studying there. So be clear and definite about studies.
Plans of the future
- What are your future plans?
Answer: The answer should be displaying your interest in returning home following the completion of your studies. Let them know you are interested in either start a career in your country, in a job position, or in your own business related to the field you will be studying.
- Do you plan to work there?
Answer: Generally you should show no intention of getting employed while studying. On the other hand, there are exclusive cases when international students can get a job while they are studying there. Make sure your visa type and your student status qualify you for working, while studying or after studies. Anyhow, you must show your main focus on studies not on getting employed there.
Tip: Learn more about who qualifies for side jobs while studying in Germany before answering.
- Have you researched your career prospects?
Answer: Again, show no intention of remaining in Germany either for work or for becoming a permanent resident, by stating that your vision is returning home to pursue a career related to your studies. Show them you have researched enough and there is plenty of gap for qualified people in your field in your country.
Tips for attending a student visa interview
The visa interview session should be treated sincerely, in case you want to be considered a serious candidate for the visa. Your appearance and your behaviours must represent the best parts of you. You cannot be expected to be given consideration when your dressing manner and your conducts say the opposite. A person who does not wear and behave suitably, a person who is not punctual and does not use the appropriate arguments during the interview cannot expect any big good news.
Let us reveal some of the details you need to put effort into, which cause you to zero costs and can be decisive for the fate of your German student visa.
When to go to the German embassy/consulate?
Be on time. Do not be too early and especially not even a minute late for the interview. Make sure you arrive at the premises of the German Embassy/Consulate a few minutes earlier, so you can get yourself together and breathe. It is important that you greet all the staff; you never know what impressions you might leave.
It is advised not to drive on the interview day. This day is very stressful, so you do not want to spend your time and effort on finding a free parking lot. Also, you might get lost in the traffic and get late for the interview. Make sure someone drives you to the Embassy or you take a taxi early enough before the interview hour.
What to wear?
The dressing is something you must put a lot of effort into. Make sure you wear outfits that are comfortable but not exaggerated. You can wear a dress or a shirt and pants that give you a formal and confidential look. Avoid overdressing, putting strong fragrances, or showing too many body parts, tattoos, or wearing too many accessories – especially not accessories with specific discriminating figure/significance. Avoid also shirts with printed images or quotes; you are not going to a festival or a coffee bar.
What to take with you?
The complete list of the German student visa supporting documents has to be taken with you on the day of your interview. The visa staff will be expecting you to have all the needed originals and copies of such documents, within the needed standard, on the interview day. Make sure you are all set, do not expect the visa officials to photocopy your visa documents, or to wait until you go home to take the forgotten documents for completing your visa dossier. This is not what you should do, so be well-arranged, check and re-check if you have included all the documents in the ordered list early enough before the interview day.
How to answer?
There is no other way to answer than directly and honestly, do not give false information or avoid questions. There are things that visa officers may ask for which they might already be informed, but they just want to know if your intentions are real and you do not want to misapply your student status in Germany. Keeping yourself frank and open is the only way you should follow during the student visa interview.
What to say?
All the information you provide to the visa officers through your answers has to be in line with the documents you offer and your current or past situations. Try to be short, direct and simple when answering questions.
What not to say?
Being honest and frank during an interview session does not imply excessive talking and unnecessary detailing. Try to be specific not give information about things that are not directly related to the question made.
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