Studying in Germany for Indian students comes with a lot of benefits because German universities are globally ranked and valued for their top-class quality. Their state-of-the-art facilities, countless funding options, research-based courses, award-winning curriculums, diverse and vibrant student community, plus a unique lifestyle ensures you get the best studying experience ever.
These features have turned them into a hub for talented international students who are willing to improve their academic and research capacities. And a lot of Indian students find themselves part of this group of scholars.
Indian students in Germany are the third largest group of international students. According to official statistics, in 2017/18 there were 17,570 Indian students studying in Germany.
But for many other students understanding the process of studying in Germany as an Indian student seems to be a bit difficult. If this has been the case with you, then don’t worry. Here’s our comprehensive guide to help you achieve your goal of studying in Germany.
Here is the process to study in Germany for Indian students:
Find Your University and Study Program
First and foremost, you need to decide what you actually want to study in Germany. Fortunately, there are countless options available as Germany counts over 380 recognized higher education institution where over 17,000 courses are taught. So, finding one won’t be that hard, unless you don’t have clear and defined future goals.
Carrying out an online research to collect names of all those universities and course modules is a solution, but not recommended as it may take you a lot of time. Instead, you can check our comprehensive database of universities in Germany to help you navigate through all of them.
What you can do at this point is you can skim through their course schemes and see if there are German universities that offer precisely what you are looking for. From there you can come up with a short list of universities and courses that you think would best fit your academic goals.
Finally, it will be easier for you to sort out the best options and choose the one you prefer.
Hint: Don’t underestimate this stage of your studying experience in Germany and get as much time as you need to decide. For that, we suggest you start collecting information well in time, a month or two before the application call is opened.
German University Requirements for Indian Students
Now that you have set your goal it’s time to know what you need to do to achieve it. You need to check the entrance requirements at the University of your choice.
For that, open the university’s website and read carefully their entry requirements section. Take notes if necessary and make a plan to complete each requirement one by one. If there’s anything you don’t understand about the procedures never hesitate to reach the university by email and ask them a few questions.
Note that entry requirements to study in Germany for Indian students change from university to university and depending on the chosen course.
Indian students who want to study in Germany for a Bachelor degree must submit the following documents:
- Entrance Qualification
- Transcript of Grades
- Proof of Language Proficiency
- ID or Valid Passport Copies
- Letter of Motivation (Optional)
As for the language proficiency, keep in mind that there is hardly any undergraduate study program in Germany offered in the English language.
Also, note that if you haven’t attended any year of master studies in India you will only be allowed to study in certain subjects as they expect you to complete a preparatory course.
Indian students who want to study in Germany for a Master degree must submit the following documents:
- Recognized Bachelor Degree
- Transcript of Grades
- Proof of Language Proficiency (German or English)
- Motivation Letter
- Important References
- Work Experiences (Optional)
University Application Process for Indian Students
After you have completed the application documents it is time for you to submit your university application. You can carry out the application online, by post or in person. Note that although the online application is the most frequent, there are universities in Germany, which only admit application by post or in person.
Most German universities are part of the UniAssist platform which allows you to apply online for the chosen course. On the other hand, there are still universities which run their personal online application platforms. Either way, you will have to submit the application paperwork in PDF or JPG format.
Getting The University Admission Letter
After you have successfully submitted your application you must wait for the university’s admission board to check your application. You must be aware that German universities collect a large number of international applications, therefore, the processing of your application takes time.
In normal conditions, the university will send you an email to confirm you’re given or not a place at their institution within several weeks.
German Student Visa For Indian Students
To study in Germany as an Indian student, you have to get a visa beforehand. Once you receive the admission letter, you print it out and go to the German embassy located in your home country. Officers working there will list the documents and the procedures you must go through to apply for a student visa to study in Germany.
The most important documents for a student visa to study in Germany for Indian students are the followings:
- University Admission Letter.
- Proof of Financial Resources “Finanzierungsnachweis”.
- Proof of Health Insurance Coverage.
- University Entrance Qualification.
- Proof of Language Proficiency
One of the most important documents is your German Blocked Account confirmation letter that proves you have enough finances to study and live in Germany as an international student for one year. Read more about the German Blocked account.
Additional documents required for a student visa are covered in this article.
Find Accommodation in Germany
The final step to be allowed to study in Germany as a foreign student is that you must find accommodation in Germany.
We recommend you solve this issue due to your arrival in Germany because though there are a lot of apartments to rent choosing the most suitable can cost time and additional money.
If you don’t manage to find one online, at least you have a list of resources to address your accommodation concerns once you arrive in Germany.
We also suggest you find someone with whom you can share your apartment to cut the total cost of accommodation in Germany as a foreign student. If you don’t already know someone, join online forums of Indian students in Germany and look for someone who’s willing to share the apartment with you.
Note that once you find an accommodation you must get to the local authorities for registering your address in Germany. Moreover, you won’t be eligible to enroll your course at University if you don’t have a copy of your registered address.
Financial Resources – You need certain funds in order to be allowed to study in Germany as a foreign student. The government is interested to give the opportunity to those students who can cover themselves and don’t expect to rely directly on government funds which would burden the country’s budget. There are several ways you can prove your financial resources to study in Germany with the blocked account being by far the most suitable. Currently, Indian students must have at least €8,700 deposited in their blocked account to be approved a visa and to be allowed to study in Germany.
A lot of funding options – Germany is a very generous country to foreign students because it grants a large number of scholarships and student loans. Thus, if you’re a talented student we advise you to seek to get one.
Working opportunities – Another way you can cover a portion of your spendings as an Indian student attending university in Germany is by working part-time. Germany is among the very few countries which allow international students to work for up to 20 hours a week to help them to cover the cost of their studies.
Some universities charge fees – Most of the international students, including those from India, are a bit confused with fees applied in Germany. As it stands, most public higher education is offered for free, but there are some states in Germany where universities charge low tuition fees and also private universities in Germany apply tuition fees to international students.
Facts About Current Indian Students in German Universities
As of Wintersemester 2017/18, there were 17,570 Indian students attending university in Germany.
Out of all these Indians at German universities 13,029 are men and 4,541 are women.
Indian students are ranked as the third largest group of international students in Germany behind Chinese and Turkish students.
The most popular study programs for current Indian students in Germany are Engineering, Mathematics Natural Sciences, Law, Economics and Social Sciences.
As of Winter Semester 2017/18, there were 12,188 Indian students studying for an Engineering degree in Germany.
Popular German Universities for Indian Students
- RWTH Achen
- TU Chemnitz
- University of Duisburg-Essen
- University of Magdeburg
- FH Rhein-Waal
- TU Munchen
- TU Darmstadt
- TU Kaiserslautern
- University of Stuttgart
- TU Dresden
Requirements to study in Germany for Indian students include university requirements and student visa requirements. Thus, if you’re a student-to-be from India you need to meet both requirements to be permitted to seek your degree in Germany.
But what are these requirements and how you can make sure to meet them?
University Requirements for Indian Students
It is of the utmost importance you first meet university entry requirements for the type you’re willing to apply. After you have you made up your mind for a particular university and a certain course in Germany you can launch the university’s website and read carefully their section for entry requirements.
If there’s anything left to your imagination or you just cannot understand properly, it is an immediate need you contact the university to ask about it because a minor error in your application paperwork has a declined application as an outcome.
Entry requirements change from university to university and even from the type of course to the other. It is hard for one to come up with a definite list of documents and procedure required for applying to German universities.
However, there’s a common list of documents which is required from Indian students to studying Germany, as shown below:
Previous Educational Qualifications. First and foremost, every university is interested to know your previous educational background to evaluate if you stand at the required level to attend their course. And Germany is not an exemption to this rule.
That said, your previous education qualification is the first document required to apply for a degree program in Germany.
However, note that not all foreign qualifications are recognized by the German education system. If this is the case with you, the university will require you to attend a preparatory course which will prepare you to enter the aimed regular course.
Grades Transcript. Everyone can take a degree, but grades separate the best from the rest. Grades are very important because they show, to a certain degree, your strengths in particular subjects that are related to your future study field.
Therefore, a university in Germany wants to take a look of your performance to assess your academic gains and evaluate if you’re the right candidate. For example, if you want to study for natural sciences, the university’s admission board will scope for those applicants whose scores in math and other related subjects are significantly high. So never neglect the major role your grades play on your admission.
Language Proficiency. As an Indian student attending a course in a foreign language you need to submit the scores of a standardized language proficiency test. Note that almost all undergraduate courses in Germany are offered in the German language so in case you’re aiming to attend such course you will have to learn English.
In the postgraduate, on the other hand, there are numerous study programs taught in English, including some which are delivered both in German and English at the same time.
Additional Standardized Tests. Depending on the course you’re willing to attend additional standardized tests aside from language tests may be required. For example, if you’re willing to apply for an MBA course a certain level of GRE or GMAT scores may be required. These tests may play a major role, especially at highly-reputed universities, where the applications load is heavy and selection criteria are stringent.
Motivation Letter or Recommendation Letter. A motivation letter helps the admission committee to know what is your motivation to study at that particular university and course and how do you think that will help you improve toward your goals.
CV. Depending on the type and the academic level of your course, CV may be required. The university expects you to describe your skills important for the study field you’re applying for. You join with it any proof of relevant activities related to that study field.
ID documents. Two copies of your ID or your valid passport are mostly required in the PDF or JPG format.
An important note: If you have been studying in Germany previously as an Indian student but for some reasons, you would like to switch to another one, a certificate of withdrawal is required from the new university.
Germany Study Visa Requirements for Indian Students
The second category of requirements Indian students have to meet in order to study in Germany are the student visa requirements. Under current law, every non-EU international student in Germany must pursue a visa to be permitted to attend university in the country.
Note that to be eligible to seek a German student visa you must first be confirmed a place at the university in Germany or in other words you must receive an admission letter.
Given below is the list of documents you will need to submit at the German embassy/consulates when applying to get a German student visa in India.
The University’s admission letter– Few weeks after you submit your application the university in Germany will send you an email to notify if you’re admitted to their university or not. Print it out their email and get to the German embassy located in your home country.
University Entrance Qualification – As said above, your qualification must be compared to the standards of the German education system to be recognized. If you hold a high-school leaving certificate in India you must attend a four-semester preparatory course and sit for an examination at the end of it. If you pass this test you can then start your regular studies. Surely you can sit for this test without going through the preparatory course, but it is not recommended.
Proof of Financial Resources – Indian students in German universities must have at least €8,700 in possession. There are several ways you can prove your financial resources required to cover your studies in Germany, with the blocked account being the most popular.
Health Insurance Coverage – Health care insurance is mandatory in Germany including Indian students. Thus, you need to get health insurance to cover your medical needs in case of emergency in Germany. You will have to pursue your student health insurance coverage before enrollment at your university.
Certificate of Language Proficiency – You also have to meet certain language requirements as the course of your choice won’t be taught in your native language. Admission boards scope for applicants who have a solid knowledge in the German or English language.
Note that the majority (if not all) undergraduate courses in German universities are taught in the German language, while at the postgraduate level there are various study programs delivered in English.
To show your language proficiency you will have to undertake a standardized test. The most frequent are the TOEFL and IELTS for the English language and TestDaf and Goethe Institut German Language Diploma (GDS) for the German language.
You can check this article for detailed information concerning the language proficiency tests accepted at German universities.
For additional required documents for a German student visa and how to apply from India, please read “The Complete List of German Student Visa Documents“.