College in Germany: Things You Need to Know Before Going to Germany

Germany has one of the best education systems in the world, and it offers affordable education to international students from all over the world. One of the most popular places to study in Germany is Munich, Bavaria, as this city provides students with easy access to all the major cities in Germany, such as Berlin and Frankfurt, and its close proximity to other European countries, like Austria and Switzerland.

College in Germany: Things You Need to Know Before Going to Germany

That being said, there are certain things you need to know before moving here so that you can have a successful and memorable time in Germany and make the most out of your university experience abroad in Germany. Here are ten important things you need to know before going to college in Germany.

College in Germany

If you're thinking about going to college in Germany, there are a few things you should know first. For starters, all German colleges are public and tuition-free. That means anyone can apply, regardless of their financial situation. In addition, most classes are taught in German, so you'll need to be proficient in the language before enrolling.

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10 Things You Need to Know Before Going to College in Germany

Obtaining a Visa

Before you can even think about packing your bags and jetting off to Germany, you need to obtain a student visa. The process can seem daunting, but we’re here to help. Here are the 10 things you need to know before applying for a student visa for Germany:

  • You must have been accepted into a German university before you can apply for a student visa.
  • The application process is entirely online and can be found on the website of the German embassy or consulate in your home country.
  • You will need to provide proof of financial means, health insurance, and your university enrollment when applying for a student visa.
  • A student visa for Germany allows you to stay in the country for up to 90 days.

Health Insurance

All students going to college in Germany are required to have health insurance. There are two types of health insurance: public and private. Public health insurance is offered by the government and is subsidized by the state. Private health insurance is offered by for-profit companies and is not subsidized. Students usually opt for public health insurance because it is cheaper.

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To get public health insurance, you must fill out a form and submit it to your local Studentenwerk (student services organization). The form can be found on their website. If you have private health insurance, you will need to show your insurance card when you go to the doctor.

Tuition Costs and Financial Aid

One of the main reasons why American students choose to study in Germany is because tuition is free at public universities. And even though living costs can be high, there are a number of ways to get financial aid and scholarships.

Here are 5 things you need to know about financing your education in Germany:

  • There are many scholarships for international students that you may qualify for through the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service).
  • Make sure to file your FAFSA application as soon as possible so that your parents will not have any difficulty getting their taxes done on time.
  • Remember that tuition fees in Germany are low compared to what Americans pay for higher education: roughly $1,500 per year which covers all courses taught by professors from all disciplines.
  • Students can apply for a BAföG, which is a student loan for international students in Germany. The amount of your BAföG may be limited by DAAD but it will still be a significant help towards financing your college education.
  • Also, you will probably be eligible for a Bafoeg which is offered by KFW. The Bafoeg offers two plans: a short-term plan (Bis) and a long-term plan (Lang).

Housing Options

If you're planning on going to college in Germany, there are a few things you need to know about finding housing. On-campus housing is an option at most German universities, but it's often limited and can be expensive. Another option is finding an apartment or room in a private home off-campus. This can be a great way to save money and get immersed in the local culture.

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However, it can be difficult to find housing on your own, so you may want to consider using a student housing service. There are also a number of student dormitories located throughout Germany that offer affordable and safe housing for students. Whatever option you choose, make sure you do your research and plan ahead so you can find the perfect place to call home during your time in Germany.

Social Life/ Clubs

  • The social life at German colleges is very different from what you’re used to in the States.
  • There are far fewer campus-sponsored social events and most students don’t live in dorms.
  • This means that you’ll have to be more proactive about making friends and joining clubs.
  • But don’t worry, there are still plenty of ways to meet people and have fun!
  • Get involved with student organizations – these are a great way to meet people with similar interests as you.

Student Organizations

If you're thinking about going to college in Germany, there are a few things you should know before making the big decision. Here are things American students need to know before attending college in Germany:

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  • Learn the language: Unless you're planning on attending a school that offers classes in English, you'll need to have at least a basic understanding of the German language.
  • Find out if your credits will transfer: One of the biggest advantages of attending college in Germany is that many schools offer programs that are accredited by both German and American institutions. However, it's important to check with your home school to see if credits earned abroad will actually transfer back home.
  • Get familiar with the German educational system.


Germany is a great place to get a college education. The cost of living and tuition are relatively low, and there are many top-ranked universities to choose from. That said, there are a few things you should know before making the move. Good Luck!