If you want to study in Germany, you must fulfil certain conditions:
• Visa and residence permit
If you come to Germany from abroad in order to study, you need a visa and a residence permit. If you are already in Germany and want to start a course of study, you must present your residence permit when enrolling.
• Proof of funding
If you come to Germany from abroad in order to study, you must provide evidence of your assets. You must prove that you have around 8,700 Euro at your disposal for one year. If you have already been living in Germany for some time, and you have a residence permit, you do not need to provide proof of funding.
• Entitlement to study
The so-called university entrance qualification entitles you to study in Germany. This is a school-leaving certificate, such as the Abitur in Germany. If you have completed your school-leaving qualification abroad, you need a certificate stating that your qualification is recognised in Germany.
• German language skills
The German language is a basic prerequisite for studying at a German university. You can prove your knowledge by taking a language exam, such as the TestDaF. Information can be found here. If you are studying in an international course, German is not a prerequisite – here, English language skills are sufficient.
• Health insura
You must have health insurance to study in Germany. You are required to present proof of your health insurance in order to enrol at university, and for your residence permit.
• Help with financing your studies
State universities in Germany do not charge any tuition fees. However, a semester fee is charged. It contains the costs of a semester ticket, administrative costs, and the financing of university canteens, student accommodation, etc. The fee varies from university to university, but mostly ranges between 150 and 250 Euro.
Students who do not have much money may receive funding for their studies in Germany. The most famous programme is Bafög, which is dependent on the assets of the parents.
Apart from Bafög, there are also scholarships in Germany that are aimed directly at young people with an immigrant background. The network of scholarship systems for talented students, i.e. foundations such as the Friedrich Ebert Foundation provide funding for students with an immigrant background.
If you are unsure whether and how you may apply for a scholarship, get advice. The students’ unions of the German universities know all about the different scholarship providers, and are happy to provide information. Here you can find your nearest student union.