Germany is widely known for its high-quality education and world-renowned universities, so it is no surprise that it is a top study destination for international students. All German public universities except for the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg offer free tuition for tertiary education to all students including international students, applicable to mainly all bachelor’s and selected Master’s degree programmes.
Although, German public universities do not charge tuition fees, students are however charged an administration fee per semester. The fee ranges from 100 to 500 EUR per semester. Interestingly, international students can work a part-time job while they study in Germany for 20 hours a week when school is in session and even more hours during breaks.
Students from Iceland, European Union, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland even are granted special privileges. For example, they can work for more than 20 hours a week and qualify for insurance.
The rest of this article further examines the study and work opportunities for international students in Germany.
Study Opportunities for international students
International students can study for free in Germany in public universities. Only private Universities in Germany charge tuition fees. Here is a list of some popular public universities in Germany that offer tuition-free study.
1. University of Berlin:
Founded in 1948 and one of the best German universities, the University of Berlin offers free tuition. The university also offers courses that are taught in English. Click on the university’s name to visit their website.
2. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich:
This University is a top world rank university. The university is especially outstanding in Humanities, Arts and Physical Science. It was founded in the year 1472 and is the sixth oldest functional university in Germany. Click on the university’s name to visit their website.
3. Technical University of Munich:
The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is the top second university in Germany. It specializes in Mathematics, Medicine, Management, Governance, Education and more.
4. RWTH Aachen University:
Located in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany: This is one of the largest universities in the country. While Tuition is free, the university requires a semester fee of 500 EUR. It specializes in Engineering courses, Business & Economics, Computer Science, Natural science, Informatics, Architecture, Arts & Humanities and Medicine.
5. Georg August University of Gottingen:
This University was founded by King George II of Great Britain to promote the essence of enlightenment. The Georg August University of Gottingen is also referred to as the University of Göttingen and Georgia Augusta. It ranks 11th on the list of top German universities. The university is famous for its Life science and Natural Science programs.
FAQs about Studying in Germany
These few frequently asked questions can help you in your decision to study in Germany as an international student.
What is the cost of living in Germany for international students?
An international student in Germany needs about 870 EUR a month to cover their expenses. These expenses include, rent, semester fee, insurance, food and more.
Are there cheaper apartments for students in Germany?
Yes, there are. Students can live in student halls (usually provided by the university). Students can also rent shared apartments to reduce costs. Rents in places like Frankfurt and Munich are higher than other places.
How do I find accommodation as an international student in Germany?
The first people you should make accommodation enquiries from is the international office at your school. Another option is to visit Studentenwerk. This website gives students information on dormitories they could rent in their chosen city of residence.
Work Opportunities in Germany for International students
International students in Germany are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week during school sessions. International students from Iceland, European Union, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland are granted similar privileges as students from Germany.
International students from outside those countries are restricted by certain rules: some of which are listed as follows;.
- International students that are not from the countries mentioned above are restricted to working for 120 full days per year or 240 half days per year. The restriction of 20 hours per week during semesters still applies to them.
- To work longer than the allowed working hours, an international student will need to get permission from the Federal employment agency and the foreigner’s registration office. The Federal employment agency is called Agentur für Arbeit while the foreigner’s office is referred to as Ausländerbehörde.
- Self-employment or freelancing isn’t allowed for international students studying in Germany.
- International students studying a language course in Germany are only allowed to work during semester breaks after obtaining permission from the Federal Employment Agency and the Immigration office.
FAQs about Working in Germany as an International Student
If you wish to work while studying in Germany, some of these frequently asked questions (FAQs) can help you.
Do I need to know German to work in Germany?
No, you don’t. However, fair to good knowledge of German can be a big plus.
What is the minimum wage in Germany?
At the point of this writing the minimum wage is 10.45 EUR per hour. However, there is a plan to increase the minimum wage in Germany to 12 EUR in October 2022.
Where can I find a part-time jobs during my study in Germany?
At your university: Universities in Germany have bulletin boards where job opportunities are posted on. Every university also has career centres where international students can go to enquire about job opportunities, CV writing, career advice and more. International students working as academic assistants in their university can work for more than 20 hours a week but they have to get permission from the foreigner’s office.
Online Job Portals: International students can check job portals for open positions posted by recruiters and employers. Student job portals in Germany readily searchable on search engines like Google, Bing and even social media job search platforms like LinkedIn.
What are some commonly available part time jobs for international students?
Commonly available jobs would include jobs like Research assistant, Baby sitter, Barista, trade fair assistants and more.
Note: Do not work so many hours that it affects your studies and you end up graduating later than your peers.
How do I extend my Student Resident Permit?
You will need a confirmation letter from your school that shows that your studies are progressing as they should and you will finish in the allotted time. After receiving this letter, you should send it to the Germany embassy alongside your extension application. This application should be done before your current resident permit expires.
How do I extend my student visa?
To extend your visa visit the local visa office closest to you with the following document.
- Your international passport
- A passport-size photo
- A contract of your current accommodation
- Your insurance
- A bank statement with at least 10236EUR (confirm from your local visa office)
- Your Enrolment certificate.
- A filled visa extension form.
- School transcript (It is needed if you intend to study longer than the given study duration)
The earlier you apply for the visa extension, the better in case of any delays. It could take as long as 2-3 months to get feedback. Start the application process at least 4 months before your current visa expires.
If you are already studying in Germany and would like to contribute to this article, please use the comment section or reach us though our contact page.