While the Covid-19 pandemic has punctuated students’ study abroad dreams, 2021 has emerged as a year of respite for students as countries reopened their borders. As they search for options, their attention is back to the usual preferences, Germany being one of them.
In the winter semester 2019-2020, out of the 411,601 international students, the number of Indian students in Germany stood at 25,149, a record figure which represented a 20.85% increase from the previous year, according to data from the Federal Statistical Office of Germany. At the time, Indians formed the second largest group of international students at Germany’s world-class universities, most of them going there to study engineering, management and social studies, mathematics and natural Sciences.
Even after the pandemic, Germany continued to see an influx of Indian students with a German Academic Exchange Service survey indicating that most of the 158 higher education institutions surveyed reported an increase in the number of newly registrants from India and other countries like Turkey, Iran, Italy, and France.
The number will definitely increase in the near future, says Piyush Bhartiya, co-founder of AdmitKard, an ed-tech platform that helps students on their study abroad trip.
He says: “Over the years, the number of international students applying for an education in Germany has steadily increased. From 2014 to 2019, the number of Indian students going to Germany increased by 30.9% and the growth trajectory showed a further increase of 8.19% until 2021.”
So why has Germany remained an Indian favorite and why is it a good option to study abroad? There are plenty of reasons.
For an international student, Germany has a lot to offer, from its education system to its student-friendly policies.
Its public universities, which hold prominent ranks in the prestigious Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings list, charge little or nothing for tuition. In 2014, a government plan was introduced which abolished tuition fees for all students enrolled in public universities and the same goes for international students. The country’s high literacy rate can be attributed to its cheap and advanced education system that provides top-notch employability skills.
In terms of courses, there are thousands of courses in all fields for students to choose from. Not knowing German can create problems, although there are plenty of choices for students who prefer English as the language of instruction.
The mandatory work rule of 20 hours per week also prepares students in their respective fields while providing them with practical experience related to their field of study.
While education at public universities is free, private universities can charge between €15 and €30,000 in Germany. This, however, can be managed by applying for the right scholarships offered by universities.
Living expenses are a whole different ball game. Saurabh Arora, founder and CEO of University Living, a global online student accommodation marketplace, says applicants must prove they have €10,332 for one year.
On the housing side, the monthly rent can range from €550 to €1,500 depending on the city, the district and the type of room.
Utilities will cost between €150 and €350 extra depending on the city and the size of the accommodation, says Arora.
How to register
Like in any other country, the process starts with choosing the right course in your favorite universities. Here you need to make sure that you have the test results required by the universities, including the language proficiency scores.
To prove your English proficiency, it is mandatory to take a test of English as a foreign language. Apart from this, some level of German proficiency will also be required for the completion of the admissions process.
In this context, two exams are recommended: the Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache (advanced language exam) by TestDaF Institute, Germany and Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (required to join a German university) which is usually organized by the specific university that you have applied for. Here, you will have to carefully check the eligibility requirements of the universities in order to know in advance which of these exams are mandated by them. Fluency in English and German will also help you when applying for a student visa.
Apart from this, you will also need to have the documents proving that you have the necessary financial resources to finance your studies in Germany.