What to Know Before You Study in Germany

German universities are traditionally famous for their tradition of strong research, but students there also have many other choices for higher education. After German students take their higher education entrance exam, called an Abitur, they can follow several different paths.

If you want to study abroad in Germany, get certified translations of all your important documents, and you could have these same opportunities!

Types of Universities in Germany

Students can attend public universities that offer a wide range of subjects to study. They can also attend more specialized schools, such as:

  • Universities of applied sciences: Students learn skills for work in specific fields, such as technology, business and management, media and design.
  • Colleges of art, film and music: Spots are limited and students often must take entrance exams and submit a portfolio.
  • Private universities: Tuition is sometimes higher (between US $2,500 and $7,000 per semester) and students must make sure the institution is recognized by the state.
  • Others: Church-funded colleges and institutions for education, applied administrative science, the armed forces and cooperative education.

Classes When You Study Abroad in Germany

Professors who are both researchers and instructors often lead courses. German university classes, like those in the US, have a professor or lecturer who speaks while students take notes. Many professors give assignments, and students are expected to review their notes at home.

Tutorials, usually hosted by graduate or post-graduate students, give students the opportunity to discuss topics in greater depth. Faculty can also review materials in seminars.

Those who study abroad in Germany may be able to take courses or programs in English.

Semesters and Diplomas in Germany

German universities have two semesters, one lasting from about April to September, and the other from October to March. About one-third of that is school breaks, but professors can schedule exams during that time.

The traditional awards of higher education in Germany used to be the Diplom and Magister Artium (Master of Arts).

Bachelor’s and master’s degrees have recently been introduced and have almost entirely replaced the traditional German degrees. Students spend six to eight semesters to earn a BA and another two to four for an MA.

Tuition to Study Abroad in Germany

As of 2014 all 16 German states abolished tuition costs for undergraduate students attending public universities. This applies to both domestic and international students meaning that students are now only required to pay a small fee to cover administration and other costs per semester.

Graduate students may pay up to several thousand dollars per semester. German universities can also charge students whose studies take more time than is expected.

The opportunity for in-depth research convinces some students to study abroad in Germany. The country’s large presence in the fields of nanotechnology, engineering and others will continue to attract scientists from around the world. However, students looking for higher education in fields from art to theology will also find a variety of options.

Study abroad in Germany and benefit from a world-class education while exploring a culture steeped in history!