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Types of Universities

Universities in Germany are differentiated mainly into three categories

1) Research based study- Universities
2) Universities of applied sciences for practice oriented study
3) Colleges of art, film and music for artistic courses

These Universities can be of two types
Public University- these universities are funded by the federal government and the tuition fee that is paid is nil to almost nothing, majority of Universities in Germany are Public Universities and majority of students go to these Universities.

Private University- There is both pros and cons to education in a private University. Almost five percent of the entire student population in Germany study in private Universities. This is due to the Universities close link ups to Industries and the small size and structure of the class. But this comes at a very high cost, a course of study may cost about 30,000 euro.

The education system in Germany also supports courses that provide hands on practical experience during the course of your study, especially courses related to Business and technology. Unfortunately only those International students who have a training contract with a company can take up this course

Technical Universities/ Universities of Technology
These are Universities that specialize in specific subject areas or special subject focuses. They provide a strong vocational direction. They are made ready for professions in their field of focus such as media, business etc. These Universities include Medical schools, Veterinary schools, sports Universities etc.

Admission Procedure

Admission Timeline
There are two intakes for every year in Germany. They are the winter and the summer sessions. The winter intake starts in October and ends in March. Most students prefer this semester over the summer intake which begins in April and goes onto September. The gap in between these two intakes is usually used up for exams, internships lab courses and employment.

The application deadline for winter intake is mid-July and for the summer intake is mid- January. Before choosing the intake it is advisable to check if the program of your choice is being offered in a particular semester, because not all programs are offered every semester.

Cost of Education
Most of the expenses can be categorized into the following Tuition fees, Semester monetary contribution, and health Insurance and Living expenses.

The tuition fee is set by the University itself and it may vary from 600 Euros per semester to several thousand Euros as well. The University usually exempts students pursuing their bachelor’s degree from paying a tuition fee, but all Master’s program students have to pay a fee. Private Universities charge way more than Public Universities. The best part about the tuition fee in Germany is that it is Uniform for both International and domestic students as well.

A sum of about 50-250 Euros goes into the maintenance of student residences and administrative expenses every semester.

A health Insurance is mandatory for all students whether they are international or domestic students. The amount usually sums up to 450 Euros per semester. This is done by getting insured by a statutory health insurance organization.

International students should be willing to pay a minimum of €625 per month. Most of this expense is due to accommodation, so if possible students should try in advance to look for accommodation in the University or cheap accommodation around the University.

Admission Requirements

The main criterion that is taken into consideration for an application to a German University is the student’s academic/school grades so far. International applicants, are expected to have grades that are equal to or better than 2.5 in the German grading system. The reason for this is criterion is to ensure that those applicants that are accepted at these Universities hold a good chance to successfully complete their studies.

The German marking system begins with 1 being the best grade and 4 the minimum passing grade. 5 and 6 would mean that the applicant failed the respective course. 2.5 is the average of 1 and 4. In order to determine if you qualify, take the best grade and the minimum passing grade and find out the average.

Numerus Clauses (NC)
This is a term one will come across quite often in a list of programs offered by a University. What this means is restricted admission. This does not mean that there is a minimum GPA or grade set which the student must have to apply to a course but rather expresses that a course of study is restricted as the number of applicants to a particular course is more than the number of seats allotted to that course. The NC can vary from year to year depending on the quality of applicants.

Documents to be submitted along with the Application

1) Proof of past years of education (mark sheets and transcripts)
2) Proof of acquired language skills- German language certification (TestDaF centres)
3) English Language proficiency Scores - TOEFL/IELTS (Optional)

If the student is applying for a NC course then study placement acceptance or admissions letter is required.

Some Universities expect students to complete taking the TM-WISO test before applying for a business or Economics course. Almost 50% weight age of the application selection will be given to the student for his score in the test.

German VISA process

Type of VISA
Depending on whether you have already received an admit or whether you plan on applying once you reach Germany, a student should apply for a Student VISA or an applicant’s VISA. Most students make the mistake of reaching Germany on a tourist VISA and then converting it, but this is not possible.

To be able to stay in Germany for more than 90 days students should be able to procure a residence permit. This can be done in the following way,

1) On arrival in Germany register with the local Aliens Department.
2) Provide certificate of enrollment at the attending University
3) Provide proof of sufficient finances and health insurance.

It must be kept in mind that a residence permit is only for a period of 2 years and needs to be renewed accordingly.

Work permit
Owing to the high cost of living, International students who have enrolled for full time programs are allowed to work for 90 full days or 180 half days without any work permit.

Overseas students who have earned a degree from Germany will be granted a residence permit for one year, in which they can attempt to secure a job relevant to their discipline. If you successfully find a job before the lapse of this one year time period, you can then apply for a residence permit with a work permit from your local Aliens Department.

Documents required for the completion of the VISA work

1) Proof of health insurance
2) Proof of financial stability
3) Proof of degree completed
4) Admission offer from the University
5) Proof of German language proficiency

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