Free Education In Germany: A brief overview of the Educational System

Free Education In Germany: A brief overview of the Educational System

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Looking for free education in Germany? Are you confused about whether Germany is actually a destination for Free education? Get your detailed answer in this blog.

Updated on:  25 Oct 2023  | Reviewed By: 
| 2.7K | 9  min read

It may sound too good to be true. But yes, you read it right.

This blog will help all the aspirants planning to study for free in Germany. We all know Germany is a land of great thinkers, like physicist Albert Einstein, philosopher Karl Marx, and great inventors like Johannes Gutenberg. The country is constantly developing; its technology, and global networking. The most distinguishing characteristic of Germany from Anglophone countries is its free educational access to international students. Someone who wants to study abroad at a minimum cost should consider Germany.

Let's see, the major reasons that make free education in Germany stand out from the rest of the 

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Is Education Really Free in Germany?

Yes, education is free in Germany, but there are a few exceptions as follows: 

  • list items Free cost of tuition: The important point here to understand is that only the tuition fee gets waived off and that too few universities charge a minimum amount that depends upon the university to university; other expenses, like the cost of living and other miscellaneous expenses, you will be managing by yourself. Also, some universities charge a minimum of at least 100 to 500 Euros semester-wise.  
  • list items Differences between consecutive and non-consecutive Master's in Germany: Consecutive MBAs are preferred by students who want to pursue a Master's directly after their bachelor's.

On the other hand, non-consecutive MBAs are for those who have some years of experience. Sometimes, public universities may require non-consecutive MBA students to pay the fees.


Top Reasons to Study in Germany

Germany is considered a paradise for practical studies. The following are the top reasons to support this statement. 

  • list items Preeminent universities

When it comes to education, there is no doubt Germany is one of the best countries in the world. All the universities in Germany are well-known for their top-notch education, veteran teachers, and practical-based studies. Most universities like The Technical University of Munich are famous for natural sciences and engineering subjects. 

  • list items A Lot to Explore

Germany is a land of art and history. While studying there, you can travel to various tourist destinations like Neuschwanstein Castle, Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, and Cologne Cathedral. Germany has a dynamic community with beautiful architecture and lip-smacking dishes.

  • list items Cultural Diversity

Since Germany offers free education, students from around the globe join German universities. This way, Germany promotes multiculturalism, which eventually helps students network well.

  • list items Intensive Research and Development

Germany is a hub of technological innovation and advancements. The German economy strongly focuses on innovation and integrates it into its academic studies.

In 2018, German Universities spent around €104.7 billion in the research and development (R&D) sector. 

Now that you know some of the major reasons to study in Germany, let's look at the list of top public universities.

You can read this blog to know more about Public Universities in Germany.

The following is a list of Germany's top universities. The list is according to the QS ranking. 


Top Public Universities in Germany to study free

Name of the universities QS Ranking

The Technical University of Munich


Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich


Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg


Freie Universität Berlin


Humboldt University of Berlin


Karlsruhe Institute of Technology


RWTH Aachen University


Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin)


Eberhard Karl University of Tübingen


Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg


Technische University Dresden



So, these are the top public universities in Germany; now it's time to understand the steps to apply to these universities. 


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Steps to Applying  in Germany free universities


Steps to Applying for Universities

It's crucial to follow the steps to get admission to German universities.

  1. list items Choose a University

Once you have decided to study in Germany, it's time to select a good university and a course. The best way is to search through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). It's a database of more than 1000 programs available. 

You can always check the university rankings on sites like QS Rankings, Times Higher Education, etc. 

  1. list items Check your Admission Requirements

Before applying to any university, it's recommended to check with the university whether your qualifications meet the requirements or not.
To study in Germany, you should have a higher education entrance qualification. 
Also, you need to check with the universities whether they need TOEFL or IELTS examinations. In some universities, they ask for proficiency in the German language, you need to check for the same with the universities. 

  1. list items Arrange your Finances

To be eligible for a German student visa, it is crucial to maintain a blocked amount. Now, what is a blocked amount?

A blocked account is an essential bank account for international students so that they can deposit the required amount, which is currently €11,208. According to a news source, this amount has been recently increased by the German government. 

A blocked bank account serves as proof that international students have enough financial resources to maintain their living expenses in the country. It is recommended that you check out the city you are planning to live in while planning your finances as the living expenses vary from city to city.

Cities like Munich, Hamburg, and Bonn are quite expensive cities. So, according to your pocket limit, find a city that is close to your college and matches your budget. However, you can apply for various scholarships to pursue your education. 

  1. list items Apply to the Universities

The final step is to apply to the universities of your choice. For most of the programs, you can apply directly at the International Office of the university. Also, you can use the website "uni-assist.  

It is a centralized admission portal for international students to apply to various universities, but not all universities allow students to apply through it. For universities that do not accept uni-assist, contact them directly. 

It's crucial to keep in mind the application deadline for the universities. It is recommended to apply for the application 6 weeks before the deadline. 

The documents required vary from university to university, but in general, the following are the most common documents needed during verification: 

  • list items A valid copy of a high school or undergraduate degree. 
  • list items A brief description of grades
  • list items A valid copy of the passport
  • list items Proof of language proficiency examination (only if required by the university) 

Note: You will have to pay an application fee.

We are now one more step closer to achieving our dream of pursuing free education in Germany. It's time to understand the most crucial part of this blog.

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Are there any Exceptions


Cost of Studying in Germany

As explained above, studying in Germany is not completely free. Let's understand the various expenditures that a student incurs.


Costs of living in Germany

The cost of living greatly varies from city to city.

On average, your monthly expenditure will be somewhere around 800-900 Euros a month. In this range, you can manage the following things:

  • list items A semester fee
  • list items Living costs (rent, food, clothing, books, traveling, etc.)
  • list items Health insurance

So, hope now you understand how exactly education is free in Germany.

Now, let’s discuss the eligibility criteria in brief for undergraduate and postgraduate studies.


Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria vary from university to university. However, some basic requirements remain the same. 

Every university in Germany may have its own set of eligibility guidelines.

Although, there are certain general requisites that everyone must be aware of before applying for free education in Germany:- 

For Undergraduate Courses

The eligibility criteria for UG courses are as follows:

  1. list items Education Criteria: Candidates must have passed high school, otherwise their application won't be considered. 
  2. list items Minimum marks required: A minimum of 85%, or 9 CGPA in 12th grade, is recognized as good. 
  3. list items Age Limit: There is no age limit.
  4. list items Accepted entrance examinations: IELTS, TOEFL, etc.
  5. list items Minimum IELTS score required: A minimum 6.5+ score is good for the IELTS examination to get UG admission to any university.
  6. list items Minimum TOEFL score required: To get admission to one of the UG universities, a candidate must get a minimum of 90 or higher in the TOEFL examination.
  7. list items Language Proficiency: One must be well versed in the English language; also, a moderate level in the German language will work.


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For Postgraduate Courses

The eligibility criteria for PG courses are as follows:

  1. list items Education Criteria: To be eligible for a master's, it is important to have a valid bachelor’s degree.
  2. list items Minimum marks required: A minimum of 75% or 8 CGPA will be a good score for graduation.
  3. list items Age Limit: There is no age limit.
  4. list items Accepted entrance examinations: GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, etc
  5. list items Minimum IELTS score required: A minimum 6.5+ score is good for the IELTS examination to get PG admission to any university.
  6. list items Minimum TOEFL score required: To get admission to one of the PG universities, a candidate must score a minimum of 90 or more in the TOEFL examination. 
  7. list items Minimum GRE Score: The candidate should aim for more than a 300 score in the GRE examination.
  8. list items Language Proficiency: One must be well versed in the English language; also, a moderate level in the German language will work.

So, these are the eligibility criteria for UG and PG programs.


The Application Process for a German Student Visa

It is recommended to apply for a German student visa at the German embassy or other agencies in your country. The decision on your visa would be based on the information and reliable documents you provide.

Below are the documents needed to apply for German universities:

  • list items Two complete visa application forms
  • list items A valid national passport 
  • list items Two recent biometric photographs
  • list items Birth certificate 
  • list items A valid proof of admission at a German education institute 
  • list items A proof of German language proficiency (if required)
  • list items Proof of English language proficiency (if required) 
  • list items Proof of financial resources ( Blocked Bank amount, scholarship certificate, etc.)
  • list items Proof of visa application fee 
  • list items Curriculum vitae 
  • list items Travel health insurance 
  • list items Original certifications of your previous education 
  • list items Motivational letter  

It's time to unlock the golden key for pursuing higher education, which is scholarships.


List of Scholarships for International Students

Once you graduate from a German university, you have 18 month period to find a job, which is a good point to live in Germany. 
To conclude this blog; complete your dream to study in Germany, and follow all the steps mentioned in the blog. 

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