Germany vs Ireland: Which is Better for International Students?

    Updated on: 05 Sep 2023

    Germany vs Ireland for Study Abroad

    Germany and Ireland are both great options for international students, but which one is the best choice depends on your individual needs and preferences.

    Germany is known for its world-class education system, with many universities ranking highly. It's also a great destination for those interested in science, engineering, and technology, as the country is home to reputed IT companies. German universities offer a wide range of programs in English, and the cost of living in Germany is generally affordable compared to other European countries. 

    Ireland, on the other hand, is a smaller country with natural beauty,  rich history, and welcoming culture. Its universities are also highly regarded, with many programs in fields such as business, computer science, and medicine. Ireland has a growing technology industry and is home to many international companies, making it an excellent destination for those interested in business and entrepreneurship.

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    Best universities in Germany for international students 

    To begin with the comparison between both countries, having a fair idea of the universities is a must. Below mentioned are some of the top-ranked universities in Germany:

    Name of University

    QS Ranking 2024

    Technical University of Munich


    Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München


    Universität Heidelberg


    Freie Universitaet Berlin


    Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


    KIT, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology


    RWTH Aachen University


    Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin)


    Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen


    Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg



    Best universities in Ireland for international students

    The below-mentioned universities are the top universities in Ireland based on their QS world university ranking 2024,  which can be chosen by an international student.

    Name of University

    QS Ranking 2023

    Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin


    University College Dublin


    University of Galway


    University College Cork


    Dublin City University


    University of Limerick


    Maynooth University

    801 - 850

    Technological University Dublin

    801 - 900

    Eligibility and requirements to study at German universities

    Some basic eligibility and requirements that an international student must be aware of while planning to study in German university are:

    • Need to have at least 60% marks in high school diploma and college/university education transcripts.
    • GRE or GMAT scores (600 - 650) are required to be enrolled for MS and Ph.D.
    • A score of 6 - 6.5 in IELTS or a score of 90 - 100 in TOEFL as an English language proficiency test is required.
    • Letter of motivation (generally known as the statement of purpose)
    • Letter of recommendation
    • Updated resume 
    • Student visa for Germany and valid passport

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    Application process for German universities

    Some important points that need to be taken into account while undergoing the admission process are

    • Students need to apply for a German university during one of their intakes i.e. summer intake (ends 15th January) or winter intake (ends 15th July). 
    • Most universities accept direct applications from their respective websites or a student can apply through portals like uni-assist.
    • Applicants need to fill in all the required details (personal details and degree of choice), submit the necessary documents, and pay the application fee.
    • Need to complete the application process before the deadline and also have to appear for the interview with the university officials.
    • If selected then an appointment letter will be received within two months of application submission.

    Eligibility and requirements to study at Irish universities

    • The applicant must have a minimum of 50% marks in college/university education transcripts. 
    • To get enrolled in an MBA in Germany a GMAT score of 550 - 600 is required.
    • The minimum GRE score to get enrolled in MS or a Ph.D. program is 300 or above.
    • Majority of the courses taught in Ireland are in English therefore a minimum score of 6 - 6.5 in IELTS or 61 and above in TOEFL is required. 
    • Statement of purpose
    • Letter of recommendation
    • Updated resume 
    • Student visa and valid passport

    Admission process for universities in Ireland

    • International students can enroll themselves in Irish universities during fall intake (September) and during spring intake (January). 
    • In case a student wants to get enrolled in the undergraduate course then they can apply through the Central Application Office (CAO) website. If an international student wants to apply for doctoral programs or MS in Ireland, they must do so through the website of the relevant university.
    • Need to fill in all the required details (personal details and degree of choice), submit the necessary documents, and pay the application fee.
    • Need to complete the application process before the deadline and have to appear for an interview with the university.
    • If selected then an appointment letter will be received within two to three months of application submission.

    As you are aware of the eligibility requirements for both countries along with the best universities, predict your admission chances and evaluate your profile for free. 

    Cost of Studying in Germany vs Ireland

    For an international student, the cost of studying is one of the major deciding factors to choose an appropriate study abroad destination. The cost to study in Germany is very different from the cost involved in Ireland universities. Tuition fees in a public university in Germany are almost negligible compared to the tuition fees in private universities. 

    A comparison of the cost of studying in Germany versus Ireland based on the study program is shown below:

    Type of Program



    Undergraduate Degree

    For public universities, 250 EUR - 1000 EUR

    For private universities,  10,000 EUR - 20,000 EUR

    9,850 EUR to 25,000 EUR

    Masters Degree

    For public university, 150 EUR - 1,500 EUR

    For private universities, 20,000 EUR - 30,000 EUR

    9,500 EUR to 34,000 EUR

    Doctorate Degree

    Free of cost up to 3 years

    10,000 EUR to 35,000 EUR

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    Cost of living in Germany vs Ireland

    Cost of living is another crucial factor and thus to provide a better idea of cost of living in Germany vs Ireland a summary has been provided:

    Type of Expenses

    (Average Cost in EUR)

    (Average Cost in EUR)


    300 EUR to 700 EUR

    470 EUR to 850 EUR


    150 EUR to 200 EUR

    220 EUR to 250 EUR


    45 EUR to 50 EUR

    50 EUR to 55 EUR


    100 EUR to 120 EUR

    80 EUR to 100 EUR


    Best scholarships in Germany for international students

    There are different scholarships that can be availed by international students to study at German Universities. The top scholarships which can be availed by international students are

    Scholarship Name



    DAAD Scholarship Programs

    • 850 EUR per month for MS
    • 1200 EUR per month for Ph.D.
    • IELTS - 6.5
    • Prior degree score - 8.5 CGPA or 85% 
    • Minimum 2 years of experience in field research, employment, or graduate assistantship

    Heinrich Böll Foundation Scholarships in Germany

    • 850 EUR per month for a master’s degree.
    • 1,200 EUR per month for Ph.D. 
    • Proof of the required level of German language (B2 or DSH 2)
    • Excellent academic performance

    Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Scholarships

    • 850 EUR per month for 2 years in case of PG and master’s degree.
    • 1,100 EUR for three years in case of Ph.D.
    • Holds bachelor’s degree
    • Must pursue master's or Ph.D. programs at KAS partner universities
    • Age - less than 30 years
    • German Language Proficiency of B2 level
    • Actively engaged in voluntary work

    Top scholarships in Ireland for international students

    Ireland universities also provide several opportunities for international students to avail of scholarships if they are eligible. Top scholarships that are offered by Ireland universities are:

    Scholarship Name



    The Government of Ireland International Education Scholarship

    • 10,000 EUR stipend for a year
    • Full-time Bachelor, Master or Ph.D. program at university 
    • Good academics and communication skills
    • strong rationale for GOI-IES fits into their longer-term goals

    Centenary Scholarship Program

    • 50% of tuition fees
    • UG with first-class honors 
    • Good scores of exams attempted to study in Ireland
    • Not applicable for MS diploma and graduate certificate

    Scholarships for Ontario College Graduates

    • 10,000 EUR for 2 consecutive study terms
    • 15,000 EUR for 3 consecutive study terms
    • Enrolled in a full-time program for 2 or more terms
    • Shoube be attending one of the participating Ontario school

    Student visa for Germany

    A German student visa is required in case an international student wants to stay longer than 90 days. This can be applied from any closest consulate or embassy of Germany. 

    • Some basic documents are required in the process like a passport, application letter, language proficiency test scores, and more. 
    • A German blocked account needs to be opened with 11,172 EUR which will be proof of funds that are necessary for an international student to survive in Germany. 
    • A fee of 110 EUR needs to be paid for visa application and residence permit. 
    • The applicant has to appear for the interview on a given date.
    • Applicants will be given a permit for residency that will be applicable for 2 years from the date of issuance.

    Part-time work permit in Germany

    With a valid German student visa, an international student can work part-time in Germany, off-campus up to 20 hours per week during semesters and 40 hours per week during holidays. 

    Stay back period in Germany

    An international student can stay back for 18 months with a valid German student visa after they have completed their bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. degree.

    Student visa for Ireland

    • An international student has to apply for a Type D Ireland student visa in case the course duration exceeds 90 days. 
    • The process can be started by visiting the official website of Irish immigrants and applying on the same with submission of some basic documents like passport, language proficiency test scores, and more.
    • The applicant has to ensure that they can showcase proof of sufficient funds by keeping 7,000 EUR in their personal bank account. The student also has to pay Euro 100 as a visa application fee. 

    Part-time work permit in Ireland

    An international student can work part-time in Ireland,  off campus for a maximum of 20 hours per week during semesters and 40 hours per week during semester breaks. 

    Stay back period

    As per the third-level graduate scheme, non-EEA students who have completed their bachelor's or master’s from a recognized Irish university will be allowed a stay back in the country after studies for a period of 24 months. 

    Post-study work opportunities in Germany vs Ireland

    Once a student has completed their studies then they can look for job opportunities in their respective countries. Below mentioned are career prospects in both countries with estimated salaries.

    Career Prospects

    Average annual salary in Germany

    Average annual salary in Ireland

    Healthcare Professional
    (Physicians, Pharmaceutical Researchers, Nurses, Administrative Assistant)

    80,000 EUR

    30500 EUR

    (Project Manager, Technician, Mechanical Engineer, Chemical Engineer)

    46,000 EUR

    46,000 EUR

    Business and Finance
    (Financial Analyst, Financial Advisor, Business Analyst)

    61,000 EUR

    45,000 EUR

    IT Professional
    (IT Specialist, Software Developer, Data Analyst, App Developer)

    60,000 EUR

    35,500 EUR

    Investing in education abroad is a life-changing decision, and one has to be sure if it is worth the investment or not. Estimate your future earnings for a more informed decision.

    In conclusion, both Germany and Ireland offer excellent opportunities for international students. If you're looking for a larger country with a world-class education system and a strong focus on science and technology, Germany may be the better choice. If you're interested in a smaller country with a growing tech industry and a focus on business and entrepreneurship, Ireland may be the better fit. Ultimately, the decision comes down to your personal interests and goals, so be sure to research both countries carefully before making a final decision.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Which is better to choose for higher education- Germany or Ireland?

    When higher education is considered it can be said that Germany is a better choice as it provides international students with many courses that are taught in English and the tuition fees for public universities are negligible. Apart from it, Ireland can also be a good choice. In the end, it all depends on your personal needs and requirements. 

    Which is more safe for international students - Germany or Ireland?

    According to the 2023 Global Peace Index, Ireland ranked as the 3rd safest country, while Germany ranked 15th and thus it can be analyzed that Ireland is safer than Germany.

    Which country has better/favorable weather - Germany or Ireland?

    Ireland has a more favorable climate as its temperature can go as low as 7 degrees Celsius in winter and during summer it can go up to 25 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, the temperature of Germany can be a bit harsh as winters are snowy and summers are considered too hot. The temperature can range between -10 degrees to 35 degrees during the year.

    What is a German blocked account and how can I open one?

    German Blocked account is used to serve as a means to prove sufficient financial resources to cover living expenses while studying or working in the country. 

    • Research and select a reputable German bank l that offers blocked account services.
    • Complete the application form with all the information asked.
    • Transfer the required amount of money (11,172 EUR) into the account.
    • Gather necessary documents like your passport, admission letter, and proof of address and submit it.
    • Receive a confirmation letter from the bank, which you can use for your visa or work permit application.

    Germany or Ireland, which country will pose more cultural challenge to students?

    Considering both countries are way different from India and therefore there are chances that you will have to adapt to huge cultural differences. Although in Germany language can be a major cultural difference that can be challenging for you as most of the conversation apart from your regular college will be done in Germany while in Ireland you can expect it to be in English. 

    First published date: 14 Mar 2023

Whatsapp image 2023 03 15 at 9.53.55 am

About author

Rohit Gidwani
Meet Rohit, an expert in the field of study abroad and Ed-tech with many years of professional experience in content creation and creative writing. Being a BBA graduate has helped him to pursue his professional duties strategically and with creativity.

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