What makes Germany a popular choice among international students?

Education abroad is a life-changing experience for learners as it involves travel, exposure to new cultures, values, art, history, people and way of life. Contrary to the popular perception that Indian students prefer to study in English-speaking destinations such as USA, Canada, UK and Australia; Germany continues to see a growing presence of Indian students. According to MEA data, around 21,000 Indian students study in Germany. This begs the question: what makes Germany an attractive destination for Indian students?

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For those who are discouraged by the lack of scholarships, reluctance to bear heavy student loans or tuition fees, it is wiser to choose a country that offers good quality education at a lower price, with many job opportunities. This is where a country like Germany has been able to offer the best education in all disciplines. According to UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report 2020, Germany was grouped into the second cohort of host countries that each accepted between 300,000 and 499,999 students in 2020. This statistic speaks to the popularity growth of Germany as a destination for university education abroad. .

Free or low-cost education and emphasis on hands-on pedagogy

Germans do not believe in making education exclusive and believe that free education is a basic human right. The country believes that this, in turn, helps the nation’s economy and well-being. As a result, public educational institutions do not charge tuition fees, a benefit also extended to international students. However, students are required to pay between €100 and €350 as a semester contribution.

Also, German universities emphasize a practice-oriented approach to complement university education, which adds to its popularity among learners around the world, who seek outcome-oriented learning. As a result, universities partner with companies to ensure that students acquire theoretical and practical knowledge throughout the course. This ensures that students graduate with the skills and theoretical know-how that make them highly employable and ready to solve real-world problems.

Besides public universities, private universities in Germany maintain an equally competent academic environment, with English as the language of instruction at a competitive price for international students.

English as the language of instruction

Indian learners who might not be comfortable with the idea of ​​studying a course where the language of instruction is German can also continue their studies in the country as several universities offer courses in English. Of the nearly 2,000 programs in the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) database, 1,389 are taught in English.

Subjects taught in English include social sciences, engineering, natural sciences, law, economics and mathematics. However, keep in mind that you might struggle to find courses in English for the following subjects: Veterinary Medicine, Art and Art Theory, Cultural and Linguistic Studies, Sports and Medicine. Additionally, opportunities to study in English at the undergraduate level are very limited, so those who are not fluent in German should consider completing their higher education in the country.

To ensure students’ proficiency in English, universities ask for IELTS and TOEFL scores during the admissions process. However, one can also find private universities that waive the TOEFL/IELTS requirement, making it easier for international students to gain admission.

Scholarships and part-time jobs

Germany offers the cheapest courses in Europe and offers a range of scholarships for international students. Some of the scholarships funded by private and government authorities include Mawista Scholarship, Einstein International Postdoctoral Fellowship, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Scholarships, Heinrich Böll Scholarships for International Students, Erasmus+ and DAAD Scholarships.

Additionally, the country has policies in place that support international students to work part-time to help cover the cost of living in the country. However, learners must comply with part-time work regulations and need a work permit. They cannot be self-employed or self-employed under the guise of part-time work and can work 120 full days or 240 half-days in a single year. However, learners have the option of working longer if the unemployment rate in the region where they are studying is high. Learners can also work during university vacations, but only during non-course periods.

Getting a job at university is ideal for international students because the salary is higher and they can work longer hours, close to their university institution.

Low cost of living

Apart from the various other advantages, Germany is desirable due to relatively lower cost of living. International learners must pay between 75 euros for a student visa. Prospective students will need to create a German escrow account with a balance of 10,332 Euros per year, from which they can withdraw INR 861 Euros on a monthly basis. Of these monthly expenses, a profitable rent represents 250 to 350 euros per month. In addition, learners will have to take out a health insurance policy of around 100 to 150 euros. In addition, daily needs require a budget of 100 euros per month.

Fourth largest economy in the world and job opportunities after college

As the fourth largest economy in the world and the largest economy in Europe, Germany is the third largest importer of goods and the third largest exporter. The top ten exporting industries include vehicles, rubber and plastics, food products, basic metals, transport equipment, pharmaceuticals, electrical equipment, electronics, chemicals and machinery. These and other industries provide many opportunities for students seeking employment after graduation. The German economy, classified as a social market economy, exhibits higher levels of innovation and lower levels of corruption and is home to a highly skilled workforce.

As long as Indian learners are well prepared and have all the necessary documents, they don’t have to worry about being rejected when applying for a student visa to study in Germany. Another alternative is to apply for a “candidate student” visa which allows prospective students to stay in the country for three months so that they can search for the right university while living in Germany. At the end of the course, international students can extend their residence permit and look for work for 18 months after graduation, provided that the job they are looking for is related to the subjects they have studied during the lesson. Those who have worked in Germany for two years can apply for permanent residence.


In conclusion, Germany stands as a promising place for education abroad in terms of quality provision at an affordable price due to free public education, low cost of living and availability scholarships. The government has made arrangements to facilitate part-time work and universities offer practice-oriented training. Finally, as Germany is one of the most advanced economies in the world, students can take comfort in knowing that one can also land a job after graduation.

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