Comprehensive guide on how to study free in Germany

germaEducation is free in Germany. That means both domestic and international students can legally  study free without paying tuition in public universities in Germany. That said, we are going analyse the application requirements and also provide  information on the Living Expenses, the Application Process and  Application Deadlines.

Germany is one of the best countries to study science and art courses. The multi-lingual country offers excellent educational possibilities for both national and international students, with low to no tuition fees and good campus lifestyle, Germany is becoming a major attraction for prospective students. Most Universities in Germany have intensely progressive infrastructure which adds to the good reputation of the country to international students. For students who wish to pursue careers in engineering, an international environment, finest infrastructure, accredited laboratories are one of the benefits they look for in a University; German Universities have all that.

The government funds higher education in Germany and as such is literally free for all students irrespective of their nationality. The only expenses students have to worry about are living expenses.

Living Expenses

The cost of living in Germany is quite reasonable, compared to other European countries. In total, your living expenses may amount to around 800 euros a month, depending on how economic you are. Students can live on less money in smaller cities than in larger ones.

Here’s a list to give you an idea of how much you may spend in a month;

Rent and utilities € 298

Food and drinks € 165

Clothing € 52

Learning materials € 30

Car and public transportation € 82

Health insurance, medical costs, medicine € 66

Telephone, internet, TV € 33

Recreation, culture, sports € 68

Total € 794

If you’re looking at these prices and thinking, “I cannot afford that…” Don’t worry, Part-time jobs are easy to find in Germany. You can even find job advertisements on the notice board on campus or on your university’s website. Just be sure to comply with the legal regulations on how much you’re allowed to work. The employment laws pertaining to international students are very stringent. Violation of these laws may result in students being expelled from the country.

For students from selected European countries (confirm with the German embassy in your country):  Even if you don’t have a work permit you are allowed to work, but students are not allowed to work for over 20 hours per week. Otherwise, you will be required to pay into the German social security system.

Students from other countries may work for 120 full days.  If you take a job as a student assistant or research assistant at the university, it’s usually no problem to exceed t65he 120-day limit. However, you are obliged to inform the Alien Registration Office if you do. If you complete an internship during the semester break, paid or unpaid, it’s considered as work. Every day of your internship is deducted from your 120 days of work. If the internships are mandatory, they are not considered as work.

Application process

There are three places which accept applications for admission to university:

  1.       The Trust for admission to higher education ( no application costs)
  2.       Uni-assist ( application costs 75 euros)
  3.       The university of your choice ( application processing fees vary from one university to another)

In Germany there are often more applicants than places for subjects, so these subjects have admission restrictions known as (numerous clausus, NC). The restrictions are either Central NC (application restriction applies nationwide). Examples of subjects with central NC currently include Medicine, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine and Dentistry. The Local NC applies to individual Universities.

*If you want to apply for a subject which is nationally restricted you ought to have obtained an entrance qualification in Germany or at a German school abroad or come from an EU member country, Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein in order to be able to send your application through The Trust for admission to higher education.

*If you want to apply for a subject which is nationally restricted but do not have an entrance qualification in Germany or at a German school abroad nor come from an EU member country, Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein, first find out if your university is a member of Uni-assist and send your application through Uni-assist.

*If you want to apply for a subject with a local restriction or no restriction, find out if the university is a member of Uni- assist and apply through Uni-assist.

NB for the last two cases, if the university is not a member of Uni-assist, apply directly to university. The list of universities that are Uni-assist members is available on the Uni-assist website.

Application forms are found from the university, the Trust for admission to higher education, the DAAD website, or the Unis-assist website.

Your Application form must be accompanied by:

  1.       Certified copy of your university entrance qualification (e.g. high school diploma, A levels)
  2.       Certified copies of all university certificates you have received, if any
  3.       Passport photo
  4.       Copy of your passport (page with your name and photo)
  5.       Foreign language certificates

Application Deadline

Winter semester enrolment: Applications open end of May to 15 July


Acceptance letters – August / September.

Rejection letters- September / October.

Summer semester enrolment: Applications open beginning of December to 15 January


Acceptance letters – February / March.

Rejection letters- March / April.

NB These deadlines are only valid for most universities, always verify with your university of choice.

Admission Requirements

–          Entry Qualification: A university entrance qualification: this is your school leaving certificate which qualifies you for university study.

–          English or German Language Proficiency: Programs are taught in German or English. Knowledge of these languages is a prerequisite for admission to study this courses. If you want to study in the English language, you will need to show proof of English language proficiency.

–          Aptitude Test: Known as the Test AS, this test is designed to assess your chances of completing your degree programme successfully. The test is comprised of three parts: the onscreen language test, the Core Test and subject-specific test modules.

–          Visa and Residence Permit: International students need visas, depending on where they come from and how long their programs will take. Visit the German Embassy in your country to find out more about the visa application process.


–          Proof of Financial Resources or Scholarships: Applicants have to show that they have around 6,000 Euros at their disposal for one year. If you have a sponsor or scholarship, you will need to provide documents to prove this.

–          Health Insurance: It is mandatory to have health insurance at the beginning of your university program that covers at least one year of study. You will need to provide proof of health insurance when you enrol at the university and when applying for a residence permit.


For more enquiries about admissions into universities abroad, send an email to or call +2348125835476

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