Practical Guidelines on how to study free in Germany

Germany, together with Norway and Finland, is one of the first countries to start offering tertiary education for free. Tuition fees were scrapped first in Baden-Wittenberg state starting 2011.

According to, starting October 2014, undergraduate students in all German public Universities, would not have to pay any tuition. If you are wondering, does this also apply to international students? Yes, it does. Tertiary education is FREE in Germany.


It is worthy to note that, starting in fall 2017, Germany will be introducing tuition fees of £1,256 per semester for UK students taking their first degree, and £544 for those taking a second degree as it is trying to pay off its £40.2million funding gap.

Before you run, if you are an international student or from Erasmus member states, count yourself lucky as such students will be exempted. A further exemption will be made for students from non-member countries with permanent resident status in Europe and refugees with the right to stay.


The average living cost in Germany is £6, 369 per year. This includes the cost of accommodation, food, transport, course materials, entertainment and other necessities.


Food = USD 190

Clothes = USD60

Transport = USD 96

Telephone Bills = USD 38

Work/Study Materials = USD 35

Internet & Television = USD 35

Leisure = USD 80

NOTE that these are average costs and could vary from state to state: Big cities such as Munich as well as cities across the West of Germany tend to be more expensive. Another factor could be the length of your stay in Germany as prices tend to increase over the years.


NOTE: Students from member countries of the EU and citizens of Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein will not need Visas.


  1. For students from EU member countries or the EEA, there should be a social security agreement between these countries and Germany.
  2. For students from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Japan and South Korea, no Visa is needed. However, students will need to register at the local Residents’ Registration Office and the Aliens’ Registration office to obtain a residence permit within 2 week of arrival in Germany.
  3. Students from Brazil, Andorra, Honduras, San Marino, Taiwan and El Salvador only need a student visa if they plan to work before or after obtaining their degree. In this case, they should apply for the visa at their local German embassy or consulate in their home country.


Students should apply for a student Visa at their local German Embassy or consulate in their home country.


  1. Expect to pay around USD 70 for your student visa.
  2. You will also need to show proof that you have access to USD 8670 per year to cover living expenses.


  1. The documents typically required are:
  • Completed application form
  • Valid Passport
  • Two passport-sized photos
  • Acceptance letter from a German University
  • Transcript of academic record
  • Certificate of German language proficiency or proof that you intent on attending a German language course in Germany
  • Declaration of authenticity of documents submitted
  • Certificate of health insurance


  1. Students will need health insurance as a pre-condition of registering at a German university.
  2. If student’s health insurance is not valid in Germany, student should expect to pay between USD 90 and USD 180 per month to cover medical insurance.



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