Everything you need to know about Free Education in Germany | Life in Düsseldorf (2023)

Our blog posts may include affiliate links. These affiliate links don't cost you anything, but we might earn a few Euros if you decide to purchase something from one of our recommended website partners. Thank you for your support to help keep this platform up and running!

There are many benefits to studying in Germany, but one thing outweighs them all: free education. You can learn for as long as you want without living out of your means. This blog post will give you some tips on making the most of this opportunity and what its like to study without financial pressure!

If youre considering studying abroad or even something at home, then read on! We hope this helps your decision-making easier!

Broad Overview of Education in Germany

Education is a high priority for the German government as they have some of the highest-quality schools and universities in Europe. The countrys economic success is reflected by its educational excellence, with many respondents from international surveys rating its education system as one of the worlds best. In addition to free universities, students receive generous financial support in tuition fees waivers and rent subsidies.

Post Sections

(Video) Germany School admission for Expats I School system In Germany Explained I Non-EU students

What is free education in Germany?

Free education is a type of university system where students dont have to pay tuition fees. It was pretty rare for free universities to exist as they were often public institutions funded by the government. But in some countries today, there are so many private universities competing on price with each other. It has even become standard practice for universities to give you your money back if you dont like the course. As a result, some governments (like Germany) have decided that its in their best interest to fund free education to drive up standards in whatever field of study.

Education in Germany is accessible at all universities, including international students, meaning that you wont be paying for enrollment or tuition fees. However, there are some requirements to fulfill before being able to study for free.

Requirements of Free Education in Germany

Language requirement

You must be ready to learn the German language if you have not achieved the required level to attend a German taught course in a public university in Germany.

For an English taught course, your score or grade obtained in a test like IELTS or TOEFL, respectively, should be meeting the level set by the faculty.

Residency status

During your time studying in Germany, you must maintain a legal residency permit (student visa). To keep your residence permit, you need to pass the exams within an allotted period (usually no longer than two years).

You may have noticed that the study requirements in Germany are pretty strict, but once youre through it all, youll be able to benefit from free education! How wonderful is that?

Free Education Exceptions

Almost all public universities offer free education to international students except in one state - Baden Württemberg. Here universities charge 1500.EUR per semester- still looks affordable for many.

(Video) How to Get 100% Admission in Germany Public Universities 2022! No Tuition Fee !Study Free in Germany

What disciplines don’t have free education?

You can study any degree program for free in Germany: degrees in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, engineering, business, and you name it. You must have the grades necessary to attend a university course in Germany.

How long can I study for free?

You can study for free in Germany as long as you want. Even if you come back to your home country to visit, you dont have to pay any tuition fees if you return within six months of finishing your degree.

Are there any scholarships?

Yes. Germany gives out a large number of scholarships to international students who want to study in the country. The government divides these scholarships into two types: one for countries outside the EU and another for other EU member states. In both cases, youll receive between €200 ($231) to €700 ($833) per month for up-front costs.

Scholarships for Studying in Germany

There are numerous scholarships that international students can apply to study in Germany. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) offers approximately 450 new BAföG recipients each year, 50 Master scholarship recipients who take up a language course in Germany, and 50 scholarship recipients studying abroad. Another great source of information is Daad.com, which provides a comprehensive list of scholarships for students wishing to study overseas in Germany.

Past graduates have received awards that included international fee waivers, housing allowance, monthly scholarship payments, free travel tickets back home, and health insurance. Each scholarship is different, so make sure to do your research before applying!

Growing Demand for Free Education in Germany

With the rising demand for education in Germany, more universities are opening up to the idea. For instance, Esade Business School recently announced that it is establishing its campus in Berlin to serve the growing number of students looking for quality education at an affordable price. The school will offer programs to help finance students to get the career they want without any financial obstacles.

What is student finance?

Compared to students in most other countries who have to take out loans or get money from their parents, studying for free in Germany is quite a relief. However, the government has funded higher education by setting up loans and grants called Studienkredit (student finance). That provides students with interest-free loans and non-repayable grant money available from the beginning of each semester.

What does student finance cover?

The financial assistance to students will depend on where you are studying and your living costs. The maximum amount a funding institution can grant for living expenses each month is approximately 390 EUR for those who live at home, 590EUR if you live in a dormitory or with friends, and 845 EUR if you need to rent a room. In addition, you can get additional money for textbooks and equipment.

What is a tuition waiver?

In Germany, students from EU and non-EU countries will have their tuition fees waived by the government, so they dont have to pay anything during their studies in a public university.

(Video) FIND AN ENGLISH MASTERS DEGREE IN GERMANY | Study free university in DE | American in Germany

Universities in one particular state (Baden Württemberg) charge tuition fees to international students but less; 1500.EUR per semester.

The benefits of studying in Germany?

One significant benefit of studying in German universities is that there is a good chance that you may be able to get a job in your chosen field after the course. Dual education allows students to apply for jobs while theyre still in school. Upon completing your class, you can be qualified to work for any companies that offer positions as part of their training program.

How to Apply to Study in Germany?

When applying to study in Germany, you need to be aware of deadlines and requirements. You can apply directly through your chosen universities or research available options by visiting the appropriate sites and portals. Check out our database of universities for their admissions process and requirements, languages offered, tuition fees (if any), and more. Well also help you get in touch with representatives from each university so that they can answer any questions you may have!

Student Life in Germany

When students study abroad, they experience cultural differences that shape their life; however, in Germany, these cultural differences are magnified due to the vast number of nationalities represented on German campuses. For instance, living spaces for international students tend to be furnished, which allows international students to focus on their studies instead of worrying about providing a home. To put this into perspective, a double room in a shared apartment in Munich can cost as little as €220/month (~$225/mo), not including utilities and internet. Considering the average monthly rent for a studio apartment in New York is $2,500/mo, studying or interning abroad in Germany is by far one of the cheaper options.

Tuition-Free Universities in Germany

Over 350 universities and colleges publicly funded by the state provide tuition-free education for German citizens and international students alike. Students who dont belong to the EU will be required to pay a semester contribution fee of around €150-€235.

Some notable universities include: Technische Universität München , Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, etc.

Life in Düsseldorf also offers a list of the top 10 English universities here in Germany that you can browse through as well.

Internships in Germany

If you are considering studying abroad in Germany, you should also consider finding an internship! While they arent guaranteed, many internships will provide free housing and a monthly allowance of €300-€500 or more. If you can find an internship, then the cost of living is essentially free, as you dont need to pay for housing or food.

One full-time internship program that German students are eligible for is DAADs, which supports one year of work experience.

(Video) Fun Facts of Germany - Life of an Expat in Düsseldorf (2021)

Scholarships for Internships in Germany

In addition to scholarship awards from German organizations, many international foundations provide grants and scholarships for internships in Germany. Make sure to ask the organizations you apply to!

Getting a Student Visa in Germany

The first step youll need to do is apply for a student visa. Its best to lodge your visa application as early as possible to avoid delays and complications! You will not require a medical examination to apply for a student visa.

Once you have received your letter of acceptance from the university, the next step is to apply for your student visa. We can help you with that, you can use an online service, or you can do it yourself at the nearest German consulate in your country or country of residence.

Once you arrive in Germany, youll be required to activate your residence permit no later than three months after the date of entry into Germany.

Getting a Working Visa in Germany

If youre 18-30 years old, you will be able to get a working holiday visa waiver in Germany. That means that if you are from Australia, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand, and Taiwan, you will work in Germany for up to one year. You may extend the visa later.

One of the requirements for obtaining a working holiday visa waiver is to have studied for at least three months in Germany before applying for the visa.


If you are interested in studying abroad in Germany, there are plenty of free or inexpensive options that you can explore! You can earn your degree tuition-free at one of many public universities in Germany. If you are planning on studying for an internship, then there are numerous scholarship opportunities available! Remember to keep searching for scholarships and internships even after youve been accepted to a German university or secured a working holiday visa waiver; more opportunities will become available as your departure date approaches!

New to Germany? Join our Welcome Program! Want to join our author team? Send us an email!Join our Life in Düsseldorf | Expats & Locals Community group and register for our newsletter (packed with the hottest events, seasonal activities, upcoming job opportunities and more)!

(Video) Why everyone wants to move to Germany? 🇩🇪🇩🇪| Düsseldorf VLOG


How does free education work in Germany? ›

In 2014, Germany officially eliminated tuition for most bachelor's and many master's degree students, regardless of country of origin. Students must still consider administrative fees, the cost of living, and the expenses required to fund the visa process, but going to college in Germany is nominally free to all.

Is University of Dusseldorf free? ›

public universities are free! What's more, it is often the public universities that focus on the international exchange of their students. For example, the Düsseldorf university paves the way for 80 European and 30 international university agreements and actively supports the exchange of international students.

Who qualifies for free education in Germany? ›

Education Criteria– Candidates must have passed class 12th examination. They will not be considered otherwise. Minimum marks required: Candidates must secure a minimum 85% or 9 CGPA in class 12th. Age Limit: There is no age limit.

Is education completely free in Germany? ›

Undergraduate costs to study in Germany

Although you can study for free at public German universities as an undergraduate, there is a charge per semester for enrolment, confirmation and administration. This is typically no more than €250 (~US$290) per semester, but varies depending on the university.

Do students get money in Germany? ›

In Germany, there are generous provisions for students, including a range of state-financed grants (such as BAfög for international students) and private loans. The most common form of education loan in Germany is called Bafög. It is a state-funded loan that is available to students based on their financial needs.

What level of German is required to study in Germany for free? ›

Free study in Germany's top rated public Universities

As most of free degree programs are taught in German language, one need to clear C1 level of German language to get admission in Public Universities.

What universities are in Dusseldorf? ›


Are public universities in Germany free for international students? ›

Public Universities in Germany are free for international students. In Germany, public universities are tuition-free, and not just for German or EU citizens! You don't have to have ever been to Germany or speak German to apply to universities in Germany.

Are private universities in Germany free? ›

No, private universities in Germany are not free. Germany private university fees are high as they charge tuition fees for all their programs unlike most public universities which have zero tuition fees.

How can I apply for free study in Germany? ›

Students wanting to study in Germany for free are required to adhere to the following steps to be able to achieve the same.
  1. Course Selection.
  2. University/College Selection.
  3. Tuition Costs (if any) and Blocked Account.
  4. Living and accommodation costs.
  5. Apply.
  6. Get your German Student Visa.
  7. Taking off and life in Germany.

What are the requirements to study in Germany? ›

The usual documents you need for enrollment are:
  • Your passport with visa or residence permit.
  • Several passport photos.
  • Completed registration form.
  • Proof of higher education entrance qualification, either original certificates or officially certified copies and translations.
  • Notice of admission.

Is education free for girls in Germany? ›

All the public universities in Germany offer free education to all students.

How much money do I need to study in Germany? ›

Overview of Cost of Studying in Germany
Public University12,000 INR – 1,30,000 INR
Private UniversityUp to 28,00,000 INR
Accommodation and Utilities18,721 INR – 46,000 INR

Can I work and study in Germany? ›

Student jobs and internships

Students from abroad can also work in Germany alongside their studies. Students from EU/EEA countries are allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week during the semester, just like German students are. There is no limit to how much they can earn during semester breaks.

Is learning German easy? ›

Getting Great at German

German might not be as familiar to English speakers as Spanish, but it's still one of the easiest languages to learn. Like Spanish, it's also a phonetic language, which makes pronunciation easy to figure out.

Can I work full-time as a student in Germany? ›

You can work up to 20 hours per week while studying. If you exceed this, you'll be required to pay into the German social security system, and there could be a negative impact on your studies. Non-EU/EEA students are also able to work in Germany alongside their studies, for 120 full days or 240 half days per year.

Can a poor student study in Germany? ›

The German welfare association Paritätische Gesamtverband has recently revealed that almost every third person studying in Germany lives below the poverty line. This has been followed by calls for BAföG reforms and higher student loans.

How much do German students earn per month? ›

You may earn up to 450 euros per month. With a minimum wage of 9.50 euros per hour (as of Jan. 2021), you have to work a maximum of around eleven hours per week or around 47 hours per month for this amount. As a full-time student, you do not have to pay taxes or social security contributions on this amount.

Can I study in Germany if I only speak English? ›

Germany is extremely popular among international students even if German is not that easy to learn. That's because even if you don't speak any German you can still go for a Bachelor's here thanks to the numerous English-taught Bachelor's.

Can I study in Germany without knowing German for free? ›

Simply put, no! To study at a German university, you don't need to speak German as long as you meet the minimum language requirements for your desired degree program. However, you will have more options if you consider programs that are taught in English AND German.

Can I study in Germany with only English? ›

While most programs are taught in German, there are opportunities to study in Germany in English, with a growing selection of English-language programs designed for international students.

Which city is the cheapest to study in Germany? ›

The top 10 German university cities for lowest cost of living
  • The top 10 German university cities for lowest cost of living.
  • Chemnitz. Chemnitz is particularly affordable for students because the rents are relatively low. ...
  • Erfurt. ...
  • Leipzig. ...
  • Dresden. ...
  • Rostock. ...
  • Gelsenkirchen. ...
  • Halle.

Which city is best for international students in Germany? ›

To help you make that decision, we've checked out the best cities in Germany for international students:
  • Munich.
  • Frankfurt.
  • Berlin.
  • Hamburg.
  • Aachen.
  • Bonn.
  • Dresden.
  • Stuttgart.
20 Sept 2022

What are the 2 intakes in Germany? ›

There are mainly two intakes in Germany summer intake and winter intake.

Can immigrants study for free in Germany? ›

Everyone can study in Germany tuition-free!

That's right: Germans, Europeans, and all non-Europeans can study in Germany free of charge - without tuition fees.

Can I bring my family to Germany while studying? ›

For families to join students in Germany they would have to apply for a visa for family reunification from the competent Germany mission abroad.

Can I study free in Germany without ielts? ›

Course in the German language: You can also seek admission to a German university without IELTS by taking admission to a German language program. However, to pursue this program you will need to submit a certification in the German language. A C1 to B1 level certificate will serve the purpose in this case.

Which is better in Germany public or private university? ›

Are private universities in Germany good? Even though private universities in Germany do not rank as high as public universities, it doesn't mean that they're not good. The pros of pursuing your higher education in Germany are usually higher than in universities in most countries.

Is German language necessary to study in Germany? ›

Knowledge of German is not a must

There are a large number of international degree courses at German universities. As a result, you do not need to know German to study in Germany.

Is it better to go to a public or private university? ›

Public universities, which tend to be larger in size, are better able to offer work-study positions to a greater number of students. While private colleges are generally more expensive, their ability to offer more attractive financial aid packages can sometimes make them more affordable than public universities.

Which degree is best in Germany? ›

Engineering is by far the most popular and one of the best degrees to study in Germany, and it usually leads to an MS degree. Mechanical engineering, automotive engineering, and electrical engineering are among the engineering disciplines chosen by students.

What level of German is required to study in Germany? ›

It requires a good command of German (level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference ) and a successful entrance examination.

How can I study in Germany cheap? ›

The education system in Germany can be broadly classified into Public Universities and Private Universities. Public Universities do no charge students a tuition fee but only an administration fee payable at the start of every semester. The administration fee could range from €150 to €250 a semester.

What should I know before deciding to study in Germany? ›

Here are 15 things to know before studying in Germany:
  • Education Is Not Always Free. ...
  • Paperwork Is Plentiful. ...
  • Knowing German Is a Plus. ...
  • Accommodation Will Be Challenging. ...
  • Germans Love Punctuality. ...
  • Small Towns Are Idyllic. ...
  • Locals Value Their Sundays' Peace. ...
  • Medicine Is Only Sold in Pharmacies.

What level of English is required to study Germany? ›

English Language Requirements to Study at German Universities: To study in English international students have to prove their language proficiency at an upper intermediate to advanced level (B2/C1). German Universities usually accept one of these certificates: A TOEFL or IELTS certificate.

Is there an age limit to study in Germany? ›

There is no age limit for studying in Germany. In fact, it is not that uncommon for students to be as old as you (or even significantly older) when starting or continuing with university.

Which job is best for girls in Germany? ›

According to the number of available positions per year the best apprenticeships for woman in Germany are: 1) Management assistant for office management, 2) Medical assistants, 3) Retail saleswoman, 4) Dental assistant, 5) Sales assistant, 6) Industrial clerk, 7) Hairdresser, 8) Hotel specialist, 9) Administrative ...

How long is a school day in Germany? ›

The School Day

Classes normally start between 7:30 and 8:15 a.m. and can end between 12 noon and 1:30 p.m. Class periods are normally 45 minutes long with a short break in between.

What are the three types of German schools? ›

Realschule (more practical secondary school for grades 5 through 10) Gymnasium (more academic secondary school for grades 5 through 12 or 13) Gesamtschule (comprehensive school for grades 5 through 12 or 13)

How much money should I show for Germany student visa? ›

Proof of financial resources

Since January 2021 you are expected to demonstrate funds of 861 EUR per month / 10,332 EUR per year. From 1 January 2023, the presumed annual requirement that must be paid into the blocked account when applying for a visa amounts to 11,208 euros.

Is Germany student visa easy to get? ›

The application process is pretty simple if you have all the required documents. However, you should make sure to go prepared. Here's how to apply for the Germany Student Visa: Go to the German Embassy or Consulate in your country.

Is living in Germany as a student expensive? ›

Cost of living in Germany for students. Not only can you study for free in Germany, but it is also a pretty affordable country. The average costs of living for students range between 700 - 1,000 EUR/month, including accommodation. Find out more about expenses (including health insurance) for students in Germany.

Can I settle in Germany after study? ›

Yes. After you have completed your studies you can stay in Germany while you are looking for a job. Students from non-EU and non-EEA countries who hold a residence permit can apply to have it extended for another 18 months while they search for a job in Germany.

Which job is best for student in Germany? ›

These are the best paying part-time jobs in Germany for students:
  • Research scholars.
  • Research assistants/academic assistants.
  • Support staff.
  • Teaching English as an English tutor.
  • Industrial production assistants.

How can I make extra money in Germany? ›

If you prefer to work from home, see my 20 ideas to make money from home that anyone can do.
  1. Internship. ...
  2. Student work in a company. ...
  3. Writing thesis in a company. ...
  4. Scholarship. ...
  5. University jobs. ...
  6. Bartender/ waiter. ...
  7. Babysitter, and other jobs from private persons. ...
  8. Street performance.

What is the hardest part of learning German? ›

The 'r' sound is, to me, the most difficult in German and often the dead giveaway of a native English speaker. If we take a simple word like aber, the tendency of a native English speaker is to say, 'abER', pronouncing the hard 'r' as one would in English.

What is the most difficult thing in learning German? ›

Five reasons why learning German is hard…
  • Because there are few pronunciation rules. ...
  • Because nouns are recognized due to the capital letter. ...
  • Because German has rules to which one can abide to, whereas in English the grammar is more 'flexible', so to say. ...
  • Because you don't have the gerund and the duration form.
9 Feb 2021

How many years will it take to learn German? ›

It shouldn't take long to become fluent in German. Actually, after 6-8 months of studying in intense courses (about twenty hours every week) you will be able to gain proficiency of your German language to navigate your daily life. It is possible to gain professional proficiency within a mere year!

Is Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf free? ›

HHU has affordable bachelor's programs that cost less than 1,000 USD/year. In order to obtain a master's degree the student must spend about 1,000 USD per year.

Is university free for EU citizens? ›

Europe offers plenty of affordable study options for international students. In many countries, education is free for European students. And there are even some places where non-European students can study for free.

Is University of Cologne free for international students? ›

The University of Cologne does not charge tuition fees. However, all stu- dents must pay a social contribution fee of around € 250 per semester, or € 500 per year.

Which university is free in the world? ›

Study in the Nordic countries for free

Nordic nations Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden all offer opportunities to study free or at low cost: In Norway, university study is available free of charge to all students, regardless of study level or nationality.

How do I know if a German university is legit? ›

anabin is a database you can use to find out how your certificate will be evaluated in Germany. If you have completed university studies already, you may also use the database to find out if your university is recognised in Germany.

Which public universities in Germany are free? ›

Some of the free universities in Germany are:
  • Technical University of Munich (TUM)
  • Ludwig Maximilians University Munich.
  • Heidelberg University.
  • Humboldt University Berlin.
  • Freie Universität Berlin.
  • RWTH Aachen University.
  • Technische Universität Berlin.
  • Technische Universität Dresden.

Can a poor student study abroad? ›

Answer: Yes it is possible to study abroad even if you don't have so good grades. Language schools abroad accept students on any level, and there are also other schools like American Community Colleges that accept students with lower grades.

What qualifies you as a EU student? ›

Your nationality and residency

You can apply for funding if all of the following apply: you're an EU national or family member of an EU national, or a family member of a Person of Northern Ireland. you have settled or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme.

Which European country is best for study and work? ›

  • #8 - Denmark. 🌍 ...
  • #7 - Sweden. 🌍 Ranked #11 in the world. ...
  • #6 - Spain. 🌍 Ranked #10 in the world. ...
  • #5 - France. 🌍 Ranked #8 in the world. ...
  • #4 - The Netherlands. 🌍 Ranked #7 in the world. ...
  • #3 - United Kingdom. 🌍 Ranked #6 in the world. ...
  • #2 - Switzerland. 🌍 Ranked #5 in the world. ...
  • #1 - Germany. 🌍 Ranked #3 in the world.

Is Germany cheap for international students? ›

While public universities are very affordable, the story for students studying in a private university is different. Tuition fees in Germany for international students studying at a private university can cost anywhere between €25,000 - €40,000, depending on your course.

Is Germany expensive for international students? ›

Students in Germany usually spend roughly 850 Euros every month on average as living costs. You will require approximately 10, 300+ Euros annually in living costs and close to 40% of global students will want to find student residences owing to lower costs hovering around 300 EUR per month.

Which university offer free education for international students? ›

Ranking the Best Free International Colleges for US Students
RankSchool Name
1Heidelberg University
2Technical University of Munich
3Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
4University of Oslo
46 more rows

Which country has the best education system? ›

  1. The United States of America. The American education system is known for its practical learning and offers a wide array of educational choices to international students. ...
  2. The United Kingdom. ...
  3. Australia. ...
  4. The Netherlands. ...
  5. Sweden. ...
  6. France. ...
  7. Denmark. ...
  8. Canada.
12 Jul 2022

Which country has lowest tuition fees? ›

All public universities in Germany do not charge tuition fees at the undergraduate and PhD-level, making it among the world's cheapest countries for international students.

Which country is best for study without ielts? ›

Apart from this, students can also choose their desired university from countries like Australia, the UK, Canada, Germany, and Norway, as many universities in these countries also grant admission without IELTS or TOEFL. For this, students must attend a Pathway program, which usually lasts nine to fifteen months.


1. Study in Germany tuition free 2019 (University Application Agency).
(Raising L and L Twins)
2. The Knowledge Region of Düsseldorf - with HHU: Top destination for qualification and career
4. German Government Language schools and Courses for New Immigrants
(Indian Girl in Europe)
5. 13 things you NEED TO KNOW before going to Germany! | Feli from Germany
(Feli from Germany)
6. How to Move to Germany with your Family and get paid for having kids! 😳
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Catherine Tremblay

Last Updated: 24/08/2023

Views: 5668

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (67 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Catherine Tremblay

Birthday: 1999-09-23

Address: Suite 461 73643 Sherril Loaf, Dickinsonland, AZ 47941-2379

Phone: +2678139151039

Job: International Administration Supervisor

Hobby: Dowsing, Snowboarding, Rowing, Beekeeping, Calligraphy, Shooting, Air sports

Introduction: My name is Catherine Tremblay, I am a precious, perfect, tasty, enthusiastic, inexpensive, vast, kind person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.