Have you identified Germany as your destination for studies abroad?
Germany is indeed becoming attractive to international students due to various reasons. >>Why study in Germany?
There are several requirements needed to studying in Germany. It is recommended that you inform yourself early enough regarding the key requirements needed to successfully get the admission to the university of your choice.
1. Are you eligible to study in Germany?
Do you know the minimum grade required for your studies in Germany? Have you done a diploma or partially studied in your home country? The following two databases can give you the information regarding the higher education entrance qualification needed.
- DAAD database: DAAD has a database indicating the admission requirements and whether your higher entrance qualification is recognised in Germany. The database has currently information for 80 countries.
- anabin database (Details only in German): This database has more information for all countries but the information is only in German.
Please note that the higher education institution is the one that decides on whether you meet the requirements. Kindly contact the International Office of your university to get all the details needed.
Kenyan nationalities require a minimum of grade of 'C+' (KCSE) to be able to study in Germany. Applicants with no further qualifications apart from KCSE will have to attend the Studienkolleg. See details below.
2. Studienkolleg (preparatory course)
International applicants who are entitled to study in Germany but have not attained the higher education entrance qualification in Germany must attend the Studienkolleg. Studienkolleg is a preparatory course which takes two semesters. Applications must pass the entrance exam in German (Aufnahmeprüfung) to join the Studienkolleg and the final exam (Festellungsprüfung) to acquire the higher education entrance qualification.
These university-run centres for international students provide language teaching and teaching geared to the subject you have chosen to study. The courses at the Studienkolleg usually take one year (two semesters). If you pass the final examination (Festellungsprüfung), you will be entitled to apply for a higher education course in that subject.
3. German Language Course Certificates
If you apply for a course which is taught in German, you will have to prove that you know enough of the language. Regardless of what you study, you are advised to have a command of German corresponding to level B2. That will help you to make yourself understood without anyone else's help, whether out shopping, at the foreign registration office or at the doctor. Moreover, it will make it easier to have a social life and will raise your career prospects if you stay on in Germany.
If you want to take a German exam while still in your home country, you can do so in one of the 158 Goethe Institutes worldwide, for example German Courses at the Goethe Institut in Kenya. For more information about language examinations and courses click here: >> Read more about Language Examinations and Courses for Studying at German Universities
4. Financial Requirements
One of the biggest challenges for students is how they are going to finance their studies in Germany. One of the requirements when applying for the student visa is to indicate the financial support. Students applying for studies in Germany must provide either a block account with 10,236 euros, a scholarship or a sponsor to cater for the financial requirements during studies in Germany. For more requirements regarding the visa requirements for students and language visas, visit the German Embassy in your area for more information. See the requirements from the German Embassy in Kenya. >>Studies and Language Course Visas
Scholarships in Germany
There are a good number of scholarships for Undergraduates, Masters and PhD courses in Germany. But it is advisable to begin searching for scholarships early enough while you are still in your home country. >>Scholarships in Germany and in Africa
Upon enrollment students have to pay semester fees at every higher education institution. Fees differ at each higher education institution but usually include:
- fees for student bodies (AStA, Stura)
- fees for the Studentenwerk
- possible fee for using a semester ticket
Some higher education institutions additionally charge enrollment/administration fees (around 50 euros per semester) and in some federal states students have to pay tuition fees. Whether additional costs need to be paid for the education itself or not depends on the actual study programme. Depending on the university, the semester contribution ranges between 100 and 300 Euro. Some universities offer a semester ticket which is included in the fee.
For more details regarding the student tickets in Germany, the following link gives a good overview about public transport in Germany.
II. Health Insurance
If you wish to study in Germany you need health insurance. Without the insurance you will not be able to apply for student or language visa from your home country. Without the insurance you will not be enrolled at the German university.
The monthly premiums for students are about 80 Euros for the public health insurance. >>Health Insurances for Students in Germany
III. Living expenses (personal costs)
Depending on the location, German students spend an average of around 800 Euro per month. This amount includes the money needed for rent, transportation, food, clothing, study materials, health insurance, telephone, Internet, radio and television license fees as well as money for leisure-time activities. Up to 300 Euro per month or more can go towards paying the rent depending on your location. Munich is so far one of the most expensive cities for students in Germany.
5. Accommodation for Students
Students in Germany either live in a student hall, residence or a private accommodation. In contrast to other countries, German universities do not automatically assign rooms to students when they enroll. So it is recommended to find an accommodation before arriving in Germany. The International Office at the University can provide advice and useful information for finding a place to live. There are different ways to search for flats. But start early as soon as you have an admission. >> Read more about the Accommodation for Students in Germany
6. Visa Requirements
Depending on your nationality, most international students require a Visa to pursue their studies or language courses in Germany. Details about the visa requirements can be accessed through the German Embassy or Consulat in your country of origin. Details about the requirements for Kenyan students applying for study and language visas at the Germany Embassy Nairobi can be found here: >>Visa for studies and language courses.