Studying in Germany
Germany is one of the fast-emerging destinations to study abroad. Germany is known as the heart of Europe with 83 million inhabitants approximately spread over sixteen constituent states, covering an area of 357,386 square kilometers. Berlin is the capital and the largest city and is known as the crucial urban center of Germany. Moreover, Germany is listed as the world's fourth and fifth largest economy globally by nominal GDP and GDP PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) and a leading exporter of machinery, vehicles, chemicals, and household equipment. German is the official language with over 95% of the population speaking it as their first language.
The landscapes of Germany are diverse and charming. There are island chains with long dunes and swathes of heath and moorland on the North and Baltic Seas. Besides, Central Germany majorly comprises dense forests and medieval castles which are situated in the rolling mountains and one can find the Alps with their sparkling lakes, rise above the lowlands in the south. Germany is a world leader in innovation, boasting leading universities and research institutes alongside major engineering, IT, and manufacturing industries.
Germany has led the world of Science and Technology and has had many noted scientists who have significantly contributed to the field of science. The country has produced a long list of revolutionary inventions, such as the automobile, the airbag, X-ray technology, Aspirin, the computer, and the chip card, to name a few. Germany is a highly-ranked and very popular study destination for international students because of its research community shaped by German universities, world-class education, exciting urban life submerged in panoramic landscapes, and welcoming culture with people from all over the globe. The top universities in Germany are spread throughout the country with options to study in Munich, Berlin, and 40 other cities. The country not only provides students with high academic standards and well-organized study programs with world-class professors but also ample post-study employment opportunities for the students along with remarkably affordable living standards and tuition fees.
Major Cities in Germany
Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, (officially Frankfurt am Main), Hamburg, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Dresden, and Hanover are some of the major cities in Germany. Trier is the oldest city in Germany which lies at the head of the scenic Mosel valley near the Luxembourg border.
Demographic Profile of Germany
Germany is the most populous country in the European Union with an estimated 2020 population of 83.78 million. It is bordered by Poland, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Austria, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Germany is grouped into 16 states, referred to collectively as Länder, each state having its own constitution and is fairly autonomous. Despite being one of the populous countries in the EU, Germany has relatively few large cities, and only four have a population of over 1 million: Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Cologne.
German is the official language of the country. Minority languages include Danish, North Frisian, Saterland Frisian, Lower Sorbian, Upper Sorbian, and Romani. Most Germans learn English, French, and Latin at school with several other foreign languages offered as well. There are about 50,000 Danes native to the northernmost region of Germany. The Sorbs (Slavic people) live in the Lusatia region. One can also find a large population of Frisians in Lower Saxony and the western coast of Schleswig-Holstein.
The majority of Germans are Christian, either Roman Catholic (28.2%) or Protestant (26%), although 1.9% of the population are Orthodox Christians. Islam is the second-largest religion in Germany, with an estimated 6.1% of the population according to a 2017 Pew Research Survey. It is also interesting to note that Germany has the highest percentage of immigrants and is listed as one of the most popular destinations amongst immigrants along with the United States and Canada. Over 10 million people living in Germany today were born outside of Germany, which is about 12% of the German population.
Cost of Living in Germany
Living expenses in Germany come to around 853 euros a month (around $957 US dollars) or 10,236 euros per year (around $11,484 US dollars). Overall, the total cost of living in Germany depends on factors like location and what type of lifestyle you like to lead. The rent, food, and clothes are more expensive in industrial big cities. In contrast, you can expect cheaper prices for some products and services in less-populated areas. On average the international students are expected to pay the following costs during their stay in Germany:
Employment opportunities in Germany
Germany is a popular study-abroad destination for international students who are wanting to pursue undergraduate or graduate studies. Germany is home to many national and global companies offering countless job opportunities to international students. International students from other countries (Non-EU and EEA) are allowed to work part-time in Germany alongside their studies for 120 full days or 240 half days per year (20 hours per week). On average, a student earns anywhere between 5 to 15 euros an hour and approximately 450 euros a month.
The majority of students prefer to work after completing their studies in Germany. International students who wish to stay back and work after finishing their studies can do so for up to 18 months to seek employment. In this case, the student needs to apply for a German Residence permit that would allow them to take up gainful employment in the country.
Scholarships for International Students in Germany
Germany offers many scholarships for international students. There are Government and non -Government scholarships. These include:
- Government-funded scholarships:
- DAAD Scholarships
- Erasmus Scholarship
- Non-government scholarships:
- Einstein International Postdoctoral Fellowship
- Heinrich Böll Scholarships for International Students
- Humboldt Research Fellowships for Postdoctoral Researchers
- Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Scholarships
- Kurt Hansen Science Scholarships
- Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowships (IIF) for Developing Countries
- Mawista Scholarship
- Deutschland Stipendium
- The Helmholtz Association and many more.
- DAAD is a joint organization of Germany’s higher education institutions and is responsible for promoting international academic relations, primarily through the exchange of students, academics, and researchers.
- The Deutschlandstipendium (Germany Scholarship Program) provides financial and non-material support to high-achieving and committed students from all over the world. The Germany Scholarship supports highly talented students at all participating universities in Germany.
- Several political and religious foundations in Germany offer scholarships to international students from various backgrounds, interests, and qualifications.
- Heinrich Böll Scholarships offered by German Political foundation
Total International Student Population in Germany
As per the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the total number of estimated international students in German universities was 374,580 enrolled in 2018, up from 358,900 in 2017. This represents 4.4% growth, slightly less than the 5.5% growth the previous year.