Smaller than the state of California, Germany has so much more to offer than most people could dream of. Between unique cities with deep histories, rolling countrysides with larger-than-life mountains, and millions of diverse people, there is a lot to love about this small country, and no, the love doesn’t stop at its international parties and Disney-like castles.
There are so many reasons to pursue a degree in Germany (it even rhymes so that must mean something), and we’re not just talking about access to lederhosen and beer steins (albeit still good reasons). Figuring out how to go to college in Germany isn’t as hard as it sounds, and it’s definitely easy to see why it is an increasingly attractive option for international students.
Whether it’s the low cost of a degree, the fact that there are universities in Germany that teach in English, or the ability to walk the same university halls as Goethe that’s attracting you to study in Germany, there are no wrong reasons for wanting to go to school in Germany.
1. No Debt (Kind of)
Universities in Germany are amazingly inexpensive. Compared to university prices in the U.S. and other areas of the world, the cost of studying in Germany for international students is significantly cheaper; you can basically obtain as many degrees in Germany as you want for the price of one in other countries. Since the majority of universities in Germany are public institutions funded by the Länder governments, students typically don’t have to pay tuition to attend. The best part: this usually applies to international students as well! Let’s repeat that...you don’t have to bankrupt yourself to learn. Whyyy are more people not taking advantage of degrees in Germany!?
There are a few small fees normally associated with enrolling in a German university (think €60 to 200 per semester, which is basically the cost of one textbook in the U.S.), the main cost of studying in Germany for international students is usually related to food and transportation costs. Unlike other countries, there are no university-sponsored scholarships or grants in Germany, but other institutions and organizations provide financial awards to students in need. There are also laws, such as the Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz (try saying that five times fast), that ensure students in need can receive government assistance for four to five years of study in Germany. Sign us up!
This whole no-paying-thing usually applies to international students who matriculate directly into a German university, rather than going through a third party provider, but even through this, there are still ways to make pursuing degrees in Germany very inexpensive. In recent years, there have been a lot of government initiatives to boost relationships with Germany, meaning they throw a lot of money at good international students who want to earn a degree in German. There are also a ton of scholarships and grants available for German degree-seekers, so be sure to take this into consideration when weighing your program and university options.
Trust us, if there is a way to graduate with little to no debt, PURSUE. IT.
2. Dedication to Education
Germany is recognized as one of the best educational hubs in Europe, making degrees in Germany an obviously beneficial pursuit. With over 70 German universities and even more specialized institutions, this country definitely has options for foreign degree-seekers. Germany uses the dual education system, which combines both practical and theoretical learning in order to make truly well-rounded professionals, and has acted as an academic role model for many other countries. In case you forgot, the Germans founded Kindergarten, too. Only the Germans would think to start educating kids as early as they do. Considering that a large percentage of the world has based their educational model after this, they must be doing something right!
Germany’s dedication to educational excellence is nothing new, and it is home to some of the most prestigious universities in the world. The University of Heidelberg was founded in 1386 and it is considered to be Germany’s best university, followed closely by Cologne University (1388) and Leipzig University (1409). This means that you can attend a school that was founded 100 years before European explorers set foot on the Americas, 200 years before Shakespeare picked up a quill, and 220 years before Galileo started thinking about gravity (seriously, what could they even teach back then?!).
Germans have always valued access to an excellent education, and international students can majorly benefit from this prioritization of learning.
3. Lots of Locations
Despite its small size, Germany has four cities with over one million inhabitants in each, and 14 cities with over half a million inhabitants (aka. there are a lot of places to score degrees in Germany). Big cities like Berlin and Munich have major draws for those who want a truly international experience, and to study at a German university where a famous mind also studied. However, less cosmopolitan regions also have their benefits, such as ease of immersion and language-learning. Regions like Augsburg and Nuremberg have excellent universities and ties to many international programs, making both of these very solid options for those who don’t want to be surrounded by thousands of people at all times while earning a degree in Germany.
4. Language Opportunities
While most Germans speak fluent English (and two to three other languages as well...darn overachievers), Germans are proud of their language and culture, making it very easy to become immersed in the local tongue. What this means is that you have no excuse to not learn what is wrong with saying “Ich bin ein Berliner!” Even though there are opportunities to attend universities in Germany that teach in English, we always encourage our readers to strike out of their comfort zone to learn a foreign tongue (did we mention there are plenty of fabulous places to learn German?!).
There are several different variations of German spoken throughout the country, so there is no “go-to” place to learn “real German.” What is spoken in Frankfurt is different in Leipzig, so pick a German university and get ready to learn one of the most popular and important languages in the world!
But, at the end of the day, if you aren’t ready to tackle a new language, rest assured that there are no German skills required to study in Germany.
5. Culture & History
Germany has thousands of years of rich history, from brutal battles in medieval fortresses to celebrated operas by world-renowned composers. Since it played such a pivotal role throughout history, it is the perfect place to continue your education, as you can experience first-hand everything you learned about in the classroom. Whether it’s walking through a haunting war memorial or frolicking around hilltop castles pretending to be a Disney princess, there is so much to learn about in Germany.
Being able to truly experience all that you’ve learned about in history and social studies classes is an invaluable part of any student’s education. Hearing a local Berliner’s opinion of the Holocaust is something that will mean so much more than any textbook could tell you, and will help shape your own thoughts and opinions of worldly events. Knowledge is the best thing that can prevent history from repeating itself, and standing in a concentration camp or visiting a war memorial will mean more than anything you’ve experienced in the classroom.
Obtaining a degree in a country like Germany will enable you to spend years soaking up all that its history has to offer, making you a truly global thinker.
6. Access to Everything
While Germany may be small, there are unlimited options for those looking for budget adventures within the country borders. Whether you’re interested in subsidizing your education with exploring urban areas, skiing the Alps, hiking up to magnificent fortresses, or cruising the Rhine, degree-seekers in Germany have everything at their fingertips without having to leave the area. This includes, too, if you want to spend your free time doing something a bit more meaningful. Don’t forget about volunteering in your German university city or getting a part-time internship or job while abroad. There is plenty of time for a little of everything, after you figure out how to go to college in Germany.
Germany is an awesome jumping-off point for experiencing tons of other places in Europe, too. Most of its airports offer budget flights all over the continent, and train travel is very sophisticated and inexpensive as well. Not to mention, the majority of European countries have open border policies within the Schengen zone, so you can take a quick day trip or extended adventure into basically as many countries as you want with no passport check. Visit Belgium for the afternoon just to get a waffle. Hop on a bus to the Czech Republic to see some castles. Take a train through Switzerland, Austria, and Liechtenstein in one day just to say you’ve done it (really though, how many people have been to Liechtenstein?). The world is your oyster, kid!
7. Loads of Geniuses to Learn From
Academics and Germany go together like Nutella and wafers; would you even consider pairing it with anything else? Germany has for centuries been a place of advanced education, and therefore, a place of innovation. When you go to school in Germany, you’ll be in the company of some of the most famous masters of philosophy, religion, science, and the arts. Many greats have come out of this small country; think Martin Luther, Goethe, Bach, Gutenberg, Beethoven, Nietzsche, and Karl Marx. Heck, even the Grimm Brothers. Your brain must be on a whole other level to come up with the stuff they did.
Why would you consider learning from anywhere but the home of these ridiculously ahead-of-their-time thinkers? If it was good enough for Einstein, it’s good enough for us!
Germany is truly a wonderful place to obtain a degree abroad, with its endless academic options and world of outside-the-classroom opportunities. Germany’s dedication to excellence in STEM offerings as well as fine and performing arts makes it a great fit for basically any type of student, and the various locations each come with their own unique academic twist.
Now that you know how to go to college in Germany, it’s time to figure out exactly where. Pick Stuttgart and chill in the Black Forest on weekends. Study in Munich and hit up Oktoberfest every day after class (just maybe don’t tell your parents about that one). Whatever your goals are, earning degrees in Germany is an awesome fit!
Ready to find the perfect degree program in Germany? Save and compare degrees side-by-side with myGoAbroad!