Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
Last updated: April 2023
TL;DR: In order to study your Bachelor’s degree in Germany, you will need to have the right pre-u qualification, correct subject combination, good enough results and be proficient in the language which the course is taught. Certain courses may also require additional requirements such as pre-internship or portfolio.
Studying abroad has always been a dream of many Malaysian students. Every year, thousands of students further their studies to the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States of America. Apart from education, they aim to intern and work for companies in those countries as the pay is good. In recent years however, it’s getting more difficult to get a job even if you graduate there.
That is not the case in Germany. Germany is also home to many top universities and industry leaders but Germany welcome good talents. That means that if you choose to study in Germany, you will not just have the opportunity to get an education which prepares you for your career, there’s a good chance that you can stay back and work. Imagine, for every €200 which you save, it’s about RM1000. You can easily save more than that each month! How many fresh graduates in Malaysia you know who can even earn enough to cover their living expenses?
What’s the career opportunity like in Germany? Well, let’s take the automotive industry as an example. Many Malaysians are familiar with German car brands like Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Volkswagen and Audi. Other famous companies which have a base in Malaysia includes Siemens, BASF, Osram, Infineon, Bosch Rexroth, DHL, Merck Group, ThyssenKrupp, Continental and Fraunhofer Institute. There are hundreds of German companies in Malaysia. These companies are always looking for talent, even in Germany.
While many of the above examples are leaders in various engineering fields, there are many other examples of German companies which are leaders in their own field. And since you can choose from about 400 universities offering more than 21,000 courses, there is a chance you will find something which you like to study and when you graduate, you get to start your career in Germany.
Since the application process is not as straightforward and information is not as widely available compared to other study destinations, here’s a guide on how to prepare yourself to study in Germany.
In order to study in Germany, or to be exact, to study a Bachelor’s degree at a German university, students will need to have a recognised university entrance qualification, or in German, the Hochschulzugangsberechtigung.
According to Anabin, a foreign qualification evaluation database for German education system, the following pre-university courses in Malaysia that can allow students to gain direct entry to a Bachelor’s degree programme in German universities are:
Students with the following qualifications unfortunately do not have direct entry to a German Bachelor’s degree programme:
There might be exceptions. For example, students with a Diploma from UiTM can still apply to study their Bachelor’s degree provided they first study at what is called a Studienkolleg. The Diploma + Studienkolleg option can cost more than the options above. Some universities might also accept students with the UEC qualification provided the students sit for and pass special assessments.
If you have just completed your SPM, IGCSE or O Level exams, your next step is to select a pre-university which is recognised by German universities. We have compared them in this article – 5 Pre-University Courses that will Open Your Door to German Universities.
This should have been the first step but we place it second as it fits better into our explanation.
If you have not decided on your career options and what to study, now is a good time to explore. The reason is because German universities require students to take subjects which are related to their Bachelor’s degree. You can get in touch with us to find out which subjects are needed depending on which pre-university qualification you are taking. We will also share the results which are needed.
For the Bachelor’s degree, the majority of courses are offered in German while some of them are offered in English. Students will have to proof that they are proficient in the language the course is offered in. That means if the course is offered in German, the student will need to be fluent in German and vice versa, if the course is offered in English, the student will need to be fluent in English.
There are language exams which students can sit for.
For German, it would be:
For English, it would be IELTS and TOEFL.
In most cases, international students are required to learn German up to the C1 level. We can say that A1 and A2 are beginner level German, B1 and B2 are intermediate level German while C1 and C2 are advance level German.
Since most Bachelor’s degree courses are offered in German, your next step is to learn and master the German language. From our experience, even if you plan to study in English, being fluent in German is important if you choose to study in Germany. You will still need German to communicate with other students or with other people outside of the campus. If you plan to work part-time, being fluent in German will be a big plus point and if you plan to start your career in Germany, you should know that some companies will only hire people who are fluent in German.
On top of having the right pre-university qualification and proficient in the German language, some universities have additional course-specific requirements. For example, students who are applying for Mechanical Engineering are often required to complete a 6 to 8 weeks pre-internship (Vorpraktikum) before they enrol to the university.
Students interested in architecture or fashion will often have to sit for an aptitude test and submit a portfolio during their application.
Likewise, applicants of music degrees in Germany will have to audition. For such courses, the application process takes a longer duration compared to other more academic degree courses.
We recommend that students check the university’s website in order to be updated with the latest requirements.
Have you decided to further your studies to Germany? Join one of our preparation programmes.
If you would like to learn German during your A Level, the A Level German Pathway programme is suitable for you.
Students who choose this programme wants to start university as soon as possible. Some decide on this pathway so that they have more time to decide if they like learning German.
If you prefer to focus on doing well in your pre-university, and then focus on learning the German language, then we recommend the University Preparation Programme.
Compared to the previous programme, students will start university at most one semester later.
Which will you choose?