Studying and working in Germany –
What you need to know?
Studying in Germany
Generally, this is correct, but this also depends on where you’re studying in Germany. Public universities in the state of Baden-Württemberg impose a tuition fee of €1500 per semester to international students. Public universities in other German states, though, still offer tuition-free education to international students although this may vary according to courses – so we recommend checking prior to applying to them.
Students do need to pay a semester contribution to their university, though. The fee depends on the university’s requirements and will vary from one university to another. Upon contribution, students will receive a semester ticket that can be used to travel via public transportation within a certain zone in which the university is located. Students also get to enjoy a variety of discounts with this ticket especially for leisure activities.
There are about 400 higher educational institutions offering more than 19,000 courses – and popular ones include engineering, natural sciences, mathematics, and subjects related to computer science.
This depends on the university as well as the medium of instruction for your degree programme. If your course is conducted in German, you will need to show proof of German proficiency, but if your course is conducted in English, proof of English proficiency is sufficient. We recommend that you check with the university you are applying to for more exact requirements, as the language requirements for a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree might differ.
Applicants can apply directly to the universities or to the University Application Service for International Students (uni-assist). Do check with the university to find out.
Generally, each student will need to go through at least two steps to study in Germany. The first step will be to fulfill the university’s requirement. This will usually be a recognised pre-university qualification and an English or German language qualification. Depending on the university, additional requirements such as pre-internship and a letter of motivation may also be required.
Students are only able to apply for their study visa at the German embassy once they have received a letter of offer from a university. They will then be required to provide this letter of offer as well as proof of financial resources (usually via a blocked account). Additionally, students might be asked to write a motivation letter and attend an interview at the nearest German embassy. Do make an appointment with the embassy as early as you can to avoid unnecessary delays.
Malaysian students will require a student visa to study in Germany. Students can only apply for a student visa after receiving a letter of offer from the university.
International students are required to deposit €10332 in a German “blocked account” as proof that they have enough money to support themselves while in Germany. You can open a blocked account at German banks which provide this service like the Deutsche Bank, or online via Fintiba. There are regional banks which offer the “blocked account” service as well.
This blocked account has to be opened before you apply for a student visa with the German embassy. Once you start your semester in Germany, you will receive 1/12 of the total sum or €861 monthly for your own expenses. This ensures that you will have enough money to last you for one year, so be sure to plan your budget wisely.
There are no age limits to undergraduate and postgraduate programs in Germany.
Generally, university application deadline is 15 January for summer semesters (programme commencing 1 April) and 15 July for winter semesters (programme commencing 1 October). However, to be sure, we recommend that you check the university’s website.
Do refer to the portal by the German Academic Exchange Service for the database of programmes and universities in Germany.
Do check out the DAAD scholarship database.
However, do keep in mind that most universities in Germany are tuition-free. That is already a lot of savings compared to enrolling in universities in Australia, UK or USA.
Universities are academically and scientifically oriented. They offer courses in many disciplines, from Bachelor’s degree all the way to PhD.
Universities of applied sciences are more practice-oriented and the courses focus more on application than theory. Universities of applied sciences only offer Bachelor’s and Master’s degree.
Yes, of course! You are not bonded to the German government although you studied in Germany tuition-free. However, we highly recommend graduates gain working experience in Germany.
Life in Germany
As a student, you will want to set aside €850 to €1000 a month for your living expenses. The bulk of your monthly expense is for rent. Typically, the rent in larger cities is more expensive compared to smaller university towns. For example, the rent in Berlin can go up to €700 a month while the same sized room at a smaller university town is only half that price.
Read this article to learn more about the cost of living breakdown in Germany.
There will be a semester contribution of about €200 to €400 per semester at most universities. Students will receive a semester ticket which can be used for unlimited travel with public transportations within a dedicated zone as well as other exclusive perks such as discounts for leisure activities.
You will need to bring the following documents to the bank of your choice:
- Confirmation of registration from the Resident Registration Office
- Student ID or letter of offer from the university
Students are allowed to work part-time up to 120 full days or 240 half days. Mandatory internship does not count to this quota. However, students with the “language course visa” are not allowed to work.
Some part-time jobs students can look out for are:
- Student jobs at their university. Apart from being a librarian, students can be student helpers for their professors, where they will assist their professors with the projects they are working on. At higher semesters, students can also work as tutors.
- Helping out at restaurants, cafes or hotels.
- Summer jobs at factories.
We recommend students to first focus on their studies, making friends and adjusting to their university life. From the second year onwards, students can start to work at companies relevant to their studies. Students will earn while getting relevant working experience. In addition, they get to experience the working culture and if they make a good enough impression, it helps them get a job offer after graduating.
Yes! After studying in Germany, there’s a huge career opportunity especially for professionals such as engineers. Best of all, graduates can apply for an 18-month “job seeker visa”.
Medical insurance is compulsory for students and that include local as well as international students. There are a few providers in the market so do compare before deciding on one.
Liability insurance, on the other hand, is a nice to have especially for students who are independent for the first time. The liability insurance will, for example, protect students from accidental damage caused by a fire in the kitchen while cooking.
What are the different types of visas available?
Having the right visa is important as having the wrong ones may result in you being forced back to your country. There are different types of visas available, and we recommend that you clarify with the embassy about the types of visa you need and how to apply for the right one.
You should only apply for the student visa if you have received a letter of offer from a university. A student visa is valid for three months. Upon arriving at the town or city your university is located, you will need to make an appointment with the local foreigners’ authority to convert your student visa into a residence permit for study purposes. Click here for the list of documents you will need to prepare.
International students who graduated from a German university will be able to apply for a job seeker visa. The job seeker visa is valid for six months. As the name implies, graduates can stay in Germany within this duration to search for a job.
Students who want to learn German in Germany should apply to a language course visa. The language course visa is valid for up to one year. Students will have to register at the language school and also show proof that they have accommodation for the duration of their language course.
Students are recommended to have at least German level A1 and then to continue from level A2 onwards in Germany. Click here for the list of documents you will need to prepare.
Pre-University Preparation Programme
This option is not available as it is not advisable and not required for your university application. German universities only require for A Level students to take 3 subjects (including Mathematics). Hence, students are advised to focus on the three A Level subjects, and the additional German language subject.
Yes, you may take A Level without learning the German language now, and join our University Preparation (UP) Programme upon completion of your A Level. However, do bear in mind that you will still need an AS level language paper (i.e. any language of your choice like English or Chinese) as part of your studies.
Students study for at least 4 hours in a classroom environment, and are required to complete 6 hours of online revision and exercises every week.
The subject combinations offered are designed based on the university’s general requirement. In other words, these are the safest subject combinations that will offer you more options when selecting your university and major.
Yes, you can. Do reach out to us so we are able to advise based on your proficiency levels. You may also be able to register for our University Preparation (UP) Programme directly after your A Level studies have been completed. However, we encourage you to join the German Pathway anyway and use it as an opportunity to practice as our syllabus is very intensive.
Now that you’ve made up your mind to start this exciting journey, enroll with MCKL to book a seat!
A pre-university internship, pre-study internship, pre-internship or in German, Vorpraktikum, is one of the university requirements and is required for selected courses. Students will have to gain working experience in the fields related to their studies at companies or vocational schools. Pre-internships can be as short as 6 weeks, and as long as 6 months. What you learn during your pre-internship must be based on the guidelines listed by German universities.
In most cases, you will not receive an allowance during your pre-internship as you are not working for the company, but will be receiving training and on-the-job experience instead.
Dual Vocational Training (DVT) Programme
Yes, you can! Upon completion of the DVT programme, you will be required to work for at least 3 years before applying to further your studies and obtain your Bachelor’s Degree.
Yes, it’s possible – but only if you’ve worked in Germany for a few years.
Students typically receive about €400 to €800 monthly during the DVT programme to help cover living costs.
That depends on the allowance you will receive. If you receive €861 or more monthly, you are not required to open a blocked account. Otherwise, you will need to make up for the difference between the recommended living expenses and the allowance you receive.
The Dual Vocational Training is well recognised in Germany as well as in other EU countries. Therefore, it is possible for you to work in other countries or companies after completing your training.
You can further your studies at the Bachelor’s degree in German universities provided you fulfilled the university requirements.
Nursing Preparation Programme
Yes, in most cases, the sponsoring hospital or healthcare organisation will provide sufficient allowance to cover your living expenses.
Similar to other jobs in Germany, there are many factors that determine one’s salary – your workplace location, whether you’re working in the public or private sector, and your work arrangements with your employer. Nurses usually receive an average of €2800 monthly (before tax deduction).
However, be prepared to contribute between 30% and 42% of your gross salary as tax and social contribution. In return, you get to enjoy benefits from the German government which includes unemployment support, pension, healthcare, and education for your family.