Can I study in Germany?

Posted on 14 May, 2018

If you want to study in Germany, there are three important things to consider:

  • The visa
  • German language proficiency
  • And the so-called “Higher Education Entrance Qualification” (Hochschulzugangberechtigung)

Do I need a visa to study in Germany?

Not all international students need a visa. This includes students from the following countries:

  • EU member states
  • Switzerland
  • New Zealand
  • Canada
  • The USA
  • Australia
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • and several other countries

Prospective students from other countries should start the visa application process as soon as possible as the bureaucracy can often take a long time. 
A student visa is not the same as a tourist visa and requires a specific application. For more information contact the German embassy or consulate in your home country. There are three types of visas relevant to international students:

  1. As its name suggests the so-called Language Course Visa (Sprachkursvisum) allows you to take part in a language course or language stay program (Sprachaufenthalt) in Germany. It will not allow you to study at a higher education institution and cannot be converted into a visa that does allow this. As a result, it is not suitable for prospective university students.
  2. The Study Application Visa (Studienbewerbervisum) is valid for three months and intended for those who have applied for but not yet been admitted onto a course. Once your admission has been confirmed, you can convert this visa into regular student visa. You can do this at the International Students Office (Ausländeramt) at your university.
  3. The regular student visa (Visum für Studienzwecken) is valid for one year and only available with official admission to a higher education institution.  You’ll also need to supply financial evidence that you can fund your studies.

How good does my German need to be?

For all courses at German higher education institutions international students will be asked to demonstrate their German language proficiency (by passing a language test), with exception of those who completed their Abitur (high school diploma) at a German-speaking school outside of Germany. As well as the courses at the Goethe Institut, the “telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule” certificate is recognised by German higher education institutions and fulfils their German language requirements. Anda Sprachschule is happy to welcome you onto one of our “telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule” preparation courses.

What exactly is the “telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule” certificate?

By passing this language test, you demonstrate the advanced German language skills required for the academic setting of a university. The majority of people taking the “telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule” exam are adults intending to study at a German higher education institute (or already doing so) or those intending to pursue an academic career who need to demonstrate their German language proficiency.

What Higher Education Entrance Qualification (Hochschulzugangsberechtigung) do I need in Germany?

The first question for prospective students with a high school diploma from abroad is whether your diploma will be recognised in Germany. This depends on whether your diploma meets the conditions attached to the Higher Education Entrance Qualification. Prospective students from EU member states, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Iceland whose high school diploma would meet university admission requirements in their home country, generally don’t encounter any problems applying to German higher education institutions. Those from other countries are usually required to demonstrate that they have studied for 2-3 semesters abroad. For artistic courses, samples of your work or further tests are sometimes required instead. The DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) has a consultable database of admission requirements, pooling information from 35 countries about which diplomas in your home country meet the requirements of the Higher Education Entrance Qualification. Information about all countries can be found on the anabin Portal of the German Kultusministerkonferenz. Higher education institutions also generally have an International Office (Akademisches Auslandsamt), where you can find out more about the admission requirements. Please bear in mind that each higher education institution is responsible for setting its own admission requirements.