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Germany Is Offering Free Degrees for International Students

4 minute read

By Chelsea Dolan

The average post-secondary grad in the U.S. owes nearly $27,000 in student debt.1 Instead of having that balance follow you around for years after finishing school, why not avoid student debt altogether? You can do that by going to school in Germany. The German government officially removed tuition fees from its public universities in 2014, giving international students a significant perk.2 You can find out how affordable it is to study in Germany by searching online.

Just because education at German universities is free doesn’t mean your degree will be any less valuable. A quick online search will show you which top-ranked schools in Germany provide free tuition.

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Here’s everything international students should know about German degrees.

You Don’t Have to Speak German

There’s one big reason why Germany’s number of international students surged 33 percent between 2013 to 2018.3 The government implemented a policy deeming all public university tuition-free, which captured attention from people not wanting to pay thousands of dollars per course in their home countries.

Studying at a German university doesn’t require you to be fluent in German either. While courses do take place in Germany, many programs are taught in English. With over 300 public universities and more than 1,000 programs, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to selecting courses.

Students from all over the world are able to study in Germany because of its lack of financial and educational barriers. Plus, more than half of the country’s population knows English to some degree, which can ease some of the culture shock one might experience.4

Tuition Is Almost Completely Free

Most students won’t have to worry about going into debt to receive an education in Germany, though there are still some fees to know about. Most universities will require a semester or administrative fee (called a “Semesterbeitrag” in German). It’s often around 300 to 400 euros for the whole semester. Sometimes, this fee will cover the cost of a public transportation pass in the city.5

Aside from tuition and semester fees, it’s important to remember that you’ll still have other basic living expenses to pay for by doing school in Germany. This includes housing, transportation, health insurance, textbooks, and other essentials. You will also need to pay for necessary visa applications to study in Germany legally and stay in the country after graduation.6

Foreign students can live comfortably by allotting 850 euros monthly towards living expenses in smaller German cities. Keep in mind, you would be paying for this anyway by going to school in your home country, so the savings are still there. You could potentially earn money towards your experience by applying to relevant scholarships offered by the German Academic Exchange Service.7

Top-Ranked Universities With Free Tuition

While private institutions still charge tuition in Germany, you can get a well-rounded education for free at one of the country’s public universities. Here are three of the best options for international students to consider.8

1. Technical University of Munich

With over 32 percent of international students on campus in one of the country’s largest cities, the Technical University of Munich is a desirable option. The school offers a diverse selection of degree programs from architecture, to chemistry, to health sciences, and beyond.

2. Humboldt University of Berlin

Located in the country’s capital, Humboldt University of Berlin has a reputation for its excellent teaching and research. Much of the academic staff come from around the world to bring a ton of international perspective. Here you can study law, math, philosophy, and plenty of other focuses.

3. Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg

Home to the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg is one of the smaller cities in Germany. This institution offers a diverse workspace that helps students prepare for their future in fields such as modern languages, biosciences, theology, and medicine.

Discover Free German Degrees Online

If you’re looking for an affordable and exciting way to earn your degree, consider studying in Germany. The free tuition and abundance of top tier educational institutes will give you an enriched learning experience.

Not only will your educational experience thrive, but there are a ton of other benefits to studying abroad. Some of them include:

Having an international degree on your resume can also set you apart from other job and graduate school applicants. It will introduce you to unique challenges and worldly perspectives that make you a more desirable candidate.

With so many schools to choose from, it’s important to research your options. Make sure to compare schools and cities so you end somewhere you’ll enjoy life both on and on campus.

Chelsea Dolan