Germany is one the major study abroad destinations for thousands of international students. It had 3,516 Indian students in 2008-09 and about 2,50,000 international students. Why so? World-class engineering to begin with, which is one of the reasons students and researchers from around the world flock to Germany. Other features of this study destination include:
. International study programmes and excellent research opportunities. There are 355 officially recognised institutions of higher education in Germany which offer
more than 13,500 degree programmes.
. Studying in Germany means being part of an international, highly-qualified academic community.
. Germany’s higher education institutes enjoy an excellent reputation.
. Most universities in the country are state-funded and thus the fee is subsidised.
. Germany is an international player with an interdisciplinary approach.
Engineering, chemistry, biosciences, business administration and nano-science are popular with Indian students.
Winter semester starts in October (major intake) and summer semester in April.
When to apply
Start searching for options by January-February and apply by May for winter semester.
How to apply
Apply online through a consortium of 122 universities, known as Uni-assist (www.uni-assist.de) or directly to the university.
Deadlines for courses
For Indians who mostly wish to pursue international degree programmes (delivered throughout or partly in English), application deadlines are from March to May of the year enrollment is sought.
Applicants need to submit their university application form along with authenticated copies of:
. Educational certificates
. CV (required, at times)
. TOEFL/IELTS score
. A copy of your passport
. SAT/ GRE/ GMAT score
. Statement of Purpose, college essay or professional interest essay (some institutes require it)
. Work experience certificates (if required)
Tuition fees for UG and PG
Fees range from €200 to €600 (R12,000 to R36,000) a semester in state-funded institutions (90 per cent of German universities are government-run).
For hostel accommodation, you pay €200 to €300 a month. Depending on the city you live in, you are likely to pay between €185 and €345 per month for accommodation. You can opt for private accommodation and shared apartments (WG) are cheap.
“In terms of food, interestingly I have never felt away from India here,” says Vikas Shabadi, pursuing a fast-track PhD programme at the Institute of Materials Science, Technische Universität Darmstadt. “If you wish to cook at home, you can find everything you need to cook typical ‘Indian khana’ here. There are also many Indian stores around where you can get things like spices, wheat flour, pickles and everything else you need.”
Universities have a limited number of scholarships, offered only to outstanding enrolees. About 15-to-20 per cent of Indian students in Germany receive funding every year.
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD, www.daaddelhi.org) scholarship database contains extensive information.
Part-time jobs policy
Without a work permit, students are allowed to work off-campus for up to 90 full days or 180 half days (four hours a day) a year.
Many federal states, however, allow students do jobs only during their summer break and not at other times.
After graduating from a German university, a student can stay on in the country for up to one year to seek a job in line with his/her education. On finding suitable employment, a “residence permit for the purpose of employment” is required to take the job up. Legal preconditions on residence must be met.
Four steps to your German visa
Once you have an admission letter from a university, apply for the visa
. Book an appointment for an interview at the German Embassy through the helpline number 0120-6641070. The appointment has to be scheduled with VFS
Global Services, which manages the German Application Centres.
. Fill the application forms (two) and prepare all the required documents, given on
. With all necessary documents in place, call from the embassy come for the interview.
. Once your visa has been approved by the embassy, submit your passport and required documents for securing a visa at the embassy/VFS Delhi centre. More
details are given on new-delhi.diplo.de.
. Track your passport online or through the SMS service. And wait for a decision on the application.