Interest in Germany is growing among international students. In 2019, the country became the most popular non-English-speaking study destination, according to research from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Center for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW). As of the last winter semester (2019/2020), more than 302,000 international students were studying in Germany, says recent research.
If you are wondering what makes the country so special for students, we will show you a few factors that influence a student’s decision to study here.
First of all, the quality of higher education institutions in Germany combined with programs offering a wide range of subjects, makes the country a strong option for international students. Germany offers bachelor’s and master’s courses both from a traditional background, such as Business Administration, or innovative technology-related programs, like Blockchain Management.
Added to the highly valued reputation of German universities are the affordable tuition fees. While in the UK you will pay around £9,000 a year, tuition fees at German universities are considerably lower, with a yearly average of €6,000. Another important factor is the employment opportunities graduates have after finishing their studies in Germany. You can apply for a job-seeker visa, which allows you to stay in the country for a maximum of 18 months while searching for a job.
Now that you know why Germany is so interesting, you may be thinking about which city to choose for your studies. Among the most international cities in the country is Munich.
The third-largest city in Germany and the capital of Bavaria (‘Bayern’ in German) is not only famous for its Oktoberfest. The city has much to offer and was rated as the world’s most livable city in 2018.
What makes Munich so attractive is the combination of great professional opportunities, excellent infrastructure and leisure facilities. Those factors, combined with Munich’s proximity to the Alps, create an excellent balance between urban life and nature. Moreover, students can benefit from several educational institutions in the city and a student community of around 180,000 peers.
A downside is that the city’s living costs are higher when compared to other German cities. However, this seems to be a price worth paying. International students report spending a total of between €600 and €800 per month in the city, according to a survey.
If you wish to live and study in Munich, the process is pretty straightforward. These are the steps you will need to follow:
1. Applying to your university of choice
As we have mentioned, students can choose from a wide range of universities in Munich. Business schools, such as EU Business School, offer a simple application process, which can be done online.
The application process is usually the same for most universities throughout the country. You will need to complete an application form, gather a few documents, write a letter of motivation and send out the required documents to the university’s Admissions Office either online or by post.
Your application will then be reviewed – this usually takes some time but the university will get back to you. If your profile and academic record fits the course requirements, you will receive a letter of confirmation. This document will be very important for your next step.
2. Getting your German visa
Your letter of admission will be one of the important documents you will need to secure your visa. To start the process of acquiring a German visa, you will need to book an appointment with the German consulate in your home country.
It is worth highlighting that a visa is only needed for those coming from outside the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA). When preparing for your appointment, you will need to gather all the necessary documents.
One essential document is proof of sufficient funds. This demonstrates that you can finance yourself while living in Germany for your studies. The German government establishes the amount they consider necessary for students to live in the country: currently, this sum is €861 per month.
Opening a blocked account is one of the most secure ways of receiving a proof of sufficient funds document. A blocked account is a special type of bank account, which allows you to receive only a fixed amount per month. If you wish to study in Munich for one year, you will need to open a blocked account and transfer 12 times the monthly amount stated by the German government, which adds up to €10,332.
Another essential document for your student visa is travel health insurance. This type of insurance is also known as incoming insurance. The travel insurance will last for about 90 days and will cover the costs of any doctor or hospital emergency you might have until you settle in Germany. After you have gathered the documents, gone to your visa appointment and received your visa, you should be ready to come to Munich!
3. Arriving in Munich and enrolling at the university
This is arguably the best part of moving to a new country. To have a great start, find accommodation in advance. Your address in Germany will be important for your residence permit and other documents you will receive when living in the country.
Once you have arrived, you should enroll at your university. By doing this early you will avoid a number of issues, such as missing documents The international relations office can advise you on your next steps in the city.
To enroll at the university, gather all the required documents so the process runs smoothly. Another valuable tip is to check whether your university offers language courses. Inform yourself while enrolling so that you can plan for both your classes and language lessons. Coming to Germany without any knowledge of German is possible. However, you will find out soon enough that life gets much easier after you know the basics of the language.
After you finish the bureaucratic part of moving to a new city, you can enjoy it. Munich offers plenty of leisure options and great infrastructure. You can reach out to fellow students to discover the city together.
4. Receiving health insurance
Everyone living in Germany is required by law to have health insurance. This type of healthcare cover is different from the travel health insurance you acquired for the German visa. Health insurance should cover long-term care, including visits to doctors, treatment and other necessary procedures in case you fall ill.
Most international students choose public health insurance. You will pay a monthly special rate based on your age and profile. However, it can be challenging to deal with health insurance providers in Germany. Students often opt for a package, which includes a blocked account, travel health insurance, health insurance and a few extra perks. Such a solution will support you with all the necessary documents at once, allowing you to save time and money.
5. Enjoying your studies and the new city
You are settled in your new city! Remember that the German higher education system can be quite demanding. We advise that you stay up-to-date with your workload. Munich offers great opportunities for students from all around the world, and you can have the perfect work-study balance by allowing yourself some time to relax and explore the parks around the city. We are positive that you will not regret choosing Munich!