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Studying in Germany

13.11.2017 - FAQ

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You are living abroad and you are in need of consular information? Please contact the German
mission which is competent for your place of residence.

FAQ

... on studying as well as addresses and courses of individual universities?

The addresses and courses of individual universities can be found in the Higher Education Compass of the Association of Universities and other Higher Education Institutions:

If you want to do your studies or part of them in Germany, you can contact the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The DAAD can tell you about opportunities for study and sponsorship in Germany and, as an intermediary organization, offers scholarships for foreign students, graduates and academics from Federal Foreign Office funds.

If you know at which university you want to study, you can of course contact this university directly.

The Federal Foreign Office itself does not offer any scholarships or travel grants directly, rather has passed this task to independent intermediary organizations which it provides with funding from the federal budget to implement various programmes.

You should contact the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The DAAD offers scholarship programmes and can give advice on study opportunities in Germany.

The following organizations also award scholarships:

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) is the right port of call. The Foundation supports foreign academics engaging in research in Germany using Federal Foreign Office funding.

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH)

The Fulbright Commission offers scholarships to American and German academics, students and teachers in the partner country.

During your studies in Germany you are generally allowed to do 120 full days or 240 half-days of paid work and take small student jobs. In exceptional circumstances your local foreigners office may impose further restrictions.

The reunification of families of foreign students is usually only considered if the student is in possession of a residence permit, if the marriage existed at the time of said permit being granted and if the duration of the foreigner's stay in the Federal territory is expected to exceed one year.

Furthermore, the student has to be able to support himself/herself and his/her family without assistance of public funds.

For families to join students in Germany they would have to apply for a visa for family reunification from the competent Germany mission abroad. Details on the documents to be presented with the visa application are often available on the webpage of the competent German mission abroad or directly from the mission itself.

German missions abroad

If you plan to study in Germany, you have to submit an application for a student visa to the respective German mission abroad before travelling. Citizens of the EU are exempted from this duty, as well as foreigners who already hold a temporary residence permit as a student issued by another EU-country, due to the EU-mobility program, please see the Implementation Status of the REST-Directive of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.

Documents have to be presented proving inter alia that the applicant has been accepted for studies by the university. The German mission abroad will then forward the visa application for an opinion to the foreigners authority in the town housing the University.

The German mission abroad can only issue the visa for entry once the foreigners authority has given its approval.

Details on the documents to be presented with your visa application are often available on the website of the competent German mission abroad or directly from the mission itself.
the application form for a visa can be downloaded here.

German missions abroad: Countries A to Z

Financing can be proved by presenting the income and financial circumstances of parents, by a declaration of commitment in line with Article 66-68 Aufenthaltsgesetz (German Foreigners Act) made by a person with sufficient assets or income, by paying a security into a blocked account in Germany, or by depositing an annually renewable bank guarantee at a bank in Germany.

Proof of sufficient funds is also taken as satisfied if the stay is being financed by a scholarship from public funds or a scholarship from an organization recognized in Germany or a scholarship financed by public funds in the country of origin, if the Federal Foreign Office, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) or another German organization granting scholarships has been responsible for providing the link to a German higher education institution.

You have to ask the relevant agencies in the country concerned whether your German qualification will subsequently be recognized abroad.

German universities are responsible for recognizing degrees and academic credits for the purpose of university admissions and access to advanced study. The Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) of the Standing Conference of German Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) provides country-specific recommendations for the on-site evaluation of foreign higher education qualifications. Please click on the link below to reach the ZAB database, where these recommendations can be found under the heading “Zeugnisbewertungen” (assessment of qualifications).

The certification authorities (Anerkennungsstellen) of the German federal state in which the applicant resides or intends to reside are responsible for the recognition of foreign higher education qualifications and degrees for the purpose of pursuing a profession. The Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Professional Qualifications Act, which was adopted by the Federal Government and entered into force on 1 April 2012, is intended to facilitate the recognition of professional qualifications acquired outside Germany. The Qualifications Act considerably expands applicants' right to have their foreign professional qualifications assessed which fall within the Federal Government's responsibility. It also establishes processes which are as consistent and transparent as possible. It includes the establishment of a legal claim to an assessment process for roughly 350 non-regulated professions (technical trades in the vocational training dual system in accordance with the Vocational Training Act and other trades). More information is available on the webpage “Recognition in Germany” published by the Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung, in the ZAB database under the headings “Dokumente” (documents) and “Zuständige Stellen in Deutschland” (responsible authorities in Germany) and at the website of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (please see below).

Furthermore, the ZAB has since 4 January 2010 offered private applicants the option of an assessment of their qualifications (not an official recognition), which is provided at the applicant's own cost on the basis of the Lisbon Convention. Further details about the content and potential uses of the certificate provided in this assessment, as well as the assessment application form, can be found at the KMK website listed below.

The website of the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) of the Standing Conference of German Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) also provides extensive information about the recognition of school and university diplomas in the academic and professional spheres.

Additional content

Here you will find more about access to the German labour market and finding work in Germany:

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