How to Study in Berlin | Step-by-Step Guide 2023

How to Study in Berlin
what you need to when applying to study in Berlin.

Do you want to know How to Study in Berlin?? if yes then read on.

Berlin is the capital of Germany and is most welcoming to international students. Germany ranks the fourth most popular destination for international students with the US, UK, and Australia topping the list.

Studying in Germany is the cheapest compared to the other three countries. The educational system in Germany ranks high among the best in the world.

The degrees are highly recognized and it gives one an edge in seeking employment.

Berlin is regaled with recreational sites and beautiful places that offer the students a pleasurable social life as a way of easing off the school stress.

Are you seeking a city to study abroad as an international student or have you applied for schooling in Berlin; this article is for you.

We have provided you with all you need to know to study in Berlin and have a wonderful stay there.

Why Studying In Berlin Is The Best Option

One of the most attractive reasons is The “no tuition fee in the public universities in Berlin”. These public universities welcome maximally international students from different countries.

Public universities allow students to pay a little amount for administrative purposes. Private universities require cheaper tuition compared to other developed countries like the US, UK, and Australia.

It costs about $10,000 – $50,000 per year to study in the US, UK, and Australia as an international student while it costs about 20,000 Euros/ year as an undergraduate and 30,000 Euros as a Masters’s student in Berlin.  Studying in Berlin as an international student is affordable hence many international students opt for it.

The education system in Germany is top-notch in the world. The universities offer a wide range of courses- medicine, engineering, natural sciences, humanities, social sciences, and arts.

The Berlin universities have notable alumni including Albert Einstein, Friedrich Engels, Max Weber, and 55 Noble Laureates.

The degrees obtained are recognized all over the world. The universities allow one to continue education after a long break which is not obtainable in some countries such as India.

Some public universities use the English language as a language of instruction, there are courses that may be taught in German too. There are up to 300 English-taught degree programs.


Learning basic German is beneficial to the student to enhance communication in Berlin and this can be achieved with fellow students from Germany and the internet, as there are applications that teach German.

The universities teach students German at a cheap token and it is taught in the same area where the students take lectures, so you don’t have to undergo the stress of running around.

The cost of living in such a developed city is cheap. It will cost about 800 – 1000 Euros a month to stay in Berlin as an international student. This covers the rent, insurance, and personal expenses. The amount largely depends on the student’s extravagance or economizing habit.

Study and work as a student. Studying in Berlin offers you the ability to study and earn at the same time. This will help the student to be financially stable and possibly save while schooling. Getting employed after school is way easier, especially, with the rising number of start-up companies (greater than 2500) as Berlin attracts more talents and entrepreneurs.

Life as a student in Berlin is adventurous. There are cinemas, galleries (more than 440), eateries, gardens, museums, and zoos. Berlin has a unique history that would interest you as an international student to get acquainted with. The city obeys the popular talk – all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

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How to Study in Berlin | Step-by-Step Guide

  • Finding the best Study Program for you.
  • Meet All Requirements. ( Some Universities ask for English Proficiency Certificates)
  • Learn The German Language(OPTIONAL but important)
  • Find Financial Resources.
  • Apply For Admission.
  • Get Your German Student Visa.
  • Find Accommodation.
  • Enrolling At Your University.

1. Finding the best Study Program for you:

If you’ve settled on Germany as your study abroad location; now it’s time to select the best course and university for you. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) maintains a database of over 2,000 programs, including 1,389 in English.

Unfortunately, there are now few options to study in Germany in English at the undergraduate level, however, some courses are given in both English and German (typically starting with English for the first two to four semesters and then changing to German). This allows you to study in English while developing your German, which is especially useful if your university offers German language lessons.

2. Meet All Requirements and Learn The German Language (OPTIONAL but important)

Check that your present qualifications are accepted by your preferred university before applying. To study in Germany, you must obtain a recognized Hochschulzugangsberechtigung (HZB), which translates as “entry qualification to higher education.”

A high school diploma, school-leaving certificate, or university entrance exam score is typically adequate for prospective undergraduate students, and the DAAD offers a database with information on admission criteria for chosen nations. Students with qualifications from outside Europe may be required to take the Feststellungsprüfung after completing a preliminary Studienkolleg, however, high-achieving students may be able to skip this process.

You should also look into the language requirements. The majority of courses are taught in German, and overseas applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the language.

The Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH, meaning “German language examination for university entry”) and the TestDaF are the two primary examinations available for this purpose.

3. Find Financial Resources.

You will need to show proof that you have, or have access to, around €8,700 per year (US$10,000) to cover your living costs in order to fulfill student visa requirements, though you may find you need more depending on your lifestyle and spending habits (the average student spends €850/US$975 per month).

The cost of living also varies by region; according to Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey, Munich is now the most expensive city in the country.

If you’re concerned about the expense of studying in Germany, there are scholarships available to help students at all levels of study.

Scholarships in Berlin for international students:

  • Deutschland stipendium National Scholarship Programme. This scholarship offers students (indigenous and international students) non-material and financial support provided they are high-achieving and committed. It amounts to 300 EUR per month for at least two semesters, although, it can last till the end of studies.
  • DAAD Scholarship Programmes. This is a joint group of German higher education institutions and they promote international academic relations primarily through the switch of students, academics, and researchers. It involves international students, graduate students, and scientists looking for aid for studies, and research work in Germany.
  • Germany Foundations’ Scholarship Programmes. A group of religious and political foundations offers international students scholarships. Heinrich Boll Foundation Scholarships and Friedrich Naumann Foundation Scholarship for international students are examples of political foundations. Konrad Adenauer Stiftung’s scholarship and KAAD scholarship are examples of religious foundations in Germany.
  • Erasmus Scholarship Programmes in Germany. This scholarship aids students to pursue their studies/Programmes in Germany.  

4. Apply For Admission

For the majority of disciplines, you can apply directly to the university’s foreign office. Alternatively, you can utilize the German Academic Exchange Service’s (DAAD) website, which is a consolidated admissions gateway for international students.

However, not all institutions use this. You may choose to apply to many courses and colleges independently to boost your chances of acceptance.

Many German institutions allow applicants to apply for admission twice a year, in the winter and summer semesters. In general, applications for winter enrolment must be submitted by 15 July, while applications for summer enrollment must be submitted by 15 January.

However, application dates vary amongst universities, and even within the same institution, separate deadlines may be assigned for each program.

If you are interested in applying to universities in the United States here are College Application Deadlines to Keep in Mind for 2023 Admission.

5. Get Your German Student Visa.

The conditions for acquiring a student visa for Germany vary depending on your home country. The Foreign Federal Office website provides an overview of the countries for which a student visa is or is not necessary. You may also learn The Top College Application Do’s and Don’ts.

6. Find Accommodation.

Once you’ve secured a spot on a course and your student visa (if applicable), you should begin looking for housing, as most German institutions do not provide housing to enrolled students. Rent is likely to be your largest monthly expenditure, and it will vary based on where you reside in the state.

You might anticipate spending slightly more in large cities in Western Germany (e.g., Düsseldorf, Cologne, etc.) and smaller, student-oriented cities like Heidelberg and Freiburg than in eastern Germany (i.e. Berlin).

You must register at the residents’ registration office’ (Einwohnermeldeamt) or the ‘citizens’ bureau’ (Bürgeramt) once you have located a place to live.

7. Enrolling At Your University

Before you may begin your course and access university resources such as the library, you must first enroll. You must also re-register before the start of each semester. Depending on the university, this normally costs between €150 and €250 (US$170-290). A “Semesterticket,” which covers public transportation charges for six months, may cost an extra €180 (US$205).

The usual documents you need for enrollment are:

  • Your passport with visa or residence permit
  • Several passport photos
  • Completed registration form
  • Proof of higher education entrance qualification, either original certificates or officially certified copies and translations
  • Notice of admission
  • Evidence of adequate knowledge of German (or English)
  • Evidence of statutory health insurance in Germany
  • Payment receipt for the semester fee

Once enrolled, you will receive a registration certificate which acts as a provisional student ID, allowing you to apply for your residence permit and register for classes.

1. Engineering courses:

Germany has a track record of technological advancements. The research facilities and institutions rank top in the world and are situated strategically near industrial centers to ensure close interaction.

A master’s program is usually four semesters (two years) and some institutions offer the same for three semesters (one and a half years). This is of benefit to graduates who would want to complete their masters fast and make their way into their field of study.

Germany is the powerhouse of Europe. Established German companies employ graduates directly from the institutions linked to them. Lately, ease in the acquiring of residence, makes it much easier to settle and work in Berlin or Germany than before.

The institutions ranking best in Engineering and technical teachings include (in no order of importance):

  • Technische Universitat Munchen
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
  • Humboldt Universitat zu Berlin
  • RWTH Aachen University
  • Freie Universitat.

2. Medicine.

Studying Medicine in Berlin affords you the privilege of numerous health careers to venture into. There are more than sixty (60) specialties you can choose from. There is a great demand for medical doctors all over the world.

The Bureau of Labour Statistics has it that employment of nurses and doctors is expected to grow between 7 – 12% by 2028 in the US and this percentage will be higher in continents like Africa and Asia.

The payment is high In the US:

  • Pediatrician – 149,300 USD/year Dentist – 130,800 USD/year Neurologists – 209,300 USD/year Familydoctor – 184,100 USD/year
  • Oncologist – 259,000 USD/year.

Your salary grows with your experience in the field. You will be part of the group easing patients’ pains and illnesses.

3. Arts-inclined courses-

Design, History, Music, Drawing, and Painting. Berlin is endowed with lots of historic monuments, the Berlin Wall, the Jewish Museum, and Neues Palais. There are more than four (400) hundred galleries.

The institutions offer the students the privilege of using motion design laboratories, photos, and TV studios which are modern facilities. Some of the programs require semesters abroad, summer schools, and Student competitions which give the students international experience.

Berlin hosts several artistic events which makes room for local organizational support. Theoretical classes are merged with practical sessions. Students have the liberty to express their creativity and to choose their favorite topics for projects. There is free access to lecturers both for questions and advice. Institutions that are specialized in arts are:

1. Berlin Art Institute

2. Berlin University of the Arts

3. Bard College Berlin

This is no order of ranking.

What Should I Study In Berlin?

The universities in Berlin offer a wide range of courses- depending on students’ choices and qualifications. The education system in Germany affords you vast opportunities to make the best option that best suit you.

Some courses, however, are highly competitive in relation to others both for international students and indigenous students. Meeting the standard determines if the student will be granted admission. 

Courses like medicine and surgery, and engineering are highly competitive but are possible. Early application and good performance in entrance examinations give you an edge over schools that requires entrance examinations.

The range of courses you can choose to study is – medicine and surgery, engineering, natural sciences, humanities, social sciences, cultural sciences, and arts. Your course of study will largely depend on the subjects you studied in high school where must have chosen sciences, arts, or commercials.

Here is a list of top institutions and the courses they offer:

  • Freie Universitatis (FU): The programs are social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, and medicine.
  • Humboldt  Universitat (HU): They offer programs in agriculture, cultural sciences, humanities, social sciences, and medicine.
  • Technische Universitat (TU): The programs are social sciences, planning, natural sciences, engineering, and humanities.
  • Berlin University of Arts: They offer a wide range of art programs like cultural journalism and digitalization, fine arts, and music.

It is important that you check your qualifications from high school, special requirements that suits your choice, and more importantly, your dream choice of course.

Student Life In Berlin

The students’ life in Berlin is filled with interesting activities. It is exciting and vibrant. The city attracts many international students and cultures and this avails you a lot to glean from and to mingle with students from different parts of the world.

Learning basic German avails you the ease to communicate with the natives even if your program is taught in the English language. In Berlin, you will feed your eyes with gorgeous and natural sites like the Museum Island, Berlin zoo, Palace of tears, Brandenburg Gate, and Rotes Rothaus.

The standard of living is high and relatively affordable. The schools provide accommodation for students which they pay for.

There are private residences which cost a bit higher. Staying in the school’s residence affords you close proximity to the school, and you get to meet new friends from different places as students are paired most times to share a kitchen and bathrooms and it’s cheaper.

The disadvantages include: a noisy environment as the residents may be used for meeting points for parties, kitchen, and bathrooms are often shared, and rooms are rarely furnished and small.

There are up to 30 students’ residences located in different urban parts of Berlin. Your choice will depend on the location of your school. The Studentenwerk helps in the allocation of these residences. Visit the webpage of the Studentenwerk for more information and application.


Private accommodations offer you the comfort of furnished rooms and privacy but they are distant and cost more. Students’ school residents cost about 250 Euro while private accommodation costs about 300-700 Euros. Your choice will depend on your needs and your pocket.

Good feeding is affordable. There are several eateries and you can also cook on your own. Feeding in a month costs about 200- 300 Euros. It depends on the student’s expenditure rate. There are lots of delicacies that you will savor in Berlin eateries- apple cake, potato salad, potato fritters, cheesecake, onion tart, and stollen.

Some students work and study to earn extra cash. There are rules guiding this, you are permitted to work 120 full days or 240 half days per year. This is to encourage students to balance studies and work. Internships are excluded if it is part of your program. If you would want to work, keep it balanced with your studies.

An average student is likely to make the following expenditures monthly:

  • Food- 323 Euros
  • Clothes -60 Euros
  • Transportation- 94 Euros
  • Learning materials- 80 Euros
  • Internet and recreation- 90 Euros

The popular universities in Berlin for international students are:

  • Humboldt Universitat.

It is the oldest Berlin university and was founded in 1806. The great scientist Albert Einstein and Max Weber are alumni of the institution. It has to its credit 55 Noble Laureates. It’s the most prestigious university in Berlin.

  • Freie Universitat.

Founded in 1948 and has been awarded the title “University of Excellence,” in 2007. It has strategic partnerships with other popular institutions like Oxford university.

  • Technische Universitat.

Notable for being one of the largest universities of technology in Germany. It has a greater number of international students compared to other institutions (greater than 25%).

  • Charite of Freie Universitat.

It is a medical college. with about 7,500 students. Also, It is known for its high standard of classical research. Greater than 50% of German Nobel Prize Winners in medicine and physiology have worked in the institution.

  • Berlin University of Arts.

It offers a wide range of artistic subjects, that deal with scientific aspects that most other institutions of fine arts and colleges of music do not practice. It is the largest art school in Europe.

Cost Of Studying In Berlin

The cost of studying in Berlin is relatively cheap and affordable. Some of the institutions majorly public institutions are tuition-free. The private institutions charge tuition fees that are affordable:

  • 20,000 Euros upward per year (undergraduate studies)
  • 30,000 Euros upward per year (masters studies)

Furthermore, International students are required to deposit about 10,000 Euros in a block account. This is mandatory for all international students. It is to ensure that an international student can cater for the expenditures for one year. There is no need to panic. You can take a loan to deposit the money. You pay back after your studies as the money is still for you if you don’t exhaust it.

There are financing options a student can go for:

  • Scholarships
  • Stipends
  • Students/study loans
  • Students’ grants
  • Study support

You can work while you study to lessen the financial burden.

List Of Universities In Germany That Teach In English

  • Hochschule Mannheim –University of Applied Sciences
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Berlin International University of Applied Sciences
  • Bremen University of Applied Sciences
  • Jacobs University
  • Technische Universitat Munchen
  • University of Gottingen
  • Max Planck Institute
  • Freie Universitat Berlin
  • Technische Universitat Dresden
  • Munich University of Applied Sciences
  • University of Bonn
  • Saarland University
  • Frankfurt School of Finance & Management
  • Technische Universitat Kaiserslautern
  • Universitat Hamburg
  • ULM University
  • HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management
  • University of Bayreuth
  • WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management
  • University of Stuttgart
  • RWTH Aachen University
  • HTW Berlin
  • Technische Universitat Berlin
  • TU Darmstadt
  • University of Hohenheim
  • The University of Erfurt
  • Freiburg University


Studying in Berlin is a great choice for any international student. You will be privileged to study in a world-class city. You have the privilege of meeting many other international students from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

More so, You get a world-recognized degree in a student welcoming environment. You will have nothing to lose but everything to gain. You may want to stay back after your studies in Germany. Start your application to study in the great city of Berlin in Germany.


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