Study information for international students

Knowledge is international and transcends all frontiers. This is why one of the goals of Germany's education policy is to attract qualified students from abroad to complete a period of study at one of the country's universities or universities of applied sciences.

Waving flags on a governmental building.
Foto: WillmyCC

Behind the USA and Great Britain, Germany is currently the third most significant host country for international students. The number of foreign students in Germany has risen from 7.9% in the winter semester 1995/1996 to about 13% in the winter semester 2022/2023 with about 368.000 foreign students.

Foreign students in Germany preferred subjects like engineering (42%), law, business and economics (25%) as well as mathematics / natural sciences (11%). 70% were enrolled at traditional universities, 30% at universities of applied sciences (as for winter semester 2022/2023, details).

Please note:
Information for refugees can be found at abi>> "Start in Germany" and www.study-in-germany.de/en/refugees

University partnerships

Germany′s higher education institutions already maintain more than 33,000 agreements with foreign universities in around 150 foreign countries.

Additional efforts have been made to make study opportunities offered in Germany even more appealing to qualified foreign students. For example, there are selected German study programs abroad in cooperation with foreign partner universities. Due to these cooperations, the programs are able to reach students who do not want or are unable to leave their home countries.

The Higher-Education Compass provides a comprehensive list of international cooperation agreements along with various search options: www.internationale-hochschulkooperationen.de/en/international-university-partnerships.html

Summer universities

The International summer university programs offered by several institutions in Germany frequently provide a good opportunity for students from abroad to begin their studies here. The German and/or English-instructed summer schools and summer courses have been specially designed for foreign students. They enable students to get to know Germany before taking up full-time studies here. Credit points (ECTS) are awarded for many of these courses. You can find a list of courses at: www.daad.de/deutschland/studienangebote/sommerkurse/en/

Bachelor's and master's degrees

Moreover, the award of internationally-recognized academic degrees (bachelor and master) encourages foreign students to attain an academic degree in Germany. Students can graduate with a bachelor's or master's degree in more than 21,500 undergraduate and graduate programs available at traditional universities, universities of applied sciences, and at other institutions offering higher education. More information

If you already hold a bachelor's degree, you can apply for a (post)graduate study program. Although (post)graduate degree programs are still offered mainly by the traditional universities, universities of applied sciences in Germany also include such programs in their catalogues increasingly. Most of these studies end with a master's degree. Those can be found at: www.higher-education-compass.de.

International degree programs

Degree programs with an international orientation specifically designed to meet the needs and interests of foreign students provide a specialist education and training in the respective subject, intensive guidance counseling, supervision for students, the use of a foreign language as the language of instruction and study, and intensive international cooperation as well as internationally-recognized bachelor and master degrees.

In most cases, these programs involve completion of a study segment abroad and are open to German and foreign nationals alike. The International Degree Programs offered by about 200 universities to which generally an equal percentage of foreign students and students from Germany are admitted are of particular interest. Although there are a few exceptions, English is predominantly or exclusively the language of instruction. This means that you do not have to pass a German language test to be admitted to these programs. You will acquire the German language skills you need concurrently with your academic studies. You can search for courses at: www.daad.de/deutschland/studienangebote/international-programs/en/


DAAD - German Academic Exchange Service

Detailed information about international bachelor, master and doctoral programs in Germany

Information about admission to studies at higher-education institutions in Germany

International Offices

You can find the addresses of the universities’ international offices at www.higher-education-compass.de (in the section "Higher-Education Institutions")

Information for refugees