While Germany is known for beer, sausages, and bread, the citizens of this European country are more famous for being precise in the things they do. This is quite evident in the cars produced in this European country. Moreover, precision has become a hallmark of anything that comes out of Germany.
But, Germany is also known for an impressive school system. While the system is considerably different compared to the systems of other countries, it has produced a lot of high-performing students.
If you’re a student looking for something new, you should take note that public universities in Germany are open to international students as long as they pass the entrance requirements. But, the students should also have the necessary documents, such as a visa, as well as some German language skills
So, if you’re planning to study abroad, you may want to explore the possibility of studying in Germany. In this article, we will be going over free universities in Germany for international students.
Cost of Studying in Germany
One thing unique about the German educational system is that most of their public schools do not charge tuition fees. This is true for both local and international students taking undergraduate courses. It came after the 16 states in Germany abolished the fees.
While local and international students enjoy a tuition-free education in German public universities, they still have to pay administrative fees upon enrollment. But, these fees are normally around 300 EUR ($400 USD) per semester.
The only exception to the tuition-free rule is the public universities in Baden-Württemberg. These universities collect tuition from non-European Union (EU) students. This came after the state passed a law requiring them to pay a tuition of at least 1,500 EUR ($1,800 USD) per semester.
In terms of the cost of living, Germany is relatively cheaper compared to its European neighbors. Students can expect to spend around 800 EUR ($900 USD) to 1,000 EUR ($1,200 USD) per month. But, this amount depends on the city where they’re studying.
Are Universities Free in Germany?
Public universities in many of the states in Germany are tuition-free. Local and international students only have to pay an administrative fee at the start of each semester.
But, non-EU students studying in public universities in Baden-Württemberg will have to pay tuition. The tuition is between 1,500 EUR ($1,800 USD) and 3,000 EUR ($3,500 USD) per semester.
Similarly, private universities still collect tuition for both local and international students. Moreover, postgraduate courses also require tuition if they are non-consecutive or they are not taken immediately after obtaining a Bachelor’s degree from a public university.
What are the languages of instruction for universities in Germany?
Most of the universities in Germany use German as the medium of instruction. Due to this, international students are required to know how to speak the language. This makes it necessary for them to take a language test to demonstrate their knowledge about the language or they can take a preparatory course.
But, some universities offer courses taught in English. Similar to the German language, non-native English speakers should be able to demonstrate their ability to speak English through a test result or by taking a preparatory course.
If you’re planning to study in Germany, you can check out the list of tuition-free German universities below.
1. Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
The Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich is one of the best academic and research universities in Europe. Established in 1472, the university is the sixth oldest German university that has been continuously operating since it was founded. It was initially located in Ingolstadt before it was moved to Landshut in 1800. The university was moved once again to its present location in 1826.
This free university in Germany has 18 faculties offering a wide array of courses for both local and international students. These faculties include the Faculty of Catholic Theology, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Economics, and the Faculty of Physics.
Students at the university can look forward to several programs and resources that can help them adjust to life on the campus. They can also join student groups, work, or attend arts and entertainment events. Moreover, the students can also stretch their muscles at the University Sports Center after classes.
2. Technical University of Munich
The Technical University of Munich was established in 1868 and has been at the forefront of innovation ever since. It played a role in the transition of Bavaria from an agricultural state into an industrial state. The university was initially called the Polytechnische Schule München before it got its present name in 1970.
The university has 15 departments, seven corporate research centers, and six integrative research centers. The degree programs offered at the university include Aerospace, Architecture, Bioinformatics, Information Systems, and Sports Science. A good number of classes at the university are taught in English.
Leisure activities at the Technical University of Munich include meet-and-greet activities, joining country-based student groups, and attending festivals in Munich. Additionally, the students can also use the facilities of the University Sports Center.
3. Darmstadt University of Technology
Another free university in Germany is the Darmstadt University of Technology or the Technical University of Darmstadt, which was established in 1877. This public research university sets itself apart from other universities through its pioneering spirit. It continues its innovative approach not only to technology but also in other fields of study, including social sciences and humanities.
The university has over a hundred programs in Engineering, Natural Science, and Humanities. It offers a lot of courses for its students, both local and international. These courses include Applied Geosciences, Biology, Cognitive Science, Pedagogy, and Visual Computing.
The University Sports Centre is the best place for sports-minded students to spend their free time after school. They have a wide selection of sports to join, including climbing, parkour, and swimming. The university also hosts activities to allow the students to let their hair down after a week of school.
4. Humboldt University of Berlin
Established in 1810, the Humboldt University of Berlin is the oldest university in Berlin. It was called the Friedrich Wilhelm University from 1810 until 1945. It was given its present name in 1949 in honor of Alexander and Wilhelm von Humboldt.
This free university in Germany has nine faculties, three central institutes, nine interdisciplinary centers, and four integrative research centers. It offers 189 courses, including Biophysics, Computer Science, Social Sciences, Mathematics, and History, among others.
The Humboldt University of Berlin has three campuses: Campus Adlershof, Campus Mitte, and Campus Nord. Each campus features facilities that meet the academic and extracurricular needs of the students of the university.
5. University of Bonn
The University of Bonn was established by Frederick William III in 1818. This public research university was committed to the unity of research and teaching ideal of Wilhelm von Humboldt. It has a partnership and exchange program with 80 universities around the world.
The university has seven faculties to perform teaching and research activities. These faculties include the Faculty of Catholic Theology, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Agriculture, and Faculty of Law and Economics.
The students at the university have several options to fill up their weekends. Exhibitions, open-air festivals, concerts, and other events are just some of the options they have. Moreover, the students can also opt to visit a museum or take up a new sport in the different facilities of the university.
6. University of Hamburg
While it was established in 1919, the University of Hamburg, another free university in Germany, traces its roots to the Akademisches Gymnasium. The university came about with the merge of the General Lecture System, the Colonial Institute of Hamburg, and the Akademisches Gymnasium.
This free German university has eight faculties made up of 27 departments. It also has four clusters of excellence, namely Advanced Imaging of Matter, Understanding Written Artefacts, Quantum Universe, and Climate, Climatic Change, and Society (CliCCS). It also has more than 180 programs available for its students.
Aside from studying, students can also have fun by participating in different activities at the university. They can join the choir, play sports, discover and learn about different cultures, or simply explore the city of Hamburg over the weekend.
7. RWTH Aachen University
The RWTH Aachen University or the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen was established in 1870. It was established to provide education to engineers in the Ruhr area. It grew from a school of 223 students and 32 teachers to become the biggest technical university in Germany.
The university has nine faculties, six collaborative research centers, and 260 institutes. It also has three Clusters of Excellence: The Fuel Science Center, Matter and Light for Quantum Computing, and the Internet of Production. The university has 162 courses of study, including Architecture, Biology, Digital Media Communications, and European Studies, among others.
When it comes to extracurricular and leisure activities, the students have a wide range of options to fill their weekends. They can join organizations or clubs, attend events, or play sports. These activities aim to ensure the students improve their social skills and prepare them for their future professional life.
8. Goethe University
The next university in Germany with no tuition fee is the Goethe University, which may have been officially established in 1914, but it can trace its roots to 1484 with the creation of a City Council Library. The library was later renamed to the City Library in 1668 before it became the university library. It is a citizens’ university since it was funded by wealthy citizens of Frankfurt.
The university has 16 different faculties offering a wide range of Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs for the students. These faculties include the Faculty of Law, Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Physics, Faculty of Philosophy and History, and Faculty of Medicine.
The university has four campuses: Westend, Bockenheim, Niederrad, and Riedberg. Each campus has its own distinctive character. The library system of the university consists of the main library, specialized libraries, and departmental libraries. The university also has several sports facilities where the students can keep themselves physically fit.
9. University of Wurzburg
The University of Wurzburg, another free tuition university in Germany, is a public research university located in Würzburg, Germany. It was originally established in 1402 but was closed from 1415 to 1562. The university reopened in 1562 by Prince Bishop Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn.
The university has ten faculties consisting of 55 institutes. It offers 250 programs for its students, including Egyptology, Biochemistry, Computational Mathematics, Humanities, and Dentistry, among others.
The students at the university don’t have to confine themselves within the four corners of the classroom. There are several options when it comes to extracurricular activities. These activities include playing sports, joining the choir or orchestra, being a part of student organizations, or simply attending activities aimed at enhancing their social skills while at the university.
10. FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg
We end our list of free tuition universities in Germany with Friedrich–Alexander University Erlangen–Nürnberg or FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, a public university located in the German cities of Erlangen and Nuremberg. The university was established by Margrave Friedrich von Brandenburg-Bayreuth in 1743. It was named Friedrich-Alexander-Universität in 1769 to honor Bayreuth and Alexander, Margrave of Ansbach.
The university is the second biggest university in Bavaria with five faculties offering a good selection of degree programs. These degree programs include Art History, Computational Linguistics, Sociology, Computer Science, IT Security, and Mechatronics, among others.
Since the university flourishes on the ideas and dedication of its members, it encourages the students to become involved in policymaking, supporting fellow students, and even passing on their knowledge to students in the lower semesters. Moreover, some students also act as mentors to first-year students as they try to adjust to life in the university.
Even though the educational system of Germany is different from its European neighbors, it’s still a good option for international students looking for a good place to acquire high-quality university education. I hope that this article on free universities in Germany was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Free Universities Category!