Most asked questions about studying in Germany

I have been asked quite a number of questions about how one can study in Germany. I put together some of the questions I remember to guide you in your decision to study in Germany.

Is education free in Germany?

Some universities charge no tuition fees, others do – usually the private universities.

Do I need to speak German to study in Germany?

There are many programs taught in English. This means you do not need to speak German to be enrolled. Institutions will state whether or not you need basic German skills.

When can I apply to a university

There are two admission seasons in Germany. Winter Semester (01.10 – 31.03) and Summer Semester (1.04 – 30.09). There is no fixed time to send in your application. Check your university’s website to know when you can apply and which semester your program starts.

Can I apply to more than one university?

Yes, you can!

Do I need to provide proof of TOEFL results?

Some universities require that you submit proof of your TOEFL results. This does not apply to Ghanaian students who studied in Ghana. Our language of instruction is English. Ask your university to write a proof of language proficiency letter. This is a letter that states that the language of instruction is English.

I have missed the application deadline. Can I still apply?

Usually, no. Germans are strict with deadlines and you will have to apply during the next application period. It is possible to write to your university asking whether you can apply regardless. Do not expect a positive answer. 🙂

Where can I certify photocopies in Ghana?

There are a number of places but the best place to do this is at the German embassy. It is free of charge! You may need an appointment.

How can I apply for a scholarship?

DAAD, translated to English, German Academic Exchange Service provides a number of scholarships. There are over 200 scholarships available.

What is a blocked account?

By law, students coming to study in Germany need to show financial independence. A blocked account is an account you open in Germany or in Ghana by an internationally recognized bank with a deposit of at least 8,640.00 EUR (720EUR/month). This money helps you ‘survive’ for one year!

I borrowed the blocked amount from a friend. Can I cash the 8,640.00EUR when i arrive in Germany?

No..No..No! The embassy knows this tactic. You cannot cash all the money when you arrive in Germany. You cannot even spend more that 720.00EUR a month! Blocked means blocked.

My program is for two years. Do I need to deposit 8.640,00EUR in the second year?

It depends on where are located. Some cities issue your student visa for 2 years. If this is the case, you do not need any financial proof for the second year.

Smaller towns may issue one year student visa because you have only shown proof of subsistence for a year. When requesting for an extension, they may want to see proof of subsistence for the second year.

Why do I need to open a blocked account if my university is tuition free?

Your university is tuition free but the cost of living in Germany is not free. You need to pay for accommodation, transportation, semester tickets, phone bills, mandatory minor fees because you live in Germany. You need to show that you can pay these things without the intervention of the government.

How will I get my money when i get to Germany?

If you open your account with Fintiba, you will have to open a new bank account in Germany and give Fintiba your bank details. Fintiba will deposit the stipulated amount every month to your account.

Can I get a job when i get to Germany?

Yes, you can do side jobs. As an international student, you can work 120 full days or 240 half days per year. Not more!

How will I know my visa has been approved?

You will receive an email from the embassy requesting you open the blocked account and deposit the money (for those with sponsors living in Ghana). If your sponsor lives in Germany, you know it’s been approved if you are asked to bring your flight reservation and proof of health insurance.

Who is a sponsor?

A sponsor is someone who will take care of all your finances when you move to Germany. This can be you, someone living in Ghana or a legal resident in Germany.

Are Germans racist? 😳

Racism is everywhere (not that it is a good thing..but that is the fact!). Some people exhibit it consciously or unconsciously because of what the media has presented to them. It’s now your duty to paint another story – a positive one of course! 🙂

Germans are ‘naturally’ distant/reserved. Many loosen up once they get comfortable around you.


Do you have a question I did not address here? Drop it in the comments section.

15 thoughts on “Most asked questions about studying in Germany

  1. Emmanuel Danso says:

    Well informed and written piece but i would go a step further and be more explicit with people in terms of racism. Yes, compared to some more liberal countries like the UK, one is more likely to experience racism in Germany. Germans are rather conservatie and narrow minded. That is just the way it is. But ges rascism happens everywhere!


  2. Richard Michael Blay says:

    My question is, I did Business Admin as my undergraduate degree. I want to study in Germany, where do I start from? How do I find a course or a university or scholarship?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. BlueCocoaBeans says:

    How could I get a health insurance cover as an international student yet to arrive in Germany?

    Also, which option may be recommended for a student? A government or a private health insurance system?

    Again, do I have to care about age and which option to go for when choosing an insurance system?

    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennie B. says:

      Hi, as a student coming to study in Germany, you can only get the insurance after submitting your university registration certificate. This is usually done when you arrive in Germany.

      With regards to using the government or private health insurance, it boils down to your health conditions and your financial situation. I will recommend you research on the services both provide before registering. When i moved to Germany, i opted for the government insurance. I know of others who opted for the private one.

      Yes, age is a determining factor on what premium you pay to your health insurance company. There are other factors also considered. I would recommend you speak to your health insurance provider.

      Thanks for stopping by.


  4. bobbiblinkz says:

    Hi Jennie ,
    In the FAQ , you mentioned you will know when you have a visa in advance if the embassy asks you to bring proof of health insurance if your sponsor is in Germany.
    Again , it was mentioned you can only get health insurance after you have arrived in Germany. Please how do you then get and send the Embassy this proof of health insurance whiles still in your home country ?

    Thank You


    • Jennie B. says:

      Hi Bobbiblinkz, thanks for stopping by. The embassy will issue a 3 month visa which needs to be converted to a residence permit when you arrive in Germany.

      Now, before you leave Ghana, you need to get the insurance from Ghana. This should be valid for the entire period of your visa ie. 90 days. The embassy will request for this first.

      After your arrival in Germany, you’ll need to get health insurance cover from Germany at the time you apply for your residence permit.

      Hope this helps, Jennie.


      • bobbiblinkz says:

        This was helpful. Thanks. Also is it only the obligation letter that is needed to be posted by the host to the student to be presented at the interview. Was thinking stuffs like bank statement, resident permit , pay slips of host etc can be included; or that’s not much necessary Jennie ?


      • Jennie B. says:

        Before your sponsor receives the obligatory letter from the foreigners’ office in Germany, they would have assessed the other documents you listed BUT the German embassy in Ghana still needs the other documents you mentioned in addition to your obligatory letter. If your sponsor is uncomfortable providing their pay slips, they can have it sealed in an envelope so only the consular officer can read.


  5. T. Sawyer says:

    hello Jennie, please want to find out how long it does take for formal obligation to be processed. My uncle have submitted all the required documents for the formal obligation letter but it has no bn issued yet. Time for visa application and studies is almost catching up.



    • Jennie B. says:

      Hi T. Sawyer, you usually get it the same day but because of Covid-19, a lot of processes are being stalled. I cannot provide you with an estimate for processing as this is already not normal.

      Kindly ask your uncle to send them an email and attach your visa appointment confirmation and additional information from your university showing when studies start. They may act faster with this information.

      Hope this helps,


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