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.