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Study in Germany

Five Quick Points about Germany
  1. Nearly one-tenth of world’s international students go to study in Germany
  2. New bachelor-master system offers degrees which are internationally compatible
  3. Emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, international outlook, and theory balanced with practical applications
  4. Very green, environmentally aware society
  5. Blend of modern and traditional cultures

Germany (Deutschland), the sixth largest country in Europe by land area (349,520 square kilometers), is situated in central Europe, with coastal access to the North and Baltic Seas. It is bordered by nine other European countries to the north, east, south, and west. Berlin (in the northeast) is the capital.

The climate of Germany is temperate (and marine in the north), with cool, cloudy, wet winters and warm summers, occasionally tempered by the Föhn, a warm mountain wind. There can be marked variations in climate from region to region.
The German nationals of today have evolved from several different tribal groups: Celts, Germans, Franks, Slavs, and Romans. Germany has had a long and chequered history with periods of dominance, repression, and division.
Following the German Reunification in October 1990, Germany became a united and sovereign state for the first time since 1945. It has a population of over 82 million and is the second-most populated country in Europe. Population density varies markedly from urban (very dense) to rural (less dense) areas.
The median age is 43.8 years. Over 95% of the population speaks German as their mother tongue; other languages include Sorbian, North Frisian, Danish, Romani, Kurdish and Turkish.
Germany is still basically a homogeneous ethnic society (German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4%, other 6.1%). A trend toward a more multicultural society is now occurring with a greater emphasis on integration of immigrants. Restoring the social unity between West and East has been an ongoing agenda of the German government since reunification in 1990, with living conditions, education, and health as important priorities. The family remains at the core of German society though traditional gender roles are disappearing, bringing German society and culture more into line with the modern Western world.

Culture in Germany has many facets. From world-famous orchestras, architecture, museums, churches, and traditional cuisine to avant-garde art and music, the international student will find a mix of modern and traditional. The Germans enjoy the outdoors along their beautiful riverbanks and in the gardens which can be found in most cities and towns. Germany is a sporting nation with football the no.1 sport.
Germany is a member of the European Union (EU). Its economy is the largest in Europe and the fourth-largest in the world after the U.S., Japan, and China, and it is very export-oriented (second-largest exporter in the world). It is among the largest and most technologically advanced producers of iron, steel, coal, cement, chemicals, machinery, vehicles, machine tools, electronics, food and beverages, shipbuilding, and textiles. It is the leading producer of wind turbines and solar power technology in the world. Some of the largest annual international trade fairs and congresses occur in German cities such as Hanover, Frankfurt, and Berlin. The currency is the Euro.
The political structure of the Federal German Republic is complex, consisting of a central federal government and 16 states. The government and economic systems today are based predominantly on those of West Germany prior to reunification The Federal Constitutional Court has the power to repeal legislation if such legislation contravenes the Basic Law. Most areas of government are centralized. The states, however, are responsible for schooling (and to a large extent tertiary education), internal security (including policing), as well as the organization of local self-government.
International students living in Germany can generally live on €750–€950 a month: accommodation €230–€400, food €220, books/stationery €50 and other €250 (e.g., transport, entertainment, laundry, telephone) depending on location and type of housing. Tuition fees, where applicable, are an additional cost. Health insurance is usually around €50–€60 a month. Student accommodation is less expensive than renting a flat. International students should be aware that often flats are let unfurnished and that there may only be a sink in the kitchen area. Tenants then have to provide all other kitchen facilities. Close to 250,000 international students are enrolled at German institutes of higher education. This makes Germany among the most sought-after destination countries in the world.
International students may have to pay some minor tuition fees otherwise all the education in Germany is free of cost. However, this is a recent situation and doesn’t apply to all higher education institutions. Therefore, it is essential to source such information from the individual institution to determine if tuition fees apply.
Visa application processing for long-stay visas can take several months, so students must allow sufficient processing time prior to their intended date of entry. Students who wish to seek work while studying need to check if they will need a work permit. Within seven days of arriving in Germany, all international students must register with the relevant district administrative office. Proof of, or application for health insurance coverage, must be submitted to the district office of the AOK (Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse). After three months, all international students – regardless of country of origin – need to apply for a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis).
International students can work while they study in Germany, and because student jobs are subsidized (entailing lower social security costs for employers), many German employers find student workers an attractive option.