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Living in Germany: What International Students should know

Germany has over 400,000 international students across its higher education sector. What should you know before deciding to come to Germany to study?

German universities are among the most popular in the world. One reason for this is the low costs for students and the many opportunities Germany offers. DW reporter Hannah Hummel came here herself on a study program – so she decided to take a deeper look at what studying in Germany is like. How’s life as a student here? How much money do you actually need? What are the highs and lows?

What International Students should know

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Germany is becoming a very popular study destination for ambitious international students, standing alongside major study-abroad destinations like the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia. As a result, Germany has reached its goal of welcoming 350,000 international students in 2017, which is three years earlier than planned. 

Today, Germany has over 400,000 international students across its higher education institutions, specifically 440,564 international students enrolled in the German higher education sector as of 2021/2022.

Tempted by the lack of tuition fees, world-class higher education, stunning scenery, and high quality of life, more and more international students are coming to study in Germany. Especially if this is the first time you’ve lived abroad, the start of term as an international student can be a nervy time. Here are six tips to help you settle into student life in Germany as quickly as possible:

  1. Prepare yourself for a lot of paperwork.
  2. Try to sort your accommodation in advance.
  3. Get health insurance.
  4. Support yourself with a job or a grant.
  5. Get familiar with akademische ViertelstundeScheinstudium and Akademisches Klopfen.
  6. Try to learn some German.

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By Itamar Medeiros

Originally from Brazil, Itamar Medeiros currently lives in Germany, where he works as VP of Design Strategy at SAP and lecturer of Project Management for UX at the M.Sc. Usability Engineering at the Rhein-Waal University of Applied Sciences .

Working in the Information Technology industry since 1998, Itamar has helped truly global companies in multiple continents create great user experience through advocating Design and Innovation principles. During his 7 years in China, he promoted the User Experience Design discipline as User Experience Manager at Autodesk and Local Coordinator of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) in Shanghai.

Itamar holds a MA in Design Practice from Northumbria University (Newcastle, UK), for which he received a Distinction Award for his thesis Creating Innovative Design Software Solutions within Collaborative/Distributed Design Environments.

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