IELTS Requirements for Studying in Germany

IELTS Requirements for Studying in Germany: What You Need to Know

If you want to study in Germany as an international student, you must show that you can speak English well. The IELTS is a famous test for this. It checks your reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.

The IELTS test gives you a score between 1 and 9, with nine being the best. To get into a German university, you must meet the minimum IELTS score required by the university you’re applying to.

The IELTS score needed to get into German universities differs based on the specific program and academic level you’re applying for.

Typically, undergraduate courses require a minimum band score of 6.0, while postgraduate courses require a minimum band score of 6.5 or higher.

It is important to note that the IELTS score for Germany and other countries is valid for two years. In case the aspirant sits for the examination twice in a single year, the latest score is considered.

Students who do not meet the minimum IELTS score requirements can take an English language course in Germany to improve their language skills. However, this option may not be available for all courses and universities.

Understanding the German Higher Education System

Germany has a well-regarded higher education system known for its academic excellence and research-oriented approach.

The German higher education system is divided into two main categories:

Universities and universities of applied sciences. Some specialized institutions offer specific courses of study.

Public universities in Germany are tuition-free, which makes them an attractive option for students from around the world.

Some of the top universities in Germany include the University of Bonn, Free University of Berlin, Technical University of Munich, Humboldt University of Berlin, RWTH Aachen University, and the University of Freiburg.

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These universities have earned a strong reputation for their academic divisions, especially in agriculture and engineering.

German universities are known for their rigorous academic programs and research-oriented approach. They offer a wide range of courses of study, focusing on academic excellence and innovation.

Germany’s universities receive high international rankings, like those in the QS World University Rankings.

Apart from traditional universities, Germany boasts universities of applied sciences that specialize in providing practical, hands-on education.

These institutions offer programs in areas like engineering, business, and technology, and they are known for their strong emphasis on preparing students for the job market through practical training.

Admission Requirements

To study in Germany, international students must meet specific admission requirements. These requirements include academic qualifications, language proficiency, and financial means.

Academic Requirements

For undergraduate courses, students must have a secondary school leaving certificate recognized in Germany.

This certificate must be equivalent to the German Abitur. For postgraduate courses, students must have a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent.

Language Proficiency

International students are required to show their German language proficiency. They can achieve this by completing a language proficiency exam, like the TestDaF or DSH.

Alternatively, they can prove completing a German language course at a recognized institution.

In addition, some universities in Germany require international students to demonstrate proficiency in the English language by taking the IELTS or TOEFL test.

Financial Means

International students must provide proof of financial means to cover their expenses in Germany. As of 2023, students need €11,208 per year to cover their expenses.

You can show this by giving evidence such as a scholarship confirmation, a bank statement, or a letter of financial backing from a sponsor.

Language Proficiency Levels

When studying in Germany, language proficiency is a crucial requirement for international students. The level of proficiency required may vary depending on the program and university.

Still, in general, a B2 or C1 level is necessary to follow lectures and communicate effectively with professors and classmates.

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is used to assess language proficiency levels in Europe. The following table provides an overview of the different CEFR levels and their descriptions:

CEFR Level Description
A1 Beginner
A2 Elementary
B1 Intermediate
B2 Upper-Intermediate
C1 Advanced
C2 Proficient

For English proficiency, the IELTS test is commonly accepted by German universities. A score of at least 6.5 is usually required for undergraduate programs, while a score of 7.0 or higher is necessary for graduate programs.

For German proficiency, the following tests and certificates are recognized by German universities:

  • TestDaF (TDN 3, 4 or 5)
  • DSH II or III (Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang)
  • Goethe-Zertifikat C2
  • telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule (The European Language Certificate)

It is important to note that language proficiency is not just a requirement for admission but also success in the program. Students with a very limited or intermittent level of proficiency may struggle to keep up with the coursework.

They may find it difficult to participate fully in discussions and group projects. Therefore, it is recommended that students work on improving their language skills before starting their program in Germany.

Visa Procedures for International Students

International students studying in Germany must obtain a student visa or residence permit. This visa allows them to stay in Germany for their studies.

The visa process can take several weeks, so it is essential to start the application process as early as possible.

If you want to get a German student visa, make sure you have a valid passport and can show that you have enough money to cover your expenses.

You can prove your financial ability with a blocked account, a scholarship, or a letter of support from a sponsor.

The amount of funds required varies depending on the length of study and the cost of living in the specific region of Germany.

In addition to financial resources, international students must provide proof of health insurance coverage. Students can purchase health insurance from a German provider or provide proof of coverage from their home country.

After collecting all the required documents, international students can submit their applications for a student visa or residence permit to the German embassy or consulate in their home country. The application process includes biometric pictures and payment of the visa fee.

It is important to note that international students cannot enter Germany with a tourist visa and then switch to a student visa.

They must obtain a student visa before entering Germany. Once in Germany, they can apply for a residence permit at the local immigration office.

Work Opportunities and Regulations

In Germany, international students can work part-time for a maximum of 120 full days or 240 half days per year.

It’s important to note that students should not depend on part-time work as their primary source of income.

It is important to note that the job market in Germany is highly competitive, and finding a job without proficiency in German can be challenging.

To work in Germany, international students must obtain a work permit. Students from EU/EEA countries and Switzerland do not require a work permit, while non-EU/EEA students must obtain a work permit. The work permit is usually granted for 120 full days or 240 half days per year.

Students must know the rules for work permits in Germany. If you work without the right permit, you could get kicked out, fined, and not be allowed back in later.

Additionally, students should ensure that their employment does not interfere with their studies, as their primary reason for being in Germany is to study.

Financial Aspects of Studying in Germany

Studying in Germany can be costly, but it’s still less expensive than other popular study destinations like the US, UK, and Australia. The cost of education in Germany varies depending on the university and the specific program of study.

Tuition Costs

In Germany, most universities do not charge tuition fees for undergraduate programs, and some Master’s programs are also tuition-free.

However, some Master’s programs in Germany may charge tuition fees, and the cost can range from €2,000 to €20,000 per year.

Private universities in Germany are famous for their expensive tuition fees, reaching as high as €30,000 per year.

Living Expenses

International students must think about the cost of living in Germany in addition to their tuition fees. The cost of living can differ depending on the city and your lifestyle choices.

On average, a student in Germany would need around €850 per month to cover living expenses like accommodation, food, transportation, and other miscellaneous expenses.


Germany offers a range of scholarships for international students interested in pursuing their studies there.

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is one of the most popular scholarship providers in Germany. They offer scholarships to students from different countries and various courses of study.

Apart from DAAD, there are other scholarship providers like the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, and Friedrich Ebert Foundation, among others.

Health Insurance Requirements

In Germany, every student, including international students, guest researchers, and those taking language courses, must have health insurance. This is a crucial requirement for your student visa and university registration.

When enrolling at a university, whether you have public or private health insurance, you will need a certificate.

Students under 29 years of age or until the completion of their 14th subject-related semester are eligible for affordable health insurance plans offered by public health insurance providers.

If your current health insurance isn’t recognized in Germany, you must get insurance here. Be sure to sort out your health insurance before arriving in Germany.

We recommend purchasing health insurance that covers your entire stay in Germany. Additionally, while not obligatory, it’s a good idea for students to consider liability insurance to cover any potential damages they may cause to others.

Studying IT and Related Courses in Germany

Germany is renowned for its excellence in technology and engineering, and studying IT and related courses in Germany can provide students with an exceptional education.

To study IT or related courses in Germany, international students must meet the general requirements for studying in Germany, including language proficiency and academic qualifications.

For IT and related courses, some universities may require students to take the GRE or GMAT exams, but this varies depending on the institution and the specific program.

However, most universities require international students to demonstrate proficiency in the German language, which can be achieved by taking the TestDaF or DSH exams.

Regarding English language proficiency, many universities in Germany accept the IELTS exam as proof of English language proficiency.

The IELTS score for university admission can differ based on the specific university and program. However, generally, most universities expect a minimum overall score of 6.5, and no individual score should be lower than 6.0.

It is important to note that some universities have specific requirements for IT and related courses.

For example, some universities may require a higher IELTS score for specific programs or additional qualifications or experience in the field.

IELTS Requirements for Studying in Germany

Studying in Germany from Different Countries

Germany attracts many international students looking for a top-notch education and improved career prospects.

Students from various countries, including the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, and other English-speaking countries, can study in Germany.

The requirements to study in Germany may vary depending on the country of origin. However, the language requirements for studying in Germany are the same for all international students.

Students must prove their proficiency in the German language by passing a language test or providing proof of previous education in German.

International students from the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and other English-speaking countries may be exempted from the language test if they have completed their education in English or have an English proficiency certificate.

However, it is recommended that students have some knowledge of the German language to better integrate into German society and make the most of their study abroad experience.

Students from Norway and Switzerland have the advantage of being part of the European Union and the European Economic Area, which means that they can study in Germany without a visa and do not need to prove their proficiency in the German language. However, they may be required to provide proof of their English proficiency.

International students can also benefit from various exchange programs and scholarships from German universities.

These programs allow students to study in Germany for a semester or a year and gain valuable international experience.

IELTS Requirements for Studying in Germany

Quality of Education in Germany

Germany is known for its high-quality education system, which attracts students from all over the world.

The country has a reputation for being a hub for innovation, research, and development. German universities are renowned for exceptional teaching staff, state-of-the-art facilities, and various course offerings.

The education system in Germany is highly structured and regulated, ensuring that students receive a comprehensive education that prepares them for their future careers.

The curriculum is designed to be challenging and rigorous, with a strong emphasis on critical thinking, problem-solving, and practical application.

German universities provide a diverse selection of programs and courses, making it possible for students to discover a curriculum aligned with their passions and future ambitions.

Within Germany, you can find some of the world’s most prestigious universities, such as the University of Munich, the Technical University of Munich, and the University of Heidelberg.

In addition to the quality of education, Germany is known for its expert faculty members. The country has a long history of producing some of the world’s most influential scholars and researchers.

German universities also have strong industry connections, providing students access to internships, research opportunities, and job placements.

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