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How to Study at European Universities for €1,000 per Year: Germany

Univibes is an international community of advisors that help people apply to universities in Europe, Asia, the US, and Canada. We recently held a webinar, where we talked about European countries and budget options for admission. Today, we'll share some helpful information and inspiring stories.
What you need to know
The first and most popular country amongst our students is Germany. It's no secret to many that education in Germany is considered free, including for international students, but in fact, it's conditionally free.

In any case, you pay a semester fee for your transportation costs, textbooks, and so on. This price can vary between €300 and €500 per semester.

As for admission, you need to know German or English at a reasonably high level; it should be at least B2, but ideally C1. Depending on this factor, choose the universities and study programs that interest you. As for scholarships, there aren't many for undergraduate students since education is considered to be basically free, but there are a lot for Master's students.

Most likely, you've heard of scholarships like the DAAD, which completely covers your expenses. In other words, if you win one, you'll study completely for free since it'll cover tuition and accommodation and provide you with money for your personal expenses. Then, there are Deutschlandstipendium and BAYHOST. In other words, there are many options. You just need to select the ones that are optimal for you, so they fit your age, language, field of training, etc. There are a lot of things to consider.

In terms of part-time work, many people ask us whether they can work in Germany. Yes, in Germany, you can work officially on a student visa, up to 20 hours a week, in any part-time job you find. You can also continue to work online for your home country or combine work and study. No problem.

Since many consider education abroad in terms of further migration, the question of the time it takes to find a job is also relevant. What is the situation in Germany? You'll have 18 months after graduation to look for a place to stay, explore your career opportunities, and get a work visa.

It's important to note that you can't go to a state university in Germany just after finishing your 11th year of school. If you're just about to finish school or only have secondary education, you'll need to go to a Studienkolleg for a preparatory course. These courses allow students to reach their 12th year. You'll study German to reach the necessary level and the subjects you'll have chosen. In other words, there are special departments at every Studienkolleg, where you choose an area that suits you, humanities, medicine, technology, etc.
Looking for Work
In terms of job search questions, there have been some recent changes. A year ago, Germany increased the time available to look for work from 12 months to 18, which is a positive. What do you need to know while the job hunting visa given to every single graduate of a German university is active?

First of all, you need to show you have money. You need it to cover living costs while looking for work and pay for medical insurance. It's also good to note that during your studies and 18 months, you can work either 90 full days or 180 half days per year.

In terms of the work visa itself, it's worth mentioning that you'll only get a visa if you find a job that suits your subject, i.e., if you studied linguistics and earned a linguistics degree, then your working contract has to be in some way language-related. It's also important to note that the German Ministry of Education lists the approximate average wages of different specialists per year. Let's say that for a linguist, that's €52,000 per year. Your contract can't be less than this amount. This is another important condition for receiving a work visa.

A few statistics and figures: 80% of Germany's population right now is over the age of 45. What does that mean? It means that people will start to retire in the next 10-20 years, which isn't good for the German economy.

As a result, Germany needs good employees and qualified specialists. Therefore, it'll be much easier to find work. Jobs will appear, and those who want to stay will most assuredly succeed.
Blocked Account
It may ring some alarm bells for candidates when they find out they have to open a blocked account in Germany. What is a blocked account?

It's an account you open in a German state bank, and it has a block on the amount of money you can withdraw per month. This is usually €850 per month since this is the minimum amount you can live on in Germany. Additionally, a candidate should show at least €10,000 in their account. Upon hearing this, everyone starts to get a little worried. However, if we look at the website of the German Embassy, we can see there are three ways to avoid this blocked account. I'll try and tell you about these briefly.

First of all, you can get a guarantee from a German citizen that you are financially secure for this period. You don't have to be a relative or romantically involved with this person. It can be any EU citizen who takes on your financial responsibility.

The third option is getting one of Germany's many scholarships, such as the DAAD or Deutschlandstipendium. And if the scholarship is around €800 per month, then it can also count as financial means during your studies. There's always a way out.
One of Our Advisors, Vlada, Tells Her Story
Vlada Prosina
Univibes Advisor
Why did I choose Germany? I can't really say this was a decision I planned. When I decided that I wanted to study linguistics, I went to university and had a choice of 5 languages. They were French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, and German. And somehow, I saw the word "German", something inside me clicked, and I decided that, yeah, I wanted to study German. Because, well, of course, we know that Germany has a strong economy, German companies are well-represented. It would simply be easier for me to find work as a translator knowing German.

Initially, that was the plan, but after studying a while for my bachelor's degree at Kazan Federal University, I discovered an exchange program called Erasmus Plus, and I chose a German university, applied, got a scholarship, arrived there, and studied for not one but two semesters in Germany because I liked the teaching structure. I'll tell you more about it later. I decided that I needed to do everything I could to study for a Master's degree there.

This was when I started to have trouble since there was no one to help me with documents. A motivation letter is a very important document, so I'm very jealous of the people that come to us now. They have us, as Svetlana said earlier. We help, support, and instruct them. I didn't have a person like that to help me, so it was a little difficult for me, but despite all that, I was still able to collect my documents and apply.

Then a complicated process started: The selection proces, which I monitored via an online document. By the way, it's worth mentioning that when you apply to a German university, you have two options. You can either send your documents by mail, i.e., physical documents via physical mail, or via the Uni Assist platform. It's like an intermediary between you as a candidate and German universities, who deal with the entire bureaucratic document selection process. In my case, I didn't use Uni Assist. Basically, I sent all my documents straight away, and my university emailed me to track the admission process.

There were two stages. The first was where documents were screened and checked to see that they were all there. The next stage was the one we've seen already, where they check your language proficiency and, most importantly, your grade point average. I was rather lucky since I had quite a high score and a diploma with honors, indicating my high achievement. I immediately got a positive response in the middle of August. I was so happy! My dream had come true. And I can finally share my feelings now that I'm here. I have only positive impressions because the training structure lets you plan your time management.

They don't just teach you to study in Germany. They also teach you to plan your time. You plan your learning process; you can take 10 subjects in your first semester and fewer in the second. It all depends on you.

All these international groups with people from all over the world are fascinating. I get to meet new people, talk about culture and languages, meet up, go to cafés, and travel. It's really cool. And it's also important to mention the internships the university offers you. You can also find them in big companies yourself. For example, I was a translator at an international motor vehicle exhibition in Munich. I met some famous people there. One of them was Niko Rosberg. He's a winning Formula 1 racer. I even met Angela Merkel and talked a little with her. Even now, I remember how worried I was, but it was a great experience for me.

After finishing university, I'll most likely use my job-seeking visa to find work in Germany. I want to stay here and work at an international company with a social mission. Something like the Red Cross to help interact with foreign partners.
How Univibes Helps You Get Admitted
We'll help you make the right choice when looking for the universities and programs with the highest chance of admission. We'll put together the university documents you need and help you write great motivational letters and letters of recommendation. It's important to ensure that you're genuinely interested in studying in this country and this program. We'll help you prepare a competitive application.

To evaluate your chances of being admitted and getting a scholarship, leave a request on our website, and one of our managers will provide you with a free consultation.
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