Germany has the largest national economy in Europe, the fourth-largest by nominal GDP in the world and a major business hub of Europe and this makes it a very big hangout for International students. Indian students looking for an international career can choose from various fields like engineering, technology, life sciences, sociology and many others. All major international masters and doctoral courses are conducted in English so language is no issue. Visa, expenditure, culture and day-to-day living are few areas which need a little more explanation which I would like to discuss in this post.
Here’s what you should know about getting a German student visa. The process can take somewhere between 3 weeks to 2 months depending on how well documented you are. Foreigner’s office (Ausländeramt) in Germany is the one which approves your visa and sends the green signal to German embassy in India. So it is recommended to start early in order to avoid any problems in the later stages. You will need the following documents before applying for the student visa:
- Visa application forms
- Visa fee draft of 60 euros
- Health Insurance from a German company
- Travel insurance
- Admission letter from your university or college
- A German bank “Blocked” account, preferably with “Deutsche bank” as it has the maximum number of cash vending machines here in Germany. This account should have approx. 7600 euros deposited in it as your annual living expenses initially.
- A confirmation (email or post) from German bank authorities regarding the deposit of money in the account.
- Parents’ income proof and bank accounts statements as well as a sponsorship letter from them
- Your travel tickets. You might get really good return tickets or open return deals if you can plan early and book in advance
Although the living expenditure vary from city to city (for e.g. Berlin is reasonable and Munich being expensive) but a rough estimate of expenditure is as follows:
- Room Rent (student hostel 200-300 €) [one time refundable deposit approx. 300 €]
- Tuition fee (roughly 300-500 € per semester)
- Monthly food (100-150 €)
Apart from the expenditure make sure you carry enough warm clothes with you including a thick jacket or an overcoat, gloves and an umbrella. As these items are not always available in your regular shops, I would recommend you to check out various online stores beforehand. This website offers many discount coupons for all the leading online stores and it is cheaper than buying from special retail shops or malls. Although there are many chemist shops (Apotheke) but you must carry emergency medicines with you. All kind of India food raw materials are available at the Indian stores here (in all major German cities). But it’s recommended if you can carry spices with you as spices there are expensive. Germany has a 2 pin socket system so make sure you have an appropriate adapter (aka European adapter) with you. You can find good electronics deals here.
Be it college work, group work, assignments or office work, it is taken very seriously in Germany. Punctuality has utmost importance and Germans would normally like to know things well in advance to avoid last minute hassles. It has one of the best working environments in the world and the German business culture is something every Indian can benefit from. International students can work part-time, support as working students or do internships while they are studying to gain first-hand experience as well as earn some pocket money. Since 2012, a student visa may permit you to work 120 full days or 240 half days per year with further additional work permit possibilities. When you have completed your masters, you may apply for job search visa which would again allow you to work for 6 months and simultaneously look for jobs suiting your background and study.