Study in Germany for Free


Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on Jun 18, 2022 03:07 PM IST

Ever thought of studying your dream course abroad with zero-tuition fees? This seems next to impossible, isn't it? But Germany has proved it possible. The country offers a range of courses for free. Check out the article below for more details.

Study in Germany for Free

Germany, often regarded as the land of ideas and opportunities, has joined the league of nations like the United States, United Kingdom and Australia in terms of providing quality education. The country has always been a study hub for most Indian and other foreign students. Several public universities in Germany run with a belief that every student has a right to learn - even if they have to allow it for free.

Almost all the public universities provide free education in Germany for Indian students. This has made the country one of the top preferences for international students. Its excellent high-tech education, wide range of courses with no to less tuition fees, and affordable cost of living is creating a buzz in the education industry. However, there are a lot of foreign students, who still do not have an idea how Germany provides access to free education for foreign students or how they can study in Germany for free.

Is Education Free in Germany?

Undoubtedly, yes. Education in Germany is mostly free. International students are only needed to pay for their living expenses, which makes their stay quite affordable in the country as related to other study abroad destinations. This is one of the major factors that has captivated not only Indian students but also other foreign candidates to study in Germany.

Apart from the fact that Germany offers free education for Indian students, the country is also known for its high-quality education and culture. Several international students are considered not only for their zero-tuition fees scheme but also for their post-study job opportunities in Germany.

Although international students can study for free in Germany, there is a fee charged every semester that ranges between EUR 200 - 500 per semester. The fees vary as per courses and universities. With this, they are also entitled to a lot of benefits like a bus pass, rail pass, library fees and many more things.

Want to Study in Germany for Free?

Like every other nation, Germany also has two types of universities - public and private. A huge number of footfalls can be witnessed every year for public universities in Germany due to its low-cost education with no compromise in quality. While private universities are a bit more expensive as compared to public universities. They also have smaller class sizes with high quality of education standards. So, it is better to do thorough research before applying to any of the universities.

Universities Offering Free Education in Germany

Over 3,000 universities exist in the country, out of which 350-400 institutes provide free education in Germany for Indian students. These universities either run with a no-tuition fees policy or charge very low to a bare minimum service fee. Let us check out some of the top universities that provide free education in Germany for Indian students:


Tuition Fees

Semester Fees (in EUR)

University of Cologne



Ludwig Maximilians University Munich



University of Erlangen-Nuremberg



Technical University of Munich



Julius Maximilian University of Wrzburg



RWTH Aachen University



Ruhr University Bochum



Goethe University



University of Mnster



Note: The list of universities given above does not charge any tuition for most of the courses. However, some universities may charge a minimal tuition fee along with a semester fee depending on the type of programme and course. Laboratory-based courses or medical programmes may incur additional charges. Thus, students are advised to check the university website and respective course pages for details information regarding tuition and semester fee.

Steps to Study in Germany for Free

Maximum state-funded institutions offer free education in Germany for Indian students and other foreign candidates. Certain universities waive tuition fees or provide scholarships that help pay the entire tuition fees for these students. So, to avail of this fantastic learning scheme in the country, international students have to follow a few steps to apply to renowned universities in Germany:

Select University

There are over 300 universities in Germany that offer free education to Indian and other international students. Certain institutes ask for GRE or GMAT scores, English proficiency test (if applying for English-taught programmes), Statement of Purpose (SOP), Letter of Recommendation (LOR), etc while applying for admission. While some universities also require a basic knowledge of the German language. For this, international students can take TestDAF to showcase and prove their German language skills.

Select the Right Course

It all begins with the right course selection. Choose the course that the candidate wants to pursue in Germany. The country serves a plethora of courses i.e over 17,000 programmes to study in Germany for international students. Most of the courses are conducted in the German language, so make sure to check which programmes are available in English as a medium of instruction.

Check Tuition Fees

As it has been clear as of now that German universities offer low to zero cost education to international students, there are still a few that charge tuition fees. Not all the universities in the country offer free education, so it is better to check the tuition fee and other details related to payment before applying. Even if the college does not require any tuition fees, the candidate still has to show their bank statement and deposit money in the blocked account. This amount varies from state to state.

Check Accommodation and Living Cost

The average monthly expenses of an international student highly depend on the accommodation and living costs. If the student is living in a cheap city like Berlin or Cologne, then the expenses are much less compared to students living in Munich or Frankfurt. So, if a student wants to save money, they can also go to residence halls. However, for this, they have to apply early as maximum students prefer this option.

Apply for the University and Course

Once the student has decided, now it's time to apply for the perfect university and course. Start the application process and fill in all the required details. Attach all the documents and submit the application before the deadline. After receiving the acceptance letter, candidates should quickly apply for a German student visa.

Scholarships to Study in Germany for Free

Apart from providing free education in Germany for Indian students, the country offers a range of scholarships across the world. These scholarships back the international students by waiving their tuition fees. Here are some of the prominent scholarships through which students can minimise their tuition fees to get an education at a bare minimum cost:

  • DAAD Scholarship Programs: This scholarship is specially designed for students pursuing masters and doctorate courses.

  • Deutschland Stipendium National Scholarship Programme: This scholarship is available for all programmes.

  • The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Scholarship: This scholarship is specifically for doctorate programmes.

  • Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Scholarships in Germany for International Students: It is for students pursuing postgraduate, doctorate and research programmes.

  • Heinrich Bll Foundation Scholarships: This scholarship is for students pursuing undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate programmes.

What is the Cost Of Living in Germany for International Students?

As there are barely any tuition fees at public universities, the cost of living for international students in Germany generally hovers around EUR 700 per month. The average cost of living includes food, rent, transportation and other miscellaneous expenses.

Generally, international students prefer to study in Berlin, Hamburg or Cologne, which are one of the cheapest cities in Germany. In these cities, international students can get food and accommodation at a much lower cost. On the other hand, Munich and Frankfurt are a bit more expensive places to live.

Below we have given an overview of the typical cost of living in Germany for international students:


Average Cost/ Month (in EUR)

Rent and utilities

300 - 500

Food and drink

200 - 250

Health insurance


Phone and internet



50 - 100

On average, a student's monthly cost of living can be EUR 700 - 850 depending largely on which city they are living in and what rent cost.

Student Visa for Free Education in Germany for Indian Students

Like every other foreign destination, international students need to apply for a residence permit or student visa in Germany. To stay more than 90 days (three months) in the country, foreign students need to demonstrate to the immigration officer that they have sufficient funds in a Blocked Account for one year. The minimum amount varies as per state.

An international student's study permit has a validity of two years. However, if the course is longer than the specified two years, then foreign students can renew their visas accordingly. Make sure to keep all the visa-related documents in Germany, including the previous academic qualifications, test scores and acceptance letter as the immigration officers can ask for verification.

Availing of free education, especially in a foreign country, is always a dream for various students. Fulfilling the same, Germany has given access to free education to thousands of international students who wanted to pursue their dream courses at a bare minimum cost.

Students who are aspiring to study abroad with zero to no cost can definitely add Germany to their top study abroad destinations. The country is not only famous for providing high-quality education at a low cost, but also for its culture and lifestyle which makes it more comfortable for international students to feel at homein the country.

Get Help in Applying toTop Universities in Germany for Free!


Can Indian students study in Germany for free?

Yes, Indian students can study in Germany for free. Germany is one of the cheapest countries that provide a free or affordable cost of education to international students. Indian students can study in Germany for free, just like students from other parts of the world, if they are able to secure a seat in one of the public universities. Only a small semester fee of between EUR 250 to EUR 500 is needed to pay instead of tuition fees.

What are the eligibility criteria for Indian students to study in Germany for free?

The following are the eligibility criteria for Indian students to study in Germany for free:

  • Minimum marks: Candidates must earn at least 85% or a 9.0 CGPA in class 12 for admission in undergraduate courses.

  • Minimum IELTS score: For undergraduate programmes in Germany, applicants must have an IELTS score of at least 6.5 or above.

  • Minimum TOEFL score: A minimum TOEFL score of 90+ is necessary in order to get admitted to undergraduate programmes in Germany.

  • Language Proficiency: A strong command of the German language is also required for admission to German universities.

Is studying in Germany worth it for Indian students?

Definitely, studying in Germany is worth it for Indian students. Germany is a great place to study for students looking for affordable international education. Indian students receive a lot of exposure in German universities, including free instruction and top-notch training, particularly in STEM fields.

Can I work while studying in Germany?

Yes, you can work while studying in Germany as per your visa restrictions. Students can work part-time while studying at any German university as per the government and visa rules. Usually, students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week while studying. International can work for 120 full days or 240 half days per year while continuing with their full-time education.

Do all German universities provide free education?

No, all German universities do not provide free education. Tuition-free education is available at only a majority of public universities in Germany. However, candidates are required to cover extra costs. Some governmental and private institutions charge tuition that is quite modest but this differs from one university to another.

How much does it cost for international students to study in Germany?

It costs around EUR 300 (INR 25,000) for international students to study in Germany. International students are required to pay the university about EUR 250 per semester as a semester fee. Candidates must also pay the authorities an administrative fee of EUR 50. Making the total cost of attending school in Germany well around EUR 300, or approximately INR 25,000.

Is admission to free German universities competitive for international students?

Yes, admission to free German universities is can be competitive for international students. In comparison to leading universities in the United States and Canada, German universities have a higher acceptance rate. Since the influx of applications increases every year, the competition to get into top German universities gets tough. However, if you have good scores and the required language proficiency, then by applying early you get ahead of the other applicants and increase your chances of selection.

What are the free universities in Germany for Indian students?

Here is a list of free universities in Germany for Indian students that offer all undergraduate courses as well as some postgraduate programmes:

  • Albert Ludwig University

  • Dresden University of Technology

  • University of Bonn

  • Bundeswehr University Munich

  • Karlsruher Institute of Technology

  • University of Hamburg

Can I study in Germany for free without IELTS?

Yes, you can study in Germany for free without IELTS as standardised test scores are not the only way to prove English proficiency. There are several German universities where you can get admission without providing an IELTS score or TOEFL score if your previous education's Medium of Instruction (MOI) was English. Learn more about studying in Germany without IELTS here.

What are the requirements for Indian students to study in Germany for free after the 12th?

Although eligibility requirements will vary depending on courses and universities, there are some general prerequisites which are mostly required by all universities abroad. The following are the requirements for Indian students to study in Germany for free after the 12th:

  • Mark sheets with at least 55 – 60% marks in class 12th

  • Proof of English language proficiency 

  • A valid passport

  • Letters of recommendation (LORs)

  • Curriculum vitae (CV)

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