Germany Student Visa
Since its reunification in 1989, Germany is once again one of the largest countries in Europe with Berlin as its capital once more. Without doubt Germany contains many geographical features varying from coast if of the Baltic and North seas to the ecosystem of the Alps.
Germany's 357,000 sq km are home to some 82 million people with almost 80% living in urban areas. Germany is divided into 16 federal provinces (Bundesländer). German is the main language spoken, although local German dialects can be prevalent.
Germany’s climate is almost as varied as its countryside but is mostly temperate. Extreme lows and highs in temperatures are rare. Winter temperatures vary from east to west, with around freezing temperatures in the west and well below freezing in eastern Germany. Summer temperatures in Germany are typically between 20 and 30°C, with more rainfall during the summer months.
Primary education usually lasts for four years and public schools are not stratified at this stage. In contrast, secondary education includes four types of schools based on a pupil's ability as determined by teacher recommendations: the Gymnasium includes the most gifted children and prepares students for university studies; the Realschule has a broader range of emphasis for intermediary students; the Hauptschule prepares pupils for vocational education, and the Gesamtschule or comprehensive school combines the three approaches. There are also so called Förderschulen where ca. every 21. pupil is put into. They couldn't be integrated in other schools because they are bodily disabled or have a learning disablity.
In order to enter a university, high school students are required to take the Abitur examination, however students possessing a diploma from a vocational school may also apply to enter.
The academic year is divided into two semesters or terms. The summer semester usually runs from April 1 to September 30, the winter semester lasts from October 1 to March 31. The semester may begin or end one month earlier at some universities of applied science. About a third of the academic year consists of breaks, time away from the lecture halls. But these months can hardly be called vacation though; you'll need the time to write research papers, work on presentations and finish your homework. Some professors schedule examinations or tests during this time. You may also need the time to acquire work experience through internships.
University education is divided into general studies and a period of specialization later on. The general education part offers students the tools they need and teaches the basics of scientific work in the discipline they have chosen to study. In many schools, general education ends after four semesters with an intermediate examination. Your specialization begins after passing the intermediate exam. For the next two or three years, students are taught detailed, specialized information about the discipline they have chosen as their major course of study. A final examination is held before graduation.
There are many different ways to study and teach at German universities: lectures, seminars, and study groups, for instance. But they all have one thing in common, which newcomers often find confusing - events don't always start at the time listed. If it says "c.t." (cum tempore) after the time on a schedule, then the event begins a quarter of an hour after the time listed. So if it says a lecture begins at "12:00 c.t." don't even bother to show up before 12:15 (unless you want to secure your favorite front-row seat in the auditorium). The abbreviation "s.t." is short for sine tempore, and that means that the event starts at the actual time listed.
Certificates are needed in order to successfully complete a degree. They are proof of participation in a seminar, lecture or practical examination. Audit certificates are awarded for simply being present. Other certificates must be earned through homework, giving a report or taking an examination. The examination regulations for each subject details which certificates you have to have before you can sign up for an intermediate examination or your graduate exams.
Cheap accommodation relieves the strain on your student budget enormously. The rent, on average about 250 Euro per month, is the largest monthly expense for students. However, the amount of rent depends mainly on the type of accommodation and the place of study; especially in the New Länder (East Germany) the average rents are lower and a room in student accommodation is also cheaper than a room or a flat on the independent housing market.
In urban areas and the classic university towns there is very little cheap accommodation. Especially at the beginning of term it is often difficult to find cheap rooms and flats. Begin as soon as you can with your flat search!
Students on an exchange programme often have it easier than the students who organise their studies in Germany themselves. This is because they are usually provided a room in student accommodation. Enquire at your university in Germany!
You can find accommodation at your university. The “notice-boards” are usually crammed with offers of accommodation.
Types of accommodation in residential housing:
As a rule accommodation on the independent housing market is more expensive than student accommodation. Moreover flats and rooms in Germany are almost always unfurnished, which means extra costs for furniture. In addition landlords demand a rent guarantee/deposit of three months' rent at the beginning of the term of rent. So, when you first start to rent your expenses are rather high. The deposit is returned to you when you move out of the flat providing you leave it in an orderly condition.
Offers of flats and rooms can be found in daily newspapers, for example, on notice boards at the universities and on online accommodation markets. You should also take a look at the local town's magazine! They are often aimed at young people, so you will find plenty of offers for flat shares.
List of Universities and Collages: