The Ultimate Guide to Studying Abroad in Germany

Authored By:

College Study Abroad

Here’s a stat you may not know: Nearly 12% of Germany’s student population is international. That’s proof that if you’re thinking of studying abroad in this historic country, you’re certainly not alone.  

Germany is known for being a welcoming destination for study abroad students. And the global interest is only growing.  

As you begin planning your German experience, you’ll want to refer to this Ultimate Guide to Studying Abroad in Germany. It offers you the why, where, how, and more of your German adventure. Keep reading! 

Why Study Abroad in Germany?  

Germany has built a reputation in the study abroad scene. The enthusiasm is based on Germany’s stellar university system, its rich and highly relevant history, the flourishing economy, and a whole lot more.  

In fact, this intellectual country has even been dubbed the “Land of Ideas,” – fitting, considering all that has come from Germany: the lightbulb, MP3, coffee filter, the world’s first car, the Petri dish, adhesive tape, the Christmas tree, and on and on. Imagine the ideas you will come up with studying in this creative and capable country! 

Of course, German schools consistently rank among the world’s finest and they draw people from around the globe. This means that as an international student, you will fit right in right away. And, with so many others in the same situation as you, making friends will be that much easier. 

Another bonus: As an international student living in Germany, you can easily travel throughout Europe using your student visa. Nice! 

famous landmark in berlin germany

How to Study Abroad in Germany 

Considering how to study abroad in Germany? There are so many ways to approach this kind of experience.  

To get you on the right track, we recommend you ask yourself these five questions: 

  1. Why do I want to study abroad in Germany? Maybe to experience the culture, or further your German language skills. Maybe it’s to boost your resume or develop practical skills as an international intern. Determine your “why” first and foremost. After that, the rest will start falling into place. 
  2. How long do I want to go abroad? You may have a lot of flexibility in your schedule, or maybe you don’t. Fortunately, we offer programs that are as short as 20 days, as long as 18 weeks, and a lot of others in between.  
  3. What program makes the most sense for my goals and degree? You can see the many opportunities we offer by saerching our Germany study abroad programs. Discover what’s right for you! 
  4. Am I eligible? Different programs have different requirements, such as GPA, language skills, etc. Don’t get your heart set on the program until you explore these requirements. 
  5. Can I afford it? Our fees go a long way and typically cover tuition, tours, excursions, orientation, on-site support, airport meet-and-greet, and more. We also offer millions of dollars in scholarships and grants each year based on financial need and merit. Your college’s study abroad advisor may also know of other avenues of financial support. Be sure to reach out to them for more information and guidance. 

spring semester study abroad students in berlin

Best Places to Study Abroad in Germany  

We can’t recommend Berlin enough as an epic study abroad destination. It’s every bit as modern and trendy as it is historically significant. Plus, its public transportation is excellent, green space is abundant, and the city itself is quite affordable, too. 

Study with CIEE in Berlin, and you will also get to experience: 

  • Day trips to rich historical sites and the palaces of Potsdam, Hamburg, and Dresden 
  • Excursions to the East Side Gallery section of the Berlin Wall, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, and the Brandenburg Gate 
  • Visits to famous landmarks like Checkpoint Charlie, the Jewish Museum Berlin, and the historic Mitte District 

And we haven’t yet mentioned the cafes, picturesque streets, and fabulous museums and theaters. Those are amazing, too!  

Packing List for Study Abroad in Germany  

Packing to study abroad in Germany shouldn’t be stressful, but it’s important to do a good job. Here are the must-haves for your journey. 

Essential documents: 

  • Passport + a photocopy (just in case) 
  • Visa + a photocopy  
  • A second form of valid ID (e.g., driver’s license or government-issued ID) 
  • Plane tickets  
  • Proof of health insurance 
  • Proof of CIEE enrollment 
  • Cash (Germany uses the Euro) and a credit card accepted in Germany 

Essential items: 

  • Comfortable walking shoes (ideally closed-toe and waterproof) 
  • Camera to capture Germany at all angles 
  • One nice outfit for special occasions 
  • Prescription medications (enough for the stay if possible) 
  • Preferred over-the-counter medications 
  • Prescription eyewear 
  • A reusable water bottle that you can fill up at the airport and use when on the go 
  • Travel adapters to charge your tech  
  • Sunglasses + sunblock (yes, even in winter!) 

A note about the weather: As you may imagine, German winters can dip below freezing, so be sure to pack warm clothes including sweaters, winter coats, gloves, and a hat. Summers are on the cool side, only reaching into the 70 degrees Fahrenheit range, so bring layers and a light jacket to be safe.  

welcome dinner in berlin for study abroad students

How Much Does It Cost to Study Abroad in Germany? 

Our German programs cost anywhere from $3,650 for January in Berlin to $20,950 for Global Architecture + Design, and many programs in between. But bear in mind, the CIEE fee includes quite a bit. Depending on your program, fees typically cover your: 

  • Tuition  
  • Housing 
  • Pre-departure advising 
  • Orientation 
  • On-site staff 
  • Cultural and co-curricular activities 
  • Excursions and study tours 
  • Travel protection 
  • 24/7 emergency on-site support 

Outside of that, you’ll be responsible for your: 

  • International airfare (about $500 - $900, depending on the time of year) 
  • Local transportation (about €200 per semester) 
  • Books and supplies (varies by program) 
  • Visas (€75) 
  • Meals (inexpensive eateries and discount markets are readily available) 
  • Personal expenses (that’s up to you!) 
  • Transcript from CIEE’s School of Record ($500) 

We mentioned our J-term and Global Architecture + Design programs in Berlin, but we also offer other great programs there, such as Summer Global Internship, Global Internship, Summer in Berlin, and Open Campus Block. 

study abroad students on an excursion in potsdam germany

Germany is calling! 

As you can see, there are so many study abroad opportunities in Germany, and we suggest you explore them all to find your best fit. Learn more about studying abroad in Germany by visiting our page all about CIEE’s Berlin programs. Danke!