Germany is home to many international students because, not only does the Bundesland boast of quality education and research, tuition in the government institutions is quite affordable for the ordinary citizen and for us, international students.
Germans speak German and some speak very fluent English – but this is very dependent on the region you go to. I came to study in Munich and most people speak English as a second language.
Before applying to your institution
Do your research! Just because education is affordable does not mean you should apply to just any university. Research about the university, the programmes they offer and very important how diverse the university is.
I searched for universities using this website. It provides a brief summary of the courses taught, language of instruction and tuition fee if applicable for, i believe, all the universities in Germany.
Each university has a different application process. Check when applications open and the deadline. If you have to send any document by post, ensure that it gets to them before the deadline.
Documents received even a day after the deadline are usually not considered.
Before interview at the embassy
- Go to the German Embassy website to book your appointment for your interview as soon as you receive your admission letter. Do not delay this step! The appointment times get filled up quick. Visa processing for studies takes approximately 8 weeks so factor this in when selecting your interview date.
- Get all your documents together.
Because I was being sponsored by my dad, he had to be present with me at the embassy. Both you and your sponsor will be interviewed. One at a time.
Submitted all documents requested and the consular officer at that time asked a couple of questions. I do not clearly remember these questions but I was along the line of what i studied for my bachelors, why i wanted to study at my chosen university, who would finance my studies and a summary of my course.
After the questions, she asked me to call dad to come in.
My sponsors interview
My dad was asked his relation to me and to confirm that he is indeed sponsoring.
After the interview
I was contacted by the embassy via email a month later to transfer money into a bank in Germany, Deutsche Bank. I remember being so unsure of the status of my application and had to write to them to ask about my application.
I will leave the money transfer process out since it is no longer the case. Students now (2018) have to open an account with Fintiba in Germany or an internationally recognized bank in Ghana.
Go back to the embassy as soon as you receive confirmation of your payment from your bank. They will collect the confirmation and add it to your documents to be processed.
You have to wait for them to contact you via email or phone some weeks later to bring along the following documents:
- Confirmation of ticket reservation to Germany
- Proof of health insurance for 90 days
You will be contacted again when your passport is ready for collection.
My Timeline (2013)
09.05.13 – Submitted application
12.06.13 – Notice from university to submit missing documents
08.07.13 – Acceptance letter received
30.07.13 – Interview at Embassy
07.08.13 – Confirmation of new account with Deutsche Bank
12.09.13 – Request to transfer money to Deutsche Bank account
26.09.13 – Arrival in Germany
03.10.13 – First day of uni
–> 8 weeks from interview date
Another Timeline (2018)
21.11.17 – Submitted application
18.01.18 – Skype Interview with University
23.01.18 – Acceptance letter received from university
31.01.18 – Interview at Embassy
07.02.18 – Request to transfer money to Fintiba account
12.02.18 – Money transferred
17.02.18 – Confirmation of money received
21.03.18 – Arrival in Germany
01.04.18 – First day of uni
–> 7 weeks from interview date
The embassy does take a lot of time to process your study visa. It is important to apply on time!