Challenges That International Students Face in Germany

Germany has been an ideal destination for international students to study. Some of the perks of studying in the country include its high-quality education system, top-ranked universities, and excellent research facilities.

Challenges That International Students Face in Germany

Germany has a welcoming climate, warm sunshine, and an inexpensive lifestyle that captivates students from around the world. However, there are still challenges that international students face.

Here are some challenges that international students face in Germany and pointers for how you can overcome these challenges

Why Study in Germany?

International students choose to study in Germany for the following reasons:

1. High-Quality Educational System

Germany has become one of the most popular and attractive places for an international student to pursue their academic career.

An education well above the global average can be acquired here as they are famous for delivering high-quality education.

2. Uptight Security

Germany is a very safe country when compared to other countries.

If you decide to enjoy the city’s vibrant nightlife, you are safe as precautions are being taken.

3. A wide range of study programs

German Universities offer a diverse of programs for undergraduate and graduate studies. There’s a study program to suit every student’s needs.

4. Availability of English programmes

As an international with no knowledge of the German language, studying in Germany doesn’t mean you have to study in Germany!

You’ll easily find English-taught programs at most German universities for international students.

5. Low tuition fees

High tuition fees reduce a University’s population very often. The tuition fees of universities in Germany are lower compared to other countries.

This attracts many international students, as they can study at top-ranking universities at affordable tuition fees is available.

6. Scholarships

Financial aid and scholarship programs are made available to help finance your studies.

There are different options in German for financing your studies – both from private institutions and the state government.

Challenges That International Students Face in Germany  | Overview

Studying abroad in Germany is a dream come true, with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and cutting-edge technology.

However, beneath the surface, international students often have to navigate through a labyrinth of challenges that add a layer of complexity to their educational journey.

Language Barrier

First and foremost, there’s the formidable language barrier. The German language can be complex for those not raised with it.

From ordering local delicacies to understanding lecture materials, international students often need help in translation, leading to hilarious misunderstandings and cultural mishaps.

Cultural Differences

International students rapidly learn that this fascinating nation has its own unique set of cultural issues that both captivate and complicate their experience when they arrive in Germany.

Culture shock may be experienced by international students when they first arrive as they find adjusting to the local food, customs, and social norms difficult.

They tend to feel disoriented and confused. Adapting to Germany’s unique culture may take a while, which is one of the challenges that international students face in Germany.

Language Barrier

Most courses are taught in German, as one of the challenges that International students face in Germany.

Students who do not speak German find it challenging to understand lectures, participate in discussions, and complete coursework, though some programs are in English.

Students from countries where Gerrman is not the primary language find it more difficult.

The Bureaucracy

Dealing with paperwork and visa procedures can frequently feel like traversing a maze of red tape.

The means of sending and receiving important documents could be more efficient and faster.

Forms, appointments, and document submissions creep into students’ daily schedules, such as they have to go to the offices in the early hours of the day to queue, especially if the students need the services urgently.

Cashless payment

Germany has a very strong cash culture. There are a lot of establishments that do not accept cashless payments.

This can be because of several reasons, like the protection of personal data, security, and the confidentiality of payments. This becomes a challenge that International Students face in Germany.

Social Isolation

Germans don’t mix well. They frequently associate with familiar faces. Parties frequently feature in-depth discussions of a certain topic.

It is much more typical for couples to part ways at social gatherings, even significant ones like weddings.

Academic Demands

The academic curriculum for German universities is rigorous, and professors expect students to take responsibility for their learning and demonstrate independent thinking.

A student who prioritizes memorization finds this system challenging.


You’ll need to find a place to live while studying in Germany. Housing options will vary depending on where you decide to study abroad in Germany, though demand for student housing exceeds the supply.

Students who speak something other than German may find it challenging to navigate the housing market and understand rental agreements while seeking an affordable and suitable house.

Steps to Apply to German Universities

To apply for admission to a German university, you need to:

  • Choose a university
  •  Visit the University website.
  •  Choose a course at a preferred German University.
  •  Read course eligibility criteria.
  •  Check admission requirements.
  •  Prove German language proficiency.
  •  Prepare financial means.
  •  Apply
  •  Get a German student visa
  •  Find accommodation
  •  Enrol and settle into student life in Germany.

Scholarships Available for International Students in Germany

DAAD Scholarship

Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst is a joint organization of Germany’s higher education institutions that offers fully funded scholarships for international students.

The stipend amount of the DAAD scholarship is 850€ monthly for postgraduate students and 1,200€ monthly for doctoral students.

Heinrich Böll Foundation Scholarships

Scholarships for international students, especially those pursuing STEM subjects.

The Heinrich Böll Foundation offers over 1,200 scholarships annually to qualified undergraduates, graduates, and doctoral students of all subjects and nationalities.

International students for the master’s degree program will receive 850€ per month, in addition to individual allowances (tuition fees might be possible).

International Ph.D. Applicant, on the other hand, will receive 1,200€ per month, in addition to a monthly 100€ mobility allowance and other individual allowances (excluding tuition fees)

Erasmus Scholarship Programs

This scholarship covers international students with a strong academic record and social commitment from the European Union and partner countries to study in Germany.

Erasmus is a good choice for international students to study in a full-time study program in Germany.

The grants will cover the enrollment, travel, and basic living costs.

The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Scholarship

The scholarship is for international students in an undergraduate or graduate program in Germany.

Scholarship holders in undergraduate courses will receive a monthly amount of 830€. Those in master’s degree programs will receive 850€ per month and health insurance costs.


Studying in Germany can be an amazing experience, but it can also be difficult if you don’t speak the language.

Accept the challenge, educate yourself on the fundamentals, treat everyone respectfully, and be patient.

You’ll quickly understand that if you can manage learning and living in a place where the language is not your native tongue, you will become stronger and be able to handle nearly anything else life throws at you.

 Disadvantages of Studying in Germany?

Many public universities in Germany need more facilities, for instance, getting access to high-tech computer labs or well-run student centres. Even when they are available, these amenities could be expensive for students.

Is Germany Friendly to International Students?

Germany is one of the major academic hubs for international students from all over the world. It is home to top-ranked universities whose globally valued degrees promise high employability and excellent student experience.

What Are the Challenges of German Education?

Students’ lack of creativity, lack of flexibility, and lack of future perspective are three of the main issues. First, pupils’ inventiveness is not encouraged in the Japanese educational system. The fundamental reason is the setting of requirements for university entrance exams.

What Is the Biggest Challenge of Studying Abroad?

Financial strain, language barriers, homesickness, acclimating to a new environment, and establishing support networks are five major challenges faced by international students who relocate away from home to a new country.

What Is the Biggest Issue Facing Students Today?

People may struggle to manage their emotions when balancing relationships, extracurricular activities, work commitments, and classes. Due to excessive stress, other students may become lethargic, depressed, or have trouble sleeping.

Is It Good to Study in Germany as a Foreigner?

Studying in Germany is advantageous as some students are drawn to Germany because of its strict academic standards others because of its extensive cultural legacy, packed with history and art galleries.

What Is Difficult About Living in Germany?

High rents and the rising cost of living are a challenge for Germans.

How Much International Students Can Earn in Germany?

Your monthly income could reach 450 euros. To get the minimum wage of 9.50 euros per hour, you must work a maximum of eleven hours per week or about 47 hours per month. If you are a full-time student, you are free from paying taxes and social security contributions on this amount.

Can You Get a Job in Germany With a Student Visa?

A work permit can be granted if applied to enable you to work up to 11 hours per week with a German student visa.

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