Best Colleges In Germany

Last Updated on January 2, 2023 by

Are you an ambitious student from the US who is considering options to study abroad and Germany has caught your attention? However, you have no or little idea as to what are the best colleges in Germany for American students.

Over 416,000 current international students in Germany, including over 6,800 American students can relate to your situation right now.

Best Colleges In Germany

Technical University of Munich

Surely, the Technical University of Munich could not miss in this list. To the people of the state of Bavaria, this institution has historically been more than a university, but a supplier to its modern industrial age. Shortly referred to as TUM, this amazing institution is considered one of the best in Germany and by no doubt one of the best in the world.

No matter what area you’re interested to study, you will certainly find a course that will match your personal preferences. If the academic German language seems particularly difficult for you, then there are a lot of degrees taught in English. And the best thing of all is that you’ll get to pay much lower than you would in the US colleges.

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Located in the heart of the beautiful city of Munich, Ludwig Maximilian University is valued as one of the best research and education center in this area. Their academic excellence has gained attention from many talented students all over the world, including US students.

At this amazing college, you’ll have unlimited options for your studies because their course scheme covers almost every study discipline and subject. Many of degrees and study programs offered here are taught in English to help you measure up to academic demands since day one.

Your studying experience in a wonderful European city like Munich, along with other thousand international students, will help you get a different perspective over your professional and personal matters. The icing cake of all this is that you will afford the cost of studying at the Ludwig Maximillian University of Munich with ease.

University of Heidelberg

Founded in 1386, the University of Heidelberg is the oldest in Germany. Ever since its foundation, this university has produced outstanding individuals in different study areas. Today it ranks among the best universities in Germany and it attracts a large number of international students. Based on official data, over 5,400 students or 18% of the entire student population at the University of Heidelberg are foreigners. In accordance with their international outlook, the university provides numerous degrees taught in English. On top of that, international fees applied here are easy to afford for US students.

Free University of Berlin

One of the eleventh universities of Excellence in Germany, the Free University of Berlin is definitely one of the best in Germany. What differentiates this university with the rest is a strong international cooperation in higher education. The university maintains an extensive network of offices abroad, including the one in New York. No wonder why many international students, including the US students, aim to go to this fantastic university.

The wide variety of degrees offered here are an assurance you’ll find something that will suit your personal academic goals. Another good thing about this college is that there are many courses taught in English, so you won’t have to spend time and money attending intensive German language courses.

Most importantly, in contrast to US colleges where you’ll need to pay a ton of money for your education the cost of studying at the Free University of Berlin is very affordable. Currently, all international students are charged no tuition fees, but you will still have to pay the “semester contribution” which is around 310 per semester.

University of Freiburg

Study programs at the University of Freiburg cover a broad array of study disciplines including humanities, natural sciences, engineering, medicine, law and technology. Alongside a top quality education, you’re also going to receive a unique international experience because foreign students share a significant proportion of enrolled students at this university.

Among plenty of study programs offered at the University of Freiburg, many of them are taught in English. This will enable you to catch the pace of the curriculum of your studies in no time.

The University of Freiburg is among German higher education providers that have reintroduced tuition fees. However, the cost of studying at this college remains low compared to thousands of dollars you would have to pay in the US. Semester fees at the University of Freiburg amount to 1,500 per semester at maximum plus the “semester contribution” which is around €150.

RWTH Achen University

RWTH Aachen University is by no doubt one of the best colleges in Germany. If you decide to study at this amazing university you can choose from a wide variety of study programs. In many of them, English is the language of instruction so you won’t have to spend money and time undertaking a German language course.

Also, international students here pay no tuition fees. The only cost you will have to cover will be administrative costs, which will account for just a few hundred euros. And surely studying abroad in Germany is not all about getting your degree. The beautiful city of Aachen has a lot to offer and you’re going to enjoy your time there.

Karlsruhe Insitute of Technology

Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH and the University of Karlsruhe united in a single unity which is today known as the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in 2009 under the mission of becoming a top-ranked university. Until now they have been extremely successful in reaching their goals as KIT is found alongside the best German colleges.

In the past year, the university has also gained a strong position in the international market, attracting thousands of international students each year. This is mainly due to top quality education, English-taught degrees and affordable costs.

University of Bonn

The University of Bonn prides itself as one of the best colleges in Germany and their reputation has long exceeded national borders. Out of the total of 34,000 students attending this amazing university, around 4,000 of them are international students coming from over 125 different countries of the world.

The university offers a large number of international programs and many of them are taught in English. The cost of living in Bonn is easy to afford compared to most big cities in Germany, let alone those in the US. In the end, your degree in Bonn will help you land a good job and initiate a successful career be it in the US or elsewhere.

University of Stuttgart

More than 26,000 students are shared between ten faculties that consist of the famous University of Stuttgart. As a research-oriented university, study programs at this university are designed to provide you with a wide range of practical skills.

The University of Stuttgart is located in the state of Bade Wurttemberg, where tuition fees for international students are reintroduced. However, the cost of studying at this university will be very small compared to other countries. The range of international fees goes from 1,600 to 2,500 per academic year.

Universitat Hamburg

Universitat Hamburg identifies itself as the largest educational institution in Northern Germany. Over 170 degree programs are taught in its eight faculties accounting for a wide variety of study choices. Despite that it provides a globally recognized education, studying at the Universitat Hamburg comes at a low price. All you will need to pay are the administrative costs known as semester contribution which at maximum can reach €330.

Steps To Study In Germany For Free For International Students

Often described as a land of ideas and opportunities, Germany is one of the most sought-after study destinations for international students for its access to free education among the Public Universities in Germany. Studying in Germany for free is one of the major factors that has put Germany on the global education map for it sees a large number of international students wanting to study in Germany.  

The majority of state-funded universities offer free of charge higher education programs. Some highly specialized courses, however, might attract tuition fees. Candidates are only required to pay an administration fee at the start of each year when admitted to a Public University in Germany. As of October 2014, all public universities across the country have been asked to abolish tuition fees for their undergraduate and graduate courses. Almost all universities in Germany are state-owned educational institutions, offering candidates the same advantage of no tuition fee, even as an international aspirant.

Why study in Germany?

Apart from the obvious fact that the tuition fee is waived off for candidates, thus allowing students to study in Germany for free. Studying in Germany would also allow students to have access to high-quality education, affordable courses, and reap the benefits of a robust economy. Students looking to pursue higher education in Germany have the benefit of being able to choose from a large pool of programmes and schools. Students can choose from hundreds of UG courses, offered in the country by all kinds of institutions of higher education such as business schools, art schools, colleges, technical colleges, universities, and universities of technology which are both private-run and state-funded.

Steps to Studying in Germany for Free

Students wanting to study in Germany for free are required to adhere to the following steps to be able to achieve the same.

  1. Course Selection
  2. University/College Selection
  3. Tuition Costs (if any) and Blocked Account
  4. Living and accommodation costs
  5. Apply
  6. Get your German Student Visa
  7. Taking off and life in Germany

Selecting the course of your choice

It is very important for students wanting to study in Germany to be able to select the course of their choice. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has a database of over 17,000 programs for candidates to choose from and these are being offered by the top universities in Germany. Of these, around 88 programs are taught in the English language. Hence, it is always advisable for a candidate wanting to study in the Public Universities in Germany to have a working knowledge of the German language before applying. Candidates can check the course content and university details from the official websites of the colleges and apply accordingly. The universities in Germany have dual in-takes in one calendar year, i.e. in the months of January and September. However, there are very limited admissions for the January session.

When to start applying to universities in Germany?

Once you have selected your course, the next thing is to start looking at German Universities and enrolling in your school of choice. While every college would have different admission eligibility, it is important for candidates to have their academic transcripts, work experience (depending on the course), GRE/GMAT Scores, English test scorecards, LOR, and SOP ready before applying to the German universities. Since this article talks about studying in Germany for free, students should note that this is most prevalent across public universities in the country. Hence, candidates would be required to have a basic understanding of the German language because applicants would require it in general during their tenure in Germany and also during the visa process. There are standardized language tests of German proficiency for non-native German speakers such as (TestDAF) as well as university level (DSH) exams, which applicants may be required to appear for to prove their German Language skills. 

What is the cost of studying in Germany?

The cost of studying in Germany is free in Public Universities. However, students would be required to pay an administration fee at the start of every year/ semester. This is a negligible amount. The Germans take their education system very seriously and have everything calculated to the last cent. Every year, according to the prevailing economic conditions as well as the relevant fees structure, every university would request that a monthly sum be provided for the student to facilitate their living expenses in the country as well as for completing his education, this money is deposited in a Blocked Account. This usually varies from state to state and is about €853 a month, which would roughly amount to €10,236 for an entire academic session. This would include their accommodation, living expenses, and even travel pass costs.

Students wanting to apply for financial aid or assistance can apply for the various scholarships for studying in Germany and also apply for an education loan to study in Germany. Students can also apply for part-time jobs in Germany and benefit from their noteworthy post-study work options in Germany in place for the benefit of international students.

What are the living and accommodation costs in Germany?

The cost of living in Germany would depend largely on where the student is residing in Germany. If the candidate opts for one of the famous cities of Germany, then the accommodation in Germany could vary greatly and can go as high as €400 per month for a single room accommodation in cities like Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, or even the famous university towns of Heidelberg. These cities do have cheaper options available in terms of Residence Halls for students but being the country with the third-largest International student population, it does have its shortcomings.

In other words, finding a place in residence halls would be a challenge. The idea, hence, to curtail your cost of living in Germany is to either find a university in the lesser-known cities or start early and aim to find a place in one of the cheaper accommodations. The rest of the expenses and overheads are fairly similar across Germany. Adding to the expense of studying in Germany are the mandatory Health Insurance as well as miscellaneous expenses that are uniform.


Once, you have successfully decided on your university of choice and zeroed in on the course of your liking and sorted your expenses. Your next step would be to apply. It is highly recommended to start the application process weeks before the official application deadline, as this would provide the aspirant ample time to fill in his application form and avoid any last-minute hassle. Candidates who are looking for an education loan to study in Germany are required to keep all extra documents in place for ease of application submission. Candidates are requested to furnish all information as accurately as possible for a smooth application transaction.

How to apply for a German Student Visa?

To stay in Germany for more than 90 days as a student, candidates are required to get a residence permit or a student visa for Germany. Candidates would be required to prove to the visa officer that they have finances for one year in a Blocked Account as mentioned previously. The amount would be €861 per month or €10,332 per annum. A residence permit issued to students is valid for a maximum of two years. It needs to be renewed if the duration of the course is longer than the stated two years. Once your university admit letter has reached you and you have successfully applied for a German Student Visa, the next and final step is leaving for Germany to pursue your dreams.

How is Life in Germany?

Once the application has been accepted and VISA stamped, candidates, have to only fly out and reach their dream destination of studying in Germany. It would be a little difficult for students who would be flying out to a foreign land for the first time, however, the warm nature of the Germans would make students feel at home, the moment they land. Beautiful landscapes, extra-curricular activities, and robust nightlife would keep students far from feeling lonely in a foreign land. Germany has a robust industry and fresh graduates can benefit from jobs in Germany in their related fields.

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