International students in Germany


What makes Germany so attractive to overseas students?

Germany ranks fourth in the world’s top study destinations after the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Students are attracted by the many benefits offered by German universities such as exceptional teaching standards, low tuition fees, secure campus sites and a high standard of living. Add the chance to learn a new language and come away with a specialist education that will assure them of greater career prospects and it’s easy to see why students from around the globe choose Germany.

Young Students

Younger students from the Eastern European bloc and other developing countries find German universities particularly attractive. Low tuition fees are economically viable in comparison to the higher fees at universities in the UK or the US. Low fees mean that graduates enjoy smaller loan repayments that allow careers and earnings to increase at a faster pace. Many younger students don’t want to study in countries where costly tuition means that they are effectively mortgaging their long-term prospects.


The number of international students in Germany rose from 100,033 in 1997 to 189,450 in 2006 with a steady increase each year according to a survey conducted by the German National Association for Student Affairs (Deutsches Studentenwerk or DSW). 51% of those studying in Germany were from other European countries and about 32% from Asia. A small percentage of overseas students came from the US or Africa and about 0.2% from Australia.

German students are also drawn to overseas study and in 2006, 75,800 of them chose universities abroad. These numbers seem to indicate that German students are more likely to study abroad than their peers from other industrialised countries and that the number of international students coming to Germany increases on an annual basis.