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13 Best Universities in Germany for International Students

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Which are the best universities in Germany for international students? Is Germany the best place to pursue your ambitions to study abroad? Let’s find out.

Regarding studying abroad, Germany has always featured among the best international study destinations globally. With over 400 globally recognized universities offering more than 15,000 study programs, it’s evident why the country has become so popular for international students. 

The country surpassed its goal of 350,000 new foreign students, three years in advance, in 2017. With so many great universities available, finding the ideal university is never easy for students wishing to study in Germany.

That’s why we’ve compiled this list for you. It lists some of the best universities in Germany for international students and the reasons why. Browse through and see which one best fits your preferences and education goals.

Top Universities in Germany for International Students

1. Technical University of Munich

Technical University of Munich

This public research university is among the top universities in Germany and Europe at large. For any international student studying in Germany, TUM should be at the top of your priority list. It is popular for its commitment to teaching, research, and talent promotion.

The university has over 42,000 students in all its 15 faculties. And of these, 32% are international students. Therefore, when we say that German universities are home to international students, we seriously mean that.  

The Technical University of Munich always appears ahead of the pack whenever teaching excellence is mentioned. It was among the first German universities to acquire the “University of Excellence” title. It also ranks position 55 globally, according to the QS World University Rankings.

You can choose TUM if you aspire to pursue any of these degree programs.

  • Computer science
  • Architecture
  • Chemistry
  • Construction geo environment
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Medicine
  • Mathematics

Browse for all the degree programs that the university offers here.

2. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich Building

Another great university in Munich, Germany! The university hosts around 17% (5,822) of international students in its various degree programs. And it offers numerous scholarships for these foreign students.

LMU, as it is popularly known, was established in 1472 and has since become one of the top universities in Germany for international students. Initially, it was located in Ingolstadt but was later moved to Munich.

Its prestigious degree programs, plus the high number of international students enrolling each year, put it at the top of the list. In terms of faculty, LMU boasts 20 of them.

Some of the major degree programs here include:

  • Medicine
  • Law
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Physics
  • Business Administration
  • Mathematics
  • Catholic Theology, etc.

You can get the full list of these programs here. Also, if you wish to join the kinds of Pope Benedict XVI and other 42 Nobel Laureate winners in its alumni list, you can enroll from here.

3. University of Freiburg

University of Freiburg
Mister No, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Founded in 1457, the University of Freiburg is the 5th oldest university in Germany. And, being around for over 450 years, it has immensely grown in terms of research and teaching excellence. This has made it one of the most prestigious universities in Europe.

While it started with just four faculties, the university now has 11 faculties, focusing in:

  • Theology
  • Law
  • Philosophy
  • Mathematics
  • Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental science, etc.

One unique thing about this university is that it borders Switzerland and France, which is considered to have the most sunlight in the country. So, if you are from a warm climate, this one would favor you immensely.

The university hosts over 3,000 international students, accounting for around 21% of the student population. If you want to enroll, visit the university’s official page and access their sponsorship programs here.

See Related: Things to Do in Baden-Wurttemberg

4. Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg

Heidelberg university

Heidelberg University was established in 1386, making it the oldest university in Germany. It is also among the few universities of its era that are still operational.

This university boasts 12 faculties that offer undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral degree programs.

According to the QS World University rankings, the university ranked 66th globally in 2020. It also appears among the top 10 universities in terms of faculty and student ratio. It focuses on around 100 disciplines, including:

  • Law
  • Biosciences
  • Modern languages
  • Medicine
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Physics and Astronomy, etc.

Browse here for the comprehensive list of degree programs the university offers. The best thing about the university is that it’s known to offer equal opportunities for all individuals. This means that whatever your educational ambitions are, you can achieve them here.

Important links:

Choosing the right university is the first step toward a successful career in the future.

See Related: Best Time to Visit Regensburg

5. Hochschule Furtwangen University

Hochschule Furtwangen University Building
Divakar246448, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

While it’s not among the biggest universities in the country, it certainly is one of the best universities in Germany for international students. One survey ranked HFU as the best university for international students’ satisfaction.

The university, whose 16% of the population comprises international students, defies its small size to appear at the top of the list of Germany’s most respected universities.

This small university is based in Baden-Württemberg and mainly focuses on applied sciences. And it boasts over 100 partner universities.

The institution offers 36 undergraduates, 24 master’s, and 9 Ph.D. programs. Some of the most popular programs here include:

  • Advanced Precision Engineering
  • Applied Biology
  • Applied Health Sciences
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Applied Health Promotion

Get the full list of the programs you can apply for here.

See related: 14 Most Famous Historical Landmarks in Hamburg, Germany.

6. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Locomotive in Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

At position 107 globally, KIT has so much to offer international students. Its engineering and technology programs are some of the features that make this university in Karlsruhe so famous.

The institution is committed to solving the biggest of society’s challenges through research. As of 2018, 6 Nobel Prize laureates were proud alumni of this university. Many other great inventors and entrepreneurs like Heinrich Hertz and Karl Friedrich Benz also passed through the institution.

The university offers research-based programs that prepare students for the hard world ahead, instilling qualities that help them become responsible societal leaders. If you are planning to enroll in a course at this university, here are some of the major options:

  • Chemistry and Biosciences
  • Architecture
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Civil Engineering
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Economics, Business, and Management

Browse for more degree programs here

See Related: Most Famous Historical Landmarks in Frankfurt

7. Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin Building
INTERRAILS, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If your heart is more inclined to medicine, then Charité seems like the ideal option. First, it’s among the largest university hospitals in Europe. Second, it’s affiliated with other top universities in Germany, like the Free University of Berlin and Humboldt University.

And that’s not all; it has numerous CRCs (Collaborative Research Centers) of the German Research Foundation. This makes it one of the most research-intensive universities in the world.

But why is it ideal for international students? Well, as you have seen, the institution offers the best environment for research. So, if you are looking for the best, this institution is your answer.

Also, the university student population already comprises 20% of international students. This means that international students already love it here. Therefore, you’ll just be joining the long list of satisfied students.

Traditionally, the university only trained doctors and dentists. But, this has since changed, with the university including more degree programs in Health sciences. It also offers 11 Master’s degree programs to prepare students to take up managerial roles in the health sector.

Some of the major degree programs in Charité include:

  • Dentistry
  • Health Sciences
  • Nursing Care
  • Applied Midwifery Science
  • Maters is Public Health, etc.

See Related: Most Famous Historical Landmarks in Berlin

8. Humboldt University of Berlin

student for education in Germany

With around 5,610 international students, this university certainly features among the best universities in Germany for international students. In addition, over 18% of the university’s academic staff are also from outside Germany. This means that it favors both international students and staff members.

Humboldt University of Berlin’s reputation precedes it, with its over 420 dedicated professors and around 1,900 assistants.

All these ensure that the students receive the best level of education possible, offering the best kickstart to promising careers. Most students who pass through this university are more than prepared to face the job market and change the world.

Top degree programs include:

  • Law
  • Linguistics and Culture
  • Life Sciences
  • Theology
  • Philosophy
  • Mathematics and Natural Sciences

The institution is also one of Germany’s best tuition-free universities for foreign students. Therefore, if you dream to study abroad but have minimal resources, you can register with Humboldt University here.

See Related: Best Things to Do in Berlin, Germany

9. University of Tübingen

University of Tübingen Building

As you might have already realized, there’s no shortage of good universities for international students in Germany. The University of Tübingen joins our list of top German universities.

Firstly, it was established a few centuries ago (in 1477), making it one of Germany’s oldest universities. Also, it’s among the popular public universities in Germany that have been awarded the German Excellence Universities title.

Around 14% of this university’s population comprises international students. It has campuses spread throughout the town, making it easier for students to enroll in a campus that favors their location of residence. The University of Tübingen has seven faculties and is ideal for students wishing to pursue a degree in:

  • Medicine
  • Law
  • Science
  • Humanities
  • Economics
  • Theology (Catholic and Protestant)

Get the full list of degree programs at the University of Tübingen here.

10. Free University of Berlin

Free University of Berlin Aerial View

As the name goes, this is among the best universities in Germany, which also doesn’t charge tuition fees. Therefore, if you are searching for institutions that offer free education for international students in Germany, you’ve got a great pick here.

Of course, there are several other institutions that do the same, but this one is among the best. That’s why its international student population is a staggering 27% in graduate and 13% in undergraduate programs.

In addition, the university has been a leading institution in teaching and science since 2007. It has been ranked as the 10th top university in Germany.

The university has 11 departments that include:

  • Biology & Chemistry
  • Medicine
  • Physics
  • Earth Sciences
  • Law
  • History & Cultural Studies,
  • Veterinary Medicine, etc.

So, if you wish to be part of the 22% of international students enjoying free education in one of the top universities in Germany, it might be the right time to register. However, you should note that you will contribute around $313 despite offering free tuition programs. This will cover various expenses, including:

  • Registration fee
  • Student union
  • Student support service
  • Transportation tickets

See related: Top Restaurants in Berlin, Germany

11. Berlin Institute of Technology (TU Berlin)

Berlin Institute of Technology Building
TU Berlin/Pressestelle/Ulrich Dahl, Copyrighted free use, via Wikimedia Commons

This is another great public research university located in Berlin, Germany. The university is known for its internationally competitive degree programs that fully equip students to face the international job market and make a difference.

As with other top universities in the country, excellence and quality are the core drivers of the institution. In addition, the students enjoy learning in a comfortable, diverse environment that brings the best out of them.

TU’s top degree programs include:

  • BSc in Architecture,
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering,
  • Biotechnology
  • Process Sciences
  • Economics & Management
  • Mathematics & Natural Sciences

The university determines your admission eligibility by checking your secondary school grades. These admissions are available in Summer and Winter, with international students allowed to apply during any intake.

See Related: Things to Do in Mannheim, Germany

12. RWTH Aachen University

RWTH Aachen University Aerial View

Since its establishment in 1870, this university has grown to acquire a spot among Germany’s biggest public higher education institutions. Currently, RWTH Aachen University has over 45,000 students, with around 23% being international students.  

The university is ranked eighth in the country and the largest in applied sciences. Its prestigious programs, including Architecture, Mathematics, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Business, Economics, etc., play a major role.

Also, it offers tuition-free programs that favor local and international students. You only need to pay around 500 Euros per semester. However, you should note that this money does not include what you need to have a comfortable student life in Aachen.

This is the place if you are looking for a university that will mold your career and equip you with skills to solve the most pressing societal issues.

From their quality research and teaching techniques to their wide connection with various industries, you will surely have all it takes to face the world by the end of the program.

13. Schiller International University

Schiller International University Building
SchillerParis, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Last but not least on our list of best universities in Germany for international students is the Schiller International University. This university started in 1964, catering to Americans who wished to study abroad in Germany.

However, it now welcomes students from around the world and has campuses across Europe and the US. While the original campus (also the largest) is in Heidelberg, the main campus is based in Florida.

It is one of the best study-abroad universities, especially since Germany is quite inexpensive regarding quality studies. It doesn’t discriminate between local and international students in their tuition fee structure. They both pay the same amount of fees.

Also, this university’s numerous programs have been a key attraction for many international students. And all their classes, despite the campus, are conducted in English.

Free University in Germany

With so many Colleges offering free tuition programs in Germany, this question is quite common – are Colleges in Germany free?

Well, a dozen universities don’t charge even a dime in tuition fees in Germany. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t pay anything. Each university requires you to pay a small amount to cover administrative costs (like registration) and transport.

This means that, in essence, college education in Germany is free. Anything you pay to the university doesn’t go to the tuition fee.

One thing to note, though, is that free tuition programs are not available in private universities. If you want it free, enroll in any of the public universities listed above.

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