Challenges of Studying in Germany

Being a student is a challenge because of busy schedules, difficult projects, and complex social situations. But international students experience even more challenges because being a student in a different country can be really hard.

If you are the big city type then you are in luck, we have put together all the challenges those wishing to study in the big study abroad destination can possibly face.

The Excitements

International students studying in Germany enjoy their stay and are happy to recommend their experiences to other students, as shown by the StudyPortal’s 2014 International Student Satisfaction Award.

Nearly 7,000 students from around the world shared their impressions and insights. According to Opinions on European universities in the world’s largest database of international student experiences, Nearly 600 students reported having studied in Germany.

Overall, Germany had a total score of 8.8 out of 10 and was ranked 11th in terms of student satisfaction. Student impressions provide an interesting insight into German universities and can help potential students decide on their future study goals.


In total, 17 German universities received an award for international student satisfaction. Two of them, the Friederich-Schiller-Universität Jena and the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, received certificates of outstanding international student satisfaction with an average mark of 9.5 out of 10. Eight German universities were considered “excellent” and seven were rated “very good”.

Students who studied in Germany were generally more satisfied with the university than the European average, although some argue that there is still room for improvement. Students are satisfied that the courses have contributed to their own development and are generally satisfied with the participation of teachers. Many also report high academic standards and experienced teachers. The quality of the facilities is also welcomed by many students.

”I came back with a lot of new techniques and insights related to my major that I and even my professors haven’t heard before. This exchange/Erasmus period helped me reach broader horizons.” – Student from Turkey

 “During my first lecture – real-time machines and robots – I was amazed when the teachers gave us a mini-robot and told us we can have it at home during the whole semester to practice on. All the practice orientated examples helped a lot to understand the aim of the lecture and get the ability to gain industrial insight.” – Student from Hungary


The challenges 

Despite the exciting experiences many have had while studying in Germany, they were not without challenges. International students in Germany have complained about the lack of activity in some of the smaller cities in the country. Those in these places found the social life boring and recommended traveling to the country’s largest cities. Some were dissatisfied with the services of academic staff, particularly the high bureaucracy and the lack of relevant information for international students. German language skills are highly recommended and students should pay attention to the language of instruction, which is often German and offers a very limited range of English language courses.

Other challenges many have faced include (from the top):

  • Orientation into the German Education System
  • Finding the right course path that will guarantee you work in Germany
  • Looking for a room or apartment
  • Getting a work permit
  • Interaction with Germans outside the Uni
  • Applying for the visa before arriving and extension issues at migration offices in Germany
  • Interaction with German Professors
  • Recognition of academic qualifications from the students’ home countries
  • Performance demands from their study course
  • Understanding German


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