are german universities really free

Are German universities really free?

For many students, studying in Germany is a lifetime opportunity. The country offers a unique blend of high quality experiences and great education. The colleges rival other international institutions in other parts of the world. Did you know that you can study at one of the prestigious German universities almost for free?

Well, it is true!

Free college education in Germany

To some extent, studying in a German university will cost you way less than studying in other countries as a foreign student.

The German government abolished international fees that were charged by most public colleges.

If you want to enroll in most colleges, you are only required to pay little fees to cover costs such as transportation and administration. This contribution is referred to as semester contribution. The semester contribution depends on your university of choice.

The situation is quite different for private universities. Here you are expected to pay tuition fees. The amount to be paid is determined by your preferred course and other factors that may be deemed relevant.

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Are German universities free?

To answer this question, we must define ‘free’. As an international student, don’t expect to enroll without paying a small fee.

Free, in this case, means subsidized. Instead of paying for everything, the government sponsors your tuition, but you still have to pay for public transportation and administrative costs.

Who qualifies to study for free at a German university?


Whether you are from Europe or outside Europe, you qualify for free university education at a public institution.

The only limitation of being a citizen of a country outside Europe is that you need to apply for a residence permit. Additionally, you need to complete the course you choose within the country.

Universities where you can study for free

Generally, most public universities offer free programs. There are plenty of options to choose from. Here is a list of prominent universities offering free tuition in Germany.

What to expect from free university education in Germany

Most free things in this world don’t bring as much value as other paid options. This is not the case for colleges in Germany. The country hosts as many as 300 universities, all of which offer high quality education and experiences that exceed international standards.

Expect to receive the best when you enroll at a public institution in the country. Even though your university may not feature on the list of top 100 institutions, it doesn’t mean that the teaching offered there will be of low quality.

All educational providers in Germany are fully accredited by strict standards to make them appealing to students from all walks of life.

The decision to abolish tuition fees was simply a move meant to lower the cost of acquiring knowledge to empower people to pursue their dreams and help build the country’s economy.

anmeldung document forms berlin address registration

Anmeldung: How to register your address in Germany?

Every year there are more and more internationals coming to Germany. This blog post is to help you with how to do Anmeldung in Germany and the bureaucratic process of getting an appointment at Bürgeramt (fast).
This process is usually needed if you want to get a visa, opening a bank account, registering internet for your flat, etc. The problem is that not all foreigners speak German well enough to understand what they need to do when they show up at this office. And this blog post will cover how you can get a city registration appointment easily and relatively fast.

Anmeldung meaning –  It means registering your address with the local authorities in Germany. You will hear this word Anmeldung a lot in your expats social circle, especially when you hunt for an apartment, you will be asking a lot of times “Can I do Anmeldung here?”.

What’s next after you sign a rental contract for an apartment that allows you to do Anmeldung? Get an appointment at Bürgeramt asap.

It depends on your luck how long it takes to get an appointment with Bürgeramt to register your address. Therefore, when you finally get one, you probably do not want to miss any document and have to go there again. After all, we all know how difficult it is to get an appointment there. So here we have a list of anmeldung documents that you should bring along:

  1. Proof of identity
  2. Registration form
  3. Statement of identity
  4. Confirmation from the landlord
  5. Rental contract

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  1. Proof of identity 

The passport is the best. According to, proof of identity also includes a children’s passport for German citizens or a national passport or passport substitute papers for foreign citizens. In case for some reason you really do not have your passport with you, bring your identity card. 

  1. Registration form

Please fill it in before you go there, and do not expect the staff there to show you how to fill the form. If you have problems filling in the form, you can book a local person to help you with it. [choose: Fill in some forms (short)]

You can also check this link for the english translation of the form!

  1. Statement of identity 

For example, a marriage certificate or birth certificate. It may be required for your first registration when you register also for your family members. Please bring all the related documents with you as a precaution.

  1. Confirmation from the landlord

Your landlord should provide you with this confirmation when you rent the apartment. Of course, you can also send them the form so that the process is more efficient, as you do not want to risk not having this document before your appointment. 

If it is the main tenant who sublets you the apartment/ room, get this confirmation from the main tenant, but the name of the owner has to be on the confirmation as well. Remember, Anmeldung without Wohnungsgeberbestaetigung (landlord’s confirmation) is not possible in Germany!


  1. Rental contract

The standard rental contract should contain important information like the rental duration, how much rent per month, the address, and the names of the landlord and the tenant. In case you have a sublet contract from the main tenant, then you have to bring this contract with you to the appointment. A rental contract or a sublet contract does not replace the confirmation from the landlord (#4). 

Some cities also allow Anmeldung without contract but they still require the landlord’s confirmation!

What should I bring to register the address when I have bought an apartment and moved in?

In case you are the landlord and live in your own apartment, you will need the first three of the above documents and the notarized purchase contract and a copy that shows your name on the “Grundbuch”. You should have all these documents from your notary after you bought the apartment. 

Another very important point to remember is that all the family members should show up at the appointment for the registration process on the first time after coming from abroad!

Just remember to bring as much document as you possibly can when doing the Anmeldung. You do not want to miss out anything and go through the process again. Also, make sure you register on time because late Anmeldung in Germany can lead to fines!

Good luck at Bürgeramt!

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