UPDATE: Important information about accommodation, new blocked account balance and Image Credit.
Germany is not a popular study destination for Nigerian and African students compared to the US, UK and Canada. There are many reasons to consider Germany but one stands out; it is more affordable than the aforementioned countries. You can get world-class university education tuition-free with the exemption of the state of Baden-Württemberg where tuition was reintroduced in 2017. This article contains information about actionable steps about studying in Germany.
One you have made up your mind, the first step is to search for universities, courses and the stipulated requirements. The DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst also known as German Academic Exchange Service) website is a one-stop-shop for all relevant information you need about studying in Germany. Click here for the English version of the website, you can search for courses here and compare German universities CHE Ranking if that is important to you.
Application is possible via school portals which is usually free-of-charge but competitive or on Uni-assist (a central application processing portal) which charges €75 for the first application and €30 for every additional application.
The Application deadline for Summer entry is usually between November and January 15 while that of Winter runs between April and July 15. Application for some courses are in-between these periods.
Get all required documents ready. Upload the scanned copies to the application portal and submit the application. Almost all the schools require you to send authenticated/certified copies of the documents uploaded on the portal by courier to complete the application. You have to send the documents to Uni-assist office in Germany or the school address on the application form.
Authentication/certification of credentials can be done at the German Consulate, through Notary Public or High Courts. The application form printed from the portal must be attached while authenticating the credentials.
NOTE: Authentication of documents is free-of-charge at the German Consulate and you can book an appointment here
You need to send the certified documents to the school or Uni-assist before the deadline. You will be notified when yours documents are received and shortly after the deadline, applicants are notified whether they are accepted or not.
IMPORTANT: From the moment you receive your admission letter, apply for a place in a Student dormitory or shared flat; getting a room in Germany can be quite difficult and frustrating.
Financing Your Study
If accepted, you need to start preparing for visa application. One of the requirements is to demonstrate that you can finance your stay in Germany for a year at least. You have to open a blocked account bearing a balance of at least €8,640 (€720/month).
UPDATE: The new required amount is €10,236 (€853) starting from September 1, 2019.
There are a few banks offering this service, if traditional banking is your thing, book an online appointment for the opening of blocked account with Deutsche Bank here. The requirements are stated on the appointment booking page.
Note: The link to the Deutsche Bank application form is attached to a pdf file prepared for opening of blocked account on the Consulate’s website. Always check the website for current information; the process is reviewed from time to time.
The documents are sent to the bank on your behalf and the Consulate generates a Receipt for you confirm that you have submitted application for the opening of Blocked account.
Long process right? There are chance that the account will not be opened for unknown reasons. Recently, students have leaned towards Fintiba which is an “internet bank” and you can apply for the opening of a blocked account from the comfort of your room. Most importantly, it eliminates the waiting time associated with using Deutsche Bank
However, you will not be required to open a blocked account if you have a scholarship or relatives who can serve as your sponsorin Germany.
Now that you have a confirmation of the opening of a blocked account, it’s time to book an appointment for visa interview. You need to send
- the receipt from the Consulate/confirmation from Fintiba
- Passport data page and
- Admission letter.
to [email protected] to book a student visa interview appointment in Nigeria. The next available interview date will be assigned in a return email.
When your Deutsche Bank/Fintiba account details is ready and an interview date is assigned, you can transfer the money or wait till you get a notification from the Consulate after your interview. This is not a guarantee that your visa will be approved but it expedites the process.
Attend your interview and slay it. The list of the required documents is contained in a specially prepared pdf file on the Consulate’s website. Questions are usually about Germany, neighbouring countries, your university city, your course of study, motivation and some bachelor’s degree courses require aptitude test at the Consulate.
Visa is usually approved 3-4weeks after interview which largely depends on the stipulated enrolment deadline on your admission letter. But hey, it might take longer, keep calm and drink
When you receive the “AM email” like it is fondly called, you will be asked to come forth with your passport, travel insurance for a number of months and intended travel date. Application is as easy as that and you can do it by yourself; no Agent required.
That’s it! I hope this lands someone in Germany 🤓
Tübingen Neckar Front: Olajide Ishola
Berlin Cathedral: Katharina Dorn
Lake Constance: Imperia © Manuel Schönfeld / Fotolia