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Germany VS France: The Best Place To Study In

Germany was the great winner of 3 previous battles against the UK, the US, and Italy. But now, we would like to see an interesting battle between Germany and a close country: France. As some of you may know, the French regions “Alsace” and “Lorraine” were German for a moment. Thus, German culture can be found in these French areas. But even if they share some aspects of their culture, is their education similar? Is it easy for international students to live there? How do those countries function? Let’s see the best location to study abroad! Who will win, France or Germany?

1) Tuition fees

Tuition fees make a huge difference in the choice of a higher education institution. In France, students have to pay to get into a public university, unless they benefit from a scholarship. The fees to join an undergraduate program won’t go over 650 euros. For a master’s degree, it will be around 250 euros, and 400 euros for a Ph.D. French public universities are pretty inexpensive, and it will be the same price for Europeans and other international students.

As stated in our previous articles, Germany offers the possibility to study for free. Only the state of Baden-Württemberg charges fees of 1 500 euros to all students except doctoral ones. International students can choose from various prestigious universities without worrying about the cost. So, all they would have to pay is an administration fee, which may also include a transport pass.

As usual, Germany wins this one with its easy access to education! Other countries should definitely take Germany as an example.

German 1 – 0 France

2) Cost of living

The cost of living is always something to take into consideration. Everybody enjoys saving money. Just like we did in our previous articles, we will look at monthly expenses and rent prices in the capital cities, Saarbrucken and Toulon.

Some numbers, according to Numbeo:

-Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: 10 euros in Berlin, 15 euros in Paris

-Rice (1kg): 2,12 euros in Berlin, 1,99 euros in Paris

-Chicken Fillets (1kg): 6,98 euros in Berlin, 12,23 euros in Paris

-Potatoes (1kg): 1,54 euros in Berlin, 2,05 euros in Paris

-Monthly transportation pass: 84,50 euros in Berlin, 75 euros in Paris

-A pair of jeans: 80,56 euros in Berlin, 99,33 euros in Paris

A big part of the monthly expenses is rent. In Paris, a 1 bedroom apartment costs 1 267 euros per month, while it would be 921 euros outside of the center. However, it would be 1 127 euros in the city center of the German capital, and 787 euros outside of it.

In Toulon, France, rent would cost 700 euros in the city center, and 600 somewhere else. In Saarbrucken, it would be 616 euros and 450 euros.

Indeed, Paris is surely famous for being really expensive! But it also applies to the rest of France, if we compare it to Germany. Still, the difference is even more important in big cities! Germany is the winner again.

Germany 2 – 0 France

3) Paperwork

Some foreign students can live in Germany just by proving their rights. It is the case for those coming from the EU, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland. Moreover, it’s pretty easy for students coming from Great Britain, the US or Honduras, and many other countries since they would only need a residence permit to stay over 3 months. However, other international students would need a visa costing 80 euros or 37,50 euros for minors. This visa requires the possession of 10 332 euros per year of study. But you can still avoid this by checking our guide to studying in Germany for free!

In France, EU and EEA students would only need a travel ID document or passport to study there. But, it’s more complicated for other international students. They would need a long-stay visa to pursue their education there. To get it, you must prove your proficiency in French, give information about your previous degrees and grades, and prove you have 615 euros per month (7 380 euros per year). The visa costs 58 euros.

Indeed, it’s easier to stay in Germany since you don’t have to speak German or be an outstanding student, but on the other hand, you need less money to study in France. It may sound illogical, as France is more expensive than Germany. Still, it’s pretty easy for french-speaking people to get their visas. We would say it’s a tie for this one.

Germany 3 – 1 France

4) Culture

As mentioned above, the regions of “Alsace” and “Lorraine” share a similar culture to the German one. For example, Strasbourg is famous for its Christmas market. You can also spot some people that speak German dialects there, which are always interesting to hear!

Still, Germany has its own interesting habits like the abendbrodt, their typical dinner with bread, meats, and cheese. In France, meals really depend on the area you live in, which is really interesting. In these two countries, you’re sure to find something to enjoy.

Germany 4 – 2 France

And the winner is… Germany!!

Germany stays undefeated! Free education, interesting culture, inexpensive life… You will get everything you need! We definitely hope France is not too disappointed and offended. Also, this post was written by a French person so that’s okay. Are you interested in pursuing your education in Germany after reading our article? Check out our services to get started!