why international students should go to germany instead of the us

Germany VS the US: Where To Study?

Because choosing a country to study in is hard, here is a third article comparing Germany to another country. That’s right, after winning the two previous battles against the UK and Italy, Germany is ready to compete again. This time, the United States of America will be its opponent. Will the US be the one who finally beats Germany? As usual, we will go through important topics such as living expenses, rent, paperwork, and more. Who do you think will win? Let’s see!

1) Cost of living

A classic topic we like to go through. We will see the living expenses for the two capitals, and the rent in the two capitals along with two less popular cities.

Here are the living expenses according to Numbeo:

-A meal in a cheap restaurant: ~17,56 euros in Washington, ~10 euros in Berlin

-1 liter of milk: ~0,85 euro in Washington, ~1,01 euros in Berlin

-Beef round (1kg): ~14,57 euros in Washington, ~11,90 euros in Berlin

-Potatoes (1kg): ~3,54 euros in Washington, ~1,60 euros in Berlin

-Monthly Pass for Local Transport: ~103,51 euros in Washington, ~84 euros in Berlin

-A pair of mid-range Nike sneakers: ~82,64 euros in Washington, ~83,31 euros in Berlin

We can see Washington is very expensive, especially for a student. Now, let’s take a look at the rent. For the two less popular cities, we chose Krefeld, Germany, and Garland, Texas. In the city center, a 1 bedroom apartment would cost ~916,84 euros in Garland and ~540 euros in Krefeld. For Berlin and Washington, it would be ~1956,29 euros and ~1107,56 euros. We can say that Germany is definitely more affordable for a student.

Germany 1 – 0 USA

2) Paperwork

In the US, there are several criteria to follow in order to get an F1 visa. They have to pass an interview and prove they have strong ties to their home country (family there, bank accounts, or else). They also have to prove they can support themselves financially, they have a residence they will return to, and that an institution sponsors them. The financial support requested depends on the university attended. Most of the time, they require 1,5 times what is requested on their certificate of eligibility for non-immigrant students (l-20). The students would have to leave the country a maximum of 60 years after the expiration date of their visa. The visa in itself costs approximately 147 euros.

In Germany, EU students and those coming from Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland just have to prove their right to stay. Students coming from countries such as the USA, Honduras, or Great Britain would only need a residence permit to stay for over three months. To see the full list, click here.

Other international students would apply for a visa to stay. It costs 80 euros or 37,50 euros for those below 18. To get this visa, you will need to prove you have no less than 10 332 euros per year. If you want to avoid that, check out our Ultimate Guide to German scholarships!

Knowing that life in Germany costs less than in the US, we can say the funds needed are less important in Germany. Moreover, the visa is less expensive too. Germany wins this one thanks to the financial aspects and its connection with several countries and the European Union. It is way easier for students to go there.

Germany 2 – 0 USA

3) Tuition fees

We have to focus on this. For students living in the US, it represents a huge amount. Most of the time, it costs between ~23 000 euros to ~32 000 euros per year for international students going to public schools. The US is known for being one of the most expensive locations to study in. It is difficult to go there without making a loan and be in debt later. But there are also scholarships available in the country.

In Germany, public institutions are free for everyone except in one federal state. The state of Baden-Württemberg charge non-EU tuition fees of 1500 euros per semester. The only ones who don’t pay are doctoral students. It is still way more affordable than the US. Aside from that, all students must pay a semester contribution of between 100 and 350 euros. We can agree that Germany is definitely cheaper than the US.

Germany 3 – 0 USA

4) Diversity

While we know Germany is famous for its Turkish population, and its famous döner, it is a less diverse country than the US. That is true, the US is the country representing the American dream everybody once dreamt about. Maybe we can find a lot of travellers in Germany, and people love to travel there, but that is not the same. In the US, you can be sure you will find a population you can relate to. If you are African, you may enjoy staying with Afro-American groups, for example. A lot of diverse groups exist, and it is reassuring to know you can find people that look like you. We have to keep in mind that these groups have their own culture too. It is a great way to share cultures and still understand each other.

Germany 3 – 1 USA

And the winner is… Germany!!

Congratulations, Germany! Looks like nobody can beat you! Thanks to its affordable lifestyle, Germany is once again winning a battle. The US is still a great opponent, as it represents the American dream many people have. It was an interesting battle. If only we could know what people of German descent in the US think of it!