You need to plan all the tasks ahead depending on your target semester in order to meet the deadline. Below table gives our recommended action plan for summer and winter intakes.
Winter 2018 Timeline (Approx.)
Get your Passport
Passport is a prerequisite for everything starting with IELTS test to Flight booking. The Indian Passport is also going to be the only ‘valid’ identity proof when you are in Germany. So this is a mandatory step. If you already have a Passport, go ahead with the next step in the application process.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
It is likely that you need to prove your English language proficiency in order to apply for a Masters course in Germany. You can prove it by taking a test. TOEFL and IELTS are two widely accepted international standardized English language tests. If you are also planning to apply to few of the US universities, TOEFL could be a better choice. Whereas, IELTS test score is accepted by almost all the German universities. Both the tests have the same sections and similar testing styles. But IELTS is simpler and better option.
Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)
Although this is not mandatory for majority of population who wish to study in Germany, some of the top German universities like TUM and RWTH Aachen have made it mandatory to have a good score in GRE to be able to apply to few of the courses. So, if you are planning to apply to top notch universities, it is advised that you further boost your profile with a good GRE score. Even if you wish to apply to other universities which don’t mandatorily ask a GRE score, a good score (typically > 300) in GRE will give you an edge over other students with a similar profile.
Transcripts and Degree Certificate
The transcript is a consolidated list of all the courses and grades of bachelor’s degree. It is provided by your bachelor’s institute on request. This is an essential document while applying for a masters course. Similarly a degree certificate will state your degree name and along with your passing grade. Both of these are mandatory documents for the application procedure (degree certificate is excused if you are still in college.)
Prepare your CV
Curriculum Vitae (CV) is your personal brochure. It gives you an opportunity to feature all the aspects that make you the perfect choice for a university. Curriculum Vitae will be listed as an admission requirement for all of the German universities. Although its role may not be as significant as when applying for a job (due to a number of other variables), it still is a very important document in your application. In this guide, we will assume that you are going to prepare your Curriculum Vitae from the scratch. Even if you already have a decent CV, we recommend you to follow this guide and update it and also tailor it to the needs of your target universities.
Prepare your SOP
Regardless of the course that you are applying for, you will be asked to send a Statement of Purpose (SOP) along with your application to the university. This is an opportunity for you to convince the universities that you are an eligible candidate for their program by telling them your story. It is the single non-official document in the application that can carry up to 30% weightage in deciding your success for admission.
Prepare your LORs
Letter of Recommendation (LOR) is a certification of your academic qualifications as assessed by your teacher. It can also be an assessment of your professional skills when it is given by your manager or immediate supervisor in your company. Regardless of what you may read on the internet or the lack of consideration given by universities in India, LORs are highly valued in Germany. So make sure you get this one right.
Applying to universities can be a tedious process. Once the application period starts, you should apply online as early as possible and make sure you do not miss any of the required documents. As scary as this may sound, the application and selection process for German universities is quite simple.
*Application periods vary across different universities. Check the deadlines for your target universities before starting the application procedure.
First University Admit
You are likely to hear about your results after 1-2 months from the application deadline of the university. So be patient, keep your fingers crossed and do celebrate when you get that first admission from a German university.
For many students, financing their studies is a huge factor in deciding to study abroad. Luckily most of the German universities do not burden you with the massive tuition fee (as the case with US universities). In fact, for most courses, there is no tuition fee at all. But you still need to manage your living and traveling costs. In any case, if you decide to apply for an education loan, this page will guide you through. Nowadays there are a lot of banks offering education loans with new schemes. Do your research and find out which one works best for you. The information on this page refers to State Bank of India (SBI) student loan. We recommend SBI because it’s relatively better and a safe option.
*You can not apply for education loan without an admit. Once you apply, it normally takes 15-20 days to get the loan sanctioned. If you have don’t have enough time, plan in advance and arrange some emergency money. Keep in mind that summer semester timeline is quite tight.
Before you start your studies in Germany, you are required to produce sufficient financial means to meet your living costs (apart from tuition fees). Your Visa is issued upon depositing a fixed amount of money in a German Bank account (e.g. Deutsche Bank) and blocking this sum with the Federal Republic of Germany as the beneficiary. Several banks in Germany offer this service to foreign students such as Deutsche Bank, Sparkasse Aachen, BW-Bank etc. The information on this page refers to the most commonly used option, Deutsche Bank (DB) Blocked Account. Alternatively, if you are running short of time, you can also open a blocked account in Kotak Mahindra Bank and transfer the money once you are in Germany.
A travel insurance covers you during the travel and few initial days in Germany. You need to take the travel insurance for two reasons: 1. It is a mandatory document in applying for German Student Visa. 2. For risk-free traveling. It is a good idea to cover yourself for initial few months when going abroad. Fortunately, unlike other documents, you don’t need to spend much money or time for this. Again, there are tons of travel insurance policies out there, waiting just for a call from you. You can weigh the benefits according to your needs and chose the best one for you. This page contains the information about Bajaj Allianz Student Travel plans.
A non mandatory but highly recommended task.
So you have made it to this very last step and ready to start your Master studies in Germany. It is time for carrying out few remaining tasks to make sure that you are all ready for the big leap. But this also the time when you may forget something important; the time when a lot of small things can go wrong. So be patient and start early. Click this card to discover a checklist of most of the things to cover prior to your departure in general.
Fly to Germany
|wdt_ID||Task||Typical Time Duration||Summer Semester||Winter Semester|
|1||Passport||1-4 weeks||1st Jun - 30th Jun||1st Aug - 30th Sep|
|2||IELTS||2-8 weeks||15th July - 15th Aug||1st Oct - 30th Oct|
|3||GRE||4-10 weeks||15th Aug - 15th Sep||1st Nov - 15th Jan|
|4||Transcripts and Degree Certificate||1-2 weeks||15th Oct - 7th Nov||15th Jan - 31st Jan|
|5||CV, SOP, LOR||1-3 weeks||1st Nov - 30th Nov||1st Feb - 28th Feb|
|6||Send Applications*||1-2weeks||15th Nov - 15th Jan||1st Mar - 15th Jul|
|7||First University Admit||-||1st Feb - 15th Mar||1st May - 15th Jul|
|8||Education Loan**||3-6 weeks||16th Feb - 15th Mar||1st Jun - 30th Jun|
|9||Blocked Account||1 week||15th Feb - 7th Mar||1st Jul - 7th Jul|
|10||Travel Insurance||15 - 30 mins||1st Mar||1st Aug|
Important: Don’t panic if you aren’t keeping up with above timeline. It is possible to start very late or fall behind few steps in this process and still be through without any trouble (as long as you manage all the tasks).
As you can observe, the timeline for winter semester seems to be much more relaxed when compared to summer semester.
The best time to apply for a university is always as soon as the application period starts.
Starting early is the key. The sooner you get your first admit, the easier will the whole process be.
You can start your blocked account and the Visa process once you get your first admit. Do not wait for the admit from your ambitious university if you’re running out of time.
The actual dates and facts may vary for each individual depending on the course, university, personal situation etc. The above table only gives the most generalized idea about the application timeline.