Chennai Central @The Hindu in association with DAAD India, hosted a Facebook chat on higher education in Germany. This is the last of the two-part series. Read the first part here

Padmavathi Chandramouli, Information Officer at the DAAD Information Centre, answered over 200 questions. Here we publish the most relevant questions with answers. Around 23,000 people viewed the post on Chennai Central's Facebook page.

Is there any limitation on the number of students getting admitted from a particular country for a specific course at a German university?

Germany does not have any such restrictions or any quotas for nationalities, gender, etc. The sole criterion of selection is academic excellence as documented by means of academic certificates, publications, patents, etc. Not to mention the competition that other applicants will provide!

I want to do an MS in Germany. Is it mandatory to learn German even if the medium of teaching is English? I have learnt German as part of the curriculum during my under-graduation, so should I be writing the A1 and A2 exams to qualify for admissions in German institutes?

If you are applying for a course taught in English, it is often not mandatory to know the German language. However, it is always an advantage to know some German if you wish to gel with the people around you, to find part time jobs, to land good internships or more importantly seek employment in Germany after your studies. For some international degree programmes, basic German language proficiency is required. In case you are opting for such programmes, you may want to appear for A1/A2 exams. Such programmes often give students a semester or two to achieve the proficiency level.

I am a second year student of Electronics and Communication Engineering. I would like to know the fee structure for MS courses. Are part-time jobs allowed during the course of study?

In Germany, most of the institutions of higher education charge no or very little tuition fee — to the tune of 500 Euro per semester. However, you will need to pay semester contribution ranging from Euro 50 to 250, depending upon the university and the services or benefits provided. Besides this you need to take into account your living expenses of around Euro 740 a month and travel expenses to and from India when you prepare your budget. As an Indian student, you can work for 120 full days or 240 half days in a year. While this can certainly support your sustenance, we advise not to have an earn-and-learn strategy for higher education in Germany.

Will scholarship be provided for our studies? Is there any examination for getting a scholarship? How much scholarship will be provided?

DAAD has a wide range of funding possibilities depending upon what you would like to pursue in Germany. The focus of funding is research and, as such a range of scholarships is available for Ph.D. and above. There are some special scholarships at the masters level as well. Prerequisites, selection procedure and funding vary, depending on the type of scholarship. DAAD scholarships generally are ‘full’ scholarships and cover living expense, travel as well as insurance. Complete information about scholarship programmes open for Indians is available on DAAD Delhi. There are funding organisations besides the DAAD as well. Check this site for a database of various funding options. Keep an eye open for the application announcements and deadlines!

I am a postgraduate student and I am aspiring for a Ph.D. in Germany with a scholarship from DAAD. Is it necessary to talk to a professor beforehand and get an acceptance letter from him while applying for DAAD? How does the further procedure go?

Yes, an acceptance letter from the professor who will guide you for your Ph.D. is crucial to your application for a DAAD Ph.D. scholarship. Besides this, you also are expected to submit a research proposal together with academic certificates. The deadline for application is October 1. Further, you need to take an interview with an Indo-German panel of experts in New Delhi in late November and the decision is out around March. If you are successful, your mandatory German language course begins in summer and your Ph.D. research in October the following year. Establishing contact with the counterpart/guide is in fact a necessary condition for most of DAAD’s funding programmes. You can find the announcements here.

I am a first year undergraduate student of Chemical Engineering at IIT Madras. Could you please tell me the procedure and requirements to apply for a student exchange programme in future semesters or a research internship at a reputed German university?

The Working Internships in Science and Technology (WISE) programme of the DAAD is open to students of IITs, NITs and other select institutions and funds research internships at German universities. Like all DAAD scholarships, this is a very competitive programme. The applicant needs to have a letter of invitation from a German professor willing to act as the guide for the duration of the internship. The applicant must establish contact with the German professor on his or her own. Here is the announcement for WISE.

How long does the visa process take? What is it like? What is the amount of money I am required to show in my bank account? From the time of application, the student visa procedure for Germany takes between 8 and 12 weeks. A student’s blocked account ("Sperrkonto") in Germany in the name of the applicant showing a minimum balance of Euro 8.040, and the remark that the account holder can dispose of a monthly amount of EURO 670, is necessary, the alternatives being a scholarship or a formal letter of sponsorship from a sponsor living in Germany. Visit the website of the German Embassy or the German Consulate for complete details about the visa application procedure.

What are the chances of job prospects in Germany after completion of an MS degree?

The German Parliament has implemented the EU Blue Card and a new unlimited work and residence permit to grant foreign graduates of German universities unrestricted access to the job market. Also, after completing one’s degree programme from a German university, one is allowed to stay in Germany for 18 months to look for a job in keeping with one’s qualification. You can find more information about career after studies here.

I am a doctor (MBBS) and have been doing general practice for the last six years in a government hospital. I would like to go for higher education (MD-post graduation) in Germany. How do I apply to universities and what is the procedure to be followed? Do German hospitals take foreign educated doctors for MD courses?

The Indian and the German system, when it comes to medicine and dentistry, are different. For example, the Indian M.B.B.S. does not correspond to the official Medical Licensing Examination of Germany. The Indian M.B.B.S degree, in principle, reflects a stage of proficiency approximately commensurate with Stage II of Clinical Studies only.

For post-graduate Studies, candidates have to apply for a license to practise medicine by the Federal Ministry of Health. We suggest that you please get in touch with German universities directly to check whether and at what level you may join a programme offered by them given your present qualification. A list of universities can be found here. One must note here that the language of instruction for medicine is exclusively German.

(Concluded)