Opportunities for university students

Ana in train carriage © Ana Renker-Darby

There is a range of funded and non-funded opportunities for university students to study in Germany. From undergrad to postdoc, there is more out there than you might expect. Read on for the low-down on cheap study, exchanges and scholarships.

Study and research at a German university

Did you know that you can study at a German university for a fraction of the price of New Zealand study? Click here for more details. You can even work part-time to support yourself while you’re studying – up to 120 full or 240 half days per year. Click here for more details.

The New Zealand DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) website has lots of information and resources on studying in Germany. You can also find useful information at study-in-de, including a database of programmes and universities to help you plan your studies.

Before you can enrol in a German degree programme, you will need to prove your German skills. You can do this by providing a Goethe Certificate C2 or by taking one of two tests, the “DSH” (German Language University Entrance Examination for Foreign Applicants) or the “TestDaF” (Test of German as a Foreign Language). The DSH is offered by most German universities (i.e. you can take it when you’re in Germany) and you can sit the TestDaF in New Zealand at the Goethe-Institut in Wellington.

You don’t need to prove your German skills if you are planning to enrol in an international degree program or a specialist postgraduate program held in English.

Germany also has a lot to offer when it comes to doing your PhD or completing a postdoc. Click here to find out about doing a PhD in Germany and here to find out more about postdocs at universities or research institutes.

Study in Germany as part of your New Zealand university degree

Schnee Auckland, Waikato, Victoria, Canterbury and Otago universities all offer exchange programmes in partnership with a number of German universities. Click here for more information on each individual university.

Ana Renker-Darby from the University of Auckland went on a 360 International Exchange to Heidelberg, where she completed part of her degree (click here for more info on the 360 Exchange). Ana spent six months at Heidelberg University taking German language papers, most of which were taught in German. She says she was delighted at how much her German improved over the six months, and felt motivated by her immersion environment to really “master the language”.

Funding opportunities for undergrads

On a DAAD Winterkurs Scholarship, you can attend a five-to-six week intensive German language course in Germany. Applicants must have been at university for at least two academic years, and your German must be at B1 level or above. The Winterkurs Scholarship covers course fees and accommodation, and you also get pocket money and EUR 500 towards travel expenses. Click here for more details, or apply online here.

Johnson Zhuang of Auckland University was awarded a DAAD Winterkurs scholarship in 2016 and spent January/February studying German at the Herder-Institut in Leipzig. Johnson says he learnt a lot during the six-week course and used his spare time to travel around Germany and to the Czech Republic and Austria. He offers the following advice to people wanting to apply: do your research when choosing which city to go to, and get ready for the experience of a lifetime!
Groups of seven to fifteen students plus their lecturer can apply for funding at a rate of EUR 50 per person per day for seven to twelve-day study trips within Germany. Your university is responsible for applying and for selecting participants. Click here for more details.
On a PAD teaching assistantship programme, you can teach in your native language at a school in Germany for six to ten months (approx. 12 lessons per week). You get a monthly allowance of EURO 850 as well as some money towards travel expenses, and the programme covers health, accident and liability insurance. Applicants must have completed a tertiary degree that included German as a subject. Click here for more information.

​Funded opportunities for postgraduates

On a DAAD scholarship for graduates, you can spend all or half of your 2-year Masters studying at a German university. The scholarship includes an allowance of EUR 750 per month, insurance cover and a travel subsidy. Click here for more details.

There are similar scholarships for Fine Art, Design, Visual Communication, Film, Music, Performing Arts and Architecture. These scholarships differ slightly because you can either study towards a postgraduate degree (e.g. your Masters) or attend extension classes (e.g. master classes). Find out more by clicking on the links below:
There are a number of research grants for PhD students and postdocs. See the New Zealand DAAD website on funding opportunities for more details.