Five reasons to study in Germany
High-quality teaching and research
Numbering around 400, German universities offer excellent opportunities for learning and research
Attractive international courses
German universities also offer a large number of Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and doctorates aimed at international students. Depending on the university and availability, the students can take these courses in English or French, for example
Unlike many other countries, no tuition fees are charged for undergraduate degrees at public universities in Germany.
Good career prospects
Studying at a German university could be your first step towards a career in Germany. Because German companies are looking for university graduates in a variety of sectors – especially in the fields of engineering, medicine, the life sciences and information technology.
High quality of life
Life in Germany is very good. If you study here, you will not only find Europe’s most dynamic economy. Germany is also a very safe country, with a high standard of living, a rich cultural history and a very diverse population.
The German language
Whether at work, out shopping or dealing with the authorities, if you are going to live in Germany in the long term and want to integrate successfully into society, it is crucial to speak German. There are plenty of opportunities for learning the language – lessons, language tandems or online courses, for example. Here, you can find out who offers courses, how much a course costs and how to improve your language skills outside lessons.
Which occupations are in demand?
In some industries, jobs and regions in Germany, there is a shortage of qualified professionals. More especially, qualified technical workers, such as engineers and IT specialists, as well as health specialists, are in short supply. We show you what your chances are of finding a job in each of the different professional fields.
Germany has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. The use of the very latest therapies and medical equipment helps guarantee an exceptionally high level of care. Increasing digitisation is opening up new possibilities for medical care, as X-ray images and medical reports are available faster. And digitisation is set to grow even faster, lowering costs and bringing continual improvements in healthcare. A dense network of clinics and doctors’ surgeries ensures that patients get the medical services they need rapidly. At the same time, doctors are held in great esteem by the German population. In surveys, the medical profession is consistently one of the most highly regarded in Germany, followed in second place by the nursing profession.
Career opportunities for doctors in Germany
In Germany, doctors work
- in hospitals, generally as an employee
- in their own medical practice
- in large group practices, as an employee
In Germany, the average starting salary for medical graduates is higher than in any other field of study and currently lies at around €49,000 a year. On average, doctors in Germany are paid more than graduates of any other academic discipline.
German hospitals have had to contend with a shortage of doctors for quite a number of years now. There is a need throughout Germany for several thousand additional doctors. This demand will continue to rise in coming years, particularly as many hospital doctors are soon due to enter retirement.
In the field of private practice, there is primarily a need for general practitioners, particularly in eastern Germany and rural areas, where there are often difficulties recruiting doctors to fill practices as they become vacant. These shortages will soon spread to other regions of Germany and other areas of specialization, since here, too, many doctors are due to retire in coming years.
Becoming a medical specialist in Germany
Gaining specialisation in a certain area of medicine is an integral part of medical specialist training in Germany. Training programmes can take five to six years and are conducted at university medical centres or other facilities which are authorised to provide specialist training. The regulations are different in each German state. To be eligible, you must have excellent German skills are and have a medical license, the “Approbation”.
After successfully completing your studies in Medicine, you may continue studying to gain specialisation in an elective subject. The training programme takes five to six years to complete. There are 30 different areas of medicine in which you can specialise. During the programme you are required to complete a catalogue of fixed tasks. The training programme concludes with the medical specialist examination.
Medical specialist training programmes are not degree programmes and are not offered at German universities. During such a programme, you work as a doctor in full-time employment, e.g. at a doctor’s practice, a university clinic or medical centre or other “institution authorised to provide medical treatment”. You are paid as an assistant physician.
German language proficiency is a very important prerequisite, i.e. at least a B2 level as put forth in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. You have to provide proof of your language ability. The B2 level is equivalent to the business language certificate “Deutsch für den Beruf” (ZDfB).
The provisions for medical specialist training are not the same throughout Germany. The certification requirements are different in each state and are determined by 17 “State Medical Boards”. Your medical specialist training programme is subject to the rules of the state in which you live or work. You can find a list of all the State Medical Boards on the German Medical Association website.
You can find openings for assistant physicians (“Assistenzarzt”) here:
- University clinic websites
- German Federal Employment Agency
- Job advertisements in the German Medical Journal (Deutsches Ärzteblatt)
You can find the addresses of doctors, who are certified to train medical specialists, and other accredited medical training facilities on the websites of the State Medical Boards (see the list of State Medical Boards on the German Medical Association website).
You can occasionally obtain detailed information about the admission requirements and language exams from the respective university or university medical centre.
Licensure and recognition of prior academic qualification
If you wish to practice medicine in Germany, you will require a state medical license. This is called the “Certification to Provide Medical Treatment in Germany”, or “Approbation” for short. To obtain such a licence, you must register with the “Oberste Landesgesundheitsbehörde” (Supreme Health Authorities of the German Federal States). You can find a list of addresses of the responsible authorities on the German Medical Association website.
- If you are a citizen of the EU, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland and completed medical education in the EU, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland:
Your medical education is normally recognised as equivalent to that provided in Germany, and you will receive your medical license (“Approbation”).
- If you are a citizen of a different country and did not complete your medical education in the EU, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland:
The equivalency of your academic qualification will have to be assessed (knowledge assessment). If the medical board determines that your education is not equivalent to that provided in Germany, you will receive a temporary medical license, valid for a maximum of two years. During this period, you are required to take the equivalency assessment examination. If you pass the exam, you normally receive your German medical license.
- bundesaerztekammer.de | Summary of the responsible positions in granting “Approbation” or work permission (in German only)
- bundesaerztekammer.de | Traineeship and work as medical specialist in Germany (in German only)
- bundesaerztekammer.de | List of all „Landesärztekammern“ (in German only)