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Best Time to Apply for Post Graduation in Germany: A Guide for Indian Students

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

Germany, a nexus of innovation and academic excellence, has long been the beacon for students across the globe. With its rich history of producing leading thinkers, scientists, and professionals, the country has carved a niche in the world of higher education. For Indian students, in particular, the allure goes beyond just top-tier universities. It’s the melding of a robust educational framework with intercultural experiences that makes Germany a top choice. But, as with any significant life decision, pursuing a Master’s in Germany requires foresight and planning. One of the foundational steps in this journey is understanding the optimal time to submit your application.


Let’s embark on this exploration to ensure your German academic pursuit starts on the right foot.



In this article, learn more about:


Understanding the German Academic Calendar

Germany’s academic structure, while systematic, varies slightly from the semestral systems of many other countries. Here’s a more detailed look:


Winter Semester (Wintersemester):

  1. Duration: October to March.

  2. Lecture Period: Typically starts in mid-October and ends in mid-February. This is when the bulk of teaching happens.

  3. Examination Period: Usually follows the lecture period, running from mid-February to March.

Summer Semester (Sommersemester):

  1. Duration: April to September.

  2. Lecture Period: Begins in mid-April and concludes in mid-July.

  3. Examination Period: Just like the Winter Semester, exams are generally held after the lecture period, from mid-July to September.


Holidays: The Christmas break in December and a summer break in August are standard. However, unlike many Indian institutions, German universities don’t have a long summer vacation. Instead, students use this period for internships, thesis work, or part-time jobs.


Pre-requisites for Indian Students: Understanding APS

For Indian students aspiring to study in Germany, one essential step before sending in university applications is undergoing the Academic Evaluation Service (APS) procedure. This service, provided by APS, is specifically designed for students from China, Vietnam, and India.

What is APS? APS is a mandatory certificate for Indian students applying to German universities for bachelor’s and consecutive masters programs. It verifies the authenticity of academic documents from Indian institutions and ensures they meet the standards set by German universities.


Why is APS crucial?

  1. Verification of Authenticity: APS checks the genuineness of your academic documents, ensuring a fair and transparent admission process for all applicants.

  2. Meeting German Standards: The evaluation ensures that your academic credentials are in line with what German universities expect, bridging the educational systems of both countries.

  3. Avoiding Future Hurdles: Having the APS certificate smoothens the university application process, ensuring you don’t face unexpected challenges or rejections based on document discrepancies.

How to obtain the APS certificate?

  1. Visit the official APS website and register.

  2. Submit all required academic documents and pay the evaluation fee.

  3. Upon successful evaluation, you’ll receive the APS certificate, making you eligible to apply to German universities.

Remember, while the APS procedure might seem like an additional step, it’s a crucial one that ensures your academic journey in Germany begins without hitches.

Application Deadlines for Post Graduation in Germany

German universities are known for their precision, and this extends to their application processes. Here’s a more granulated breakdown:


For the Winter Semester:

  1. General Application Window: Between May and July of the preceding year.

  2. Exceptions: Some highly competitive programs or universities might have earlier deadlines, sometimes as early as January or February. It’s crucial to check specifics.

For the Summer Semester:

  1. General Application Window: Between November and January of the preceding year.

  2. Exceptions: Just as with the Winter Semester, always verify as there might be variations based on the course or the institution.

Important Note: These deadlines are often the last date by which the university should receive your application. Given international postal delays and other unforeseen issues, aim to send in your application well in advance.

When Should Indian Students Start Preparing for PG Courses in Germany?

Embarking on an educational journey overseas requires meticulous planning. Here’s a recommended timeline:


9-12 months before the desired intake:

  1. Research: Understand your interests, and shortlist programs and universities that align with your career goals.

  2. Entrance Exams: Depending on the course, start preparing for the required exams. This might include language proficiency tests (IELTS, TOEFL) or subject-specific tests (GRE, GMAT).

7-9 months before:

  1. Exam Time: Take the required tests to ensure you have your scores ready by the application deadline.

  2. Documentation: Start gathering necessary documents. This includes academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, and more.

6-7 months before:

  1. Applications: Begin the application process. Remember, some courses or universities might have earlier deadlines, so always verify.

Post-Application:

  1. Follow Up: After sending in your applications, regularly check your email and the university portal for updates, interview calls, or any additional requirements.


Benefits of Applying Early

Applying ahead of the deadline has several advantages, especially for international students:

Higher Chances of Acceptance:

  • Universities often review applications on a rolling basis, meaning they evaluate applications as they come in. Early applicants might stand out and have a slight edge over those who apply closer to the deadline.

Ample Time for Visa Processing:

  • The student visa application process for Germany can be time-consuming. By applying early, students ensure they have sufficient time to navigate any potential visa challenges or delays.

Better Housing Options:

  • Securing student housing can be competitive, especially in popular student cities. Early acceptance provides an advantage in this hunt, allowing students to secure convenient and affordable accommodation.

Scholarship Opportunities:

  • Many scholarships, especially competitive ones, have early application deadlines. An early course application can coincide with these scholarship timelines, maximizing financial aid opportunities.

Mental Preparedness:

  • Early application and subsequent acceptance can provide peace of mind, allowing students to better prepare for the transition, both mentally and logistically.


Other Factors to Consider

While timelines and preparation are essential, several other factors play a role in the application process:

Entrance Preparation:

  • Some German Master’s programs might require entrance tests or specific prerequisites. Students should factor in ample preparation time.

Internship and Job Experience:

  • For some courses, especially those with a professional orientation, having relevant work or internship experience can be a significant advantage. Consider if taking time off to gain this experience aligns with your career goals.

Financial Planning:

  • Studying abroad is a considerable investment. Early planning can help in assessing the financial feasibility, saving appropriately, and applying for education loans or sponsorships in a timely manner.

Cultural and Language Preparation:

  • Familiarizing oneself with German culture and possibly taking beginner-level German language classes can ease the transition and enhance the overall study experience.


The Covid-19 Impact

The global pandemic has undeniably reshaped the educational landscape, and its effects on international education have been profound:

Altered Application Timelines:

  • Some universities adjusted their application deadlines or introduced additional intakes to accommodate disruptions caused by the pandemic.

Virtual Learning and Hybrid Models:

  • Many institutions shifted to online or hybrid models of instruction. This change required students to adapt to virtual learning environments and adjust expectations about on-campus experiences.

Visa and Travel Restrictions:

  • Many countries, including Germany, imposed travel bans or restrictions, affecting student mobility. While the situation is gradually normalizing, students should stay updated on travel advisories and visa application changes.

Health and Safety Protocols:

  • Universities introduced health and safety measures, including quarantine requirements, regular testing, and vaccination mandates. It’s essential for students to be aware of these and plan accordingly.

Financial Implications:

  • The economic repercussions of the pandemic affected many students’ financial situations. It’s crucial to consider backup financial plans and be aware of university support systems or emergency funds.


Conclusion

The decision to study abroad, especially in a country as academically esteemed as Germany, is a monumental step in one’s educational journey. It’s a blend of aspirations, meticulous planning, and the zeal to immerse oneself in a new cultural milieu. While the logistics, timelines, and pandemic-induced changes can seem overwhelming, it’s essential to remember the core objective: acquiring an unparalleled education that not only enhances knowledge but also broadens horizons. By being proactive, staying informed, and planning ahead, Indian students can navigate this journey with confidence and poise. Here’s to your future in the heart of Europe, filled with learning, growth, and endless possibilities!


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