Guten Tag! And welcome to our newest edition of the brand new, MASTER AND MORE series involving city-oriented guides. Today, we have planned a visit to the German capital of Berlin – just in time before the Master Messe Berlin on the 28th November! Follow the link and register for the 2019 study event that will bring university representatives from Germany and many other unique study destinations! But back to our article…
To start off, Berlin is a capital in many ways – on one hand, of Germany, and on the other hand, of one of the 16 federal states of the country. Furthermore, as part of the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region which is often referred to as the Haupstadtregion (capital region), yeah, we probably proved our point. Nonetheless, Berlin is the largest German city both in terms of area and population located in the Eastern parts of Deutschland. Once divided, the city is now a center of culture, education, politics, science, and last but not least – innovation. Popular landmarks include the Brandenburg Gate, the Bundestag, the Berlin TV Tower and many bridges, castles and parks.
From a higher education point of view, Berlin is home to many public and private universities including some that are considered world-renowned:
|Public universities in Berlin||THE's World University Rankings for 2020||QS Top Universities for 2020|
|Humboldt University of Berlin||74||120|
|Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin||80||-|
|Free University of Berlin||117||130|
|Technical University of Berlin||149||147|
Of course, the list can be expanded. University of Potsdam, as part of the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Regions that we previously mentioned, can also join our prestigious examples with a place in the Top 251-300 according to Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings for 2020. And then there are several other public universities in Berlin that for one reason or another, are simply not under the radar of most ranking sources:
To sum up, over 40 higher education institutions welcome almost 200,000 students of different nationality each year in Berlin. Aside from Masters opportunities in German, many internationals benefit from English-taught programmes as well – you can find more than 250 examples with the helping hand of the Masters Search. Note that Masters programmes last between 1 and 2 years and generally award internationally-recognized degrees such as:
One of the most distinguishing characteristics of the German higher education system is indeed the non-existence of tuition fees for all students, including international. And in order to be precise, however, this is the case for all 15 federal states in Germany except for Baden-Württemberg where in 2017, they were once again reintroduced for internationals and set at €1500 per semester.
But since we are currently interested in a Masters in Berlin, there is no need to worry. Public universities only charge with a Semesterbeitrag (semester fee) often varying between €100 and €300 which, if applicable, covers free public transport for enrolled students!
Still, this does not exclude the opportunity of receiving funding thanks to financing opportunities. From one hand, you can always look for sponsoring institutions or ongoing scholarship or grant programmes on the website of your chosen university in Berlin. As a form of an example, we can take the Berlin University of the Arts – they have a special section containing rich information about grants. Alternatively, there is the famous DAAD, or German Academic Exchange Service in English, that provides hundreds of scholarship possibilities such as the Studienstiftung des Abgeordnetenhauses von Berlin: Stipendienprogramm which is specifically for Berlin.
Last but not least, Erasmus+ is also a reasonable option as from a financial point of view, the programme includes monthly payment for the period of your stay at a chosen host university.
Traditionally, our first and most important point regarding student life is finding accommodation. For more general information regarding housing in Germany, you can head on to our dedicated article here. In Berlin, there is a total of 12 districts with Kreuzberg and Neukölln often referred to as two of the most popular. Of course, there are the standard options of choosing between student halls of residence or the private market.
For the more affordable option, public universities in Berlin provide detailed information about housing opportunities online as well – check out the official governmental website Study in Germany ran by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. We have set the Free University of Berlin as a filter in the link so you can get an idea of what info is displayed. You can see a lot of differences in the pricing – anything from €265 and up to €900 per month, which mostly depends on location, near-by facilities, provided services such as Internet and TV, and of course, the furnishing and size of the provided room.
As for private accommodation, it is mostly a matter of choice. Unfortunately, low rentals in the area of €300-€400 are rarely out there – so it is best to look for as much as information as possible provided by private agencies or Internet websites.
Then we have living costs which typically include the price paid for housing. On average, most students in Berlin do not exceed a monthly budget of €1000 which is only slightly higher due to the payment of the Semesterbeitrag which, as we mentioned, can cover your cost for public transport. So provided that we are left with €400 in a real-world scenario, what could we afford in Berlin?
And we are finally left with transport. The monthly pass for public transportation services in Berlin is around €81, so you can see that more than 30% of your semester fee, given that it is as high as €300, is actually covering you this expenditure. On another note, the transport network in Berlin is highly-developed and consists of buses, and of course, the U-Bahn and S-Bahn. For boat tours and private bus fares, you can also make use of your ISIC card.