US citizens enrolled in a university degree in Germany do not require a visa but can directly register for a residence permit. One should do so within 2 weeks of arriving by 1) going to the local residents registration office - Bürgeramt - and 2) the aliens registration office - Ausländeramt - where you receive a resident permit (Aufenthaltsgenehmigung). You will ask to get the "residence permit for study purposes" which is valid for 2 years and costs €110.
The documents required to register at the local residents registration office are:
There are offices in any major city - several in the large cities - e.g. in Berlin they can be found here. All details of visa/residence permits for students are also described here. Please contact us with questions.
EU students applying this year to start studying in the academic year 2017/18 can look forward to having guaranteed home student fees and funding options throughout their degree. The UK government has confirmed that:
The UK tuition fee loan allows students to defer payment of tuition fees until they earn an income above a certain level (ca. £25 000 annually). They then repay the fees gradually as long as they earn above the threshold income. Interest on the loan is low (at inflation or up to three percentage points above inflation for higher incomes) and the tuition loan does not affect creditworthiness. If it is not repaid in full after 30 years, the loan expires, i.e. no longer needs to be repaid.
For questions about Brexit or UK Bachelor applications, email email@example.com.
Answering your FAQs about studying in Germany
Tuition fees: Is studying in Germany really free?
Most degrees at all levels (Bachelor, Master, PhD) in Germany are entirely free - even for foreign students. Use this tool to discover free degrees in your area of interest
Language: Can I study in English in Germany?
Many degrees are also taught in English. Find a selection here and use the filters to find your degree level and subject interest.
Visa: Is getting a student visa for Germany difficult?
Often, not at all. Students from many countries do not need a student visa.
Cost of living: Is living in Germany affordable?
The cost of living in Germany is comparable to that of many other West European countries and the USA. Living costs vary by city, with Hamburg and Munich being more expensive than Berlin or smaller German cities. As an average, most students live well on ca. €800 per month. The standard of living is quite high in Germany, so your university accommodation or shared flats are usually of a high quality. Notably, cost of living in any German city including the capital, Berlin, is markedly lower than that in some other large West European cities like London, Paris, Stockholm or Copenhagen.
Degree quality: If education is free, is it good?
Education in Germany has a very good international reputation. For anyone looking for a high-quality and demanding degree, Germany is an excellent choice. However, it must be noted that Germany does not boast particular elite universities on the same level as Oxford, Cambridge or Ivy League and similar schools. In consequence, Germany offers great degrees for anyone who would not otherwise go to Oxbridge or the best US universities. If you are a candidate for Oxford, Cambridge and the Ivy Leagues, we generally recommend those schools due to the particular teaching styles and student composition there (see also Oxbridge tutorials).
Living in Germany: what if I don't speak German?
Germany is generally a very safe country and open to foreigners. Depending on the city, you may even get by without learning German as Berlin, for instance, has a high international population and Berlin residents are often happy to serve or speak in English. In other cities, it is advisable to learn enough German to make basic requests in shops but the younger generation will usually be comfortable - and often more than happy to - speak with you in English. Studying an English language degree you will be able to meet and make friends with like-minded people your age.
For questions on
There is a rumour/myth/experience that LSE in particular and some other universities in UK tend to reject applicants who apply to Oxford or Cambridge - i.e. submit their application before 15th October.
We are not in a position to tell you whether this is true or not - certainly we know of applicants who were rejected by all university choices except Oxford or Cambridge, whilst others got offers from universities in London and across the country as well as Oxford or Cambridge.
You can avoid this dilemma or insecurity by submitting your UCAS application for Oxford or Cambridge by October 15th and listing only one university (Oxford or Cambridge). UCAS allows you to add other universities later, so you can add LSE and other London and UK universities later in the year or early January, in time for the January 15th deadline.
LSE tends to make its offers later in the year - in early December or after the Christmas break - so you can submit your application there in November to simultaneously take advantage of not making your application to Oxford or Cambridge obvious, yet still being among the first applications they view and send offers to.
An alternative explanation for admission at Oxford or Cambridge despite a rejection from LSE could, of-course, also be that the universities differ in what they look for in candidates, and Oxford and Cambridge take more information into account, including interviews and more tests in some cases.
If you have questions regarding your application at Oxford, Cambridge and/or other UK universities, please contact us using the contact form on the right, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +49 (0)30 5891 7332.
Bachelor applications to universities in the United States fall into two categories: Common Applications and Uncommon Applications.
The Common Application consists of two sections: the general application and the supplemental application. The general application is a set of questions uniform across all universities that use the "Common Application". The supplemental application is an additional compulsory component that is unique and specific to each university.
Therefore, use of the "Common Application" allows an applicant to send all universities who subscribe to this application process the same general application. This means an applicant completes one general application and has it sent to all universities to which he or she would like to apply and that accept the Common Application. The only additional burden incurred by the applicant in applying to an additional university under the "Common Application" scheme is the additional supplemental application required for each additional university. Generally, the general application is 60% and the supplemental application is 40% of the application process for any one university. Institutions accepting the common application include Harvard University, Princeton University, Stanford University, University of Michigan, Duke University and Columbia University.
Uncommon Applications are applications to universities that do not subscribe to the Common Applications process. These applications are wholly unique from each other and do not possess any questions uniform across any other university. As a result, applying to these universities requires substantially more time than would applying to universities under the Common Applications process. Some of the institutions using the Uncommon Applications process include UC Berkeley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Georgetown University and UCLA.
In accordance with these application processes in the United States, you may choose a package for one or a combination of these application processes as well as assistance on financial aid applications, which vary greatly from institution to institution regardless of their use of the Common or Uncommon application processes, and required documents subject to U.S. Tax Code.
Students and parents of applicants can take advantage of a free introductory consultation to discuss their expectations, receive feedback on the candidate's likelihood of success, advice on their chosen list of universities and answers to any preliminary questions. To request an free initial consultation, please contact us using the contact form on the right, email email@example.com or call us at +49 (0)30 5891 7332 (Germany).
Author: Peter E. Simon, tutor for US admissions and alumnus of Brown University and Georgetown Law. Edited by Katharina Kunze, tutor for UK admissions and alumna of Oxford University.
Most applications for a Bachelor degree at US universities and for US scholarships request 2-3 reference letters. Usually, at least two are from teaching staff - teachers or college counsellors have taught you in the last 1-2 years - who know you in a learning environment. The third may be another teacher or someone who knows you from extracurricular activities or internships. The guiding principle should be who knows you best, is most likely to write a convincing and enthusiastic reference in English, and which combination of referees can cover different parts of your profile - e.g. using different subject teachers to stress your abilities in different academic areas, or choosing a supervisor in extracurricular activities (e.g. debating) who can stress your abilities and interpersonal qualities in that context.
Referees should present you enthusiastically and positively, stressing not only your academic and scholarly abilities and achievements, but also your personal traits, extracurricular and social involvement and explain any special circumstances you have dealt with - to show how you have excelled in spite of them, to explain why perhaps they may have affected your grades, or simply to illustrate interesting sides of your personality and special experiences. The aim is to demonstrate that you would be succeed academically, be interesting to teach and could contribute positively to campus life.
We recommend giving referees some information to help them better understand your motivation as well as what is expected of the reference letter, especially if your teachers are less experienced with writing reference letters for US Bachelor degrees. Specifically, we recommend:
In terms of content, the reference letters should:
For more concrete tips on how to write the reference to fit your chosen universities and your profile, for help contacting referees to set expectations and to review references, please contact our tutors.
Some of the world's most renowned universities are located in the US - Harvard, Princeton, Yale, other so-called "Ivy League" schools, as well as non-Ivy League schools such as Stanford, Duke and NYU, which regularly top global university rankings.
While studying in the US can be more expensive than in other countries, some of the most generous funding schemes for studying in the US are available for Bachelor studies - often more generous than those for US Master studies.
Much like applying to a Bachelor's degree in the UK, the application at US universities involves more than just grades (although these can play an important part), giving more applicants an opportunity to show off their extracurricular, social, sportive and arts accomplishments.
Benefits of studying in the USA
Studying in the US is attractive for a range of factors. Beyond "simply" internationalising your CV and gaining experience of the US culture and college life, a Bachelor's degree in the US gives students more flexibility in exploring their academic interests. This is enabled by the structure of US degrees, in which the first two years are spent studying a range of courses of the student's choice, before she/he narrows down her/his interests and focuses on only one (or two) major(s) in the final two degree years.
Of-course, the renommé and employment opportunities within the US, as well as opportunities to continue your studies at top schools in the country, are attractive, too. After completing a degree in the US, your are authorised to work in your field in the USA for one year. To do so, you apply for OPT (Optional Practical Training); thereafter the company you are at can sponsor your work or H1-B visa.
Universities in the US are among the most selective in the world, with the universities with the lowest admission rates accepting only ca. 5% of applicants, while the full university landscape offers places for applicants with (nearly) any ability level.We support anyone applying to the US for university courses as well as for the financing of their studies, and with all practical aspects of the application and (later) move to the US.
Preparing your application
Start your research 2 years before you intend to start your course. We recommend choosing up to 5 (not 10!) universities to apply to so that you are not overwhelmed. Research the entry requirements of each school and feel free to contact each university's international student advisor with your questions.
The entry requirements are likely to include some combination of the following:
Most colleges require the ACT, SAT or subject-specific SATs (SAT II) as entrance tests. Register (and start preparing) for these well in advance (...hence our recommendation to start your research 2 years in advance). The English tests that are accepted are listed on the college websites; the TOEFL and IELTS are the most popular in the US.
Many universities allow you to apply via the so-called Common Application, an online form that can be sent to several universities. Universities may sometimes add questions or requirements (e.g. documents or essays) of their own to the CA. Some universities, however, do not accept the CA and you will be required to complete their separate application form.
You can apply early for universities, usually in early November, as part of an early action plan (you get the response to your application early - in December or January) or the early decision plan (you get the response to your application early - in December or January - AND that decision is binding; i.e. you have to attend that college). Hence, apply for your first choice college via early decision and others via early action for the best chances to get a spot.
Deadlines for most top universities for Early Action or Early Decision applicants are around November 1st - although do note that there are exceptions, e.g. for some subjects you may need to submit your portfolio by October 15th; so double-check deadlines for each course you apply to. Deadlines for the regular decision are usually around January 1st (again with some exceptions where your portfolio should be submitted by December).
Our tutors for US universities all attended some of the best colleges in the USA and we seek to match applicants with tutors who specialised in the same areas of interest as the applicant. Some of our tutors have even, additionally, worked and taught at some of the universities you apply to, so can give you first-hand information about which qualities are highly regarded by admissions teams at your target schools and how to present your profile to match these requirements.
Open days at Oxford and Cambridge occur several times a year, usually in late June and September - just at the end of the academic year and just before the start of the new academic year.
Cambridge open days
Cambridge only allows pupils in their final year of school or submitting an application that year to join the official open day events. However, if you are not yet a final year student, you still have opportunities to take advantage of some of the offerings of the open day. Most importantly, you can book online tickets for open day events on the Cambridge website. This allows you to attend certain university-wide as well as college events. It also gives you free access to all colleges in order to allow you to take part in student-guided tours that give you a feel for the grounds, dining and library facilities as well as student accommodation.
The tickets also give you a chance to visit some of the most impressive buidlings in Cambridge for free, such as King's College Chapel. During the college tours and in the colleges' information rooms, you will have a chance to speak to current students about their experiences studying at Cambridge, the subjects they chose and day-to-day college life. We recommend booking your tickets early, as the university-wide (/departmental) tickets may be sold out closer to the open day.
Oxford open days
Anyone can attend Oxford's open day events and tickets or pre-booking are not necessary for most events at both college and university levels. For both Oxford and Cambridge open days we recommend you first decide on your subject(s) of interest. If you are still deciding between subjects, choose those you are most interested in and figure out a manageable schedule to visit those subjects' events. The most interesting events usually include:
Meeting individual tutors
At both Oxford and Cambridge you can arrange to meet and speak to individual subject tutors at various colleges to get a better feel for the subject(s) you are interested in as well as the staff who would teach you during your degree. Some tutors are very open to and keen on meeting prospective applicants, because it gives them a better idea of who the applicant is and may help them make a more informed decision when the applicant comes for interviews. They are also often motivated to encourage you to apply and inform you about the subject, so that you can make the best decision for yourself.
However, some tutors may be short on time during the open days or less interested in meeting potential applicants in order not to privilege or disadvantage any candidates at the interview stage. In order to find a tutor who is willing and free to meet you, we recommend looking at the faculty page of the subject you are applying to (e.g. for Classics, google "Classics tutors at Cambridge") and contacting a few members of staff listed there per email.
Come to the tutor meetings prepared with your questions. Topics tutors will often talk about or that are worth asking them about are:
Visiting both universities
If you are interested in both Oxford and Cambridge universities, you may wish to visit both for open days. Usually both universities' open daysd are close in dates - at times even overlapping. Travel between the cities can be cumbersome by train or bus, hence you may find it useful to book a taxi for the trip (ca. GBP 135 for 4 people between Oxford and Cambridge).
Book accommodation early
Hotels in the Oxford and Cambridge area may be fully booked during open days. In consequence, we recommend finding accommodation early to capture lower prices and conveniently located hotels. Students may also stay for free at certain colleges, e.g. Magdalen College or Christ Church at Oxford. This is a great option to get a good feel for living at the college, to meet other applicants also staying overnight there, and to have more time to chat to students and staff at the college.
Enjoying Oxford and Cambridge
There are many great options for food in both university towns. In Cambridge, walking near the river and down the High Street you will find plenty of attractive restaurants to suit any taste. In Oxford, the Quod restaurant on High Street and Vaults and Gardens in the basement of the University Church of St Mary are particularly recommended. If you would like to try traditional pub food, try the Turf Tavern - hidden off Holywell Street - or the Eagle and Child.
Visiting the towns for open days also gives you an opportunity to see other interesting parts of the cities. For example, in Oxford you may wish to visit the Ashmolean museum, a free museum and the oldest in the UK, which also has a beautiful rooftop terrace for lunch or coffee. The Randolph Hotel opposite it is a brilliant place to try "High Tea", as are several cafes on the High Street. It is worth going on a guided tour of the Bodleian Library - the second largest library after the British Library in London - which holds a copy of every book published in the UK and has beautiful interiors in which the Harry Potter movies were filmed. During open day, the tours of the Bodleian Library are free of charge for prospective students and accompanying family and ffirnds. Finally, the University Church of St Mary the Virgin and the Covered Market, both off High Street, are well worth a visit.
In Cambridge, you may also wish to take a guided punting tour, in which you will be chauffeured along the river in so-called punts. Guides explain the history of the colleges and other landmarks you pass - including how James Bond was named and who the person behind "M" in 007 is based on.
We accompany families or individuals visiting open days at Oxford and Cambridge. Our tutors plan the trip (events to visit, tutors to meet, accommodation in hotels and colleges, meals, transport and leisure events) and accompany you during your stay to give you background information on what you see, answer further questions and guide you to all event locations without difficulty.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | +49 (0)30 5891 7332
The Karonlinska Institutet (KI) in Sweden is ranked among the top 10 institutions globally for medicine - matched only by the best UK (Oxbridge) and top US medical schools. As US "med-schools" are very expensive and do not accept many European applicants, they are often not considered as a realistic option among European applicants. By contrast, the medical Bachelor (and Master) degrees at KI offer an incredibly attractive alternative, as all degrees are entirely free and taught in English. As an additional bonus, KI's students can consider themselves privileged to be a part of the renowned institution that awards the Nobel Prize each year.
However, a key caveat for aspiring medics is that a medicine degree at KI is targeted towards research and does not qualify its graduates to work as doctors. Thus, applicants wishing to practise the medical profession with patients should seek alternative institutions for their degrees, e.g. English language degrees in the UK or Netherlands. For those interested in pursuing the pure research side of medicine, the Bachelor (as well as Master and PhD) at KI offers an excellent opportunity to work at a world-class institution free of tuition charges and gain a footing in one of the world's best medical academic circles.
The deadline for an application to start the Bachelor's degree in the autumn semester is in January of the year you wish to start your degree, i.e. ca. 9 months prior to the beginning of your course. The application involves submitting an application form and supporting documents online. The main documents required of EU and EEA students are scans of:
The document scans are submitted in colour and should include all pages of the requested documents (i.e. including irrelevant parts of the documents), all merged in one file. If you completed a previous degree elsewhere, submit both the certificate and the transcript. Diplomas or transcripts often do not need to be translated if they are in one of the main European languages listed here.
Costs and financing
Studying in Sweden, including at KI and any degree (Bachelor, Master or PhD), is free for EU and EEA citizens. Thus the requirements to prove your citizenship status via copies of your passport, national ID card or similar official documentation in your application, by uploading a scan of your original document in the 'Documents' tab on your account with University Admissions (see above).
Living costs are estimated at SEK 8000 by the university. However, do budget higher expenses, depending on your lifestyle. KI does not offer scholarships for the Bachelor and and there is no support for student living costs in general. Of-course, you can subsidise your studies via scholarships from your home country. Foreign students are also allowed to work in Sweden during their studies without an additional work permit. To work on campus, you can contact university's Education Support Office.
The academic year at KI is divided in two semesters: the Autumn term from late August to mid-January; and the Spring semester from mid-January to early June. The curriculum and online presence of courses is easily accessible on the web; before applying it makes sense to have a look and make sure it fits your interests. Timetables tend to be reasonably full, see this sample timetable from the first semester.
EU/EEA students must arrange their accommodation in Stockholm independently, whereas fee-paying students are guaranteed accommodation with KI housing. There is a shortage of student accommodation, so search early by contacting KI Housing, stating Study counselor Eva Feron (Phone: 08-524 868 65, Organizational unit: Student- och karriärservice, E-mail: email@example.com) as your contact.
You can also register with the municipal accommodation agency. The cost of joining a queue for accommodation is about SEK 250 per year. Waiting times vary from one residential area to another (the inner city, not surprisingly, has the longest waiting times), but generally speaking these times have been decreasing in recent years. They also operate a system called "Bostadssnabben" for flats that are ready for immediate occupancy on a first come, first serve basis.
Furthermore, you can research options to sublet at:
CasaSwap is a free international housing network, where you can similarly rent, sublet and swap accommodation with other members from all over the world.
International students should take care to register their right of residence with the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) no later than three months after entering Sweden. To do so, they should prove they have SEK 8,010 per month for ten months of the year (= ca. €850 per month, exchange rate of 30th Sep 2015).
All students are covered by a personal injury insurance (the general student insurance), through the Swedish Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency (Kammarkollegiet). The insurance applies in Sweden during school hours and during travel to and from the location where school hours are spent.
Students from EU/EEA countries should register with their social insurance office in their home country, in order to obtain the European Health Insurance card (EHIC). With the European Health Insurance card you are entitled to health care in Sweden on the same conditions as Swedish citizens.
You will receive a Swedish personal number and automatically fall under the Swedish healthcare system. You will receive a letter to your place of residence identifying your local healthcare center for check-ups and appointments and of course you can go to the emergency department of a hospital should you need to. With a Swedish personal identity number, you may take out home insurance through any Swedish insurance company.
"Tutorials are central to study at Oxford. They give you the chance to discuss your subject with a world leader in the field. Your tutor gives individual support and encourages you to develop to your full potential" (Oxford University)
Tutorials - known as "supervisions" in Cambridge - are what makes studying for a Bachelor's degree unique at Oxford and Cambridge. The personal contact to top researchers in your area of study is motivating and inspiring, and it builds the important mindset among students that one is never too young to question established views or figures and from their own opinions.
"Tutorials take place at least once a week and it’s up to you to research and prepare for them. Then you meet your tutor, perhaps with one or two other students, to discuss an essay or solutions to set problems. The aim is to review your answers or theories and explore ideas that arise in discussion." (Oxford University)
The small groups in tutorials make sure each student is challenged individually, according to his or her level, as well as that no student is "left behind" - professors are aware of the level of understanding that students have.
"Student tutorials are generally more academically challenging and rigorous than standard lecture and test format courses, because during each session students are expected to orally communicate, defend, analyze, and critique the ideas of others as well as their own in conversations with the tutor and fellow-students. As a pedagogic model, the tutorial system has great value because it creates learning and assessment opportunities which are highly authentic and difficult to fake." (Palfreyman, D. (2008) 'The Oxford Tutorial', OxCHEPS)
Indeed, Richard Dawkins claims the Oxford tutorial system taught him how to think:
"Described as the ‘jewel in the crown’ (Palfreyman, 2008) of British education, the tutorial is the focus of much praise as the foundation of an Oxbridge education. In the last decade, multiple studies have been conducted exploring the unique learning benefits of the tutorial method. ... [I]t is through the tutorial system that ‘students develop powers of independent and critical thought, analytical and problem-solving abilities, and skills in both written and oral communication and argument." (Greene, 'The History of the Tutorial')