Is German language necessary to survive in Germany (2023)

Germany welcomes thousands of international students every year to pursue higher education in various fields. Being the global hub of quality education and world-class infrastructure, Germany opens numerous gateways for learners to choose from. However, language is a common barrier faced by most international students. With 95% of the population speaking German as a language, English is not enough to get acquainted with fellow students. To help aspirants understand the importance of speaking German language in Germany, upGrad Abroad organized a webinar wherein speakers Tarun Gupta, student, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany and Mr Ankur Dhawan, President, upGrad Abroad sheds light on how knowing a local language can put you at an advantage in certain situations.

Read More: Study in Germany without IELTS

Table of Contents

Key points from the webinar

1. Not every course requires learning the German language. Technical courses such as Data Science, cybersecurity and more are taught in English language.

2. Being proficient in the German language opens a multitude of working opportunities in the market.

3. Knowing the language is not an essential requirement for students pursuing IT courses and willing to make a career in the same sector.

4. High scores are required in IELTS and TOEFL exams for admission. Certain universities also provide a cut off for the GRE score.

(Video) Do I need German in Germany?

5. Maximum numbers of jobs are available in automation, data engineering, and electronic engineering sectors.

6. Students should have at least B1 proficiency in the German language to broaden the horizon in terms of career opportunities.

7. A deposit of 10,000 Euros is mandatory before moving to Germany.

Recommended Read: How to study in Germany for free for Indian Students?

Courses that require the German language

In Germany, a student can choose programs wherein the medium of instruction is English to gain an international degree. If you’re opting for a German language course, then learning the B1 level is necessary to be eligible for the course. Along with this, you’ll have to clear German language exams like DSH, DAF, and C1 level exams to prove your proficiency.

Is it necessary to take the IELTS and TOEFL exam to take admission?

If you aim to take admission to a public university, you must score high marks in IELTS or TOEFL tests. In IELTS, the score should be more than 7+ band, and in TOEFL the score should be at least more than 80+ score. It also depends upon the university and its requirements whether it demands any additional exam score. Few universities also release cut-offs for GREs. In case you’re an upGrad learner then you won’t have to go through the same process in selected universities.

Cost of living in Germany as a student

The cost of living in Germany depends on the locality students choose to stay in. The minimum cost of living in Germany is 600 Euros, and the maximum is 850 Euros. To ensure the safety of students and living criteria, they have to deposit 10,332 Euros in a German Bank account to show as proof of funds for food expenses and living expenses.

Important Resources to Read About Germany:

Masters in Germany costMS in Data Science in GermanyGermany study visa
SOP for GermanyWhy Study in GermanyStudent Accommodation in Germany
How to study in Germany for freeCost of Study in GermanyMBA in Germany without IELTS
Requirements to study in Germany for Indian studentsJob Opportunities in GermanyHow to settle in Germany from India
MS in Data Science in GermanyMBA in Germany without GMATMS in Computer Science in Germany
(Video) German Language Is Really Required To Get Job in Germany?

Pursue Master in Data Science in Germany

upGrad Abroad offers numerous pathway courses that you can choose from. One such course is Master in Data Science, a two-year course that allows students to study the first year online and second year in Germany. With the tuition fee of only 3.35 lakh for one year, you’ll get the opportunity to study at IIIT Bangalore and then the second year at the International University of Applied Sciences, Germany, with a tuition fee of just 8,428 Euros. To be eligible to pursue MS in Data Science in Germany, you need to have a 50% score in Bachelor and complete 1st year at IIIT Banglore to study in IU Germany.

Why pursue MS in Germany?

1. 60+ projects and case studies

2. No IELTS for upGrad learners

3. Opportunity to attend Python Programming Bootcamp

4. Gain alumni status of IIIT Bangalore and IU Germany

5. Confirmed job opportunity within six months of course completion.

More Resources to Read About Germany:

Germany Post Study Work VisaStudy in Germany after 12thHow to apply for German Universities
Salary after MS in GermanyStudy MS in Germany without IELTSGermany Job Seeker Visa
Free Education in GermanyJob Opportunities in Germany after MSMBA Cost in Germany
Part time Jobs in Germany for Indian StudentsData Science Course in GermanyCost of living in Germany


How much IELTS score is required to take admission to Public University?

At least a 7+ score is required to be eligible to take admission.

What is the job scope in the automation industry in Germany?

There are a multitude of jobs available for electronic engineering students. Computer scientists, electronic engineering, and mechanical engineers are in high demand.

Can I pursue a Masters in Germany if I don’t know the German language?

Yes, there are some courses especially in the technical sector that can be pursued without knowing German.

Apart from IELTS, TOEFL, and language exams, will my previous university name also matter?

Yes, the German universities have a database of universities around the world that they accept.

Can I apply for bachelor courses in Germany?

Yes, you can apply for Bachelor courses. However, it is mandatory to learn the German language for Bachelor courses.

(Video) How important is the German language to survive in Germany? || upGrad Abroad

Can you change your specialization once you join a master course in Germany?

Yes, you can change streams, university and specialization. However, sticking to one discipline helps increase the horizon.

Is it mandatory to have work experience while applying for masters in Germany?

If you have some work experience previously, chances to get jobs and internships in Germany will relatively get easier.

Can I apply directly for a PhD in Germany?

Yes, you can apply for a PhD directly in Germany.

(Video) How important is the German language to survive in Germany?

Related Reads:
Germany vs. Canada: Which is better for study abroad?
Germany: A Dream Study Abroad Destination
How to Build a Career in Data Science in Germany even if you are not an Engineer?


Can you survive in Germany without speaking German? ›

Can you live in Germany without knowing German? It is just about possible to live in Germany without knowing much German. But in order to find employment and to fully integrate into society, you will need to be able to speak and read German to a good standard, especially if you live outside the major cities.

Can you survive in Germany with only English? ›

Long story short: You can survive in Germany without knowing the German language; most Germans speak English, the train usually runs announcements in English and in restaurants or bars, waiters and waitresses often speak English, especially in the city center.

Do you need to speak German in Germany? ›

Overall: you can live in Germany without speaking German, but whether you'll enjoy it is another matter.

Is it necessary to learn German to study in Germany? ›

Do I need to speak German? The language of instruction at most universities in Germany is German. All students undertaking a German-taught program will need to be able to demonstrate a firm knowledge of the language, either by means of a language test result or by taking a preparatory course.

Is it hard to find a job in Germany if you don't speak German? ›

In short, finding a job in Germany without speaking German will require you to think strategically about what types of companies to apply to and diversify the ways you learn about and apply to jobs. This path will take a bit more time and effort, but good jobs are out there and they are indeed attainable.

Can you work in Germany if you only speak English? ›

Although you can work in Germany as an EU citizen with English language skills, we recommend that you learn some German. You will have an easier time communicating with your colleagues and with the authorities. Above all, if you know German well, you can get better paid jobs.

What countries can you live in if you only speak English? ›

15 Expat Countries that Speak English (and Make Sense Tax-Wise)
  • Bahamas. The Bahamas is not only among the best countries that speak English but also the best countries for tax-free living. ...
  • Belize. ...
  • Bermuda. ...
  • Dominica. ...
  • Gibraltar. ...
  • Ireland. ...
  • Isle of Man. ...
  • Jersey.

Why is German so hard for English speakers? ›

But what makes German so hard to learn? The only reason that German seems so difficult to people is that it has grammar rules that other languages don't. German is a language with relatively high “inflection,” meaning that the words in a sentence change based on their grammatical roles.

Is it hard to study in Germany without speaking German? ›

Simply put, no! To study at a German university, you don't need to speak German as long as you meet the minimum language requirements for your desired degree program. However, you will have more options if you consider programs that are taught in English AND German.

Do I need to learn German to get a job in Germany? ›

Learn German for jobs in Germany: If you want to work and live in Germany as a non-EU citizen, you need to have a good knowledge of the German language. For most jobs in Germany, good German language skills are not only a prerequisite by the employing companies but also a condition in get a visa for Germany.

Is German still a useful language? ›

German is an important language in academia

In fact, it ranks second as the most commonly used scientific language. One of the reasons for this is that the German book market is the third largest in the world, right after the Chinese and English publishing industries.

Why is studying German Important? ›

German is an excellent language to learn in preparation for professional careers in international business or law, engineering, government and international affairs, economics and finance, and education, as well as for academic careers in such fields as history, religion, philosophy, art history, political science, ...

Is it important to learn German? ›

The global career: Knowledge of German increases your job opportunities with German and foreign companies in your own country and abroad. Proficiency in German helps you to function productively for an employer with global business connections.

Is it worth to study German? ›

Learning to speak German is a challenge, but it's the tenth most-spoken language in the world. It's, therefore, one which is very much worth learning, so that you're able to communicate with over 200 million people. One of the best ways to absorb a language is to force yourself to speak it every day.

Which profession has shortage in Germany? ›

According to a survey, skilled workers in construction and skilled trades, with a total of 349,275 jobs available and technical specialists (282,941 jobs), are in demand in the German labour market.

Can a US citizen move to Germany? ›

A residence visa is required if you intend to stay in Germany for more than 90 days for work or study or if you intend to move to Germany permanently.

How do you move to Germany if you don't speak German? ›

Applying for a work permit with a job offer

If you have received a job offer from a company in Germany, don't need to speak German to move to obtain a Visa. German companies and international companies are increasingly using English as a working language or working bilingually.

Can you live in Germany without knowing the language? ›

And yet, many people have lived in Germany for many years without learning much of the language, and they seem to do just fine. Places like Berlin are particularly accommodating to non-German speakers, being home to vast communities of expats who share a common language.

How long does it take to learn German? ›

German is rated as a category 2 language and considered to be similar to English. The FSI estimates that German takes approximately 30 weeks, or 750 classroom hours to learn. This study was conducted on a group of language students who spent 25 hours per week in class, and three hours daily on individual practice.

Is it easy to get a job in Germany as a foreigner? ›

Although it's possible to find a job in Germany with only speaking English, knowing German will skyrocket your chances. Of course, there are plenty of international job positions that only require the English language, but these tend to be more competitive, so speaking at least some German is a huge asset.

What is the best country to move to from USA? ›

Best Countries for Americans to Move to
  • Portugal.
  • Spain.
  • Australia.
  • Uruguay.
  • Costa Rica.
  • Thailand.
  • Greece.
  • Germany. Living in Germany.
Dec 1, 2022

Where is the best place to live outside the US? ›

The Winner: The Best Place To Live

The best destination to live as an expat in 2022? Mexico is the winner, with 91% of expats saying they are happy with their life South of the Border. Drilling down, Mexico ranks first for the ease of settling in and second for personal finances.

Is German hard for Americans? ›

With plenty of straightforward rules, German is not actually as hard to learn as most people think. And since English and German stem from the same language family, you might actually be surprised at the things you pick up without even trying! And on top of it all, it's definitely a useful one, too.

What is the hardest word to learn in German? ›

1. Eichhörnchen (Squirrel) Also a difficult one in English, this is a classic when it comes to difficult German words to pronounce.

What is the hardest part of learning German? ›

Because there are few pronunciation rules

Unlike English, for instance, where every word is pronounced in its own way or French, where to rules are so severe and dictations are done even in the most progressed course levels.

Can you learn German just by listening? ›

If you take care to consciously listen to your German audio, you'll quickly start to pick up new German skills through osmosis, also known as “passive listening.” This is when you absorb new vocabulary and grammar concepts just by being exposed to the language.

Is German the most important language? ›

German is the fourth most used language online and is the world's third most significant contributor to research and development. As a result, knowing German can be essential to succeeding in these fields globally.

Which language is more important than German? ›

If “useful” is about the sheer number of people you'll be able to converse with, French beats German easily. There are 267 million French speakers in the world, compared to 155 million German speakers. In terms of career opportunities, French and German are both very in-demand as business languages.

What is the most useful language to learn? ›

The 10 Best Languages to Learn in 2023 (and where to learn them)
  1. Chinese. Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world—spoken in some form by 1.2 billion people—so it only makes sense to include it on this list. ...
  2. Spanish. ...
  3. Korean. ...
  4. French. ...
  5. German. ...
  6. 6. Japanese. ...
  7. Italian. ...
  8. Portuguese.
Nov 23, 2022

How do I move to Germany if I don't speak German? ›

Applying for a work permit with a job offer

If you have received a job offer from a company in Germany, don't need to speak German to move to obtain a Visa. German companies and international companies are increasingly using English as a working language or working bilingually.

Is freedom of speech legal in Germany? ›

Censorship in Germany has taken many forms throughout the history of the country. Various regimes have restricted the press, cinema, literature, and other entertainment venues. In contemporary Germany, the Grundgesetz (Basic Law) generally guarantees freedom of press, speech, and opinion.

Can I live in Germany as a foreigner? ›

Temporary residence permits allow foreign nationals to stay in Germany for a specified period and then return to their home countries. Permanent residence permits mean that the foreign national can stay in Germany as long as they want to, can leave and return to the country whenever they want to.

Is it hard for a US citizen to move to Germany? ›

It is not difficult to move to Germany from the US if you have a valid reason, such as a job offer, a letter of acceptance from a German university, or wishing to join your partner. However, generally speaking, everyone outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland needs a solid reason to receive a German residence permit.

Can I live in Germany as a US citizen? ›

A residence visa is required if you intend to stay in Germany for more than 90 days for work or study or if you intend to move to Germany permanently.

Why I cant make friends in Germany? ›

Why Is It Hard To Make Friends In Germany? Some reasons why expats might have trouble socializing in Germany are that Germans tend to be more distant with others, stick to their childhood friends, and prefer to have a small group of real friends instead of a large group of acquaintances.

What is considered disrespectful in Germany? ›

Basic Etiquette

It is rude to chew gum or keep one's hands in one's pockets whilst talking with someone. Cross your legs by putting one knee over the other. It is impolite to rest your feet on furniture. Tight punctuality (Pünktlichkeit) is expected in most professional and social situations.

What human rights are being violated in Germany? ›

2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Germany
  • a. Arbitrary Deprivation of Life and Other Unlawful or Politically Motivated Killings.
  • Prison and Detention Center Conditions.
  • Arrest Procedures and Treatment of Detainees.
  • Trial Procedures. Political Prisoners and Detainees. Civil Judicial Procedures and Remedies.

What time are you not allowed to make noise in Germany? ›

The commonly agreed upon quiet hours in Germany (Ruhezeit time period) are from 10pm and 6 or 7am on weekdays and the entire day on Sundays, although there can be some exceptions in different cities or if your landlord imposes other rules as well. Ruhezeit also applies to all public holidays for the entire day.

How long can a US citizen stay in Germany? ›

Residence and Work Permit

US citizens in possession of a valid US passport do not need a visa for airport transit, tourist or business trips for stays up to 90 days.

Does Germany allow dual citizenship with USA? ›

A child born to an American parent and a German parent acquires both American and German citizenship at birth, regardless of place of birth, if the parents satisfy the jus soli or jus sanguinis requirements of their respective countries.


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