Studying in Germany

Make it in Germany
Having been here for quite a while and having gone through the motions of having people tell me I’d never be able to study in Germany, I’m grateful that today I can witness to the possibility of studying here and in English. Different universities offer international programmes that are offered entirely in English or in both English and German. I have nothing against studying in German, I only wanted to buy myself time to perfect my German before I immersed myself into studying in German.
Unlike many foreigners/Kenyans here that do their first degree in German then do the masters in English, I’m quite the opposite after starting in English for my first year then continued on with German also in my masters. Well for my fellow country mates who are still riddled by the science of studying here, I’ll try and give a few pointers.
German Education System Explained:

Well I won’t get into the whole education system from kindergarten but instead just what would be relevant to Kenyans migrating after their KCSE in Kenya.You can read about the whole system here: German Education System Simplified.



Language School:

This must be the easiest of all the rest, considering the only major requirement is money in an account or sponsor. To apply for a visa for this purpose you need to find a language school in Germany, not necessarily Goethe though it has to be reputable (some Bundesländer do not approve the language courses at the VHS so check with your Auslandsamt before that).

The embassy in Nairobi used to approve visas for those that enrolled to VHS for the language classes but for those changing from Au Pair to language school visa, this used to be a problem in some towns. So like with everything else that differs from one Bund to the other, please confirm with the Auslandsamt before you set all your plans on going to the VHS.



This is the equivalent to an apprenticeship, whereby you get to go to school for the theory while you simultaneously work to pick up the practical. You still get to have a few internships to try out different sectors of your field before you complete the Ausbildung.

After the Ausbildung you have the option to “bridge” to University, depending on your field you can either  join Uni directly afterwards or after another 2year course to become a “Meister”. More often than not, people do get jobs right after their Ausbildung but that depends a lot of the field and the area you’re based in due the supply-demand rule. The further learning is nice but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll move higher in the corporate ladder eventually; of course the higher level of education does in most cases ensure a higher starting salary but what matters most is that you like what you do and are good at what you do. Everyday is a learning day anyway.


  • Any grade in your KCSE but it needs to be converted to the German equivalent by the “Anerkennungsstelle” in your Region/Bundesland. This can only be done when you are in Germany. Find the list of Anerkennungsstellen here.
  • Good enough german to be able to communicate, atleast a B1 or B2



Germany recently converted their University system to the universal Bachelor-Master system from the former Diplom. There have been many discussions about which is better but that’s a discussion for another day.


  • Atleast a C+ in KCSE or if you have below a C+ then atleast a year of bridging at a reputable and known college/university/polytechnic in Kenya
  • At least a B1 if you’re in an international programme (for the DAAD scholars, DAAD pays for the language course upto B1 before you start your program and any further learning of the language that you may wish to undertake during the programme); or DSH2 for the national program (This requirement isn’t cast on stone so please confirm with your University.) A list of International programs offered in Germany can be found on the daad website at
  • For those applying for their Masters, you need a degree from a reputable university. Check your university at For Kenya check here
If any of you knows of a requirement I forgot, or have any questions please add it in the comments box below.
DISCLAIMER: Please confirm with the University, Auslandsamt and/or Embassy on the exact requirements. The requirements mentioned on this post are just a guideline and might not be exact at the time of your application.
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