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Guide for applying Masters in Germany

Are you interested in applying Masters in Germany and  lost where to start with. Here you go!
Once I completed my masters degree, I was approached by a few people who wanted to pursue their masters as well but were lost and looking for guidance. The reason I am writing this post is because thinking of my past, I could recall that even I came across the same situation and would have been happy to find a blog written by someone who walked through the way. Unfortunately, I did not find any help like I expected, other than the Orkut community “Indians in Germany” which again would be grounded by September 30, 2014.
The blog starts with the procedure for applying to any Germany Universities.

Prerequisites for joining a course for MS in Germany:

1) Completed the bachelors degree with a decent grade.(More than 60% is sufficient).
Beware of the fact that though the curriculum designed in the universities in Germany is generous enough to give you an admission but they have no mercy for anyone who is not passionate towards it. Self motivation and consistency are the key to success.
2) Have an IELTS score of minimum 6.0, sometimes its 6.5 for some universities.
3) Relevant experience is an added advantage but not a must.
4) Recently the German embassy is looking for German A2 level certificates as well. Not sure but confirm it as this has to be started early.

STEPS:

Once you have made up your mind that you are going for your masters, then first decide on which intake will you be targeting for. If its going to be summer/ winter. All the universities have winter intake but only a few have summer intake. Winter intake roughly starts from October and Summer intake from April.

Step 1: Selecting your university
Log on to www.daad.de and start looking for universities which offers the course which you are looking for. Go through the curriculum and if possible even skim through the chapters of the books recommended by the professors to get a clearer picture. List down the universities which have the curriculum aligned to your interests. Be aware that there are universities which offer masters by research and there are some which offers masters by coursework. Masters by research usually has a thesis and extends to 2 years, whereas masters by coursework gets completed in 1.5 years. All the universities are good as none of them compromise the quality of the curriculum.

This might take you a few weeks before you could have a list of at least 6-10 universities ready.

Step 2: During the selection of the universities its important that you start off with learning German A1 level as well. This might be sometimes asked during the visa interview and also this helps you to get part time jobs easily if you wish to do any.

Step 3: Once you are ready with the universities you are going to apply for, you must be carefully tracking each of their deadlines, so that you do not miss  any. If possible search for groups in Facebook who are already studying in the university/ alumni. If you are lucky, you might also find students who are applying along with you in a particular university. Get in touch with them and get to know more about the subjects and the curriculum. This might also help you to filter out the few universities you are already having in your list. This is something you would be doing all the way till you are applying for your Schengan Visa.

Step 4: Apply for the transcripts. This might take 10 days to a month depending on the university. You can meanwhile get your recommendation letters ready, and get a confirmation from your professors through mail if they are fine with signing it for you. You can then take them during the day when you are about to receive the transcripts and get it printed in the universities letter head and  signed from the respective professors. Recommendation letters are usually sealed once they are signed and stamped finally to make sure that they have not been tampered by anyone. All universities ask for a minimum of three recommendation letters. Apart from this, you would need to start investing your time on writing the statement of purpose(SOP). This needs to be given ample time to be written. Just go through a few examples in google to see the structure but finally write one by your own. This can be started of with just writing your story/real motivation for doing the course in a stretch and then revise it again and again to ensure that the paragraphs are in a flow and does not confuse the reader. Finally you can give it to your friends to proofread it. Make sure that there are no spelling and grammatical mistakes in the final version. This might take as long as two weeks time.

Also Read:  List of Documents Required for the Admission in Germany
Step 5: Book your IELTS examination. This can be done when you were applying for your transcripts. Depending on your communication and spoken English skills, you might need to prepare for it between 2-4 weeks. I practised the book which was provided to me while I booked for the exam. It had 5 tests as well. It would be good if you take all the mock tests in a timed mode so that you get used to the feel of the examination. This also helps in keeping a track of the sections one really needs to concentrate in. Make sure that you hit a score of 6.5 in all the independent sections of the mock tests before you go for the examination. The results of the tests would be available at a maximum of one month’s time.

Stage 2: After your IELTS scores are out.

Step 6: By now you would have got your transcripts, recommendation letters and statement of purpose ready with you and you are simultaneously  becoming well versed with German language as well. And also you would have revised and finalised the universities which you are planning to apply for. Keep an eye on the deadlines of each of the universities. Be aware that it would take atleast 20 days time for the courier to reach the university. Cost saving tips on sending packages: Many courier companies offer reductions when you send the packets in bulk, so it is better to plan applying for universities in a bulk.

CAUTION: Never go to a CONSULTANT for help. When I applied, I went to a consultant just to get an idea how much he charges. He asked me to pay around 1.5 lakhs in total. Trust me you can save around Rs 60000.00 if you are doing it all by yourself. After all even if you are going through a consultant, you will realize that you were the one who did everything. If something was expected out of them it would have been in terms of helping you out to get an admission in an university where you will most likely be rejected which they don’t have any control over. So better don’t get fooled by going to a consultant. There are thousands of blogs available in the internet which gives you a better guidance compared to what a consultant would do.

Step 7: Once you have sent the applications to all the universities, keep your fingers crossed. In each of the universities official website they would have mentioned when the results would be out. Most of the universities release the results during this time saying if you are accepted or rejected. If you are accepted you will also be asked to confirm within a time, if you are going to join. Now that you would have got the admission from more than one university, you would have to make a clever decision of which university you finally want to join. Once finalized, you are almost half way through.

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Step 8:  From here on your every moment will be precious till you get your Visa, mainly because you only get one chance for clearing your visa in that particular intake. If you miss it then you will have to wait till the next intake. VFS is an agency which acts as a mediator between the student and the German embassy for issuing the Schenegan Visa. So the first step of applying for Visa is to go online and book an appointment. This would be the first appointment wherein you would be asked to submit a set of following documents:
1) Bachelor’s degree certificate
2) IELTS score
3) German language certificate – A2
4) Experience certificate if any
5) An affidavit from your sponsor/ bank regarding the support of educational loan of 7876/- Euros (Might have changed now)
6) A demand draft of the same.
7) A demand draft Visa fees (around Rs 3000)
The above documents varies from one consulate to another. A few of them ask you to open a blocked account in Duetsche Bank having the above amount as balance.

Step 9: So as per the requirements of the Visa consulate, you got to get the things ready ASAP and submit it to the VFS office on the appointment date. Then your documents would be forwarded to the nearest German embassy and you will be given an appointment for attending the Visa interview. This might happen through SMS intimation or mail. You will have to show up during the interview. This is the main interview where you would be checked if you are serious about pursuing your masters degree. Remember their target would be to know whether your intentions are true for pursuing your studies. During this process they might even expect you to talk basic German. So better refresh your A1 basics before attending this interview.

Step 10: Once your interview is over, then you have to wait for around 45-60 days for your Visa results. Not sure what happens from a proper source but what people say is that your Visa application is sent to the corresponding Visa office in Germany and then forwarded to the university to make sure that the applicant is a genuine candidate. Then after all the process gets over its sent back to India and the applicant is notified if the applicant is selected. Don’t worry most of the times the results are positive. You will be intimated about the results through SMS and mail and asked to come for the final interview with the booked tickets.

Step 11: At this point you have to make the travel arrangements and also get in touch with few of your university seniors to guide you through the process in the initial weeks and get acquainted with the place. This interview is mostly an eye washing interview. You will just be there for getting your Visa stamped in your passport. Now a days the stamping is no more done. They provide you with a card which you would need to carry with you all the times along with the passport.

Now that you will have crossed this stage, you are ready to fly. Please do not worry about what all things you need to take there. Just take a few shirts. Jeans, shorts and undergarments and that’s it. You will get all the things in Germany which you get in India.

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