Germany, a popular choice for foreign students, has always been proud to offer free and quality education for all.

A study recently published by two academic services found that Germany is the most popular country for foreign students in non-English speaking countries. The students are primarily attracted by better prospects and “no fees”.

However, data from 2016 and earlier were used in the study before tuition fees were charged outside the European Union (EU) in a German state. These fees could change the views of the students soon.

“Fees are not a problem for students from developed countries like the US, but students from undeveloped countries will definitely have trouble paying the fees,” Dr. Varunseelan Murugaiyan, an agricultural specialist from India at the University of Bonn.

In the 16 German federal states, tuition fees are set individually. Currently, only south-western Baden-Wuerttemberg charges foreign students outside the EU.

Baden-Württemberg has passed a law requiring non-EU students to pay tuition fees of € 1,500 per semester. It came into force in October 2017. As a result, seven universities in the region have lost a third of their international students this year.

Nevertheless, the costs of studying and living in Germany are considered as the main concerns of African and Asian students, far more than racism and language anxiety.

Another major financial obstacle for international students is the hefty 8,640 euros that they have to deposit each year in their bank accounts for the duration of their studies to guarantee their enrollment.

The “blocked account” is part of the legal requirement for obtaining a residence permit in Germany.