German Student Visa Interview Questions and Answers
The visa interview always seems to be the scariest part of the process for students who wish to study abroad, but this shouldn’t be the case. The fact that a foreign university has offered you admission means they believe you are in good academic standing and have the skills necessary to pursue your desired program.
The aim of a visa interview in Germany is to confirm that you are in the right state of mind to study in the country. Being academically sound is only a small fraction of the total package students should possess in order to succeed abroad. Students are required to be mentally matured and independent, because studying in Germany is not always going to be a smooth ride. There are going to bumps along the way. Visa officers simply want to make sure you have made the right preparations for the life of a student studying abroad.
The questions asked during a German visa interview can be grouped into four categories. These are:
- Questions about Germany
- Questions about your seriousness as a student
- Questions that test your intentions
- Questions that asses your financial situation
Each one of these serves a specific purpose. The questions in each category are designed to extract certain crucial information from students, which gives the visa officer information with which to make their final decision. Below are the four categories with explanations of their purpose and example questions and answers.
1.) Questions About Germany
The main purpose of this category is to determine if you are really motivated to study and live in Germany. If so, you will have gone out of your way to gather information about the country. If you have failed to do this, the interviewer will think you are unenthusiastic about living and studying there.
You should demonstrate to the consular officer that you are really passionate about Germany as a country, and have made an effort to get acquainted with some basic information.
Below are some questions that you are likely to encounter in this category, along with some perfect responses.
A) Why do you want to study in Germany and not in Canada or the United States of America?
I would like to study in Germany because the educational system is high-class and combines theoretical learning and practical training. As such, it is no surprise that the educational system in the country has produced influential scholars like Albert Einstein and Max Planck.
B) Where will you stay in Germany?
I will be staying in Duisburg since it only takes one hour by train to get to my school.
C) What is the population of Germany?
Currently, the population of Germany is almost 82 million.
D) How have you been preparing for your stay in Germany?
I have succeeded in securing accommodation. This will make things a little easier once I arrive. I have also made an effort to learn the language so that I can integrate easily into German society.
E) Who is the President of Germany?
The current President of Germany is Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
F) Who is the Chancellor of Germany?
The current Chancellor of Germany is Angela Merkel.
G) Can you name any important tourist attraction sites in Germany?
- The Cologne Cathedral
- Brandenburg Gate (Berlin)
- Heidelberg Old City, Hohenzollern Castle
- Rugen Cliffs
- Old Town Hall (Bamberg)
- Harz Mountains
- Aachen Cathedral
- Schwerin Castle
H) How many borders does Germany have, and with which countries?
Germany has nine borders with the following countries:
- Czech Republic
I) How many states are there in Germany, and can you name some of them?
There are 16 federal states in Germany. They are:
J) Who told you about Germany?
I found out about Germany on my own while researching possible countries to pursue my master’s degree.
Map of Germany
2.) Questions About Your Seriousness as a Student
This is the most important of the four categories of questions. Since your main purpose for going to Germany is to study, it is very important that you master the answers to these questions.
If you are unable to answer these questions convincingly, it is highly likely you will not leave a favorable impression in the mind of the consular officer.
Since they are very significant, these questions will make up about 50 percent of your interview.
A) What program did you apply for?
I applied for a master’s program in computer science.
B) Why did you choose this particular program?
The computer science program ranks highly compared to other computer science programs at other universities.
C) What is the name of your university?
The name of my university is Technical University of Munich
D) How many universities did you apply to?
I applied to five universities, all in the field of computer science.
E) Why did you choose this university?
I chose this university because it provides an excellent learning and working environment, and builds the necessary framework for long-term success in a short period of time.
F) Can you tell me some facts about your university?
My university, TU Munich, was founded by King Ludwig II in 1868. It was granted the right to award doctorates in 1901. It is one of the most successful universities in Germany’s excellence initiative.
G) Can you describe your course structure?
Semesters one and two impart technological know-how in the form of lectures, tutorials, and laboratory courses. In semester three, case studies are carried out in small teams of three to five students. In semester four, the program is concluded with the master's thesis.
H) Can you name some of the modules you will be studying?
Continuum mechanics, structural mechanics, the theory of stability, functional analysis, programming, and software engineering.
I) What is the duration of your program?
The duration of my program is two years.
J) When did you complete your undergraduate degree?
I completed my undergraduate degree in 2013.
K) What have you been doing since completing your undergraduate degree?
I have been working as a software developer.
I) Is this program relevant to your previous studies?
My bachelor degree was in computer science, and I was privileged to work on a project in robotics during my final year. I believe I have the necessary background and knowledge to be successful in this master's program.
M) Can you name some famous German researchers in your field?
Rudolph Bayer, who is professor emeritus of Informatics at the Technical University of Munich, and Wilfried Brauer, who was also a German computer scientist and professor emeritus at the Technical University of Munich.
N) What benefit will you derive from this course?
Graduates of this program have excellent opportunities when it comes to starting their careers, and will have good prospects in the future.
O) Is the course taught in English or German?
The course is taught completely in English.
P) Can you tell me your final scores in your bachelor’s degree, high school diploma, and your IELTS?
I had a percentage of 75 in my bachelor’s degree. My 10th and 12th class percentages were 70 and 80, respectively. My IELTS score is 6.5.
Q) How did you find out about your school?
I found out about my school as I was researching on the DAAD website.
R) What is the name of the city where your school is located?
S) Can you tell me a little bit about the city where you will be studying?
Munich is the capital and largest city of the German state of Bavaria. Munich is the third largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg, and the 12th biggest city in the European Union, with a population of around 1.5 million. The name of the city is derived from the Old/Middle High German term Munichen, meaning "by the monks."
3.) Questions That Test Your Intentions
This category is usually comprised of trick questions designed to find out if you are using your studies as a possible immigration route. The German embassy is well aware that a high percentage of students completely abandon their studies when they arrive in Germany to take up jobs. Therefore, they use this category to weed out fake students.
It is important to note that even though most students would like to stay permanently in Germany once they complete their studies, this is not what the German government wants. Only an exceptional few are allowed to stay. They are hoping that a large percentage of students will take the knowledge they learned abroad and apply it in their home countries. You should, therefore, be careful how you respond to this category of questions.
A) Is this course available in your home country? If so, why don’t you study it in your home country?
The course is not currently being offered in my country.
- Note: Don’t lie. If the course is available in your home country, answer honestly. You never know what resources the visa officer has to verify your answer. If you answer no and the visa officer finds out the course is offered in your home country, you might as well gather your documents and leave the interview. If you do answer yes, a perfect reason you might give is, “The level of infrastructure and the quality of education offered in my home country cannot be compared to that in Germany. I believe doing this program in Germany will help me be a better-prepared, worldly graduate. Also, I get the opportunity to learn a new culture and language."
B) What will you do after completing your studies?
My main goal after the completion of my degree program is to return to my home and use the knowledge and skills I have acquired to positively impact my country. I plan on venturing into the private sector and establishing my own company that emphasizes renewable energy production. Various German companies like EnD-I AG, Energiebau, and MP-Tech, who are into solar and wind energy, have expressed their readiness to partner with the private sector in Ghana.
C) What will you do with your degree in your home country?
I plan on venturing into the private sector and establishing my own company that emphasizes renewable energy production.
D) Do you wish to remain in Germany after completing your studies, or return to your home country?
I intend to return to my home country and use the knowledge and skills I have learned to make a positive impact in my community.
E) Have you applied for a visa at the German Embassy or any of the Schengen countries before?
No, I have not.
- Note: Be truthful here. They have all your details at the embassy. The Schengen zone has a unified system and they share information. If you have applied and were denied a visa for, let’s say, the Netherlands, the German embassy automatically gets that information. The fact that you have been denied a visa doesn’t mean your current visa will be denied.
F) Do you have any relatives in Germany?
No, I don’t have any relatives there.
- Note: If you have immediate relatives in Germany, you should answer honestly. However, there is no need to answer in the affirmative if your relatives in Germany are distant.
G) What do you plan on doing during your semester breaks?
I plan on visiting some tourist attractions in Germany.
- Note: If you plan on working during holidays, it is smart not to divulge this information.
H) Do you plan to work in Germany?
No. My sole purpose is to study and complete my master’s degree within the given duration.
I) How much do you expect to be able to earn after completing your studies?
I haven’t conducted any research into this, since my main goal after completing my studies is to return home and use my acquired knowledge to make a difference in my country.
J) Are you aware of the post-study work norms?
No, I am not aware.
4.) Questions That Assess Your Financial Situation
Even though tuition is free at most German universities, you still need to be in a good financial standing to be able to survive in Germany.
The embassy places huge importance on the financial capability of students. It does not want students to enter Germany and become stranded because they are unable to cope financially. This can force students to neglect their studies altogether and take up jobs. Some may even be forced to resort to criminal activity to get by, and the German government wants to avoid this possibility. Thus, it is important that students prepare for this category of questions and that they answer them to the best of their ability.
A) How will you fund your studies?
I have blocked an amount of €8,640 for one year. My sponsor is willing to support my studies and provide me with €8,640 every year for the duration of my studies.
B) Who is sponsoring you?
My uncle is sponsoring me.
C) What line of work is your sponsor in?
My uncle is the Managing Director of Unilever Ghana Limited. He also runs other private businesses.
D) Where does your sponsor live?
My sponsor lives in Accra, Ghana.
E) What does your father do?
My father is a farmer.
F) What does your mother do?
My mother is an elementary English teacher.
G) Do you have any siblings and, if so, what do they do?
I have one sister. She runs her own printing business.
H) Why aren’t your parents sponsoring you?
My father played a key role in financing the education of my uncle when he was young. Once my uncle had completed his studies and had gained good financial standing, he took it upon himself to finance one of my father's kids. He chose me because of my good academic background, and has been sponsoring my education since I was six years of age.
I) What is the annual salary of your sponsor?
The annual salary of my sponsor is around €100,000.
J) Does your sponsor have any dependents?
Yes, my sponsor currently has one dependent. However, his salary is more than enough to cater for both me and his other dependent.
K) What are the living expenses in your city for one year?
The living expenses in Duisburg for one year is around €8,500.
I) What plans have you made if your blocked account is expended after one year?
My sponsor has made adequate preparations to immediately fund my account with €8,640 before the money in my blocked account gets to €2,000.
Reasons Why the Germany Embassy Denies Visas
One of the first steps to passing your visa interview and securing a student visa is to understand the reasons the German Embassy denies visas. This will prevent you from making the same mistakes. You can find a detailed explanation of those reasons in my other article, where I go over six of the main reasons German student visas are denied.
Questions & Answers
I had my student visa interview recently. The officer asked me whether I would pursue a PhD after completing my masters in Germany. I replied, “If the circumstances are favourable, I may consider." Was that a good answer? Most of the forums I have read state that you need to make them believe you are going to return to your country.
Telling the visa officer that you intend to pursue your Ph.D. after completing your masters isn’t a big deal, as long as you make it clear that your ultimate goal after completing both your masters and Ph.D. in Germany is to return home and use the knowledge that you have gained to better your home country. Never paint a picture that you intend to stay and work in Germany after completing your studies.
It is always important to remember that a student visa is granted with the intention that an applicant will return to his home country after his studies. Even though most students would like to stay permanently in Germany once they complete their studies, this is not what the German government wants. Only an exceptional few are allowed to stay. They are hoping that a large percentage of students will take the knowledge they learned abroad and apply it in their home countries.Helpful 45
My IELTS validation is going to end on the 29th of July, and I am still unable to get a visa appointment due to the overwhelming number of students fighting for the few slots. I am worried that my IELTS certificate might lose its validity by the time I appear for my interview. Will this be an issue at the embassy?
You can present your IELTS certificate at the embassy even if it is passed its validation date as long as it was the same certificate you used in securing admission. Since a university has granted you admission, this means it was valid during the time of your university application, and that is what matters most.Helpful 6
I want to pursue my master’s degree in Germany, but unlike others, I want to do that in the German language. So I plan to take one year of the preparatory course in Germany and then pass the DSH test. Do I have to return to my country again to extend my visa for the master's program that I may study there?
First and foremost, I would advise you to learn German to a respectable level (at least B1) in your home country before going to take the 1-year preparatory course in Germany. Don’t underestimate the difficulty of the German language and the DSH test. To study successfully in the German language, you need to be really proficient in German and it’s really difficult to achieve this in just one year if you are starting from the scratch.
The DSH is a university language exam which certifies the existence of a German language proficiency sufficient for taking up studies in that language. You normally need an admission to study at a university in order to take the DSH test and is usually part of the requirement to study a degree program in German at a German university.
If you receive an admission to study at a German university, and they invite you to come and take their DSH test in order to study at their university in German, you will be going to Germany with a student visa and hence don’t need to return home once you pass the DSH test since it’s part of the requirement of the course.
On the other hand, if you don’t receive any admission letter from a university, you will need a language visa in order to study the German language in Germany which is totally different from a student visa. In that case, you can’t convert your language visa to a student visa once you are done with your language course and need to return home and apply for a student visa if you are successful in securing admission at a German university.Helpful 1
What if I intend to work, integrate and stay in Germany after my studies? Should I be honest about it or lie? I know Germany is actually seeking skilled workers because of their aging population.
I can't tell you to lie or not, but a student visa is granted with the intention that an applicant will return to his home country after his studies.Helpful 17
I already applied for accommodation in the student dormitories of TH Köln, but I didn’t get any confirmation as of now. I have my visa interview in July. Will this affect me during my interview? I got an email confirmation from the dormitory that I had applied for the accommodation.
It’s not going to affect your chances of securing a visa. A large proportion of students arrive in Germany without having secured any accommodation. The embassy is aware that getting accommodation can be tough especially in big cities like Munich and Berlin, and that it can take some time for students to get a permanent place of residence after they arrive in Germany.Helpful 10
© 2017 Charles Nuamah