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 36
I have got an admission letter to study at the University of Paderborn as an international bachelor’s student in transition status for admission to the master program “International Economics and Management.” This means I have been given the opportunity to obtain the missing ECTS-credits required for successful admission into the master program ‘International Economics and Management’ through the BA transition phase. Will this affect my visa application?
Basically, what you have received is a conditional admission letter to pursue a masters program in International Economics and Management. I don’t think this is going to affect your visa. Try to show the visa officer you are really motivated to study and that you will be able to fulfil the missing requirements in the shortest period of time and go ahead to start with your master's degree if given the opportunity to travel to Germany.Helpful 1
Last winter, I had my visa rejected by the German embassy. I applied for a masters program in Sustainable Management. My bachelor's degree was in Social Welfare. The reasons given for the rejection were: 1. Why a second masters degree? 2. Why the change in subject? 3. Why the long distance from your school to your accommodation? I have recently gotten admission to study M.A. Development Studies at the University of Passau. How should I approach the interview this time?
These are the typical reasons given for the rejection a German student visa, and unless you work on them, there is a high chance your visa will be rejected again.
The first reason, “Why a second masters degree?” is a very common reason for rejection and falls under inconsistency with your choice of study program. You should provide a very tangible reason for going for a second masters program. Below is a good reason given by a student for going for a second master’s degree:
"I initially applied for my dream Ph.D. program at TU-Munich. However, I was denied admission on the basis that I lacked sufficient course content and research in my master's degree. I, therefore, decided to apply for another master's degree to get the necessary course content and research experience to apply for my dream Ph.D. program at TU-Munich."
The second reason, “Why the change in subject?” is a common reason for refusal as well. This also falls under inconsistency with your choice of study program. It is advisable to show solid proof of why you want to study in a new field, which can be in the form of work experience in the new field. I noticed that the recent admission that you received from the University of Passau in M.A. Development Studies is still unrelated to your bachelor's degree. If you don’t provide a valid proof and reason for why you are changing your subject, it is highly likely your visa would be denied again. Below is a good example of a reason given by a student for going for a master’s program that was totally unrelated to his bachelors:
"I had the opportunity to work in the environmental sector for two years. This is where my interest in environmental issues developed. Even though my degree is unrelated to this sector, I believe I have the relevant work experience and passion to succeed in this field."
The third reason, “Why the long distance from your school to your accommodation?” is a somewhat less common reason for rejection and I believe it stems from the first two reasons. If you successfully work on the first two reasons, this reason will take care of itself. The fact that you didn’t satisfy the first two reasons makes them automatically doubt if your true intention is to study and considering that you intend to stay a long distance from your university reaffirms their belief that you have a different agenda for going to Germany. I would advise you to carefully read my article on the reasons for rejection of German student visa in the link below.Helpful 4
I'm currently pursuing a masters degree in electrical engineering in Cyprus. I plan on applying for another masters degree in Germany. Do you think I stand a chance of securing admission?
Admission to masters programs in Germany is quite competitive, and this is mainly due to the tuition-free privilege extended to international students. However, if you have at least a German grade of 2.5 in your bachelor's degree, then there is a high chance you will secure an admission.Helpful 2
I have secured admission at Phillips University in Germany to study medicine. I have succeeded in blocking the required 8640 euros for the first year. Is it necessary to block this amount of money every year?
It depends on the Alien Registration Office in your city where you will be studying. Some will require you to block this amount every year. Others will give you a 2-year residence permit which means you will only need to block the 8640 euros every two years. If you are lucky in securing a job that pays 720 euros every month, you don’t need to block 8640 euros every year or 2 years depending on your city. You can extend your visa by show your job contract and monthly pay slips as proof of financial means. Most student jobs only pay around 450 euros though which means you still have to show 3240 euros in your blocked account every year or every two years.Helpful 6
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