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Online courses: Study in Germany via the Internet

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Studying from home? With the internet it is possible to study entire courses - whenever and wherever you want. Online courses are a real alternative, especially for working people. We'll show you how on the internet works.

Whether at the University of Freiburg, at the Free University of Berlin or at the University of Ulm: More and more universities in Germany are offering international courses as online programs. This enables students anywhere in the world to complete their desired degree at a German university via the Internet. Some of these online courses can also be carried out part-time while working.

Studying the Internet opens up new worlds. Whether advanced training courses, advanced master’s programs or bachelor’s degrees: In addition to traditional German distance learning universities, some of which oversee international students, state colleges and universities also offer international study programs that can be completed online.

Mixed form of "blended learning"

Especially for those who want to do their Masters, there is a whole range of courses that can be completed completely online or with just a few and short ones in Germany. This mixed form of digital learning - online and on site at the university - is also called blended learning.

Mona Ayoub completed such a program. The deputy head of the DAAD branch in Cairo did her master's degree in "International Education Management" online - with attendance phases at the Helwan University Cairo in Egypt and the Ludwigsburg University of Education in Germany.

“The biggest benefit of the program was the flexibility. I was able to do my tasks whenever I had time: at night or after work. I was able to work on my studies anytime and anywhere. "

Study online part-time

These blended learning and online courses are particularly interesting for those who want to complete their training alongside their job. Many of the digital study programs are designed in such a way that study and job can be easily combined.
For Mona Ayoub it was ideal. Her master’s degree was part-time for three years. “That was a great relief for me,” she says. “Otherwise it would have been very stressful.” After all, she has a responsible person at the DAAD. The part-time study on the Internet enabled her to get her job, studies and her family under one roof.

What does an online degree look like?

The contents of the are specially prepared for Internet learning in classrooms. Self-study on the screen is supported by

  • interactive, individually adapted tasks,
  • multimedia offers,
  • Web or video conferencing,
  • Wikis,
  • Chats to share experiences,
  • via WhatsApp groups or Skype as well
  • personal care.

In the case of blended learning programs, there are also workshops or seminars on site at the university. How frequent these are and whether they are mandatory depends on the course and the university.

Recognized degrees

Of course, the decisive factor is whether the qualifications are actually recognized in your home country. The universities, professional associations and authorities of the home country are usually responsible for academic or professional recognition. Germany has agreements with many countries around the world for the mutual recognition of university degrees.

Online studies are usually not free of charge

Even if in Germany studying at public universities is mostly free of charge, this does not necessarily apply to online courses. In addition to the certified advanced training courses offered by state and private universities, it is primarily advanced training courses for which fees are charged. Usually only individual, thematically specialized courses, so-called MOOCs, which do not offer certified degrees, are free of charge. There are also MOOCs for which you get a certificate, but these are often subject to a fee.

The amount of the tuition fees is very different and depends on the course and the university that offers the course. For a total of 1,500 euros, you can complete certified further training in the field at the TU Kaiserslautern as a blended learning program in two semesters. For the online study program “” at the Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin, 2,800 euros are paid every semester.

Where can I find the online courses at German universities?

It is not easy to find a suitable online degree program. There is no central database for international students who are aiming for a degree or certified further education completely online - or in blended learning programs. However, if you are looking for opportunities, you can find offers via the DAAD “International Programs” database.

Another option is the university compass of the German Rectors' Conference. Here (almost) all German universities put their courses in the database. If you search for the criteria “part-time” and “distance learning”, you will find online courses at German universities. You can also find what you are looking for using the search term “online”. But online does not always mean that you study exclusively via the Internet: How often you have to be on site at the university and in which language you can study varies depending on the program.

Information on online and blended learning courses in Germany can also be found on the DistanceLearning portal, which was founded by international student organizations.

Distance learning: is it worth it?

Studying abroad from home is a lot easier than traveling the big wide world. Nevertheless, it is a lot of work and requires a lot of self-discipline, and the money for it must also be available. Online courses of study are still attractive, especially if they enable targeted further education while working. For Mona Ayoub it is therefore clear: “Studying in a blended learning program is definitely a huge advantage. I can only recommend this route. "

Author: Sabine Giehle

Have you already taken part in online courses or even completed an online degree? Share your experiences with us and other alumni in the comments.

March 2018

Links on the subject

  • International online courses can be found, for example, in the DAAD's “International Programs” database (English).
  • You can also search for online courses in the Hochschulkompass (advanced search - enter “online” as a keyword). But here you still have to check whether the courses can also be studied from abroad.
  • The DistanceLearningPortal provides information on online and blended learning courses in Germany (English).