If you´d like to work in Germany you´ll get by if your German is on level B1/B2 (online test). The certificate issued by GLS is recognized by many employers and even some universities in Germany. More about the GLS German language certificate.
1. Studying in Germany
- Visa information:
You do not need a visa for university studies in Germany if you are from Australia, Canada, EU, Honduras, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, USA - just come to Germany on a tourist visa and then get a residence permit once you are @ GLS in Berlin. The residence permit will allow you to study at a university in Germany. If you are from a country, whose citizens need a visa (marked with a YES on this Foreign Office´s List), it will be a bit different: you then will need a student visa, and in order to get that, you will need an acceptance letter by a German university. So apply at a university first, and then for a visa. See here for more information about study visa for Germany
Knowledge of German (or English*)
If you want to study at a university in Germany you will have to document your knowledge of German with a language certificate (TestDaF or DSH or - for arts & music - Goethe B1). GLS prepares you for all language certificates (more about preparatory courses), that are necessary for university studies.
* Recently some universities in Germany started to offer some (not all) courses in English - Germany is trying to attract an interntional student body. Read more in this BBC article: "Germany top for foreign students". If you opt for university studies in English, you will not need TestDaf or any other German language certificate, but it is highly recommendable to learn at least a bit of German: it will help you to get along better, as not every landlord or shop keeper in Germany will speak English as well as you do. You can find university courses taught in English via this DAAD website.
1. First step for you if you just finished high school: check, if your secondary school diploma is accepted by German universities: you can do so on this DAAD website. If it is, you can apply to a university directly. If it is not, you will have to study at least a year at a pre-university "Studienkolleg" and pass an exam called "Freistellungsprüfung" or Assessment Test. You can avoid that by starting university at home and then moving to Germany after the first year.
2. Make sure, your German is on level B2/C1 (GLS online test), as this is the level you will need for TestDaF = the German language exam German universities expect you to pass. The only exception: for art and music the exam Goethe B1 will be enough. GLS prepares for both exams.
3. Go ahead and apply: at www.uni-assist.de you can apply centrally at 125 German universities with just one application form. If you have a certain university in mind, check their website to find out what they want you to hand in. If you are interested in Berlin, here is a list with all universities and art/music/media colleges in Berlin.
a. Work & Travel in Germany:
Working Holidays visas for Germany are available for citizens of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan - they allow you to stay for 12 months and you can earn some money by jobbing in Germany. More about the working holiday scheme in Germany
b. Working in qualified jobs in Germany
Germany has a skilled worker shortage in some professional fields - if you are a skilled worker and interested in working in Germany, have a look at this website for recommendations and tips.
c. Internships in Germany
If you´d like to get a taste of what working in Germany is like, GLS can place you as an intern in a German company or institution. The internships are unpaid and always in Berlin - more about the GLS internship program in Berlin