Studying in Germany vs. Australia: What You Need to Know

November 18th, 2023

If you are an international student looking for a study destination, you may be wondering whether Germany or Australia is the best choice. Both countries have a lot to offer, but there are some crucial differences that you need to consider before deciding.
In this article, we will compare and contrast the two countries in terms of tuition fees, living costs, university admission rate, option to work while studying, taxes, visa requirements, opportunity to live and work after graduating, the number of international students, location, safety, health system, employability after graduating, language barrier and weather. We hope this information will help you make an informed decision about where to pursue your higher education.

Why are Germany and Australia popular among international students?

Germany and Australia are popular study destinations for international students because they both offer high-quality education. In addition, the two countries provide you the opportunity to work while studying, which can help offset the cost of living and tuition. Each country has its pros and cons, so choosing where to study is subject to personal fit. For example, Germany is famous for its free education, while Australia is known for its nature and wildlife.

Deciding factors when choosing a study destination

These factors should serve as a guideline when you are making your decision. Of course, your decision will eventually be influenced by the lifestyle you want to follow, your budget, and your field of study.

Tuition fees

In Germany, tuition fees are free at most public universities for EU and non-EU students. Even if you have to pay a tuition fee at a private university in Germany, the cost is still generally cheaper than in any other country (between €2,000 and €20,000). In Australia, the cost of studying is on the higher side. Tuition fees for international students in Australia can range from AUD$20,000 to $30,000 per year, depending on the educational institution and the course of study.

Living costs

The cost of living in Germany is significantly lower than in Australia. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in a major city like Berlin can be as low as €700 per month, while in Sydney, you can expect to pay at least AUD$2,000 per month. Groceries and other daily necessities are cheaper in Germany, perfect for international students on a budget.

University admission rate

Germany has a relatively low university admission rate, with less than 30% of applicants accepted into their chosen programs. This aspect could make things difficult for those wanting to pursue their dreams of studying for free in the country. In Australia, the admissions rate is higher, with some even as high as 85%. This factor makes it more attractive for international students to apply to Australian universities as it may be easier to get into.

Option to work while studying

In Germany, international students are allowed to work full-time or part-time, up to 120 full days or 240 half days per year while studying. In Australia, the rules are a bit more lenient, with students able to work for 20 hours per week during term time and virtually no limits during the holidays. However, keep in mind that international students in Australia are constantly being exploited by their employers as they struggle to fund the high costs of living and tuition fees.


In Germany, income tax is charged between 14% and 45%. In Australia, the tax rate is slightly lower, with most students paying an average of 15.5% on their earnings. In both countries, you only get taxed when you earn above a certain threshold. Your income is tax-free if you make less than €9,984 per year in Germany, while in Australia, you only get taxed when you earn above AUD$18,000.

Visa requirements

International students must obtain a student visa to study in Germany or Australia. The process for applying for a visa is similar in both countries, but there are some critical differences you should be aware of. For example, to apply for a student visa for Germany, you must have proof of financial support for your studies, such as a Blocked Account, whereas this is not required for an Australian student visa.

international students in Germany and Australia

Option to live and work after graduating

After graduation, international students can stay in Germany for 18 months to find full-time employment. In Australia, graduates can continue in the country for two years. The job prospects in both countries are good, and you also have the option to earn above-average minimum wage.

Number of international students

Over 350,000 international students are studying in Germany, making it one of the most popular non-English study destinations for international students worldwide. There are over 500,000 international students in Australia, but sadly, this number is decreasing year over year.


Germany is located in the heart of Europe and offers easy access to other countries on the continent. If you need a weekend getaway, a trip to a beautiful country, such as Spain or Italy, is just a drive, train, or plane ride away. Australia is located further away from other nearby destinations, making international travel more expensive and time-consuming.


Germany is considered a safe country to live in for international students. The police are highly efficient and reliable. While Australia’s general level of safety is high, there are a few natural threats to watch out for, such as jellyfishes, spiders, snakes, and crocodiles.

Health system

German healthcare system relies on a mandatory health insurance system. This factor implies that all Germans and international students must have health insurance. In Australia, the healthcare system is not as centrally organized, meaning that there can be a wide variety of options for healthcare coverage via private insurers.

Employability after graduating

German degrees are highly respected worldwide, and graduates often find it easy to obtain work in their field. Graduates from German universities are highly employable, and some even went on to build $1 billion startups in less than a year.

Australian degrees are also highly respected. However, a recent report shows that graduates in the country struggle to find work related to their study field.

Language barrier

The language barrier can be a challenge for students studying in Germany or Australia. In Germany, most universities offer courses taught in English, but some classes may only be provided in German. However, most universities offer German language courses in preparation for your class. In Australia, you’ll mainly find courses in English, as it is the country’s official language.


Germany has a temperate climate, with average temperatures ranging from negative degrees Celsius in winter to 25 degrees Celsius in summer. The weather is more varied in Australia, with tropical climates in the north and temperate climates in the south. Some parts of Australia also experience extreme heat, with the hottest temperature recorded at 50.7 degrees Celsius as recent as 2022.


Germany is known for its rich culture and history. There is a lot to explore in the country – from art and architecture to music and food. Australia is also a culturally diverse country with a unique history. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are an essential part of Australian society, and there are many multicultural festivals and events celebrating the country’s diversity.

So, should you study in Germany or Australia?

In conclusion, there are many factors to consider when deciding whether to study in Germany or Australia. Both countries have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. It is essential to do your research and select what is right for you.

Before deciding, consider your academic goals, budget, lifestyle preferences, and other factors. Whichever country you choose, you can be sure that you will have a fantastic experience studying abroad!