Study Medicine in Germany when you are from Gaza

You want to study Medicine in Germany – well, this is not easy. Not for Germans (you have to have a very high scoring at school and you have to pass a “Medizinertest”). Nor for foreigners: you don’t have to pass the special test, but you have to prove sufficiency in German language. Sounds fair. Here are the special challenges for a young student from Palestine:

  1. It is not automatically clear if you are admitted although you graduate from high school in Palestine. Could be that your career at school is not enough and you have to go first for one year to the “Studienkolleg“. This needs to be checked with the University based on your certificate, as soon as you get it, means: in May 2017. In any case – you have to get the highest scoring possible at school.
  2. You have to prove that you know German. Fair enough. Unfair is instead: only onsite courses and exams of the Goethe Institute are accepted (Goethe Certificate C2). But what do you do if in Gaza there is no Goethe institute and you have to travel to Ramallah (West Bank) passing through Israeli’s territories and checkpoints (that are more than often closed)? In case my young friend makes it, he will then be invited here to the language exam called DSH2, the exam is often around July 15th which is the last day of applying for the University in Germany for foreigners. Next chance is before July 15th, 2018.
  3. To get a Visa it you can’t just start with the 90 days Schengen Visa for Tourism and then update to a student visa onsite – no, you need a so called “National Visum” for Study reasons (valid also for traveling to other Schengen countries of course). Well, here is what my young friend needs for getting the Visa from the German Diplomatic Mission in Palestine:
    1. If you are entering Germany to attend a language course, you will need to submit confirmation of attendance of a language course with at least 20 contact hours per week. (I hope to show the confirmation is enough because how can you attend a course in Germany if you don’t have a visa that you get only if you attend a language course?)
    2. If you are entering to Germany for the purpose of academic studies, you will need a certificate of enrollment at university. (Yes, see above)
    3. You will need proof of adequate health insurance. (That’s an easy one I hope?)
    4. You will need proof of adequate funding. (Fair enough, the German State shouldn’t pay for you). 

Regarding the last point I am currently facing a new challenge: Last year, when I invited my friends from Gaza to visit us in Europe, I went to the KVR in my city and filled in a form that I guarantee financially for them. This was easy and done in less than 10 minutes, I just had to show my salary as an employee from the last three months and that was it.

This year, in my sabbatical, I am no longer an employee (can’t prove any salary any more) so I am not accepted as a “guarantee” any more. Now there is another way to overcome this: open a bank account on my young friend’s name with around 8.000 € on it that can’t be touched and are the guarantee for the German State in case of need. Good idea! But: I haven’t found a bank yet that would open a bank account for a person not yet present in Germany! I will continue searching and ask a friend of mine volunteering at Studentenpaten e.V.