Students from the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and from some other countries can enter Germany without a visa.
As a rule, all other international students need a visa - especially if they want to stay longer than three months in Germany.
Enquire in advance about the entry regulations which apply for your country! Once you arrive in Germany you must present your visa to the German Aliens Department where it will be converted to a residence permit for the purpose of studying.
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