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Study in Dresden, Germany

Population: 780,000

City overview

Dresden is the capital of Saxony and one of the largest cities in Eastern Germany, with a long and varied history as the seat of the royal family of Saxony.

Dresden’s has unfortunately been more famous for war and politics in recent times. The city was destroyed in a bombing campaign which killed 25,000 people at the end of World War II, with the entire city centre having to be painstakingly rebuilt.

As part of the German Democratic Republic, Dresden became a major industrial centre and many rather ugly buildings were constructed which serve as a reminder of how far the city has come in such a short time.

Education profile

Dresden is home to a number of well known and respected universities offering postgraduate courses. You can study at one of the following:
You can also study a graduate program in Dresden at the Palucca School of Dance and the Carl Maria von Weber College of Music.

Graduate programs in Dresden generally last two years for taught courses, with research programs and PhDs taking up to three years to complete. 

Although international degrees are taught in English, many postgraduate courses will be taught in German. As such, you may have to take the German Language University Entrance Examination (DSH) to check your language suitability.

Immigration and visas

EU citizens are permitted to take a graduate course in Dresden without a visa providing they can demonstrate the following:
  • You are studying for more than three months
  • You have sufficient income or savings to support yourself during your studies
  • You are enrolled at an approved or accredited institution
Non-EU students will need to apply for a student visa (studentenvisum), which will normally be issued for an initial three month period before being extended on arrival. You cannot come to study in Germany on a tourist visa.

Life in Dresden

Dresden offers international students a great quality of life alongside excellent study facilities. The city’s rich history means there are plenty of places to explore and sights to see, none more so than the resurrected Frauenkirche.

However, life in Dresden isn’t all about the past. Students on postgraduate courses here can focus on some great modern architecture, a thriving arts scene and the beautiful Elbe Valley.

Students should explore the new face of Dresden in Neustadt, an up and coming district home to several pubs, cafes, independent shops and galleries.

Working in Dresden

Non-EU international students wanting to stay on to work in Dresden after their postgraduate studies will need to apply for a work visa.

Dresden’s economy suffered greatly after the collapse of the German Democratic Republic and is still readjusting more than 20 years on. However, Dresden’s economy has developed faster than average for Eastern German cities, with three main sectors dominating the industry – semiconductor industry, pharmaceutical sector and electrical engineering.

A further growing sector in India and a focus for postgraduate courses is the media industry.


Many international students coming to study a postgraduate course in Dresden will choose to live in university accommodation to meet fellow students. If you are thinking of going private, look around these popular areas:
  • Neustadt
  • Sudvortstadt
  • Hellerau
Sudvortstadt is the main university district and is home to campus building, dormitories and student bars and cafes. If you are looking for something a bit busier, head to the trendy Neustadt district with its hipster scene.

Weather and climate

Dresden has a humid continental climate with warmer summers and colder winters than most other German cities. Summer in Dresden is between June and August, when temperature regularly hit 20C. This is also the wettest time of the year.

The main winter months are between January and March, when temperatures regularly fall below freezing.

What to do next

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