There's a good deal of interesting grad school info here (though mostly for non-astrophysics, of course), but it seems quite US centered. I'm a few years ahead of graduation now but figure it's best to plan ahead. My interest was piqued since the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Heidelberg put up a notice in both the Physics and Astronomy departments at my school earlier this year for a Ph. D program. Question 1/2/3: Is the process for getting into grad School in Europe significantly different than for a US university (e.g. GRE equivalents)? If so, how, and are there any special steps I should be taking to prepare for this? Further, would taking any of said steps somehow become a stumbling block for applying to US grad schools (I'm planning on applying to US and international schools)? Question 4: For astrophysics generally, is there a preferred foreign language (I already speak half decent Spanish and have a knack for languages, so I'd like to add another)? I attended an exoplanet conference as a volunteer in March, and the impression I got seemed to indicate either French or German. Is this impression correct, or does it even matter? Thanks for any answers in advance.