How to prepare for Studienkolleg in Germany

How to prepare for Studienkolleg in Germany
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So your qualifications are not considered enough for studying at a university in Germany? Time to check out the Studienkolleg – a preparatory course especially meant for international students to be able to study in Germany.
There are two main types of Studienkolleg; basically, ones attached to a university, and ones attached to a “university of applied sciences” – what people from the United States might call a technical or vocational college. If you go to a Studienkolleg from a university, and pass the qualifications and exams from it, you can study at any university or vocational college in Germany.


If you study at a Studienkolleg at a vocational college, you can only apply to study at vocational colleges in Germany. So please check with the associated universities to make sure that when you study at their Studienkolleg, that the qualification is accepted at the university at which you want to study!

Also, make sure of the requirements for tuition fees, if any. State-run Studienkolleg-facilities do not charge tuition fees and their qualifications are valid within the whole of Germany. Private Studienkolleg facilities do exist, and they do charge tuition fees, but make sure you get as much information from these facilities as possible as to their qualifications, their validity, and if the qualifications will be accepted by where you eventually wish to study!

Within the Studienkolleg, there may be specialized tracks depending on the subjects you wish to go on to study. Of course, this will also include German language classes as well to help prepare you, but the subjects you wish to study will be also reflected in the program of study.

These tracks are usually broken down as follows, with the target degrees in mind:

  • medical, biological, and pharmaceutical degrees
  • mathematical, science, or technical degrees (STEM type fields)
  • business, economics, and social science degrees
  • the humanities (including German studies)
  • language degrees

So please make sure to check and double-check the information you have! Contact the Studienkolleg that you are interested in directly if you must, to get information directly from them. Because they are familiar with working with international students, they will be able to help you get the most up-to-date information about their programs of study and what a student can expect.

Bachelor Degree in Germany

Bachelor Degree Germany
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So you’ve looked at our previous articles on studying in Germany, and you want to do your Bachelor’s degree at a German institution. But how?

We have already covered some of the documents you’ll need, such as getting your passport in order as well as making sure your educational documents are translated and verified. But aside from that, the Bachelor in Germany degree depends on the university – and if you plan to study in English or in German.
But here are three general tips that may make things a bit easier!

1. Get applications/documents in on time.

Like with universities in your home country, looking at deadlines is one of the most important things you have to do. Please check with the universities you are interested in to find out their application deadlines. For example, Freie Universität Berlin lists their major deadlines for upcoming semesters on this page.

2. Check the language skill requirements for your Bachelor program of study.

Generally, proof of German language proficiency is required, except for certain programs of study taught in English. It is useful to check the student admissions or student center of the university you are interested in applying, to get the most up to date information on what is required. If your native language is neither German nor English, make extremely sure you have language proficiencies documented and recorded! For example, five years of English instruction at school may be enough for some programs, OR a certain score on the IELTS or the TOEFL tests. Please make sure to check!

3. Please make sure you have enough funding to make it through your Bachelor degree.

This is required in order to apply for an entry visa or a residence permit for studying within Germany. For a Bachelor degree in Germany, normally a tuition fee is not charged. However, living expenses still incur for you, and so it is recommended you have approximately 600 – 800 Euros (or equivalent) per MONTH at your disposal to take care of these expenses such as housing, groceries, clothes, and more while you are in Germany. This amount must be independent of any job you take. We will discuss funding in more detail in the next article.

Hope this helps you!

Documents that may be needed for university

What documents do you need to study in Germany?
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Transcripts, Translations, and More: Documents For Studying in Germany

So you’ve decided to study in Germany, and have read up on the basic information; you’re in the process of getting your government-sponsored identification (such as a passport) if you do not already have one, and want to find out what else you may need to apply!

As the required documentation can take time to research, acquire, and get approved, this is the next step for you.

The following information is very dependent on where your home country is. Please make sure to research universities on your own as well, as specific instructions vary by university.

However, as a general rule, please have the following documentation ready:

  •  Proof of graduation from secondary education (such as from high school in the United States of America
  • If you have taken any postsecondary certification courses or university classes, provide transcripts or certifications of those as well
  • Include information on the grading system used by the educational institution
  • All documents must be officially authenticated by the educational institution as well (such as sealed/stamped by the university, with a school seal, notarized, etc).

The tricky part for documentation is this next one: All documents must have a sworn translation form with them. This means finding a German translator and getting the translation officially recognized, either through a notary or a translation service specializing in overseas applications.

Language Skills and Tests

You might also have to prove your language skills are at a particular level, depending on the course you have chosen to study and the university at which you plan to study. Again, please check with the university, but as a general rule:

If you are taking a course of study taught in English, English-language proficiency is required. Please look into the ToEFL, the IELTS, or confirm that your secondary education (and/or any postsecondary studies) was taught in the English language, to help with proof of English-language proficiency.

If you are taking a course of study taught in German, of course a certain level of German language proficiency is to be expected. As such, please look into the following:

  • The DSH (Deustche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang)
  • TestDaF (Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache)

If your language skills or qualifications are not enough for entrance into a German university, you may have the choice of enrolling in a Studienkolleg. A Studienkolleg, such as the one used by Freie Universität Berlin and more, helps prepare you for studies in German and has an assessment test.  For information on what Studienkolleg is like, please watch this site as well.

What do I need to study in Germany?

What do I need to study in Germany
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What You’ll Need To Study in Germany

So you’ve decided you want to study in Germany. But how to best go about it? What do you need? What do you do? Here are three essential tips to get you started.

1. Start the process early!

Because it can involve a lot of paperwork, it’s best to get the process started early – up to a year and a half early if you plan on enrolling in a university program in Germany itself. This cannot be emphasized enough. Take some time to research your options. If you are a university student, does your university have a sister school agreement with a German institution? If so, you might be able to study in Germany for a brief amount of time with the benefits of advancing your existing degree program, having other people from your university with you, and not needing to know much of the German language. If your university does not have such a program, or if you are interested in attending a German university program or a foundation course directly, read on.

2. Determine your language level!

When you research programs and courses in Germany, there are a dizzying array of options. But if your German language ability is not all that wonderful yet, then your options are more limited. Please take into account your language ability or lack thereof when choosing what to study – or if to study – in Germany. And even if you are confident in your German ability, consider how your language ability affects your housing arrangements. Not only might it affect where and which universities you may want to research (such as Berlin, or Munich, or so on), but also it might affect where you stay within a given city or town. Arrangements include accommodations for international students at the university itself, which would provide more international flavor and chances to make friends using English; a homestay arrangement, which would be an immersive and intense exercise in learning more about German language and culture; or other housing arrangements as may be available, such as renting a flat or room directly. There are pros and cons to each, which will be examined in a separate article later!

3. Ensure you have proper identification!

This varies by country. In the USA, “proper ID” to go to Germany means having a passport, which can take some time to process. For more information about US passports and how to apply for one, please visit the Department of Homeland Security website. Further requirements can be found by inquiring of a German diplomatic mission, such as the German consulate or embassy; general visa and travel information for United States citizens interested in studying in Germany can be found online at .

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