Studienkollegs in GermanyStudienkollegs (preparatory courses) are specialized preparation programs of foreign applicants for their admission to German universities. They are designed to compensate for the differences in the duration of secondary education between Germany and other countries. Studienkollegs are equivalent to Foundation or Pathway programs which are widespread in English-speaking countries. They are based at universities and are designed to prepare foreign students for getting their higher education in Germany.
The list of studienkollegs in Germany
|Studienkolleg Munich||Bavaria||Universities||T, M, W, G|
|Studienkolleg Coburg||Bavaria||Universities of applied sciences||TI, WW, SW|
|Studienkolleg FU Berlin||Berlin||T, M, W, G|
|Studienkolleg KIT||Baden-Württemberg||The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology||T|
|Studienkolleg Hamburg||Hamburg||Universities||T, M, W, G/S|
|Niedersächsisches Studienkolleg||Lower Saxony||T, M, W, G/S|
|Studienkolleg Sachsen||Saxony||Universities||T, M, W, G/S|
|Internationales Studienzentrum||Hesse||Universities||T, M, W, G|
|Internationales Studienkolleg||Rhineland-Palatinate||T/TI, W/WW|
|Hochschule Wismar Studienkolleg||Mecklenburg-West Pomerania||TI, W /WW|
Cost of Studying at StudienkollegsStudying at state studienkollegs in Germany is free of charge. Nevertheless, in some cases it is necessary to pay a semester fee (it usually includes a discount travel сard), which can reach 700 USD. In addition, studienkollegs do not pay any other student’s expenses, including accommodation, food or medical insurance.
The only exception is the studienkollegs of Baden-Württemberg, where a fixed tuition fee for foreign students is 1,500 USD per semester. This is an unpleasant detail for ambitious and talented students, as it is this very state where such strong German universities as Heidelberg University or the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology are located.
It is necessary to distinguish between public and private studienkollegs. Sometimes there are private studienkollegs even at publicGerman universities, so you should always check the information. In addition, it is also necessary to distinguish studienkollegs from the German Foundation programs (sometimes they can be called Studienkollegs, but they are not as such!), after the completion of which the FSP exam cannot be taken.
Who will Studienkollegs be suitable for?
- Foreign applicants who want to earn a degree in Germany;
- Foreign applicants who need to prepare for the TestDaF or DSH exam taking at the C1 level to enter a university — many studienkollegs have special certified language exams preparation programs.
Varieties of Studienkolleg CoursesStudienkollegs are divided into five specialized areas of applicants’ preparation. A future student will have to study a set of compulsory subjects to get prepared for the FSP exams in each of them. To enter a university it is necessary to undergo training in basic pre-university preparation programs (one letter in the abbreviation), and for admission to the universities of applied sciences (FH — Fachhochschule) it is enough to do simplified courses (two letters in the abbreviation).
- Veterinary medicine
- Computer science in economics
- Building engineering
- Computer science
- Technology of food production
- Production technology
- Electrical engineering
- Mechanical engineering
- Ship technology
- Land management
- Sound, film technology
- Chemical engineering
- Photographic engineering
- Supply technology
- Textile and printing equipment
- Production technology
- Technology of environmental protection
- Social science
- Spatial planning
- Computer science in economics
- Enterprise management
- Social pedagogy
- Social work
- Political economy
- Political science
- Tourism and hospitality
- Law studies
- Insurance business
- German studies
- Law studies
- Literary criticism
- Political science
- History of art
- Opinion journalism
- Theater studies
- Product design
- Foreign languages (translators or interpreters)
- Classical philology
- Religious studies
- Law studies
Studienkolleg Courses for the Universities of Applied SciencesPreparation courses for the universities of applied sciences entrance (Fachhochschulen / Hochschulen (in German)) are sometimes held in separate studienkollegs located in them.
Studienkolleg ChoosingIt is necessary to understand that studienkolleg is only regarded as a step before studying at a German university, therefore all the documents are submitted directly to the chosen university and to a specific program through the online system available on the website uni-assist.de. For example, a student applying for the admission to the prestigious Technical University of Munich will be sent to the Bavarian studienkolleg, while a student entering the Humboldt University of Berlin will be sent to the studienkolleg at the Free University of Berlin. Therefore, each university is linked with a particular studienkolleg, although after the preparatory course completion, an entrant will be able to change the university if the FSP exams meet the entry requirements of the bachelor's program.
Requirements for Admission to Studienkollegs
The process of studying at studienkollegs is divided into two semesters, so student admission occurs twice a year. To join a public German studienkolleg, several main points should be taken into consideration:
- Language: to be admitted to a studienkolleg, you will need to know the German language at least at the B2 level which should be confirmed by an international certificate. On the websites of some studienkollegs, a minimum level of B1 may be indicated, but in practice the probability of admission in this case is sharply reduced. Goethe certificates, TestDaF, DSH or TELC certificates are suitable.
- Entrance exams: German exam must be taken (even if there is a certificate), and the second subject may vary depending on a course which an applicant is going to study at (for T-Kurs — mathematics, for W- or G-Kurs it can be intermediate English test).
- School education — studienkollegs will only consider those applicants who have already got their secondary school leaving certificates. If at the moment of the application form filling on the uni-assist website the certificate has not yet been issued, it can be attached to the documents within three months.
- Terms and deadlines — the following three main dates should be taken into consideration: the deadline for submitting an application, the date of entrance exams and the date of the beginning of study. For each studienkolleg, the dates for the summer and winter semester are given respectively. The typical application deadline for studying at German universities is January 15th for the summer semester and July 15th for the winter semester, but these dates may vary depending on a particular university.
|Studienkolleg||Deadline||Entrance examination||Beginning of study|
|Studienkolleg FU Berlin|
|Hochschule Wismar Studienkolleg|
Documents for Admission to Studienkollegs
- An application for admission (please request an appropriate application form from the university in time, it is also possible to download it from the Internet);
- A translated and notarized copy of the secondary school leaving certificate;
- A higher education entrance eligibility certificate;
- An academic resume in German with the accurate information about all stages of education, starting from the primary school;
- A power of attorney from parents if an applicant is under 18 years old;
- A notarized copy of the passed German exam (at least at the B2 level);
- A copy of the foreign passport;
The Process of Admission to Studienkollegs
- German exams taking at the level not lower than B2;
- Choosing of the desired specialty and the selection of a university where an applicant plans to study. Before choosing a specialty, it is necessary to pay attention to Numerus Clausus — whether there are some limits on the student recruitment. It is important that the universities of North Rhine-Westphalia do not accept studienkollegs’ graduates from other German states. The reverse rule applies to graduates of Westphalian studienkollegs — they can enter universities only in their own state;
- Preparation of formal documents;
- Filling in an online application form for studying through the website uni-assist.de and sending a package of documents;
- Getting an invitation from the university for entrance examinations at the studienkolleg;
- Registration of any visa in Germany
- The first trip to the studienkolleg to take entrance exams;
- Waiting for a response from the studienkolleg;
- Getting an official invitation from the studienkolleg;
- Registration of medical insurance, opening of a blocked bank account and documents submission for getting a student visa to Germany
- Accomodation searching for the period of study at the studienkolleg.
The Process of Studying at StudienkollegsThe studienkollegs’ curricula are characterized by their high intensity of classroom activities — the study load can reach 36 hours per week, and class attendance is strictly obligatory. It should be noted that a large number of absences from classes without a valid reason may be a cause for the student’s expulsion.
For example, students of the Munich studienkollegs who undergo training in the technical sphere (T-Kurs) will have 10 German lessons a week, 8 hours of mathematics, 12 hours will be dedicated to physics and chemistry and 2 hours — to computer science or geometry. The total study load will be 32 hours per week, not including homework.
It should be noted that after the admission the studienkollegs’ management can help students with their hall of residence searching, but does not guarantee the availability of a free room there. Leisure time should be usually organized by students themselves. A town like Göttingen or Heidelberg can be an ideal option for those who do not want to be distracted from their study and seek to adapt gradually to the life in the new country. On the other hand, Berlin or Hamburg attract many students due to their cosmopolitan atmosphere.
The Feststellungsprüfung ExamsIf German schoolchildren take the Abitur final exam, foreign applicants must take the Feststellungsprüfung (FSP) university qualification exam, which will confirm the level of knowledge sufficient for German universities. In fact, it is a set of exams which fully corresponds to those subjects that were studied at the pre-university preparation college.
On the business course (WW-Kurs) in the Coburg studienkolleg, a student will have to do three written (German, mathematics, business management/economics) and five oral (German, mathematics, business management/economics, English and computer science) exams. The duration of each part of the FSP is about 2.5 hours.
For any exam, there are predefined textbooks and other teaching aids as well as clear criteria for the knowledge level assessment, so after a detailed study of textbooks and other materials a student will be able to cope with the tests easily. Sample tests are often available on the studienkolleg websites (for example, here), so if you want, you can start preparing for the FSP before you arrive in Germany.
The FSP examinations in North Rhine-Westphalia differ in content from similar examinations in other German states (that is why one cannot enter the universities of this state having graduated from studienkollegs outside it). An unpleasant moment is that there are only two state studienkollegs in this state: in Mettingen (T-, W-, G-, M-Kurs) and Bochum (T-Kurs).
After a StudienkollegAfter the completion of a state studienkolleg and the successful passing of the FSP examinations, an entrant has two options:
- To enter the university where the application was submitted through uni.assist;
- To choose any other German state university
How Does Unipage Help You to Join Studienkollegs?The UniPage company helps with the admission to state German universities and assists in the curriculum and university selection and in the documents collection for admission to a German university after studying at a studienkolleg. In this article, we have described only the main points concerning German studienkollegs, and depending on a particular university and a particular student the process of admission can differ in details.
We have long experience of helping students to matriculate at German state universities, including the Technical University of Munich, the Humboldt University of Berlin, the Free University of Berlin, RWTH Aachen University and many other top universities. Since this destination is very popular with many international entrants, the company has available experts in the field of education in Germany.
UniPage provides a full assistance, which will allow you to go through all the stages of admission described in the article. In addition, we will help to assess your chances and possible risks, get a student visa and choose a studienkolleg which matches the entrant’s interests and abilities.
|Name in German||Studienkollegs|
|The purpose of studying||University preparation|
|Probability of admission||Average|
|Probability of admission to the university||High|
|Course cost||Free of charge|
|Hours per week||28–36|
|Min. language level||B2|
|Next step||Bachelor's degree|
|Total costs per year||9,000 USD+|
|Study load||28–36 hours/week|