The application procedure for German universities is a little complex. The universities have a relatively free hand in the arrangement of the procedure and for individual subjects there are different conditions and practices.
Likewise, it makes a difference whether you want to do all your degree in Germany or whether you just want to spend part of your time studying here.
For students who are taking part in an exchange programme the regulations are usually simpler.
There are different addresses for your applications. For some courses of study you must apply directly to the university, for some to the admissions office "uni-assist" and others go to the foundation for the allocation of study places ("hochschulstart").
Very often applications fail due to formal errors because documents are incomplete or deadlines are missed.
In order to avoid mistakes, therefore, you should check thoroughly:
- what requirements you must fulfil for your chosen course of studies
- where you must apply
- until when you must apply
- what documentation (certified copies) must be included.
Information on the above is provided by the international offices and the student advisory services of the universities.
If your qualifications are not sufficient to be admitted directly for studies in Germany, you must take an assessment examination. Usually this entails attending a preparatory college.
Preparatory colleges provide pre-study courses. In five different main subjects students can prepare themselves for a degree course within one year. But the assessment examination qualifies you only for certain types of degree! If you first apply for a technical degree course and attend the technical oriented courses at the preparatory college, then you cannot afterwards apply for a humanities degree.
Application deadlines and application procedures for a preparatory college depend on where you would like to study later on. Individual universities are each assigned special preparatory colleges. If you have any questions, you should contact the international offices or the students' offices at the university where you wish to apply.
It is very important to make sure that the preparatory college is not just a German course - German is the language of instruction, so your knowledge of the language must be good enough.