Trying to enroll in a German university can be a kafkaesque experience. Berlinfo.com provides you with a guide to getting your foot in the door.
The first trick is knowing who to contact. For this information click on ´institutions´ in the navigation bar on the left hand side of your browser window.
When you decide you want to apply to a German university, the first thing you have to do is contact the admissions office and request that they send you an application form. For an English language guide to the enrollment application form click here.
Admission deadlines are January 15 for the summer semester, which begins in April, or July 15 for the winter semester, which begins in October. The universities recommend that you apply from your home country because only citizens of certain countries can change the status of a tourist visa once they are in Germany. For more information about visa requirements see "Student Visas."
Many students do, however, apply from Berlin. If you are one of them, you need to come to the office personally and bring the following forms:
A completed application form
A typed CV
Certification from your home country which shows you have the necessary high school qualification to enter a German university.
A certificate of your German skills (showing you´ve passed the Mittelstufe II for the FU or the Mittelstufe I for other universities, or that you´ve passed a certified course) for more information see "Language Tests."
A certificate of previous studies at university - You can either submit a certified copy or bring the original and submit an uncertified copy. If the original certificates are not in German, English, or French, you must submit a certified copy from the German diplomatic mission in your home country, or a copy certified by an official German translator.
If you are American, you need your original high school and college diplomas, and an official copy of your college transcript (when you apply, they might accept copies, but when you enroll they will want a certified copy, or they will ask to see the originals, which they will give back to you). They will not accept an American high school diploma alone as sufficient preparation for university.
If you are sending in your application from abroad, you must send at least five international reply coupons.
Proof of health insurance from a German insurance company. Either they will validate your foreign insurance company, or you have to set-up a German policy.
When you bring in your application, be prepared to wait in long lines. They will give you a number at the regular admissions office, and then it can take hours before your number is called. When you finally see someone in the office, they will take your documents and say thank you. Don´t expect to get much information from them about the rest of the process. You will get a summons for the DSH test, an obligatory fluency test, before the semester starts.
You will need other forms in order to make it through the long and tedious registration process. For more information, see "Student Visas".
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