Geflüchtete: Studium

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  • Can I go to university in Germany?

    You are allowed to study in Germany, even during the asylum procedure. If the university is in another town or district you will have to get the immigration office’s consent. At your place of residence, you can immediately start to study.

    There are two possible ways for you to study:

    1. As a guest Student:

    As a guest student (auditor) you can pick up information about studying in Germany, get to know the university, and meet new people. You need to apply with a form (usually from the university or college homepage) and a copy of your highest educational degree.

    In principal, everyone can become a guest student. You will not be allowed to pass exams or collect credit points by attending lectures or seminars. As a guest student you will have to pay a fee. But in some cases those might be omitted. Some universities in Thuringia do not charge fees for refugees who want to become guest students.

    2. As a student:

    To become a regular student at a German university you need to be admitted. Your chosen university or a central university application service (uni assist) checks your admission requirements.

    Those requirements might vary according to the study programme. Most of the time you will need:

    • A qualification that gives you access to higher education (allows you to study) in your home country – you will need this no matter what you study,
    • Evidence of German language skills (usually DSH II or Test DaF-TDN 4) – if you want to study a course taught in English you might not need German skills,
    • Evidence of previous academic achievements or credits – if you have any,
    • In some cases specific requirements for the chosen study programme (aptitude test, internships, specific grade point average).
  • Where can I study?

    There are many different possibilities if you want to study in Germany (universities, universities of applied science, technical colleges, universities of cooperative education). Some of these institutions offer similar courses and programmes.

    If you decide to study in Thuringia you have the following state institutions to chose from:

    • University of Erfurt
    • Ilmenau University of Technology
    • Friedrich Schiller University Jena
    • Bauhaus University of Weimar
    • University of Music Franz Liszt Weimar 
    • University of Applied Sciences Jena
    • University of Applied Sciences Erfurt
    • University of Applied Sciences Schmalkalden
    • University of Applied Sciences Nordhausen

    Additionally, there is the Thuringian University of Public Administration in Gotha (internal institution of the State of Thuringia) as well as the private SRH University of Applied Sciences Gera with monthly fees.

    You can also apply for a dual study programme (cooperative education) at the Duale Hochschule in Gera and Eisenach, at the International University of Cooperative Education (IBA), Erfurt or at the IUBH Dual Studies, Erfurt. Both of the last two universities have fees. Here, the universities teach theory and methodologies, while the private partners (businesses, companies) provide field qualifications.

    If you have any questions the study guidance and international offices of the universities can help you.

  • Do I need to know German?

    Foreign students applying for courses taught in German will have to prove that they know enough of the language. Usually those skills correspond to level B2 (intermediate level) of the Common European Framework. You can prove your language skills with the following certificates:

    • Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang II (DSH II),
    • Test “German as a Foreign Language” (TestDaF TDN 4),
    • Goethe-Zertifikat C2
    • Deutsches Sprachdiplom (DSD)
    • Zertifikat telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule
    • German language test within the assessment test carried out at a Studienkolleg.

    The language centres of the Unviersity of Erfurt, the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, the Ilmenau University of Technology and the Bauhaus University of Weimar offer language courses which prepare for the DSH II exam. The courses last for one or two semesters. You will have to pay a fee for the language courses: The fee for one semester of the DSH preparation course is about EUR 750, two semesters cost about EUR 1,500. You will have to pay those fees yourself. The DSH preparation course ends with a written and oral examination.

    Some universities and colleges offer study programmes taught in English (Bachelor as well as Master courses) with varying requirements. Please ask at the university if you need German or English language skills.

    Moreover, refugees can test their German and English language knowledge free of charge on onSET in a quick and uncomplicated manner. Please contact the DAAD for further information and the preconditions for the attendance.

  • What if I cannot study with my school qualification?

    Students who acquired their university entrance qualification abroad (non-EU citizens) can only be admitted to study programmes if the graduation degree

    • enables them to take up a study in the home country and
    • is equivalent to the German Abitur.

    The online data base provides information about whether a foreign degree can be recognized in Germany. The decision about the recognition is taken by the university at which the student would like to study, in the framework of the application procedure.

    Since the first of March uni-assist e.V. offers a procedure for refugees to have their university entrance qualification assessed free of charge. Further information about the preconditions of the free assessment is available under

    If your foreign school qualification is not equivalent to a German Abitur and you are not allowed to study you have two possibilities:

    • You can prove that you have already studied for one or two years in the intended study programme at a recognised university (depending on your country of origin and on your school degree), or
    • You can attend a preparatory course at the Staatliche Studienkolleg in Nordhausen and pass an examination at the end.

    This university-run centre for international students prepares you with language and specialised classes for your chosen study programme. You can only attend the Staatliche Studienkolleg Nordhausen if you pass an entry examination. A direct application is impossible – you will have to apply at the university you wish to attend after the Studienkolleg. To attend the Studienkolleg you need basic knowledge of the German language. The language classes will continue at the Studienkolleg.

    The preparatory classes are also geared to the subject you have chosen to study and usually last two semesters. At the end of the course you will have an aptitude exam (Feststellungsprüfung, FSP) consisting of a written and an oral part. If you pass the exam you will be entitled to apply for a higher education course in that subject. You can also take the exam without attending the preparatory course at the Studienkolleg in which case you will have to prepare for the exam yourself.

  • How can the study guidance help me?

    The study guidance of the universities can offer you counsellings and informative appointments about study programmes, formal requirements for the admission and the application process. There is also a specialised guidance for each of the offered study programmes. Here you will receive information about the contents and focus of the programmes and about exam requirements.

    The university’s international office is in charge of international students and helps with the organisation of your stay in Germany. In some universities, the international office also advices international students about the study programmes and requirements and admits them to the programmes.

    Many student initiatives at the different universities also offer to help if you have questions about your studies. Students in higher semesters pass on their own experiences. They answer questions as to the studies, the city, every day life and give helpful advice.

    The Studierendenwerk of Thuringia (student services) offers information and advice about social and economic issues, for example housing or funding.

  • How much does it cost to study?

    There are no tuition fees at state universities in Thuringia. But there are administrative and other semester fees (Semesterbeitrag). Currently, those fees amount to about EUR 100 to 200 per semester, depending on what services the university offers.

    At the state universities the semester fee covers a Semesterticket. With this ticket you are allowed to use the regional train services all over Thuringia and sometimes also other public transportations at your place of study and in other cities. Part of the fee also covers the use of the student body services (free counselling and advice, reduced prices for food at the university cafeterias and cheaper housing at student residences).

    In order to be able to study in Germany it is necessary to take out a health insurance. The proof of insurance has to be submitted for the enrolment as well as at the Aliens Office. The student rate of approx. EUR 75.00 per month is the same for all legal health insurances. Private health insurances may have other modalities.

    Students can claim state training support (BAföG) to pay for their livelihood if they fulfil certain conditions (part of which must be paid back after the training). You can apply for BAföG at the Office for Educational Support of the Studierendenwerk Thüringen. There, you can also find out, if you are eligible to receive BAföG. Generally, you cannot receive BAföG during the asylum procedure. If you have a temporary suspension of removal (Duldung) you can apply for BAföG only after 15 months in Germany. And all recognised refugees are immediately eligible for BAföG.

    Another option is one of the various scholarships financed for example by trusts, institutions, Federal States or cities. Please ask at your university to find out more about financial support or have a look at the DAAD data base which contains scholarships granted by the DAAD and other organisations.

  • Where do I find further information?

    The brochure "Studying Together in Thuringia" produced by the Thuringian Ministry for Economic Affairs, Science and Digital Society offers further information on topics like admission requirements or possibilities of studying in Thuringia.