How to make a good start
You have been accepted into a German University and can choose the subjects you want to study. Here are a few tips that will help you make a good start.
German languages courses
- German language courses
All colleges and universities offer German language courses which you can attend during your studies in order to improve both your academic and conversational German. Please contact the international student office (Akademisches Auslandsamt) at your university for more information.
- Notice boards
Keep an eye on the notice boards (Schwarzes Brett) located in each faculty or university building (Seminar). This is where students exchange information on meetings, study groups and leisure activities. The faculty’s administration also puts up information regarding teaching courses, teaching staff office hours, changes in the examination rules, etc.
- Get connected
Try to get involved as much as possible by connecting to your university and fellow students. Getting to know the environment you are in will help you to get the information and support you need to have a successful university life.
Stay focused on your goals
- Stay focused on your goals
Why are you at university? What subject(s) are you taking your degree in? Which courses do you need to attend? Study programmes and exams vary considerably from department to department and from university to university. The idea of a firmly established syllabus with lectures, seminars and text books is not the norm at German universities. Getting a credit certificate (Leistungsscheine) may require you to take written and/or oral exams, write coursework or take part in practical exams. Details are generally given on the first day of course or in the faculty course books.
Use your faculty’s official handbook (Studien- und Prüfungsordnung) in order to find out how many credits you need to get in each semester for the subjects you are studying.
Get a copy of the University prospectus (Vorlesungsverzeichnis) or faculty electronic course catalogue (kommentierte Vorlesungsverzeichnis) and browse for courses that match your interests, meet the requirements in the handbook and also fit into your weekly schedule.
Course guidance service
- Course guidance service
Take advantage of the course guidance service (Fachstudienberatung), which will provide you with information on your course and give you tips on how to organise your timetable.
Once you have decided which courses you wish to take during the semester, all you need to do is register for them at the department secretary's office (Studentensekretariat).
To prepare for your course you will need to use the University and department libraries. In general, specialised department libraries are reference-only libraries, however, you are able to take books out on loan from the University libraries.
- Healthy living
Plan your day with a good combination of physical fitness, study time and socialisation. Check our pages for tips on studying and healthy living.
Registration renewal declaration
- Registration renewal declaration
Please note that registration at a German institution of higher education is only valid for one semester. If you want to continue studying you will have to enrol for the next semester by submitting a registration renewal declaration (Rückmeldung). If you forget to re-enrol you may be removed from the student register. Check for deadlines.
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