Our expert Claudia Schlemmermeyer from uni-assist has answered many of your questions about application in our chat on May 19th. Skip through the FAQs:

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Application
Language skills

Visa

uni-assist

Explain in steps how I can apply to universities through uni-assist?
First you should inform yourself about the study program offered by the university. And if this study-program is processed by uni-assist, then you have to send the required documents to uni-assist and transfer the application fee. After getting all the documents we will check and process your application and, if everything is complete, forward the application to the university.

Where can I find the general application form on the uni-assist website?
You can download the application for on uni-assist in the section “Downloads”.

I have been trying to apply through uni-assist but I get a red flag: "This application was still not electronically transferred, therefore it can't be worked on by uni-assist." What am I missing?
You have to submit the online application by using the button "submit electronically". Before submitting the application you have to print the application form.

How long does it generally take until uni assist has processed my application?
It takes about two to four weeks till we are done with that.

Application

What are the qualifications for a degree program in a German university?
It depends on the country where you obtained your school-leaving diploma. For some countries it is enough to have a school leaving diploma to start studying directly in Germany. For some countries you need to join the "Studienkolleg" before you can starting studying in Germany.

How do I get admitted to any university in Germany?
If your school leaving diploma or your academic qualification is equivalent to a German school leaving diploma. In some cases you need further qualifications. This could be language skills or job experience. Further you sometimes need more documents for example a letter of motivation or a recommendation letter. Usually the further qualifications are set by the university. Sometimes they ask for an entrance test. For example "Test AS".

Why do I need an entry test to be admitted?
Some universities want to know if you fulfill the requirements for the chosen study program. For example they want to test if your mathematics knowledge is enough to study mathematics.

What is Studienkolleg exactly?
The Studienkolleg is a preparation course which you have to join if your school leaving diploma is not equivalent to the German school leaving diploma.

I have a High school diploma from the U.S. and also a Bachelors degree. Here nobody asks about a High school transcript but in Germany they do? How important is it for my acceptance to the uni?
Usually you do not need your high school diploma if you apply for a study program in Germany. But if the university requires this high school diploma, it is necessary to submit it. It gives the universities an overlook about your whole academic knowledge.

If I send my school leaving certificate to the "Zeugnisanerkennungsstelle", do they assign me to the Studienkolleg?
The Zeugnisanerkennungsstelle will only tell you if you have to join a Studienkolleg. The Zeugnisanerkennungsstelle checks if your school leaving diploma is sufficient to study in Germany. They do not offer student advice.

Any university seems to decide for itself which qualifications I need before they accept me? Who can help me with my problems?
That is true. uni-assist is one of the first steps on your way to getting admission to your German university. A website where you can get a lot of information about the application process is http://www.inobis.de. On this site you can find for example a checklist about documents you have to submit if you want to apply for a study program.

How can I prove my admission qualification without notice of the university. I need it for my residence permit.
If you have applied through uni assist and have received a positive reply from us, this is sufficient in order to apply for a student visa.

I have sent all my application files with regular and postal mail but nobody has replied yet. Do you have any idea?
It is possible that the universities need some more time to check all the applications. Usually you should get an answer within four weeks.

Have admissions for January started already? If not when are they going to start?
If you apply through uni-assist, you can already send your application for the summer semester 2011. If you apply directly at the university, usually it is not possible to apply at this time for the summer semester 2011.

Is it there only one deadline for application every year?
That’s partly true. Indeed, some study programs start only once a year. Please contact the university and ask if there is a second application deadline..

If I am not German, can I apply for those Master's programs which are not listed in internationals?
There are no restrictions for international students in choosing study programs. As far as I know you can apply for every study program offered by the university.

Does the university send back my documents in case they reject me?
You can get back your documents but only if you enclose a stamped envelope in your application.

How can I find out, whether my diploma is recognized in Germany or not?
On www.anabin.de you can get a first overview on all school and study diplomas, which can be acquired worldwide.

I have completed the equivalent of an Abitur in my country. However, I have also done one semester of university. Is it possible for me to apply simply by sending in an official report card from my university instead of my completion of secondary studies?
As you did not finish a bachelor degree you usually have to send your school leaving diploma together with your transcripts. Unfortunately, the report card is not sufficient. But if your school leaving diploma is equivalent to the German school leaving diploma, it is not neccessary to send your study transcript. We only need your school leaving diploma.

I studied in a university before but I didn´t finish my degree. I also worked for a year in a German company outside of Germany. Does that experience help with my application for a bachelors degree?
For your entrance qualification your experience does not count. But some study programs additionally require work experience.

Is it okay if I attach only copies of my documents to my application or do they need to be certified?
Generally, your documents must be certified, Additional documents about e.g. internships are excluded from that.

How many years of study should I have in order to apply for a Master in Germany?
Usually you need at least a three year bachelors degree to apply for a master program in Germany. For some countries your bachelor degree has to be a four year study program.

Is there an age limit to apply for a Master program in Germany?
No, there is no age limit.

Language skills

If I don't know German, can I still apply for universities in Germany?
Yes, you can apply without having the equivalent sufficient German language skills. Most universities offer German language courses for beginners.

Which level of German is required for the Studienkolleg?
Usually you need the proof of language skills on level B1. That equals about 600 hours of German language.

My program is taught entirely in English. Do I still need to provide proof of German language knowledge in order to obtain a visa?
To get a student visa you do not need German language skills, if the language of instruction is English. But for the entire student life it is easier to know a little bit of German.

Is it compulsory for the international students to write TOEFL or IELTS even if the medium of instruction is English?
Yes, usually you need a TOEFL or IELTS to apply for a program with English as language of instruction. The level you need depends on the university you apply for. Usually you do not need a TOEFL or IELTS if you hold a bachelors degree with English as language of instruction or if your mother tongue is English.

If I have all qualifications but my German level is not high enough, do you recommend to apply for Studienkolleg first?
Usually the Studienkolleg is not there to improve your German language skills. The Studienkolleg is a preparation course to give you the necessary academic knowledge to start studying in Germany. Lots of universities offer German courses for preparation.

I have studied translation. Are language tests required or is my bachelors degree enough?
It depends on the university you want to apply for. If they accept your study degree as equivalent to the DSH-2, for example.

I have only 200 hours of German language experience. Can I receive admission to a master program and then reserve it to improve my language in Germany?
It depends on the university, which level of German language skills is required. You should contact the university directly to get information about offered German preparation courses.

Visum

Assume that I have admission from a German university which provides full scholarship. Is another financial proof necessary in order to get the student visa?
Usually it is enough to have a scholarship to apply for a student visa. It depends on your home country whether the embassy needs more financial proof or not.

I want to know if I must transfer the 7300 Euros before I can be assured of getting a visa to Germany?
No, you do not have to transfer the money before applying for a student visa. Usually you need an admission letter or a confirmation letter for application to apply for a student visa. After submitting the admission letter and all the necessary documents to the embassy you will get a notification that you have to prove your financial status.

How long will be my initial visa for a two year programme be valid? Is this visa extensible after the programme?
It is possible to extend your student visa after finishing your bachelors degree for one year.