Steps towards Studying in Germany                         

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Steps towards Studying in Germany

Foreign nationals who wish to study at a German university or high-school generally need a visa. They also need to prove that they have adequate ability in the German language. This is usually accomplished by either passing the 'DSH' exam or taking the one-year 'Studienkolleg' course.

This page is to inform those wishing to study in Germany which steps to take.


DSH is an abbreviation for "Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang ausländischer Studienbewerber", the German Language exam for foreign applicants for higher learning, set by the German universities to test whether an applicant has sufficient knowledge of German to be able to study here.




Who needs the DSH ?

- all those who wish to study at higher level at a German institution and whose school certificate, like the German Advanced Level Certificate ('Abitur'), would allow them to enter university back home.

Everyone else needs to take the Studienkolleg  course.

What is the DSH for ?

The universities want to ensure that foreign students have the language ability that studying in Germany demands.

This means that the applicant :

- will be able to follow lectures and to take notes.

- will understand scientific texts and be able to analyse them.

- will be capable of giving a written or oral dissertation on any given topic.

What is the 'Studienkolleg' ?

The Studienkolleg is a teaching institution which aims to bridge the gap between a foreign Advanced Level school certificate taking 12 years, and the German certificate, which takes 13 years. Lately, certain German states, including Bavaria, are starting to reduce the time at grammar school from 9 to 8 years; thus it will take at least this long before the foreign and German A-levels are regarded as equivalent.

This means that many foreign applicants still need to take the Studienkolleg course. In addition to German, other subjects are taught during the course year as preparation for university entry.