Studienkolleg / Foundation Year
Foundation year course is a preparatory program attended in Germany by foreign high school graduates whose qualification is not equal to the German Abitur – a German university entrance qualification.
A Studienkolleg offers foundation courses to international students. In contrast, before migrating to Germany and home, many foreign students refer a foundation course to a Studienkolleg!
Nothing wrong, and making sense instead!
So what’s this studienkolleg or foundation course? Why should international students be asked to attend it and pass the examination before starting their bachelor’s degree studies?
Studienkollegs prepare international students to smoothly progress to their bachelor’s degree studies in a German public university and follow the degree course without any hassles while attending the studies.
The reasons why one needs to attend a foundation could be;
- The school leaving certificate of the applicant is not equal to the German abitur ( the university entry qualification).
- Many foreign countries like India follow a 12-year school education before university studies, but in Germany, 13 years for a university entry qualification!
For an international student to qualify for a foundation course, first and foremost, their school-leaving qualification should be meeting the university entry criteria in their own home country.
German higher education system maintains and refers to a list of approved schools worldwide, anabin, before accepting an international student, even conditionally.
Generally, those referred above must complete a foundation course offered at an accredited studienkolleg in Germany. The foundation course lasts for one year.
Studienkolleg teaches German and the basics of the main subjects of the degree course. Foundation courses vary as per the student’s intended degree course, i.e., Engineering students attend a T Course – Mathematics, physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, etc.
Now let’s look at the studienkollegs in Germany!
Germany has 16 states, and every state has a public-funded studienkolleg in which an accepted student is offered a foundation course without charging any tuition fees.
These studienkollegs accept students who got admission from any one of the universities situated in their respective states.
Some Studienkollegs are owned by universities that generally accept international students conditionally to study in the same university.
There are privately owned studienkollegs, plenty of them, and some are state-accredited, and others are not.
A state-accredited private institution offers a preparatory course, as their students need to sit the FSP examination, as external students, conducted by the state studienkolleg board. One should register much in advance and undergo other formalities before being accepted to sit the examination called Feststellungsprüfung (FSP).
Generally, German studienkollegs are not operated in any other country than Germany. If you find any foundation course offered in a place outside of Germany, you should understand that the institution is not necessarily state-funded or belongs to a university!
Privately owned businesses may operate outside Germany, not heard successful so far. If at all you found one, you should check their credentials thoroughly before deciding to enroll.
German language, the KEY to success in Germany!
Do you know that the medium of instruction of studienkolleg, generally, is German? Hence one should be at B2 level German or at least at B1 to start attending a foundation course.
Therefore prospective studienkolleg students start learning German much in advance! At least as soon as they have decided to pursue their further higher studies in Germany!
There are many different courses packages available to choose from, offered by different studienkollegs and preparatory schools.
There are language courses with a longer duration of 9months to prepare international students with a better proficiency level in German to follow a foundation course followed by a university degree course.
Those with better German language skills do well in the foundation course and pass the Festallungprufung (FSP) test in one sitting.
One can choose to attend an intensive German course in Germany for six months to achieve B2 level skills in German and progress on to the Foundation course smoothly.
One may choose to attend a B1 level German course for 3-4 months in a German language school or studienkolleg. The student has already passed the A2 level before arriving in Germany and progress to the Foundation course.
The applicant should have already obtained an admission letter for the chosen bachelor’s degree course before applying for a visa in all the above cases.
Generally, German consulates don’t accept visa applications without an admission letter for a bachelor’s degree course. Even if you manage to migrate to Germany on a foundation course without a conditional University admission letter obtained, that is not the proper pathway to follow.
What happens if you choose the wrong path?
For example, a group of high school graduates, 2020 batch from the middle east countries, migrated to Germany in 2021. All belong to expatriate families.
They just went to Germanyto write a Festllungprufung examination (FSP) at a university’s studienkolleg. The students didn’t attend the preparatory program of studienkolleg; instead, a program offered by a private institution online.
The university that owns the studienkolleg didn’t issue any admission letters to these students before attending the FSP test. So there wasn’t any assurance of acceptance to a bachelor’s degree course from the university, even if the students pass the FSP!
The arrangement was to attend the examination, pass, and then apply to the university. The students were attracted and got registered by presenting a university as the topmost in Germany!
Please note that all the publicly funded German universities offer top-quality education irrespective of its place, the state to which it belongs, and how big or small the university is. All are known for high standard education.
For example, when looking for a job in Germany after graduating from a German university, neither will an employer be excited to know the university you have studied in Germany nor disappointed. The employer will interview a job seeker and see whether they are the best candidate for the job or not!
Back to the story, the Studienkollege’s invitation to write the examination hasn’t given any assurance for admission to the University! Instead, an invitation to write the FSP examination alone.
All the students attended the examination, and most of them failed miserably!
The students have no clue about what to do next. But most of them knew that it’s not easy to prepare to sit the test again, as have realized by that time the preparation was not adequate, especially their language level.
Therefore an admission letter obtained from the same university where you plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree is necessary before leaving your home country. Safer before applying for a visa. Foundation course admission without a university conditional admission itself is meaningless. Here, all that the students had in their position was an invitation to sit the FSP examination!
You need to learn German and achieve at least a better B2 level to do well in a foundation course.
You may even apply for a foundation course in a state-funded studienkolleg once your German skills are excellent.
If you already have a foundation course admission, that should be from the same university’s studienkolleg or a studienkolleg recommended by the same university for a smooth progression.
In the above case, the students were taught German online, never sit an accepted test.
So the reason why students failed miserably in this incident might be that their language levels were not enough to understand the questions or answer properly.
Going behind a university’s name while choosing a course to pursue in Germany is not a wise idea. Pursuing your desired route in a public or state university in Germany should be given importance.
All the public universities are almost the same in terms of maintaining the quality of education, infrastructure, qualified faculty members, campus facilities, including student hostel facilities, and you name it. Every university is identified after a scholar, Nobel prize winner, scientist, industry leader, etc. All German public universities offer innovative education.
German students consider the nearest public university when they plan for higher education. They give priority to the course they desire to study.
We suggest a direct foundation course, a 12-month intensive program consisting of B1-C1 level German, and subject-based preparation as the safest route. The package consists of hostel accommodation and food allowances for the entire duration of 12 months.
A Direct Foundation Course to Bachelor’s Degree!
All you need to have is the German skills of A2 Level! That too, you can start preparing once you are enrolled with us.
A T course consisting of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, informatics, and German for those intending to study a Bachelor’s Degree course in Engineering or Technology.
An M course of Biology, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, and German for those planning to study a course in medicine or health science.
Economic and business management students will study – Commerce subjects and Mathematics in addition to the German language.
Those who complete the foundation course successfully will progress to the Bachelor’s Degree course for which admission is already taken before leaving your home country.
Medical course aspirants have a better chance to study the University’s M (medical) course in the foundation, making it the safest and more accessible route in Germany – don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to know in detail.
Some of the popular courses to choose from:
- Biosystems Engineering
- Chemical Engineering: Molecular and Structural Product Design
- Computational Visualistics
- Computer Systems in Engineering
- Cultural Engineering
- Educational Science
- European Studies
- Industrial Engineering / Electrical Engineering and Information Technology
- Industrial Engineering / Logistics
- Industrial Engineering / Mechanical Engineering
- Information Technology – Smart Systems
- International Business and Economics
- International Management
- Mathematical Engineering
- Philosophy – Neuroscience – Cognition
- Process Engineering
- Safety and Hazard Defence
- Social Sciences
- Sports and Engineering
- Sports Science
Studienkolleg in English and English taught Bachelor’s degrees.
Many students from foreign countries like India would like to study in Germany but look for an option in the medium of instruction of English first.
We receive at least a couple of inquiries every day from students living in various states of India and from many other countries asking for the same.
Some students have already selected English-taught courses offered by public universities but cannot apply as the universities don’t offer a foundation course. Generally, these universities advise the applicants to attend a foundation course first and then apply directly for a degree course. The foundation course they refer is to the state-funded ones, taught in German.
The universities even provide a list of foundation course providers to the applicants.
But all those foundation courses are taught in German, and hence need to learn the language first and achieve the level of B2 or at least B1 before progressing to the German taught foundation course / Studienkolleg.
B2 + level in German is a must to follow a German taught foundation course successfully.
Disappointment: You wish to pursue an English taught bachelor’s degree course in a German public university, but the university advises you to attend a German taught course. The university doesn’t offer an English-taught foundation course.
But you don’t need to disappoint yourself, as you can still pursue an English-taught bachelor’s degree course in Germany!
This good news is for you!
German public universities offer English-taught courses too, and hence no German language skills are required.
The courses are offered at no charge too! It’s a norm and a belief in Germany that education is invaluable hence should not be priced! Most of the public universities follow it.
Moreover, Germany requires bright young minds to support its industry, commerce, technological and engineering advancement, research, and invention.
Doesn’t sound good?
Here you can choose to study Engineering and Technological programs in English.
What you study in a foundation course varies depending on your bachelor’s degree’s main subjects.
Here we are talking about English taught foundation/preparatory courses.
The English taught bachelor degree courses offered at a few public universities are in Engineering and Technical subjects.
Hence you will attend a T course ( Technical course) in the preparatory college. Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, computer science, or informatics subjects; no German!
If you wish to speak to us, please complete this FORM for one of our qualified counselors to answer your further queries.