Studienkolleg / Foundation Year
Foundation year course is a preparatory programme attended in Germany by foreign high school graduates whose high school qualification is not considered equal to the German school certificate called Abitur.
The institution where the foundation course is offered is referred to as studienkolleg. Whereas many foreign students before migrating to Germany and while in their home countries refer it to studienkolleg or Foundation!
Not making much difference, and nothing wrong, instead making sense!
So what’s this studienkolleg or foundation course, why should foreign students be asked to attend it and pass the examination before they start their degree studies?
Studienkollegs prepare foreign students to progress on to their bachelor degree studies in a German public university, smoothly and able to follow the degree course without any hassles while attending classes along with their fellow German classmates.
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 qualifying for university studies whereas Germany follows 13 years of school education!
To be considered qualified to attend a foundation course, first and foremost, a foreign students’ school leaving qualification should be meeting the university entry criteria in his home country.
German higher education system maintains and refers to the list of approved schools from all over the world, before accepting a foreign student even conditionally.
Generally, those who belong to the above referred are asked for the successful completion of a foundation course offered at an accredited studienkolleg in Germany. The foundation course lasts for one year.
Studienkolleg teaches the German language and the basics of the main subjects of the degree course. Courses in foundation vary as per the intended degree course ie; 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.
There are studienkollegs owned by universities, and that generally accept students for the course offered at their universities.
There are hundreds of other studienkollegs that are privately owned. Some are state accredited and some are not.
A state accredited private institution only offers the foundation / preparatory courses, as their students need to sit the FSP examination conducted by the state studienkolleg / board as external students. Need to register much in advance and undergo other formalities before being accepted to sit the examination called Feststellungsprüfung.
Generally, German studienkollegs are not operated in any other country than Germany. If you find any such foundation course offered in a place that is outside of Germany then you should understand that the institution is not state funded or belongs to a particular university!
Privately owned businesses may operate outside Germany, not known so far, and not successful, and if at all you found one, you should check all details thoroughly, before taking a decision.
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 or at least B1 level in German to start attending the foundation course.
Therefore prospective studienkolleg students start learning German much in advance! At least as soon as they have decided to migrate to Germany to pursue their further studies!
There are many different packages of courses available to choose from, or offered by different studienkollegs and studienkollegs & language schools.
Starting with a longer duration (9months) of language course in Germany > Foundation course.
Here students will have enough time to achieve the required level of German and that helps to follow the foundation course well, and complete it successfully in one sitting.
Attend an intensive language course in Germany, for 6 months to achieve B2 level skills in German > progress on to the Foundation course.
Attend a B1 level German course, provided you have already passed the A2 level test in your home country > progress on to the Foundation course.
In all the above mentioned, an admission letter for the chosen bachelor’s degree course should have been obtained already from the concerned university, before you apply for your visa and leave your home country for Germany.
Generally, German consulates don’t accept applications without an admission letter received 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, very recently a group of students from the middle east countries were recruited by a consultant based in one of these countries. They just went there to write a foundation course examination at a university’s studienkolleg directly. The students didn’t attend the preparatory programme of the university’s studienkolleg instead they attended a foundation course / preparatory programme offered by a private institution online.
The students were not accepted by the university for which the students went to sit the studienkolleg’s foundation examination alone. The arrangement was like attending an examination, passing the test and then getting admission in the studienkolleg of the university. It seems the students were attracted and got registered by presenting the university as the top most in Germany.
In fact all publicly funded German universities are known for high standard education.
For example, in terms of looking for a job in Germany after your bachelor’s degree course, no employer will be excited to know the university at which you have studied in Germany, or disappointed. The employer will interview and see whether you are the best candidate for the job or not!
Back to the story, the Studienkollege’s invitation received by the students to write the examination has clearly mentioned that the letter doesn’t guarantee admission to the University!
All attended the examination, around 100 of them and most of them failed miserably.
The students have no clue now about what to do next. The private institution keeps promising them that they will prepare them again for another sitting!
Therefore an admission letter from the same university where you are planning to study is a must before applying for a visa. Foundation course admission is not necessary to be obtained before arriving in Germany as you need to learn German well, up to B2, in fact, better B2+ to enter the foundation, follow well, and complete it successfully. Once the required language level is achieved, then you may apply for a foundation course in a state funded studienkolleg / studienkolleg of a university / private studienkolleg as you find suitable.
If you have a foundation course admission already then that should be from the same university’s studienkolleg or a studienkolleg recommended by the same university.
In the above case, the students were taught even German by a language school and issued a course completion letter, not a test passed certificate.
So the reason why students failed miserably might be their language level was not enough to follow the foundation course successfully, and apart from the mathematics preparation.
Going behind a name of a university while choosing a course to pursue in Germany is not a wise idea. Pursuing your desired course in a public or state university in Germany should be given importance.
All the public universities are the same in terms of quality education, infrastructure including world class labs, libraries, classrooms, seminar halls, etc, qualified faculty members, other campus facilities including student hostel facilities and you name it.
Every university is named after a scholar, Nobel prize winner, scientist, industry leader, etc. All offer innovative education.
German students say they consider the nearest public university when they plan for higher education, the priority is the course that they choose to study. If the course is available then that is the end of their search.
As a safest route we suggest a direct foundation course, starting with B1 level German. A 12 months intensive course as a package consisting hostel accommodation and food allowance for the entire duration.
A guaranteed bachelor’s degree admission was obtained much before applying for a visa and leaving for Germany!
A Direct Studienkolleg Foundation Course to Bachelor’s Degree! All you need to have is a German skills level of A2! That too you can start preparing once you are registered with us.
A twelve months foundation course offered in T course subjects for those who are intending to study a Bachelor’s Degree course in Engineering or Technology. The course consists of Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Informatics, and German.
Students planning to study medicine in the University will attend an M course in foundation – consisting of Biology, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, etc and German.
Economic and business management students will study – Commerce subjects and Mathematics apart from the German language.
Students who complete the foundation course successfully will progress on to the Bachelor’s Degree course for which admission is already obtained before leaving the 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 easier route in Germany – please contact 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
Nowadays there are many students from foreign countries like India, who would like to study in Germany, but many of them look for an option in the medium of instruction of English.
We receive at least a couple of enquiries 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 are unable to apply as those universities don’t offer any foundation courses. Generally, these universities advise the applicants to attend a foundation course first and then apply for the course.
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, achieve the level of B2 or at least B1 before progressing on to the German taught foundation course / Studienkolleg.
In fact, B2 + level in German is a must to follow a foundation course successfully.
Disappointments – wish to pursue an English taught bachelor’s degree course in a German public university and was asked by the university to complete foundation course or studienkolleg in Germany, but studienkollegs teach foundation courses in German☺
But not to be disappointed, you can pursue a bachelor’s degree course in Germany in the medium of instruction of English.
This good news is for you!
The degree courses referred to are offered in German public universities, taught in English, hence no German knowledge is required to apply for a seat.
No tuition fees to be paid for the degree course as the universities are publicly funded and it’s a norm they follow that education is invaluable hence should not be priced!
Doesn’t sound good? In fact, Germany requires bright young minds to support its industry, commerce, technological and engineering advancement, research, and inventions!
Here you can choose to study Engineering and Technological programmes.
Hence studienkolleg teaches T courses: As per the higher education system of Germany, foreign students who don’t meet the university entrance qualification called Abitur in Germany, but they meet the university entry requirements in their country are required to attend a foundation course in a studienkolleg in Germany before they are finally considered qualified to be accepted to a bachelor degree course in a German public university.
What they study in a foundation course differs depending on their bachelor’s degree main subjects.
Here we are talking about English medium studienkolleg / foundation courses for studies in public universities, and that are at present available for Engineering and Technical based bachelor’s degree studies only.
Hence in the studienkolleg you will be attending a T course ( Technical course) and you will be studying Maths, Physics, Chemistry, computer science or informatics and maybe English in addition to the said subjects.
In case you wish to speak to us, please complete this FORM for one of our qualified counselors to answer your further queries.