The main contacts
Hüttermann / DAAD
Last update: September 2017
The most important points of contact – from the International Office through student services to departmental student organisations and international student groups – are listed here.
The International Office is the most important point of contact for international students. Among other things, its staff can answer any organisational questions relating to your degree programme – for example about certificates of aptitude for higher education, admission procedures or the necessary language skills. For more information click here.
The registrar's office handles all matters relating to applications, admission, and matriculation certificates. Students can enrol for a course of study or re-register, request leave or exmatriculate. If you have lost your student ID, the registrar's office will issue a replacement.
Student services fulfil important tasks: for example, they run the cafeterias at universities, provide places in student residences and offer psychological counselling. They have developed a specific service package for international students that makes it easier to get started with your studies and life in Germany. Which services this package includes depends on the respective higher education institution. Usually, it covers a room in a student residence, your semester contribution, cultural events and excursions, and arrangements for taking out health insurance. The number of packages per student services organisation is limited, so you should contact student services at your higher education institution well ahead of time if you are interested.
Central course guidance
Central course guidance at your higher education institution provides answers to general questions relating to e.g. selecting a degree programme, applying for a place, or the study regulations. Many universities also organise official events for international students, including introductory events and welcome programmes.
Subject-specific course guidance
If you have questions on the content of your degree programme or need help compiling your timetable, you can contact the subject-specific course guidance counsellors. They are usually lecturers or professors on your degree programme.
The examination offices are often part of individual faculties or departments and responsible for course- and examination-related matters. If you have questions about the examination regulations, this is where they can be answered. Certificates and other documents are also issued by the examination office.
The career centres are part of or affiliated with higher education institutions. They support students in transitioning from higher education to employment, meaning they check application documents, hold information events or invite companies from the region.
Student representation (AStA)
The AStA, often known as the student council at higher education institutions in eastern Germany, is elected by the majority of the student parliament. It represents students' interests, ensures that sports programmes and cultural events are available at the higher education institution, and provides support for example for finding accommodation or arranging language tandems.
Departmental student organisations
If you have specific questions on your subject, you should contact the departmental student organisation. It is the elected student representation for a particular subject and usually has a permanently allocated room at the higher education institution. At the start of the semester, departmental student organisations hold information events for first-year students where you can find out more about planning your studies and get to know other students. If you want, you can also get involved in the departmental student organisation yourself.
International student groups
International student groups support new arrivals and bring students from around the world together. They organise for example excursions, parties, guided tours of the city or movie nights.
As student assistants, tutors are tasked with giving first-year students practical tips and support. If you get stuck you can contact them with your questions. Because they are still students themselves, they know and understand the challenges of everyday student life.
Professors usually have weekly consultation hours during which they take the time to help students with questions relating to seminar papers, examinations or term papers. But you can also ask your professor for a letter of recommendation, for example if you want to apply for a scholarship.
Some higher education institutions have special buddy programmes that bring international students together with experienced German students who can help them deal with authorities, problems in everyday life and questions relating to their studies. Sometimes such buddy programmes are also organised by the city in which you live. Then the buddies are not necessarily students. Your International Office has more information.