Steps for Studying in Germany in German Language


Studying in German language is not an easy
task at all for those who don’t have an
outstanding command in German language.
It’s not so called ‘milk rice’. Well but on the other hand it’s not an impossible thing to do. The fact is the more you are good in German language, the more it would be easier to do higher study in German language.

Well in this article I would like to provide you some guide line specially for the Bachelor’s student about higher study in German language in Germany.

Bachelors Studies:

Most of the bachelor students, who intended to study bachelor in Germany have to study in German language. After studying German language for few months in Bangladesh, one should further study German language in Germany too. According to German education system, one is eligible to apply for University after completion of 13 years of schooling. As in Bangladesh, there is only 12 years of schooling, the students at first need to join bridge course after learning German language for few months in Germany. According to German rule, student intended for bachelor study must enroll in a university within two years of arrival in Germany. Otherwise, they will be forced to leave Germany. In general, time period of Bachelor study is about 3 to 3.5 years (depending on courses); however, it takes more than 5 years to study Medicine. Calculating all these time, it takes at least 4 to 5 years to complete bachelor in Germany (Medicine even more). Thus, I prefer to enlighten prospective student about all these before proceeding for application.

Bachelor study with a conditional offer letter so called duel offer letter is a bit complicated in terms of application procedure, which is depended on conditions Embassy forwarded for visa too. The first step is to apply for German language in different language institutes in Germany. To study language in Germany, one needs to pay (fee depends on the institutes). Along with application to language institute, one needs to apply to bridge course and university one intended to study. In general, the university itself offers bridge course (Studienkolleg). Thus, one should apply for language course, bridge course and university at the same time. In general, language institute does not have any problem to offer an admission. However, university for bridge course and bachelor can only express their willingness to intake student if their conditions are fulfilled, which is not a guarantee. To get admitted in the bridge course one need to pass an entrance exam.

What is Studienkolleg:

The most important pre-requisite for permission to study in Germany is eligibility for higher education in one’s own country. If the certificate for this eligibility is not recognized as equivalent to the German ‘Abitur‘ (Advanced Level School Certificate), then a preparatory 1-year study course must be taken – the so-called Studienkolleg.

After receiving an applicant’s documents, a university decides whether the DSH examination can be taken immediately or whether the applicant should first take the entrance exam for the Studienkolleg course. The latter is a test of German which is meant to ensure that the lectures of the Studienkolleg will be understood. This entrance exam must be taken: no other diploma in German exempts from this!

Because the available places for the Studienkolleg are limited and the number of applicants is continuously increasing, the failure rates are high!

This test consists of 4 tasks, for which 120 minutes are available:

1. Grammatical structure (40 minutes)
Basic grammar is tested through insertion exercises,  transformation exercises, etc.

2. Oral (30 minutes)
This is not tested in the Munich & Berlin Studienkolleg at present.

3. Reading comprehension

Individual paragraphs or extracts from a piece of text are analyzed for, for example, headings, paraphrasing, truth or falsity, summary.

4. Writing
On the basis of a piece of text and a set of instructions, an individual text of about 10 sentences needs to be written.

In addition, applicants for the ‘T’ course (see below) need to show ability in elementary mathematics. After passing this test, applicants need to decide which of the major course streams is appropriate for their desired faculty.

The college students will be prepared subject-specific within 2 semesters (1 year) course for the university study. Depending on the chosen faculty the college students will be allocated to the adequate specific courses. Mostly there are offered 4 or 5 course types:

  • G–Course for humanities
  • W–Course for economics
  • M–Course for medicine
  • T–Course for technique
  • S-Course for philology

In all the courses German is an obligatory subject and the language of instruction is German in all subjects. At Studienkollegs the German language course for the absolute beginners will be not offered. The college students must have good knowledge in German at the time of access to the Studienkolleg. Moreover for the T-Course the good knowledge in mathematics is required. Besides the college students learn the skills and abilities, so named key qualifications. These are: working with the text resources, writing of the argumentative and analyzing texts and composing of the simple seminar works, the structured writing down on the lectures. After the 2 semester study the college students have to pass the asserting final exam, through which will be asserted, that you have the subject specific knowledge on the level of Abitur (H.S.C). With the successfully passed exam the college students apply for the study place at the preferred university.

So, if you have decided or are looking to do your bachelors in Germany in German language, then you must know about the Studienkolleg. In contrary to German schooling system, which demands for 13 years of compulsory schooling ending with Abitur certificate, the schooling system of Bangladesh is of 12 years. So the German universities do not consider the Higher Secondary School Leaving Certificate (H.S.C) of our home country to be equivalent to their Abitur. Thus the concept of Studienkolleg (also known as Bridge course or preparatory course) came up to let foreign students do remaining one year of schooling. The Studienkolleg courses are in German language so the students are expected to have some knowledge of German language. Studienkolleg is an opportunity not only to learn and extend the language skill but also prepare the students for the universities. It provides an excellent chance to understand German culture and system.

If you have 12 years of education H.S.C plus 2 years of University education in Bangladesh, then your degree is equivalent to the German Abitur. In that case you can directly join German universities without Studienkolleg. You may still need to prove your German language proficiency, if your course of study is in German. At the end of the studienkolleg you have to pass an assessment test (“Feststellungsprüfungs“ a.k.a FSP) to get an access to German universities. This is a short from for “test to determine the suitability of foreign student applicants for admission to study at universities in the Federal Republic of Germany“.

In Germany there are two groups of higher education institutes, one includes university of applied science (Fachhochschule) and other includes general universities and technical universities. The assessment tests (FSP) for admission to Fachhochschule (university of applied science) and general University differ. If you pass the assessment test for Fachhochschule, you are only entitled to study at a Fachhochschule, not at a university. And the assessment test only qualifies you to study a subject from a specific core subject area: Those who have qualified in the field of economics and business cannot later register for a course in engineering or arts and humanities.

History of Studienkolleg

In the fifties, as the number of foreign student in Germany rapidly increased, it was noted that they had difficulties not only with the German language, but also often in the technical and methodological area. Thus an idea was developed to give not only the language but also technical instruction in German to help young people to enter into the course of study and thereby shortening the study period.

Depending on whether you are seeking a degree to a fachhochschule or university, there are different priority courses. The following courses are taught at universities:

  • M course is the requirement for all who have interest in medical, biological and pharmaceutical studies. Major Subjects: German, biology ,chemistry, physics and mathematics
  • T-Course is for natural sciences (except biological), technical and mathematics subjects. Major Subjects: German, mathematics(may include basic computer sciences), physics and chemistry
  • W-Course is for those students who want to do economic and social science. Major Subjects: German, mathematics, economics, business administration.
  • If you want to study humanities or the Germanistic in Germany, you must complete G- course. Major Subjects: German, German literature or English, social studies/geography.
  • S-course is for language (except German) oriented subjects (for example English,Spanish etc), you have to completed this course. Major Subjects: German, 2nd foreign language, history ,social studies,geography and German literature.

The courses taught at universities of applied science (Fachhochschule) are as follows:

  • Core course TI is to prepare for technical and engineering courses offered at colleges of applied sciences. Major Subjects: German, mathematics, natural sciences, technical drawing/CAD or computer science
  • Core course WW is to prepare for economics courses at technical colleges. Major Subjects: German, mathematics, economics and business administration, information technology and computer science, English
  • Core course GD is only available in the college of Applied Sciences Cologne offers a pre-design and art courses. Major Subjects: German, mathematics, design, physics, computer aided design
  • Core course SW is to prepare for social sciences and sociological courses at technical colleges and is offered by the colleges in Coburg, Cologne and Köthen. Major Subjects: German, mathematics, education, psychology, sociology, legal studies, information technology and computer science, English.

Requirements to join Studienkolleg

Knowledge of German: Even if you want to improve your Germany language knowledge in Preparatory College, a certain German language level is expected at the beginning. You should prove your Germany language knowledge with a certificate Grundstufe II/III (after about 400-600 course hours), this certificate corresponds to the level B1 according to the “ Gemeinsamen europäischen Referenzrahmen für Sprachen´´. Some colleges even require the successful completion of Intermediate I (B2). What knowledge at your study place requires, please inquire directly with the college.

The entrance examination: Having a German proficiency certificate doesn´t guarantee you a seat in a Studienkolleg. You have to prove your skill for the Studienkolleg with an entrance examination. The structure of tests can vary depending on Higher education Institutes where you have applied. German language skill will be tested everywhere, but the tests of other subjects may or may not be included.

Course of study:

Number of subjects: 5 to 7
Weekly hours: 28 to 32

As Student you are obligated to the presence during entire instruction and to the participation in the regular written and oral performance assessments. The course usually takes one year (two semesters). At the end of the course the statement examination (feststellungsprüfung) takes place. In justified cases you can repeat each semester once, so that the maximum length of stay in college is two years.

Tip: Students with excellent performance in the 1st Semester may be allowed after one semester to the assessment test.

For more details about Studienkolleg please visit: &

The DSH Examination:

This examination is held by the University itself and consists of 4 written parts:

1.Oral comprehension
2.Readingc comprehension
4. Linguistic structure.

There follows the final oral examination. The universities are allowed to set their own version of the exam within the given framework. It is therefore important to inquire about the particular requirements of the university in question.

What is required in the examination

1. Oral comprehension: A text of 50-100 lines is read out twice. You should take notes during the 2nd reading. Afterwards, questions relating to the structure and content of the texts need to be answered and a summary produced.

2. Reading comprehension: A scientific text of 30-60 lines, often adapted for the general reader, needs analysis. This consists of answering questions as to content and stucture, an explanation of the constituent parts, and the summarizing and re-structuring of the text.

3. Writing: From the given starting material – theses, short pieces of text, diagrams and pictures – you are required to write a longer continuous piece of text in which the individual parts are described and explained. In this, it is not only contextual criteria such as the text structure and logical consistency that are important, but also the quality of use of language.

4. Linguistic structure: This test involves extension and convertion, using the vocabulary in the given written or oral presentation. The requirement is competence in grammatical structure such as is typically present in scientific texts. The duration of the written DSH test is generally 180 minutes in total. The individual parts can vary depending on the tasks. The oral test takes 20 minutes. Beforehand, you receive a short text or picture, normally from your specialisation, to analyse for another 20 minutes. In your discussion, you should show that you are able to understand, review and comment on the presentation of facts or the line of reasoning in a scientific work.

The TestDaF:

Sometimes language students hear rumors that TestDaF is easier than the DSH. This is not true. TestDaF is not easier, it is simply different. Institutions with diverse interests came together and created the TestDaF with the aim to construct a recognized, standardized test to replace the established tests that were all tailored to different objectives.

The TestDaf has 4 parts:

1.Reading Comprehension
2.Listening Comprehension
4.Oral Exam

You pass the exam when you get at least a level of 3 (TDN3 of 5 TestDaF levels) in all 4 areas. A passing grade on the TestDaF allows you to study at a German university. The universities in Munich (LMU, TU, and FHS) generally require a passing grade of 4. Some professors, teachers, and institutions think that students at this level do not have enough knowledge of the German language needed for studies at an institute of higher education. When you look at the four parts of the test, you will notice that grammar is not tested. This is supposed to be modern and forward-thinking. Of course, you cannot get around knowing German grammar and syntax if you want to pass the test. A good knowledge of the German language is not enough to pass the test though. As an example, the guidelines for the written part of the exam should show the necessary tasks expected on the test:

This section of the test always has a description of a diagram. You must put the appropriate vocabulary in the appropriate order. The tasks for the student are to fill out a sample with words from the diagram. The same scheme is to be applied to the questions for the reasons of the increase/decrease of the subjects of the diagram. The same goes for the question regarding how the situation is in the home country.

The oral exam is difficult because the student must prove his/her speaking abilities in an unnatural situation. This should also be practiced before the actual exam. The TestDaf exam costs 150 Euros. A difference between the DSH exam and the TestDaf is that the TestDaf can be retaken multiple times. The students receive the exam results 6 to 8 weeks after the test date. The time it takes to correct the exam often overlaps with the university application deadline; therefore you must carefully look at the timeline before you register.

Passing the TestDaf does not replace the test for the Studienkollegs!

You can find the test dates at


My message to you:

From my personal point of view all most all of the Bangladeshi students who like to study in Germany in German language really don’t know the real fact how difficult it would be to survive for them after coming in Germany to continue their studies in German Language. Even they are not well informed or not aware about the whole exact procedure to study in German language. Quite often they are misguided or cheated by the so called Dalal. But after arriving in Germany they realize the real fact how difficult it is to study in German language and how they were misguided by the Dalal/Agencies. Afterwards they face lots of difficulties in their daily German life what they have never thought or expected. I don’t like to go details what the problems are. Because it depends on the situation as well as it vary student to student. But they reality is only the highly motivated and really good students can survive with these difficulties and find a way how to continue their higher studies in Germany, what they have dreamed. So the question is what about the others. Yes they might find another way. Let say some of them move from Germany to other European Countries and ask for asylum. Some of them get marry with German nationals either by love or by some illegal contracts so called contract marriage. Some of them go back to Bangladesh with empty hands. So you might laugh or criticize me so what whether they are studying or not. After all there are opportunities to stay in an European countries. And our main intention to come to Germany is like that. But the bad news is since September 2012 every non European foreign people who will live in Germany have to give the finger print to the German authority to collect their resident permit. So unfortunately the game is over. It is no longer possible to move from Germany to others European Countries illegally for seeking asylum. The only opportunity is to get marry with German nationals. But for that, I mean love marriage surely you need to have a very good command in German language and have to be very handsome as well. And contract marriage is also a very difficult task to do in Germany. There is always a high risk to do so. Because no original Germans will never like to do so. Quite often the converted and dishonest Germans are doing so. So there will be very high risk to believe them. Often they do cheat with the customers and after taking the money they ran away. So in a word the life is not so called bed of roses in Germany. Yes your life would be a bed of roses if you can complete your mission successfully what you supposed to do as a student.

It’s my humble request to you all that please think twice before taking the decision about higher study in Germany in German language. Before coming to Germany to study in German language please learn German at least for 2 years at Goethe Institute, Bangladesh. If you will do so then it would be easier to continue your study in German language & to find a part time job as well. Please keep in mind that without having a good command of German language the land of opportunities (Germany) would be surely a land of hell for you. Wish you all the very best. May Allah bless you all & my beloved Bangladesh.

P.s. What I said above is only from my personal experience & point of view. ‘Many men, many minds’. So if somebody doesn’t accept my opinion he/she can simply ignore it. 

Written by: Md. Mahbub Alam


German VISA Regulations for Language Students:

Act on the Residence, Economic Activity and Integration of Foreigners in the Federal Territory
Residence Act
Section 16: Further education; language courses; school education

(1) A foreigner may be granted a residence permit for the purpose of studying at a state or state-recognised university or a comparable educational establishment. Residence for study purposes shall also extend to language courses in preparation for studies and attendance of a preparatory course prior to studying (preparatory measures for courses of study). The residence permit for study purposes may only be issued where the foreigner has been admitted by the educational establishment concerned; conditional admission is sufficient. Proof of a knowledge of the language in which the course of studies is to be conducted shall not be required where the foreigner’s knowledge of the language has already been taken into account in the decision on admission or is to be acquired by means of preparatory measures for the course of study. The period of validity when the residence permit for study purposes is issued for the first time and for each subsequent extension shall be at least one year and should not exceed two years during courses of study and preparatory measures for courses of study; it may be extended where the purpose of residence has not yet been achieved and is achievable within a reasonable period of time.

(1a) A foreigner may also be issued a residence permit for the purpose of applying for a study place. The maximum permissible duration of residence for a foreigner applying for a place to study shall be nine months.

(2) As a general rule, no residence permit for another purpose of residence shall be granted or extended during the stay in accordance with sub-section 1, unless a legal entitlement applies. Section 9 shall not apply.

(3) The residence permit entitles the holder to take up employment totalling no more than 90 days or 180 half-days per year, and to take up spare-time student employment. This shall not apply in the first year of residence during a stay for the purpose of preparatory measures for a course of study, except during holiday time and in the case of residence pursuant to sub-section 1a.

(4) After successful completion of the studies, the residence permit may be extended by up to one year for the purposes of seeking a job commensurate with this qualification, provided that it is permissible to fill the vacancy concerned with foreigners in accordance with the provisions contained in Sections 18, 19 and 21. Sub-section 3 shall apply mutatis mutandis. Section 9 shall not apply.

(5) A foreigner may be granted a residence permit to attend language courses which do not serve to prepare him or her for a course of study and, in exceptional cases, for the purpose of attending school education. Sub-section 2 shall apply mutatis mutandis.

(6) A foreigner to whom another Member State of the European Union has issued a residence title for study purposes which falls within the ambit of Council directive 2004/114/EC of 13 December 2004 on the conditions of admission of third-country nationals for the purposes of studies, pupil exchange, unremunerated training or voluntary service (Official EU Journal no. L 375, p. 12) shall be granted a residence permit for the same purpose where he or she

1. wishes to carry out part of his or her studies at an educational establishment in the Federal territory because he or she is obliged under the terms of reference for the course of studies to carry out part of his or her studies at an educational establishment of another Member State of the European Union or

2. fulfils the conditions pursuant to sub-section 1 and wishes to continue in the Federal territory part of a course of study commenced in another Member State or to supplement such a course of study in the Federal territory and

a) is participating in an exchange programme between the Member States of the European Union or in an exchange programme of the European Union or

b) has been admitted for a course of study for a period of at least two years in the other Member State of the European Union.

A foreigner who applies for a residence title pursuant to sentence 1, no. 2 is to submit to the competent authority documentation on his or her academic education to date and on the intended course of studies in Germany which verifies that the studies in the Federal territory shall constitute a continuation or supplementation of the studies completed to date. Section 9 shall not apply.

(7) Where the foreigner is under 18 years of age, the persons entitled to care and custody of the foreigner must consent to the planned stay.

 #BSAAG_Learn_German #BSAAG_German_Language_Requirements

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