FAQ for Prospective International Students
For general information about the courses of study, student life and application requirements we advise you to visit the Viadrina internet site:
Further information about courses of study, student life and qualifications needed for study can be obtained from the Department of International Affairs.
On this website other important information, such as possible admission caps or numerus clausus (study programs with a restricted number of places), can also be found.
2. Where can I get detailed information about application procedures
For detailed information about your program of interest please refer to the specific contact person in the department of international affairs as follows:
- For prospective Polish students: Agnieszka Schmid, Tel.:+49 335 5534 4306
- Foreign students (outside of Poland): Bernd Klugert, Tel.: +49 335 5534 2328
- For exchange students (including ERASMUS students) Bernd Schünow, Tel.: +49-335-5534 2365
3. What graduation certificate or diploma do I need to apply to the Viadrina?
The acquirement of a School Leaving Certificate (Abitur), or general qualifications for entrance to institutes of higher education (or an equivalent graduation certificate), is a fundamental prerequisite for admission to a study program. Thereby graduation certificates from individual countries are valued differently. This means that applicants from some countries outside of Germany must have studied for one or two years at an institute of higher education in their home country, attended a year-long Studienkolleg (or institute to prepare international students for studies) in Germany, or fulfil other additional prerequisites. Other applicants are able to study directly in Germany after their Arbitur but this option is only possible for applicants from foreign countries who have additional proof of education. On the internet site of the German Academic Exchange Service information about which university prerequisites or how School Leaving Certificate (Abitur) equivalent programs are weighted can be found for the individual countries.
4. Do I have to take an entrance exam for the Viadrina?
5. What are the tuition and fees to study at the Viadrina?
The Viadrina levies, except for some Master Programs no tuition fees. There is a one-time per semester fee of approximately 230 Euros. This fee includes the Semester-ticket with which one can travel with any transportation means (bus, train, U-Bahn) in all of the Brandenburg and Berlin regions.
6. Where can I get an application form?
The application can be found on the internet in German or English here:
7. Which documents do I need to submit to be able to apply and enrol at the Viadrina?
- A completed and signed application
- Authorized copies of transcripts or other university admission qualifications (or other accredited qualifications in accordance with your home country)
- An official translated copy of your university admission certificate or transcript (except certifications in English for university admissions or transcripts. In these cases a notarized copy of theses documents must be obtained.)
- If applicable, an authorized copy of the certificate from the previous study and an official translated copy of the certificate
- A notarized copy and an official translation of the student’s institute of higher education diploma, if applicant is applying for a Master’s program.
- Proof of the applicant’s German or English language ability. Proof of English language ability is only necessary if the application is for a study program offered in English.
- For enrolment into a higher graduate course: approval of previous academic graded achievements must be granted by the appropriate faculty of the Viadrina
- A colour passport photo as well as a copy of applicant’s passport
- Proof of payment with the application for the UNI-ASSIST handling charge
8. When are the application deadlines?
For winter semester applicants, a completed application must be received in the correct application office (ASSIST or the Viadrina) at the latest by July 15th. Please note: In the winter semester applications for all faculties are accepted.
For summer semester applicants a completed application must be received in the correct application office at the latest by January 15th. Only Social and Cultural Sciences Bachelor and Master’s applicantions are accepted in the summer semester.
Please keep in mind the differing deadline dates for various Master’s study programs.
Please bear in mind that there is a steadfast cut-off date. This means that applications that are received after the deadline will not be accepted. The applicant’s documents must be received in the correct office by the afore mentioned period of time. This deadline does not apply to the postage date.
9. Where should I send my application?
The Viadrina has commissioned the registered UNI-ASSIST organization. UNI-ASSIST surveys and verifies foreign student’s application packages for the fundamental application documents. For this reason please send the completed application to:
c/o UNI-ASSIST e.V.
Helmholtzstraße 2 – 9
Currently there is a handling fee in the amount of 43 Euro for EU citizens and 68 Euro for all other applicants.
Remember that the entire application must be received in the UNI-ASSIST office by the stated deadline. Detailed information about UNI-ASSIST and the application procedure, as well as other important forms, can be found a the internet
For more information about enrolment in a Master’s program or application process, please visit the following site.
10. Where may I get my documents and copies notarized?
Please do not submit any original documents! Copies can be notarized by the German embassy or the German consulate in your home country. Applicants from countries in the EU have the possibility of getting copies notarized by a notary, or a school or a higher education institution.
The Viadrina can not notarize applicant’s copies.
11. Where may I get my copies translated?
The manufacture of official translated documents is valid solely from authorized and sworn translators or interpreters. Even if applicants have a high command of German, they are not allowed to translate the documents themselves.
Attention: Not all translators are authorized; ask to see accreditation before you obtain the translation! The applicant also needs to provide two documents: a notarized copy of the original the official translation.
12. What criteria are decisive for admittance?
There are study programs with a restricted number of places (numerus clausus) clause for some of the Viadrina’s study programs. This means that there are only a limited number of study places that can be filled. In these study programs the grade point average of the School Leaving Certificate (Abitur), or graded performance achievements, will be the deciding factor of admittance. The better this mark is, the higher the probability of gaining a study place in the program.
13. How is the grade point average of my School Leaving Certificate (Abitur), or graded performance achievements, converted into the German grading system?
A standard, country-wide formula is used in Germany for the conversion of all foreign grades into the German grading system.
14. What proof of my language ability do I need to provide?
The students have to submit proof of their German language ability if they wish to participate in a Bachelor’s study tract offered in German including: social and cultural sciences, German and Polish Law (German and Polish), economics, business administration, international business administration (English and German), the fundamental law courses or a Master’s program offered in German.
One way to satisfactorily demonstrate your German language ability is to take the German language test for admission to institutes of higher education (or Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang – DSH) at a German university.
It is also possible to take this German language test directly at the Viadrina. At the Viadrina’s language centre a preparation course for the DSH test is offered in which information about the test can be obtained as well as reviewing the rules and registration procedures.
Instead of taking the DSH, it is possible to take the Test-DaF (Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache or Test for German as a foreign language). This test is offered in TestDaF institutions located worldwide.
In order to be able to study at the Viadrina a score of at least level TDN 4 must be achieved in each of the four testing sections.
If you have previously successfully earned a German Language Diploma from the Ministry of Education, Level II (DSD II) or another credential listed below that is under the testing supervision of the Goethe Institutes, than you are waived of the DSH requirement. That means that you do not have to take the DSH test. Goethe Institute credential testing include the:
- Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung (ZOP)
- Kleines Deutsches Sprachdiplom (KDS)
- Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom (GDS)
In the even that the student holds a German language certificate and would like to assess its acceptability, please refer to the German Lectorate in the language centre.
15. How can I demonstrate my English language knowledge?
If the student wishes to study International Business Administration a sufficient level of English ability is necessary. This can be demonstrated through a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test. The following are the minimum satisfactory point requirements:
- paper-based Test : 550 Points
- computer-based Test: 213 Points
- internet-based Test : 80 Points
Instead of the TOEFL, the following tests are also acceptable:
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS): minimum 6.5 (academic only)
- Cambridge Advanced: minimum of an A, or Cambridge Proficiency: minimum C.
If the student has an alternative proof of their language ability, please get in contact with the course of the IBA study representative.
16. Who is in charge of my admission to a study program?
If your admission papers arrived successfully at the UNI-ASSIST, and all documents meet the prerequisites, than the application is forwarded for further processing to the Viadrina.
The final answer concerning your admission is decided by the Viadrina.
17. What kind of health insurance do I need to have?
In order to be able to register at the Viadrina, it is mandatory to have German health insurance. The health insurance covers doctor’s costs, hospital costs and prescriptions. After the student’s arrival in Frankfurt they must acquire such a health insurance from one of the health insurance providers. At the moment the cost is about 70 Euro per month.
If the student comes from an EU country, than the requirement for a German health insurance does not apply. All that is needed is a completed E 128 form or the European health insurance card. Both of these items can be procured from the insurance company in the student’s home country.
18. Do I need a visa to enter Germany?
Students from countries in the European Union and certain other countries (such as Honduras, Iceland, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and USA) do not need a visa. For those students arriving from other countries please find out the specific requirements for your home country whether you require a visa to enter Germany.
In the event that a visa is required, please acquire a Schengen visa. This visa will allow the student to cross the Polish border without problem thereby allowing the student to take advantage of the offerings on the Polish side of the Oder (in the Collegium Polonicum).
Under no circumstance should the student get a tourist visa. In Germany it is not possible to change a tourist visa into a residence visa.
19. What is the cost of living in Frankfurt (Oder)?
The Studentenwerk Frankfurt (Oder) offers 1 to 5 bedroom apartments in a total of five apartment buildings. Rent in the student apartment buildings ranges from 140 to 270 Euros. Less expensive accommodations can be found on the Polish side, in Słubice. For the average student monthly costs are around 400-500 Euros.
Please note: If the student is not from an EU country, the foreign office requires students to provide documentation for the “assurance of satisfactory means to cover the cost of living.” In the moment this amounts to 648 Euros required for each month the student wishes to reside in Germany.
To finance a portion of the student’s studies there are possibilities to earn a scholarship. The Viadrina offers several scholarships for international students.
All of the FAQ can be found here as a PDF-file to download.