How to move to Germany – Undergraduate Studies (III)

In my previous posts, we have looked at how to move to Germany through post graduate studies and family reunification.

Today’s post will focus on moving to Germany for your undergraduate studies after Secondary School Education.

To start your undergraduate studies in Germany, you are required to have gone through at least 13 years of formal education. For many English speaking African countries, we go through 12 and have a gap year before starting university. This poses a challenge when we decide to study our Bachelors in Germany.

Here is a breakdown of the academic years in Ghana:
–> Primary Education – 6 years (Class 1 to Class 6)
–> Junior Secondary Education – 3 years (JHS 1 – JHS 3)
–> Senior Secondary Education – 3 years (SHS 1 – SHS 3)

To allow us (and many others) still go to a university, Germany provides the opportunity for international students to do a one year foundation course in an institution called Studienkolleg or by completing one year of university education, you can enrol for your undergraduate studies for programmes taught in English (assuming you do not speak German).

Let’s take a look at both options available:

Going to Studienkolleg

The Studienkolleg prepares you for university and the language of instruction is German. Because of this, you need to show German language skills (at least B1) in order enrol.
Unfortunately, you cannot apply directly to Studienkolleg by yourself. It can only be done through your prospective university. For example, if you apply to a university and they want to admit you, they will request you take the foundation course. With documents they provide to you, you can apply for a visa in your home country to study at a Studienkolleg in Germany before going to a university.
It is recommended to do this one year foundation course to get familiar with the teaching style and methods in Germany and what is expected of you as a student in general.

One Year of University

For Ghanaians, Nigerians, Kenyans and many other Africans who only study for 12 years, you are allowed to skip Studienkolleg and go directly to a university in Germany if you go to a university in your country for one year and have good grades (of course!).
With this route, you skip the hustle of going through Studienkolleg to a university. Again, I highly recommend going to Studienkolleg if you can. It’s a great opportunity to learn the language and get familiar with the teaching style before university. You are also not limited to the choice of programme to study because you would be able to speak German which allows you to either study in German or English.

Please note that not all students can do one year university and go directly into a university in Germany. Check if this applies to your country here

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Hope this was informative! Do ask questions if you have any and thanks for reading! I will publish a separate post showing you how to apply through your prospective university to a Studienkolleg and what you can expect from the foundation course they offer. It is a very special form of education in Germany and would require a separate post.

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