I would like to continue studying

There are many students who at some point encounter problems that make it difficult for them to finish their studies. If you are currently facing obstacles that are making it difficult for you to concentrate on your studies, there are several points of contact you can turn to for support. Here you will find an overview:

I am dissatisfied with my field of studies….

  • You have to apply for a change of your course of studies at your responsible Foreigners Registration Office.
    • Usually your residence permit is directly linked to a specific study field. This means that changing your field of studies will mean a change in your residence permit. Therefore, the change must be approved by the Foreigners Registration Office. Furthermore, a change of subject is only possible during the first 18 months (the first three semesters) of your studies in Germany.
    • After the third semester, a change of subject is only possible in exceptional cases. To do this, you must contact the Foreigners Registration Office.
  • For advice on the different study programs you can change to, contact your university’s academic advising office.
  • The student advisor will also give you important information about deadlines, necessary documents, and whether you can receive credit for achievements from your previous degree program.
  • You can find the student advisory service of your university via „Our network„. There you can select the region where you are studying.

You can also change to another university, if you still want to finish your degree but don’t want to continue your studies at your current university. The residence permit for the purpose of study is not tied to a specific university. You can therefore continue the same or a comparable course of studies at another university.
Check with the academic advisor at your current college and the college you plan to transfer to well in advance for deadlines and required documents. You can find the student advisory service at your university via „Our network„. Please select there the region where you are studying.

  • Your studies are too theoretical and you wonder how you can apply the knowledge you have learned in practice? How about an internship, a part-time job or a job as a working student at a company in your field of study?
  • If you want to have a part-time job or work as a student alongside your studies, it depends on whether you come from an EU/EEA-state or a third country. EU/EEA students are allowed to work 20 hours per week during the semester and unrestricted during the lecture-free period. The same applies to internships.
  • If you come from another country that is not part of the EU/EEA, you are allowed to work 120 full days or 240 half days per year.
  • For anything beyond that, you need the approval of the German Employment Agency (Agentur für Arbeit) and your responsible Foreigners Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde).
  • Voluntary internships, e.g. those you do during the semester break, also fall within this hour limit per year. Compulsory internships during studies (required by the study regulations) do not count towards this.

I’m having trouble financing my studies….

If things are tight financially during your studies, you can apply for a part-time job, for example. As an international student, you are allowed to work 120 full days or 240 half days per year without the approval of the Foreigners Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde). If you exceed this time, you need the approval of the Foreigners Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde). This rule does not apply if you are from the EU, EEA or Switzerland. In this case you may not work more than 20 hours per week during the lecture period.

You also have the option to search for scholarships and apply for funding there. The DAAD is the most important provider of scholarships for international students. There are also foundations and organizations that support gifted students. You can find an overview here on the website of „Deutsches Studierendenwerk“.

In Germany, there is also a governmental support for studies: BAföG. In some specific cases, international students may also receive this funding. You can get advice about the regulations at the social counseling office of the Studierendenwerk at your university location.

The Studierendenwerk’s social counseling centers are also an important first point of contact in financial emergencies. You can also contact the International office at your university.

Please find the contact person via our network. There you can select the region in which you are studying.

I have problems with my course of studies or with certain exams….

Many universities (e.g. the Student Advisory Service, University Health Management, Career Service,…) offer courses that can help you to organize yourself better and to structure your studies. Check with your university or local Studentenwerk for more information.

Informational events on scientific working and writing are often available at the university library.

If you have exam anxiety or other worries, the psychosocial counseling center of the Studentenwerk at your university can help you. Often, there is also coaching that can help you finish your studies.

In case of failed exams, for example, the student advisory service or the student office can help you. If you are looking for help to learn for some lectures, you can, for example, ask your lecturer about tutorials for the subject, organize study groups with other students in the same situation or ask students from higher semesters if they provide tutoring.
Find the right contact person within our network. There you can select the region in which you are studying.

I am struggling with personal challenges…

At universities there are usually many student initiatives and working groups in different areas (sports, art, nature & environment, …) – just have a look around and try out what you like. At the beginning of the semester there are often so-called „Erstibörsen“, where the different groups introduce themselves. You can also get involved in the student body council or in your faculty’s student council, participate in university sports or look around in associations outside the university. You can find help at the International Office of your university as well. Here, there are sometimes language mentoring programs or different events that you can join to meet other people.

The psychosocial counseling center of the „Studentenwerk“ at your university is a good place to go if you are looking for help and support in personal crises.

You can find the right contact person for your study region via our network.