Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Foundation Semester Course

Overview

  1. What is the Foundation Semester Course?
  2. How do I profit from the Foundation Semester Course?
  3. Who can do the Foundation Semester Course?
  4. What will I learn?
  5. How does the Foundation Semester Course cost?
  6. When and where does the Foundation Semester Course take place?
  7. How to apply?
  8. How can I get a visa?
  9. How can I find accommodation?
  10. What is my status while doing the Foundation Semester Course?

1. What is the Foundation Semester Course?

Our Foundation Semester Course ("Propädeutisches Vorsemester") is a specialized one-semester preparation course for international prospective students planning to study at German universities. In this course, we teach you both subject knowledge and subject-specific language skills that will prepare you for your intended degree programme.

Please note: This is not a general language course to help you learn German; advanced knowledge of German is a prerequisite. If you need to learn German first, you should apply for our →Kolleg für deutsche Sprache und Kultur instead.

At the International Study Centre (ISZ) of Heidelberg University, you can do a Foundation Semester Course as a preparation for either of the following fields of study:

(A) German language and literature ("Germanistik"), humanities, and arts (B) Medical and biology-related degree programmes

This course is offered

☀ in summer semesters
❄ in winter semesters

This course is offered

☀ only in summer semesters
 

In September, before the start of the winter semester, we offer a →Four-Week Foundation Course in addition. Admission to this course can only be granted to prospective students with non-German university entrance qualifications and letters of admission from Heidelberg University for medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, biochemistry, biosciences, or molecular biology.

2. How do I profit from the Foundation Semester Course?

Starting at university is always a big challenge, especially if you are going to study abroad. German universities are sure to differ in many ways from your home country: You will experience differences in, for example, their organization and methodology as well as the scientific language and academic techniques to be employed here. The way degree programmes are structured will leave you no time for a long settling-in period. This is why a good preparation is so important for you to succeed at university.

Our Foundation Semester Course introduces you to academic techniques and prepares you for the general and language-related requirements of your intended degree programme. Having successfully completed the course, you will receive a written evaluation of your achievements, which may improve your chances when applying for a place on one of the above (A, B) fields of study at Heidelberg University.

3. Who can do the Foundation Semester Course?

You can apply for the PFoundation Semester Course if you are interested in one of the two relevant fields of study at Heidelberg University and meet the respective requirements:

(A) German language and literature ("Germanistik"), humanities, and arts (B) Medical and biology-related degree programmes
(1) You are in possession of a direct university entrance qualification ("direkte Hochschulzugangsberechtigung/HZB") for the intended degree programme at Heidelberg University.
On the Internet pages of the →Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen (German language only) you can check if you meet the formal requirements („Schulabschlüsse mit Hochschulzugang“ → „Suchen“ → select the country of your diploma/certificate → select your diploma/certificate).
(1) You are in possession of a direct university entrance qualification ("direkte Hochschulzugangsberechtigung/HZB") for the intended degree programme at Heidelberg University.
On the Internet pages of the →Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen (German language only) you can check if you meet the formal requirements („Schulabschlüsse mit Hochschulzugang“ → „Suchen“ → select the country of your diploma/certificate → select your diploma/certificate).
(2) You are in possession of

(a) a DSH certificate scoring at least level DSH-2 or an →equivalent German language certificate.

or

(b) a proof of German language proficiency at GER level B2

(2) a DSH certificate scoring at least level DSH-2 or an →equivalent German language certificate.

4. What will I learn?

(A) German language and literature ("Germanistik"), humanities, and arts

This course has been developed by the International Study Centre in cooperation with the →Institute of German as a Foreign Language Philology (IDF) as a targeted preparation for your Germanistik studies at the IDF.
(B) Medical and biology-related degree programmes

At Heidelberg and many other German universities, admission for beginners to medical or biology-related degree programmes is granted only in winter semesters. This course allows you to use the summer semester effectively getting prepared for your studies.

Content of teaching

On this course,

  • you will be introduced to working with academic texts from the fields of linguistics and literary studies
  • you can expand your subject-specific competences
  • you will be taught general key competences, such as doing literature research, using the library, presenting a project, and time management
  • you will receive an introduction to academic techniques

Content of teaching

On this course,

  • you can refresh and expand your knowledge in the fields of biology, chemistry, and physics, including the underlying mathematics
  • you will learn methodological skills that are important for your studies - e.g. how to efficiently prepare a presentation and deliver it in a readily comprehensible manner using modern technologies
  • you will be conducting and recording experiments from the chemistry, biochemistry, and physics beginner's labs. (Successfully completed and recorded experiments will be recognised by Heidelberg University for your degree programme.)

Subjects

(a) If you are in possession of a DSH certificate scoring at least level DSH-2 or an equivalent certificate, you will have 28 45-minute classes per week:

  • 12 literature classes
  • 10 history classes
  • 6 classes of social studies and geography (combined)

(b) If your German language proficiency is at GER level B2, you will have 32 45-minute classes per week:
  • 20 German classes
  • 4 literature classes
  • 4 history classes
  • 4 classes of social studies and geography (combined)
  • At the end of the course, you can take the →DSH exam.

Subjects

You will have 20 45-minute classes per week:

  • 6 biology classes
  • 6 chemistry classes
  • 6 physics classes
  • 2 classes on key competences for university studies

5. How much does the Foundation Semester Course cost?

  course fee 505.00 euro
+ university fees current fees

6. When and where does the Foundation Semester Course take place?

Start and end of the Foundation Semester Course:
dates overview
Class times:
Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 1:15pm, some classes may also take place in the afternoon

Location (→map):
Studienkolleg of Heidelberg University
Im Neuenheimer Feld 684
69120 Heidelberg

7. How to apply?

The application process consists of two mandatory steps:

Step 1
uni-assist

First you apply with uni-assist e.V. for the issuing of a preliminary review documentation ("Vorprüfungsdokumentation"/"VPD")

information on uni-assist e.V. (PDF document, for winter semesters available at the latest from mid-May, for summer semesters at the latest from mid-November)

Step 2
Internationales Studienzentrum Then you apply with us at the International Study Centre for admission to the Foundation Semester Course.
application form (PDF document)

📫 Application periods:  
☀ for summer semesters: November 15 to January 15*
❄ for winter semesters: May 15 to July 15*
  * Receipt of the application at the ISZ.

Please send us your complete application (see check list on the →application form, page 4) including your original VPD document from uni-assist .e.V. at due time to this address:
Internationales Studienzentrum der Universität Heidelberg
– Studienkolleg –
Propädeutisches Vorsemester
Im Neuenheimer Feld 684
69120 Heidelberg
GERMANY

For questions on the Foundation Semester Course, feel free to contact us at the Studienkolleg of Heidelberg University:

Phone: +49 6221 54-5940

E-mail: studienkolleg@isz.uni-heidelberg.de

For questions specifically about the VPD document ("Vorprüfungsdokumenation", step 1 of the application process), please get in touch directly with →uni-assist.

8. How can I get a visa?

To enter Germany and attend the Foundation Semester Course, you will normally need a visa, unless there are specific regulations for your country. If you apply successfully with the ISZ for our Foundation Semester Course, you will receive a letter of admission from us. With that document you can apply for the required visa. Please understand that the ISZ cannot interfere with visa proceedings.

For more information on visa regulations, click here:

9. How can I find accommodation?

It is not easy to quickly find reasonably priced accommodation in Heidelberg. So start looking for it as soon as possible.
The ISZ itself does not offer accommodation or related services. You can, however, apply for accommodation with the Studierendenwerk Heidelberg, even before being admitted to the German courses. To go on, please click here:

Unterricht 

10. What is my status while doing the Foundation Semester Course?

Having started the Foundation Semester Course, you will have to enrol at Heidelberg University. You will then be an official university student and receive a student identity card.

Studierendenausweis 

This will allow you, amongst other things, to

 
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