Studying at Hohenheim

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					                  UNIVERSITÄT HOHENHEIM
                    M.Sc. Programme Coordinators
                      Zentrale Studienberatung

             Studying at Hohenheim
                          - Facts and Skills –


        A Seminar for Students of the M.Sc. Programmes
        1. AgEcon (Agricultural Economics)
        2. AgriTropics (Agricultural Sciences in the Tropics and Subtropics)
        3. Crop Sciences
        4. EnvEuro (Environmental Science – Soil, Water and Biodiversity)
        5. Envirofood (Environmental Protection and Agricultural Food Production)
        6. OrganicFood (Organic Food Chain Management)

                                   6th and 7th October, 2009

Seminar conducted by:
Reiner Laue – PACTeam
assisted by
Kerstin Hoffbauer, Katrin Winkler, Elias Njiru, Maria Kolla and Yusuf Nadi Karatay

PACTeam GbR - Dr. Jochen Currle & Reiner Laue
Die Berater für Moderation, Beratungsmethodik und Organisationsentwicklung           PACTeam
Hauptstr. 15 • 88379 Guggenhausen • Tel/Fax: 07503/ 791
Email: • Homepage:
Participating Students


At the beginning of the seminar Kerstin Hoffbauer
and Katrin Winkler welcomed all participants, and
introduced the moderator Reiner Laue, and Elias
Njiru, Maria Kolla and Yusuf Nadi Karatay as his
assistants for this seminar.

The schedule, objectives and the expectations for
this seminar are stated by these clip boards.

We got to know each
other by making a “tooth
wheel”, in which we sat in
pairs opposite each other
to discuss the following:
source/origin and meaning
of our names, polite and
impolite behaviors when
addressing somebody in
our cultures, the most
surprising experience in
Germany since our arrival
and our wishes for this

We found out that it is
polite to say “jambo”
(greetings) in Kenya and
“shalom” (peace) in Israel,
and to look straight into
someone’s eyes and refer
to them as “Herr” (Mr.)
and    “Frau”   (Ms.)    in

We also learned that it is
impolite to stare directly at a person when talking to him in China, not to bend when
greeting an elderly person in India, and not to excuse yourself first when seeking for
help in Germany.

We were informed that we should always remember that what is considered polite in

one culture could be considered impolite in another culture.

We heard that we were looking forward to improve our knowledge and language
skills in Germany, to learn new technologies and exchange experiences with our
colleges. Also we were eager to get to know the Germans and their culture.

Our worries were concerning the cold and the weather, the foreign language, the
strange food and accommodation problems as well as the high expenses we expect.
We are afraid to be home sick, some were scared of the flight and of facing racism in

We learnt that some of our most surprising experiences in Germany included closed
shops on Sundays, one key opening many doors, S-Bahn and U-Bahn ticketing
system, warmness of Germans e.g. at the Oktoberfest and the punctuality of the


Information on our memory is one part of biological background information.
Understanding its function as well as its potential and limitation helps to acquire
knowledge efficiently. You can do this small exercise. Get someone to read out the
15 names and then write down as many as you can remember. You will find out the

Three levels of memory                               Three levels of memory
                                                     1. Ultrashort-term =
We use the ultrashort-term memory to recognise          (sensoric) memory
our environment. It acts as a filter because we do   2. Short term memory
not memorise the vast majority of information, but   3. Long-term memory
we delete it immediately. This is to prevent an
overloading of our mental capacities.

Our short-term memory has a capacity of about 7 units. This is the reason that we
can memorise new telephone numbers for a short while, before forgetting them
again. Concerning reading a book or listening to a lecture, we often assume to
understand everything; however again, after a short while we forget much
information due to the limited capacity of our short-term memory. We can stretch
the capacity of the short-term memory by combining several digits, by putting them
into an already existing context and by having a special interest in the topic.
Remember the exercise with the list of names that you had to remember. The names
that are familiar to you, maybe from friends and relatives, are very easy to
remember but others are not.

The long-term memory serves to store information for a very long time, even for our
whole life. The information reaches
this level by means of repetition. All
information has to pass through the
two previous levels with the short-
term one as the bottleneck.

Mental potential    and   information

These results      have   two   major

      We memorise information more efficiently if we use more than one channel for
taking up information.

     The more active we are dealing with a given subject, the better and the longer
we can remember it (e.g. dealing actively with exam regulation booklet).


Structuring helps tremendously to remember complex issues. Firstly we should gain
                                                   an        overview         by
                                                   understanding     the    major
                           Topic                   aspects, thus we work
                                                   horizontally. By doing so we
                                                   are working in accordance
 M ajor aspect                                     with the capacity of our
                                                   short-term memory. As a
                                                   second step we decide on
                                                   which minor aspects and
  Minor aspect                                     details should be tackled.


The following graph illustrates shortly how the human biorhythm works. The human biorhythm
determines our mental fitness. It is characterized by two peaks, one in the morning and one in the
afternoon. Due to our own experiences we know that at lunchtime we normally feel a bit tired. In
many countries this is one reason that a siesta break is very common.

                                                                       For our studies we should
     Human biorhythm during 24 hours                                   organize our working time in
 degree of                                                             accordance with our normal
                                                                       rhythm,       i.e.     doing
                                                                       demanding tasks during
                                                                       peak times. During the first
                                                                       three semesters of the
                                                                       master    programme      we
                                                                       should use the morning
                                                                       hours    productively     for
                                                                       reviewing notes, clarifying
             6h    9h     12 h   15 h   18 h   21 h   24 h   3h
                                                                       open     questions,     etc.,
                                                                       because all lectures are
                                                                       taking    place    in    the

Sufficient breaks are the key for the use our potential optimally! If we neglect the breaks the low
periods are extended and the peaks are not as high as they could be!

The chart below highlights the four major aspects that contribute to successful studies. While each of
them is crucial, the M.Sc. degree as the final result can only be achieved if they are balanced. Efforts
in the field of acquiring knowledge are in vain if the administrative requirements like extending the
visa are not met, if we are no able to use our time efficiently or if we neglect our social contacts.


Dealing with reading skills was the next topic. The focus was not on the actual reading process, but
on how to use scientific literature efficiently (in contrast to reading a novel, which we start at the first
page and read up to the last page). In order gain practical experience in working in a target-oriented
way, we collected questions concerning a text titled "What is studying all about?"

The step "posing questions" is one of several ones, as it is shown in the table. Nevertheless we
realized that this new approach needs a bit of practice, but it is one way of reading in a more focused

By following the steps we structure the information and reduce the volume. This is crucial to deal
systematically and efficiently with larger amounts of information.

This intensive work ensures that the neutral information stored in the book gradually becomes our
own knowledge that we can use in many ways: explaining it to others, using it for designing projects,
demonstrating it in examinations etc.

Understanding the subject and being able to apply what we have learnt boosts tremendously our
motivation to explore new complex situations.


The Aliens' Act (Ausländerrecht) was our next topic. After collecting questions that covered a wide
range of topics, the answers were visualized on two boards. It became clear that some aspects are
not exclusively relevant for foreign students, but are valid for both foreigners and Germans as well as
for foreigners in general. Logically it is not only the Aliens' Act that provided the answers but that also
other rules and regulations apply.

Some of the answers to regarding the Aliens Act were discussed and grouped as shown below:



We gave you some basic information on the organization concerning the life in the dormitories, the
rental contracts and other important information. The following list summarizes the most important
points. Please also read the “Terms of lease” carefully and abide to the terms. Failure to abide to the
terms can lead to immediate termination of your rental contract. Please inform yourself,
ignorance is no excuse.

- The advantages of living in the dormitories include the close proximity to the University, the cheap
  lease, the possibility to meet people and the tight situation on the housing market. The
  disadvantage is the fact that there are always more applicants than available rooms.

- The distribution of rooms takes place through a quota system, in which every institute get a
  defined number of rooms and can then allocate these independently.

- As a consequence the management of the dormitories takes place through the coordination
  offices. Please contact the coordinators first if you want to
           o   apply for a room
           o   sublease your room
           o   cancel your contract
           o   extend your contract
   The coordinators will then inform you on the possibilities you have.

- Each dormitory is looked after by a janitor. He can be contacted in case you have problems, e.g.
  something in the dormitory is not working.

- The rules are written down in the “Allgemeine Mietbedingungen”. A translation is provided for you.
  Please read them carefully and abide to the rules.

- Common rooms have to be cleaned by the inhabitants, contact your neighbors to find out the
  system of sharing the cleaning duties among yourselves.

- Pots and plates are owned individually. If you wish to use other peoples pots and plates please ask
  for permission first.

- In Germany we have a waste separation system. Please abide to it. The most important parts of it
  are the following:
           o   Green bin: plain paper without metal, plastic or foils on it, e.g. newspapers,
               magazines, egg cartons, packages for noodles, corn flakes, etc.
           o   Brown bin: compostable material, do not put anything from animals into this bin - no
               meat, bones, sausage, fat.
           o   Yellow sack: packaging material, e.g. shampoo jar, skin lotion jar, tooth paste tube,
               meat tray, sausage tray or plastic foil, cheese foil, yoghurt cup, milk carton, juice
               carton, plastic bottles, metal cans and all sort of metal foils or plastic foils etc. (take
               care that there is no deposit on the cans and bottles you want to dispose of!)
           o   Grey-black bin: all the rest e.g. torn cloths, dirty paper, medicine, ash, CD’s, discs,
               wire, cable, film, photos, bulbs, plates, rubber parts, hair, spray containers, coffee
               filters, tea bags, bubble gum, metals, tapes, candles, leather, lip stick, nails, pens,
               cooked kitchen wastes, soap, tampons, ink, shavers, cigarettes etc.
           o   Batteries must be returned to the shop or to the municipality
           o   Glass is collected in containers sorted by color
- No waste collection on balconies is allowed.

- No double or more occupation is allowed. Violation of this rule leads to immediate termination of
  your contract.

- Reduce the level of noise at lunch time and after 10 pm.

- Check notes hung on the notice-boards regularly for information.

- Before moving out make an appointment with the hose-keeper and paint your room (paint is

- Every semester a proof of matriculation has to be submitted to the “Wohnheimverwaltung” office.

- Use energy and water cautiously. Do not heat while the window is open. Switch lights off when
  you leave the room.


All M.Sc. courses are intensive 2-year programmes consisting of:

    1. Semester: 5 modules
                                                15 Modules in total
    2. Semester: 5 modules

    3. Semester: 5 modules

    4. Semester: master thesis

•   5 compulsory modules in the first semester, and of
•   5 elective and 5 semi-elective modules in the second and third semester.
•   A master thesis composed of a written part and an oral examination in the 4th semester.
•   3 compulsory modules in the first semester and part of the second one, and of
•   5 semi-elective and 7 elective modules in the second and third semester.
•   A master thesis composed of a written part and an oral examination in the 4th semester.
•   3 compulsory modules in the first semester, and of
•   3-4 semi-elective and 2-3 elective modules in the second
•   A master thesis composed of a written part and an oral examination in the 4th semester.
•   7 compulsory modules in the first semester and part of the second one, and of
•   3 semi-elective and 5 elective modules in the second and third semester.
•   A master thesis composed of a written part and an oral examination in the 4th semester.
•   8 compulsory modules in the first semester and part of the second one, and of
•   7 optional modules in the second and third semester.
•   A master thesis composed of a written part and an oral examination in the 4th semester.
•   7 compulsory modules in the first semester and part of the second one, and of
•   6 specialized compulsory modules in the second and part of the third semester, and of
•   2 optional modules in the third semester.
•   A master thesis composed of a written part and an oral examination in the 4th semester.

•   A module is a teaching unit and can consist of several parts (lecture, seminar, excursion, practical
•   Modules can be either blocked or unblocked

•   A blocked module takes place in every afternoon for three and a half weeks with an exam at the
    end of the period.
•   Unblocked modules take place once in a week in the mornings and the exam is taken at the end
    of the semester.

•   The grading system of is based on the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System)
•   Each module has a value of 6 credits   15 modules = 90 credits
•   The master thesis has a value of                     30 credits
•   your total master degree requires                   120 credits

Credits are used to characterise the estimated workload that you need in order to successfully
complete the module. One credit corresponds to a workload of 25 to 30 hours.

    One module requires a max. workload of 6 x 30 hrs = 180 hrs
    (~ 70 hrs of lecture, rest is preparation on your own or in groups)

The result of your exam is assessed with grades (A to D) and grade-points (4 to 1).

A (very good)                                 =   4
B (good)                                      =   3
C (medium)                                    =   2
D (pass)                                      =   1
F (fail)                                      =   0

    Your overall performance will be assessed with credit-points.
    Credit points are calculated by multiplying the credits with the grade-points of each module
    or the thesis.

To obtain the degree “Master of Science” an overall grade of at least 120 credit points has to be
120 credits, average grade D = 1    120 x 1 = 120 credit points
120 credits, average grade A = 4    120 x 4 = 480 credit points


The examination regulations were a major topic. The examination regulations describe the objective
of our Master Programmes (see § 1) and all relevant rules and regulations that are binding for both
the students and the professors. In other words: it is like a contract showing the conditions in terms
of "do's" and "do not's" under which you can study in Hohenheim.

Note: This is an unofficial translation. Only the Germany examination regulations as of 22.7.09 are legally

How to register for exams?
Within the first weeks of the first semester you have to fill in a
„study- and examination plan“ and choose your semi-elective and elective modules. For compulsory
modules you will be registered automatically.
Your mentor has to sign the study- and examination plan.
When handing in this plan at the examination office you are registered for the respective exams.

How can I change my study plan?
In case a module is not offered anymore or you found a more suitable module than chosen
previously, you have to fill the form
„Alteration of Study- and Examinationplan“ and get another signature of your mentor.
This form has to be handed in at the examination office before the registration deadline for the exam.

What happens if I‘m sick on the examination date?
In case of sickness you have to inform the examination office as soon as possible.
You need to see a doctor and get a medical certificate.
The certificate has to be handed in at the examination office together with the form „Application for
withdrawal from an examination for health reasons“ until 7 days after the examination date at the
You will automatically be registered for the repetition of the exam!
(If you have to look after a sick child the case will be treated as if you were sick yourself)

How often can I fail an exam?
The second attempt has to be taken in the same semester, the third attempt has to be taken in the
following year.
You will be registered automatically for the next possible repetition date.

How much time do I have to finish all modules?
At the end of the 2nd semester at least 6 modules have to be completed.
The compulsory modules have to be completed until the end of the 3rd semester.
All other modules have to be completed until the end of the 6th semester.

When do I have to register my master thesis?
The thesis shall be registered at the beginning of the 4th semester.
If it hasn‘t been registered until the beginning of the 6th semester it will be graded a „fail“.

Below are the questions and answers of the students enrolled in AgriTropics (Agricultural Sciences
in the Tropics and Subtropics):

Summarizing, here are some of the key aspects that apply to all examination regulations:

Topic                Regulation

Sickness during      You are allowed to participate in exam since presence in the lectures is not
module               compulsory. It is your responsibility to get the information presented in the
                     module, the best way is to ask your colleges to collect the handouts for you.

Sickness during      In case you are not participating in the exam you need a medical certificate.

Handout material     Handouts are provided by the lecturers.

Number of exams There is one exam per module, but up to 30% can be course work.
per module

Type of              Exams can be either written or oral, it is stated in the respective module
examination          description.

Registration for     Registration for modules with the coordinators is required. TropenMaster
exams                students do not need to register for the compulsory modules, but for optional

                     The thesis must be registered at the end of the third semester (30th March).

Postponing exams Generally not possible, exception is own sickness or sickness of one’s own child
                 that must be proved by a doctor's certificate to be given to the coordinator or to
                 the Prüfungsamt (Examination Office).

Failing an exam      Every examination can be repeated once and three modules can be repeated
                     twice. The repetition has to take place within 3 months from notification of

Failing the thesis   Thesis can be repeated once with a new topic.

Cheating             When found guilty, the exam is marked F (failure).

Remarking exam       You have the right to check/assess the results. In case you can prove that
                     marking was incorrectly done you can ask for remarking.

                     In any other case: if you passed the exam (D or better) you cannot ask to repeat
                     the exam in order to score better.

                     Hint: Professors can only mark what they can understand. Thus a logic and
                     coherent presentation, and, in case of written exams, readable handwriting are
                     crucial to allowing professors to judge all knowledge that you presented.

Master thesis at     The topic of the thesis can be linked to any compulsory or optional module that
other faculties      you have attended. Co-supervision by institutions outside Hohenheim is possible.

Ranking system       The M.Sc. grade will be certified with the M.Sc. certificate. A ranking system like
                     some of you might know from your home countries (Class, Division) is not usual
                     in Germany.


Yusuf Nadi Karatay gave a brief introduction to the web page of the University of Hohenheim, in
order to give the participants an impression of the structure of the web page and to facilitate their
ability to find information themselves. The most important websites/information are summarized

•   Uni-Homepage:

•   Tropenzentrum:

•   Module Catalogue:

•   Under Institutions – Organization Chart you will find links to all institutes. There you can find
    additional information like contacts, addresses, publications, links to personal web pages, study
    material, current research activities and additional information.

•   Under News and Events you can find event dates, menus for the canteen and job offers

•   E-learning portal:

•   Car pooling:

Sports                                                   Parties
-   sport programme published each semester              -   Thursdays, TMS party
-   most offers without registration, if required        -   Irregular
    registration in ASTA-office                                      o Kneipe: Schwerzstr. 2
-                            o Gilb: Schwerzstr. 1
-   http://www.uni-
                                                         -   Hohenheim movie group shows movies in
Music and theatre
                                                             lecture hall B3 in German
-   choirs, orchestras, bands, guitar groups etc.        -
-   Information at:                                      -   English movies at Corso in Vaihingen
    Tel: +49 (0)711/459-4072                             -
    Fax: +49 (0)711/459-3858
                                                         Internet and email
    Building: Euroforum                                  -   application for access to internet and an email
    Office: Room 104                                         account in PC room 2
-                -   requires a valid student ID card
Religious groups                                         Public transport
-   Christian          -   with a valid student ID card public transport
    or                      within the Stuttgart boundaries can be used for
-   Moslem (no webpage)                                      free after 6 pm and during weekends or public
-   further information please refer to                      holidays
    announcements at the ASTA                            -   semester tickets are available for 168.80 €
                                                         -   electronic timetable of bus, U-Bahn and S-Bahn
International Students
-   International Students Organisation ISO              -   Using the Ticket Vendor
                                                         Map of Stuttgart and Hohenheim online
            o offers tours and social activities
            o Tandem programme for languages             -   http://www.uni-
            o Buddy programme for exchange         
                with German students in
-   International Student Initiative ISI


Our plenary discussion on organising day-to-day studies focused on three milestones
as summarized on the table below and on the following photos:

Before a module starts:   We should get an overview by means of the “Curriculum" and the
                          “Module Catalogue”

During a module / unit    Initially: getting an overview on the specific subject.

                          during lectures: maintaining the overview, concentration on main
                          points, following the logic and red line of the lecturer

                          Issues that are not understood can be asked for and / or clarified

                          Do not try to note down everything the lecturer says, it is not
                          possible. Note down only key words.

                          After the lecture: check your notes, discuss the contents with
                          fellow students and keep up-to-date as precondition for good exam

Preparing exams           Simulate the exam situation with friends, formulate own questions
                          a professor might ask, ...


Learning       in   groups   is   a
methodological tool, which is very
useful in some situations. However,
when deciding to do so, certain
conditions have to be met to make
such meetings successful events. As
a result we should change the
working approach during the
learning process. Of course, the
steps 3 to 5 can and should be
repeated several times depending
on the volume and on the degree of
difficulty of the subject.

The chart on the right shows that
both methods of learning are
appropriate in the learning process.

These are the results of our group work:


We had the pleasure to have the executive manager, Mr.Letzgus, of the language
centre who informed us on the possibilities of learning German and other languages.
These are the seven steps to learning German and/or any other language:
   1. Test and inform yourself

   2. Consult your expert

   3. Register online or personally in time

   4. Pay the fee and buy the book

   5. Start studying

   6. Participate regularly and be active

   7. Make sustainable effort
Further information on the webpage:
or via email


Administrative requirements are part of every society and institution. One key aspect is
to do all administrative procedures within the envisaged period of time before the dead
line ends. To be on the safe side it is very much recommendable to do all procedures
early enough which gives some additional buffer time for both eventually clarifying
questions that may pop up and in case of e.g. sickness. Furthermore all required

documents should be attached immediately to prevent that the administration has to
come back to you.

Some of the main requirements that are listed here:

       Check the data on your student papers (blue sheet with heading:
       Datenkontrollblatt). If there are any mistakes in the spelling of your name,
       different first and family names, address or date of birth or anything you notice
       please inform the student secretariat.

       Renewal of the registration every semester: every semester you have to re-
       register yourself as a student in Hohenheim. This is simply done by paying the
       registration fee. You can find the pay slip already attached to the papers
       connected to your student ID card.

       The deadlines for payment are the 15. February and the 15. July, depending on
       the semester. These dates are also printed on your student papers.

       Your visa extension will be granted for either one or two years. For extension of
       visa the following documents have to be provided: passport, proof of
       matriculation or admission letter, health insurance certificate, proof of
       registration at the municipality, financial statement and a fee of 50 €.

       In case you change your residence or you are leaving the country do not forget
       to un-register at the municipality.


This is an additional note on how to communicate with professors in Germany, as it
may be different compared to your home countries. The most important points are:

   -   It is better to make an appointment if you want to see a Professor in his/her

   -   It is often better to send the class representatives to speak to a Professor if the
       whole class is concerned.

   -   Of course one should always be friendly.

   -   Present problems in a structured and impersonal way. Do not make the
       Professor feel personally attacked.

   -   It is good to present concrete suggestions for possible solutions to the
       problems presented.

   -   Confronting the Professor in his office is more comfortable for him than before
       the whole class, on the other side he/she may be more “hard”.

   -   Come prepared and bring material if appropriate,

   -   If you visit without an appointment then respect office hours,
   -   Switch off or put your cell phone on silent,

   -   Listen carefully to what he/she is telling you.

Finally you, the participants, had the opportunity to evaluate the seminar and suggest
improvements for the next seminar to us. Their evaluation and suggestions are
summarized below.



                                          (OCTOBER 2009)

Studying in Germany offers you a waste range of options for enhancing your
professional career and for gaining a lot of personal experiences.
Like in any other country, a few rules and regulations exist for foreigners and for
foreign students1. Knowing these rules and regulations and sticking to them will
contribute considerably to a successful stay in Germany.
The basis: All foreigners need a valid passport and a permit (Aufenthaltstitel2) if they
want to stay in Germany. Only few exemptions apply for tourists and for visiting
Please note: In Germany everybody (both Germans and foreigners) must be able to
proof his /her identity by means of a passport or an ID (ID only applicable for Germans
and EU-citizens) when being asked for by the police. An officially certified copy
including an officially certified pass photo can be accepted by the police.
1.       For non-EU citizens
The permit (Aufenthaltstitel) has to be obtained in its correct form (see below) before
entering Germany. Entering Germany as a tourist does not qualify you to apply
afterwards for a permit for study purposes. In such a case you have to leave the
country and have to apply abroad!
Three (3) types of permits (Aufenthaltstitel) exist:
(1) Visum: for entering Germany. This visum is issued by the German Embassy abroad
and allows to enter Germany.
(2) Aufenthaltserlaubnis: allows to stay in Germany for a restricted time period and a
specific purpose. This permit is issued, amongst others, to foreign, non-EU-students. It
allows to work in Germany to a limited extent (see below)
(3) Niederlassungserlaubnis: is not restricted in terms of duration and includes a work

  All information is given to the best of the knowledge of the author, however no responsibility can be
taken in legal terms.
 In this text the German expressions are also used for the technical terms since they are binding when
dealing with the respective authorities.

1.2        Features of the Aufenthaltserlaubnis
For students the Aufenthaltserlaubnis is linked to a specific purpose having two components:
1. the enrolment at a (1) specific university for a (2) specific subject.
2. It is restricted in terms of duration because it is expected that the student returns to his3 home
   country after having finalised his studies.
Please note:
Linkage between the Aufenthaltserlaubnis and a given purpose:
(1) Changing the subject (e.g. from agricultural sciences to food technology) at the same university
(2) changing from a university like Hohenheim to another type of university (e.g. Fachhochschule
Nürtingen) and even if the same subject is pursuit: both cases are considered as a change of purpose
which normally is not permitted.
However, changing the purpose is possible in certain cases:
-      Within the first three semesters of your studies
-      Changing the subject later than three semesters in case considerable results of the first subject
       are accepted for taking up the new subject.
-      The final examination of the new subject can be reached within a reasonable period of time, thus
       the overall duration in Germany does not exceed 10 years (including possible language courses,
       practials etc.).
If you intend to change your purpose, the office for foreigners (Ausländerbehörde) has to agree with
it in advance! It is the student’s responsibility to obtain the permission, but not the university’s

Foreign students should not be a burden to the German labour market and, consequently, are not
granted a residence permit4. Therefore the office for foreigners (Ausländerbehörde) insists on the
proof of having sufficient funds which allows you to cover your living expenses.
Nevertheless, some options for being employed exist:
(a) Working as an academic assistant (wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft: Hiwi) at the
university or a research institution is considered as being supportive to the studies and is always
permitted up to 80 to 82 hours per month. Please note that the office for foreigners
(Ausländerbehörde) has to make a respective note into your passport! There is no need to consult
the labour office (Arbeitsamt) since scientific work is not related to a work permit.
If you have been offered such a position as Hiwi, you should ask your employer for a letter stating
exactly this type of job offer (including number of working hours per month). This letter should be
presented to the office for foreigners (Ausländerbehörde) – together with your passport. The
Ausländerbehörde then just has to stamp their approval of this scientific position into your passport.
Important hint: The job at the university must be linked your studies, a job e.g. as an casual worker
at the mensa is not considered as being related to scientific work!

    The male form is used to easy the reading but includes persons of both sexes.
    Students from EU countries who would like to work are in prinicpal subject to the same rules as Germans.
As a student you are entitled to be employed for up to 90 full calendar days or 180 half calendar
days5 per year within and, of course, outside the university. Be aware that in case a job lasts only for
one hour per day, every day is calculated as one half day!
Practicals that are not required by the examination regulations (Prüfungsordnung) are considered as
employment and consequently are subject to the 90 days /180 half days rule.
Ask always your employer to certify the number of days you were working.

Recently it was decided that foreign students can seek a job in Germany after having finished their
studies. Little experience are available so far. The rule is as following:
After having finished the studies, the Ausländerbehörde will extend the visum for one (one year is
calculated from the date of the last exam) to allow the foreign students to look for a “adequate” (see
below) permanent job in Germany. Attention: During this period the student-like conditions
(90 days / 180 half-days) apply (see (b) Employment by means of a normal job).
“Adequate job” so far is not precisely defined. However, the current understanding is, that (a) the
salary must be high enough to cover the living cost and (b) the job corresponds with the academic
qualification. It is the job centre which decides on whether the position is considered being adequate.

Normally the German embassy / consulate abroad issues a visa valid for 3 months. After entering
Germany, matriculating at the university and registering at the civil office (Bürgerbüro) in your town
of residence (not town of the University) you have to apply for the Aufenthaltserlaubnis.
Documents needed for applying for the Aufenthaltserlaubnis:
-      Proof of matriculation;
-      Proof of health insurance;
-      Proof of sufficient financial means.
The Aufenthaltserlaubnis is valid for one year, maximum for two years. It has to be renewed before it
When applying for renewal, the student has to provide the following documents:
-      Proof of being matriculated;
-      Proof of sufficient funds (by means of account statements of the last 3 months, or by recent bank
       statement, or by scholarship or by recent financial commitment of a third person or institution);
-      Proof of health insurance;
-      Valid passport of the home country with valid Aufenthaltserlaubnis;
-      Fee of 20 € (except students having a scholarship showing a respective proof).

The application is done in time if the current permission is still valid (Example: the current
Aufenthaltserlaubnis is valid until 30 April and the renewal is applied for on 29 April). However, when
missing the dead line, you are considered as being illegally in Germany, which can have severe
consequences like being expelled.

    Half da y= up to 4 hours per day

The German authorities can renew the Aufenthaltserlaubnis for maximal 2 years, however they
normally grant only 1 year. This is completely legal and is no reason for complaining.

2         EU - CITIZENS
People from these countries who want to study here enter Germany without a visa and do not need
to apply for any permit.
Students from the previous 15 EU countries have the same status as Germans in the field of
Students from the new EU countries (Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Estonia,
Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Cyprus) are entitled to work 90 full days / 180 half days per year. Financing
your studies exclusively by means of such a timely restricted job is not possible.
Exemption: Students from Malta and Cyprus have the same status as Germans in the field of

The Office of International Affairs (Akademisches Auslandsamt) can assist you in conjunction with
problems related to your status of being a foreigner, however the final decisions are with the
respective authorities.
In order to prevent severe problems, it is of utmost importance to stay within the legal frame for
foreigners. In case of uncertainties, please ask prior to any step you intend to do.

Enjoy your stay in Hohenheim!
Reiner Laue
(Translation and adaptation of a respective paper of Akademisches Auslandsamt of University of


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