Study abroad in Germany

Recognition of a study abroad

For many students in Germany it is important to gain international experience during their studies in the form of a semester abroad or a complete study abroad. The greatest challenge in organizing their stay abroad is for many students - especially for free movers - the Ensure recognition of the study abroad or the course achievements obtained.

Students who want to work in Germany after completing their studies abroad are faced with potential Difficulties in terms of recognition of studying abroad. It is the same with one Change of university: Anyone who started their studies abroad and would like to continue studying at a German university without wasting time must first clarify whether the recognition of the course and examination results is guaranteed.

In order to promote mobility, various measures have been taken in Europe in recent years that Recognition procedure studying abroad more transparent and easier shape. Both with regard to individual study achievements as well as with regard to degrees obtained entirely abroad.

Types of recognition of study abroad

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Whether semester or full study abroad - students should speak to the responsible university in Germany and abroad about the recognition of the study abroad in good time.

When it comes to the recognition of a study abroad, a distinction must first be made between whether a complete degree or just individual study achievements should be recognized.

The Bologna reform and the standardization of the study system in Europe has already made a lot easier. More and more EU countries have adopted or are converting to the three-tier Bachelor, Master and Ph.D./Doctor graduate system that is common in English-speaking countries. The recognition of the study achievements acquired during a semester abroad or a summer session at the home university has therefore become much easier.

Nonetheless, the contents of the course can sometimes differ greatly, which can be problematic especially if a complete course of study has been completed abroad. Because a bachelor's degree obtained in the USA does not necessarily correspond to a German or a British one. Last but not least, there are various Country-specific features and additional designationswhich can complicate the recognition of a study abroad. So it is possible that not every employer in Germany can find something concrete under one acquired in Canada Bachelor of Applied Science to introduce.

It becomes even more complicated when it comes to academic degrees obtained abroad that lead to a profession that is regulated in Germany. To the regulated professions include all professions whose studies involve a State examination degree, such as law, medicine or teaching. Many professions from the health and education sector (nursing, (social) education) are also regulated.

Whether an official recognition of the study abroad is necessary, which laws apply here and who is responsible for the examination different from case to case. This also depends on whether it is academic or professional recognition. Closely linked to this is ultimately the question of whether and under what conditions it is possible to use the academic degree acquired abroad.

Recognition of academic achievements

A distinction must be made between the recognition of academic achievements abroad

  • studying abroad while the student is still enrolled at a German university
  • a change from a foreign university to a university in Germany.

Responsible for the recognition of a study abroad and the academic achievements made there is usually the respective universityat which the students are officially enrolled. If you want to study abroad for a semester abroad or for a summer session, you should in principle Learning Agreement to lock. This is the only way to ensure that you can have your achievements credited towards your studies.

Even if you change universities, the respective universities are responsible for the recognition of your studies abroad or your academic achievements. For courses of study in Germany that lead to a regulated profession lead, they are State examination offices The right person to speak to. Ultimately, you decide whether a “seamless” continuation of your studies in Germany is possible.

Recognition of degrees

With a view to the degrees, the following applies for the recognition of a study abroad between the academic and professional recognition to distinguish. Anyone who obtained their bachelor's degree abroad and would now like to pursue a master's degree in Germany needs academic recognition. If you want to apply to the German job market with your foreign degree or start your own business, you may need professional recognition beforehand. There are also a number of regulations for using degrees obtained abroad.

Academic recognition of a study abroad

Academic recognition is all about the Recognition of study and examination achievements in higher education. It plays a role, for example, if, after completing a bachelor’s degree abroad, a postgraduate master’s degree in Germany is sought. The respective university to which you are applying is responsible and it is at their discretion whether it recognizes the foreign bachelor's degree as sufficient. The decisive factors are Study times and the content covered.

A university degree in Germany means: at least three years of study. Recognition of study abroad cannot be guaranteed if students have a country-specific degree such as the American one Associate Degree acquire. The two year old Associate Degree is not recognized as a full academic degree in Germany.

Academic recognition is not regulated by law, however, there are various conventions in this regard in which recognition principles are laid down. The most important convention in Germany is the so-called Lisbon Convention, officially “Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education in the European Region”.

Professional recognition of a study abroad

The professional recognition of studying abroad is regulated by law in Germany. Either laws at the federal level or laws at the state level with the respective professional law apply here. Whether an official recognition of the study abroad is necessary from a professional point of view depends on whether it is a regulated profession.

For university degrees required to pursue a non-regulated profession qualify, there is no official recognition process. Here the employer alone decides whether he considers the degree to be sufficient. However, there is the possibility of a so-called Certificate evaluation to have made. The ZAB describes the qualification, compares it with German university degrees and classifies the academic level. However, this is not an official recognition of the study abroad. The certificate only serves to facilitate entry into the German job market.

The situation is different with degrees that lead to one regulated profession to lead. Official professional recognition is mandatory here. It becomes a so-called "recognition notice" or a License to practice medicine or work permit required to be able to work in the profession. The federal state in which the student would like to work is usually responsible.

Use of the foreign university degree

Academic degrees are in Germany protected by law, therefore the management of foreign university degrees is regulated. In principle, the use of the degree is permitted under certain conditions. It is responsible for the approval Ministry of Science of the respective federal state. Most federal states, however, no longer require an individually submitted application. Instead, they refer to the resolution of the Conference of Ministers of Education, which defines the principles for managing foreign university degrees.