I have received this question from several people planning to change Universities thus the post. The answers apply to those in Germany and those in Kenyan/foreign Universities planning to move to Germany.
When can you change Uniz?
Anytime from the first semester but when you change during the first semester you basically apply to a new Uni as a “beginner”.
When is the best time to change?
In your first semester when you have nothing to lose or for your second degree when you have a recognized qualification. In between can be expensive in terms of time and money spent.
How does the Accreditation work?
In higher semesters, you can change but the Uni you are moving to decides whether to accept your credits from the Uni you came from or not. So you could move from Uni A in your 5th semester with 100credits only to go to Uni B and have the equivalent of 2ndsemester with 50credits. Though some courses have the same name in different Uniz it is imperative that you check the modules offered and compare between the Universities. You could also call the University you’d like to transfer to and enquire about the accreditation.
This applies to those that move from outside Germany as well. Coming from outside Germany can be trickier, so for most I’d suggest you move with the first degree or without a degree as accrediting single modules can be very tiresome.
Some Universities have NCs (Numerus Clausus) for their higher semesters, so that is something to also look into.
How can you change Uniz?
You can either apply directly to the Uni or find someone willing to trade places with you from the Uni of your choice.
Applying to the Uni directly can be as tiring and require as many documents as when applying for uni for the first time. Most uniz have the forms and list of requirements online for the move but this differs from Uni to Uni, so you’d have to check to find out what your Uni of choice requires.
To trade places, the other student has to be studying the same course in the same semester and with the same “studienleistung” i.e. If you’re in the 3rd semester and only have 20credit points, you can’t trade places with someone in the 3rd semester with 60 credit points for example.
Finding a student willing to move can be tricky if you try it on your own, so you can check out the website http://www.medi-learn.de/studienplatztausch/index.php; or Verein zur Förderung studentischer Belange e.V.; www.zvs-opfer.de, www.studienplatz-tausch.de and Internetfocus that offer exchange opportunities. Considering exchanging positions in Universities is allowed in Germany, some take advantage of this to carry out a ring exchange. Ring Exchange simply means, you have several people exchanging amongst themselves. If you want for example to move from Bonn to Heidelberg; you can begin by finding someone moving from Bonn to Köln; then exchange Köln for Frankfurt; Frankfurt for Darmstadt and finally Darmstadt for Heidelberg…..this is also allowed and can be “simpler” than trying to find a direct exchange. You can do all this online on the site given.
Questions to have answered before you begin the transfer process:
- Is the new Uni offering my course of choice in the same form? What is the course combination?
- What is the emphasis of the courses?
- What is the difference between the courses at the new Uni compared to that at the former Uni?
- Is the move worth the hustle?
- I’m I ready to study for longer? I’m I ready to fulfil the requirements given in order to join this new Uni?
- Is this the easiest way out?
- Is the Ausländerbehörde in the new town “lenient”? You don’t want to move from the frying pan into the fire, do? (Usually this shouldn’t influence your choice but it does influence many students in Germany.)
- What are your goals? Will this move bring you closer to achieving them or will it make it harder to achieve them?