Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Application

Which types of documents are valid for the application?

All documents that are copies from the originals have to be notarized by a notary.

We reserve the right to require certain documents be notarized at the German Embassy in your country and you will be informed if this is required for your country.

Documents not in English or German must be accompanied by a notarized translation into English or German.

Please do not send original documents as they cannot be returned.

Where can I get certified copies of my documents?

We recommend getting your copies certified at a German Embassy or any German diplomatic representation. Certificate copies may also be authenticated as true copies of the originals with stamp and signature by the school or university which conferred the degree. You can also ask a notary public or, if you are already in Germany, the municipal authority or your church community office.

Do I have to send the TOEFL-score along with all other application material?

If you apply through uni-assist, please send your official copy to uni-assist along with the other required documents.

If you are on the list of candidates who can apply directly, please send your official copy along with the other required documents to the address printed on the application form.

Can I apply to the IMIS Course by email rather than conventional mail?

If you do NOT have a Bachelor’s degree from Germany and if you are NOT a national of the European Union countries, or Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway, then please apply via ASSIST e.V.

If you have a Bachelor’s degree from Germany or you are a national of the European Union countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway then please contact imis-info@fh-swf.de in order to get more information on the application.

In both cases, the first step is completing an online application form, after which you will have to post your documents as hardcopies. Applying only by e-mail is not possible.

Applications which are incomplete or not submitted by the set deadline will not be accepted!

Requirements

Is the certificate from my university enough to prove my English skills?

All applicants are required to prove their English language proficiency by TOEFL test paper-based score 575, computer-based 232 or internet-based 90, or IELTS score band 6.5.

Website ETS: www.ets.org/toefl.

Website IELTS: www.ielts.org/

Only citizens and English native speakers from the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States of America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand do not have to hand in an IELTS or TOEFLS test result.

What is the TOEFL-code of the Fachhochschule Südwestfalen Soest?

The TOEFL code is 1608. But this is the TOEFL code for the whole South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences, which has several campuses in different cities. If you would like to send us your TOEFL test score, please mark clearly that it should be forwarded to the Department of Electrical Engineering, FB EET-IMIS, Campus Soest.

I took the TOEFL-test 3 years ago, is it still valid?

No, the TOEFL and IELTS test expire after two years.

How do I know that I am eligible for the IMIS Course?

Different regulations apply depending upon the country where your Bachelor’s degree was completed. The minimum requirement is a Bachelor’ degree of 4 years in the fields of Business Administration and/or Business Informatics with a final grade of 2.5 or better according to the German grading system.

Your formal eligibility will be checked once you have sent the application including all notarized documents (not the originals) of your academic career.

Normally, you need to have

• a 4-year-Bachelor`s degree with a final grade of 2.5 or better according to the German grading system in the fields of Business Administration and/or Business Informatics

and

• TOEFL-score 575 on the paper-based or 232 on the computer-based test or 90 on the internet-based test - or IELTS Band 6.5.

Miscellaneous

Is it possible to transfer credits?

In many cases, it is possible to transfer credits to the IMIS course. The decision will be made by the head of the examination board on the basis of the transcript of your previous Master’s studies and more detailed information on your previous studies. Please apply regularly and contact the head of the examination board after starting your first IMIS semester.

I am studying Business Administration at another university but I would like to change to your IMIS-program. Could I join in the second or third semester and would my credits be recognized at your university?

In some cases, it is possible to join our program in an advanced semester. Once you have been admitted, you have to contact the examination board for acknowledgement of your credits from another university. The examination board will then decide whether you can transfer the credits or not.

After Application

Once I have applied, how will I know I have been admitted and when?

For Non-German or Non-EU applicants: once you have applied through uni-assist, they will forward your application to the university in electronic form if it fulfills the formal admission criteria. The university will then continue the admission process and issue letters of admission or rejection. You will be notified about the result of your application within approximately four weeks after the application deadline.

For German or EU applicants, your application hard-copy will be considered at our admission committee meeting after the deadline. You will be notified about the result of your application within approximately four weeks after the application deadline.

What do I need to be able to apply for a Visa to Germany?

Beside the Acceptance Letter or Admission Note, the most important prerequisite is the evidence of financial means to pay for a 1.5 years stay in Germany. One should calculate min. 680 € per month (including accommodation), in total 8.160 € for one year. Therefore you should present a bank statement with this amount.

What documents do I need to apply for a student visa to Germany?

Since regulations vary among countries, please contact your German embassy or consulate for current information.

In addition to the Admission Letter, the most important requirement is the evidence of financial means to finance a 1.5-year stay in Germany. You should calculate a minimum of 720 € per month (including accommodation), in total 8640 € for one year. Therefore you should present a bank statement showing this amount in your account.

What type of visa do I need for Germany?

Do not enter the country as a tourist to study at a German university!

A tourist visa cannot be converted into a student visa.

Immigration regulations are subject to change, therefore it is advised to check with the German embassy in your home country in due time to obtain specific information concerning entry requirements for Germany.

According to German law a residence permit for the purpose of seeking higher educational opportunities cannot be granted if you entered Germany with a visitor’s visa or on a visa waiver program without a visa. If you want to study in Germany you must enter the country with a valid student visa. Once you are in Germany, you must apply for a residence permit and this residence permit will be extended at regular intervals to cover the period of your studies.

When you renew your residence permit, you will also have to prove that you have enough money to finance the rest of your stay in Germany. This certification must be a bank statement showing sufficient funding. A letter from your parents is NOT sufficient. Without this, you will not be able to continue your studies.

How long does a visa application take?

Well, it pretty much depends on the German immigration authorities. Please contact the respective authorities soon to obtain detailed information about the visa application procedure.

Experience has shown that the visa application period can take up to 4 months.

How much money is needed for living costs in Soest?

Average cost is approximately 720.00 € per month, including accommodation, which is cheaper than in other parts of Germany (expenditure list in the download area).

Do I need Health Insurance for my stay in Germany?

After your arrival in Germany, you must replace your travel insurance by a student health insurance policy. Every student in Germany is required to have health insurance before enrolment. The health insurance certificate must be submitted to the university together with the application documents (chip card only or a membership certificate is not valid!). The student rates for statutory health insurance currently amount to approx. 90 € per month.

Some countries’ health insurance schemes are accepted in Germany, so you may continue being insured in your own country. The decision rests with the insurance company in the place where you are studying.

For information on insurance questions, please contact a public health insurance company of your choice, such as:

• Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse (AOK) (www.aok.de)

• Techniker Krankenkasse (www.tk.de)

Further information and online application (in German):
www.krankenkassen.de/meine-krankenkasse/student/ausland

Further information (in English) by Techniker Krankenkasse:
www.tk.de/tk/faq/s-english/students-from-abroad/199676

In general, students are required to have public health insurance. Students over 30 years of age are in a special situation, though: Tariffs of public health insurance do not include students older than 30 years. They can get voluntary public health insurance, but at very high rates. That is why students over 30 years of age are advised to get a private health insurance policy, e.g. with Care Concept or Mawista.

When do I have to pay the registration fee?

After the final enrolment you will get the details for the payment.

Payment of your fee is the prerequisite for official enrolment. The fee can only be paid by bank transfer, it cannot be paid in cash. You will receive your student ID, university credentials and the link for downloading the semester ticket approx. one week after you transferred the fee. It will be sent to the postal address you registered with during enrolment.

When and where do I enroll?

Enrolment must be completed during the time period specified in the admission letter sent to our prospective students via regular air mail. The admission letter will also provide information concerning the necessary documents to be presented for enrolment.

Academic Calendar:
Start and end of winter semester: 1st September until 28th/29th February
Lecture period in the winter semester: around 1st October until around 31st January
Start and end of the summer semester: 1st March until 31st August
Lecture period in the summer semester: around 1st April until around 10th July
Please go to our Student Service Office in building 3 for enrolment. You can only enroll in person.

How do I get to Soest?

The closest international airport to our city is Düsseldorf. We suggest students arrive at this airport; there is a direct connection to Soest. On weekdays there are trains every hour and on weekends every two hours (from Düsseldorf Airport to Soest railway station approx. one hour).

Other international airports are Frankfurt or Amsterdam, not as close as Düsseldorf.

Arriving and living at Soest

What is Soest like?

Soest is a small town located between Dortmund and Paderborn. It has a population of around 50 000 inhabitants. It’s a beautiful town that is very suitable for students. Although small, it has all the shops and cafes etc that you will need. (website: http://www.soest.de/)

How and when do I get help with accommodation in Soest?

If you are admitted and as soon as you confirm your journey to Soest, our IMIS Office supports you by providing contacts for finding accommodation at either student residences (which unfortunately tend to have a long waiting list) or through private landlords.

Are there opportunities for student jobs on or off campus?

If you’re from the EU, or Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you have the same status as German students and can work as much as you want. Above a certain time and wage level, you will have to pay taxes, and your employer has to contribute to your insurance.

Other foreign nationals need a work permit in addition to their residence permit. However, your residence permit as a student allows you to do a certain amount of work without the additional work permit. Foreign students may work up to 120 working days or 240 half-days a year without an additional work permit. This is noted on the residence permit sticker in your passport.

If you are interested in working as a student assistant for a professor, please contact them individually after starting your studies. Student assistant job vacancies are not automatically published on our central blackboard.

If you would like to work off campus, please ask fellow students, see the blackboards on campus or the small ads in our weekly free newspaper “Stadtanzeiger” or in the local newspaper “Soester Anzeiger”.

What do I need to bring along for my stay in Germany?

We recommend you bring warm clothes for the winter, considering that the temperature might drop to -10°C plus wind chill factor. The weather is quite changeable and it can snow or rain. For the summer you should bring light clothes, as it can get very warm towards the middle of the year, between 20°C to 30°C.

In addition to clothing, your passport, visa and related documents, proof of travel health insurance and your admission letter are the most important things to bring.

Do I need a bank account in Germany?

You will need a bank account as soon as possible because large and repeated payments in Germany are usually done by bank transfer. Most banks demand to see the city registration and your accommodation contract before they will let you open an account.

Starting with the IMIS program

Is the German language required for the course?

Knowledge of German is not required for admission, but if you have the opportunity to take a course in your home country before you come to Germany, we recommend you do so. Basic knowledge may be required for the Visa – please check the website of the German Embassy in your Country. A German language course is offered on the campus in Soest.

Do I need to bring a computer?

You don’t necessarily have to bring your own computer since the university has facilities for the students, such as rooms equipped with computers and printers. All the machines are equipped with the relevant software for each of the modules and a permanent internet connection. In case you decide to bring your own PC, be aware of the German standard regarding electrical specifications (voltage, connectors).

However, you should be prepared for the Winter Semester being a blended learning semester, during which all modules are taught via E-Learning. If you decide not to stay near the campus during this period, you might need your own computer.

Do I need to bring any books?

This decision is up you, but note that our university’s Library offers a wide range of books in English and especially in German. The books for the Master`s course are especially picked or recommended by the lecturers of the respective subjects.

What material is required for the student in order to proceed with the course?

Other than the obvious sources of information, the students will use material (desk material: paper, pens, etc) that can easily be acquired in the local super markets in Soest.

Is it possible to get an Internet connection off campus?

Yes, you may get a connection on the place you live, although the price for connection and the Internet service is expensive for a single student. But in a shared flat, an internet connection will be cheaper.

How many hours do I need for studying?

The weekly number of teaching hours totals around 25 hours a week, and in addition, students are expected to spend roughly the same amount of time in private study.

Financial Requirements

Most foreign students in Germany do not receive a scholarship. This is why you should make a realistic estimation of your financial situation. It is necessary for you to show evidence to the German consulates and the authorities responsible for foreigners that you have the necessary means for the duration of your stay. At present the average cost of living is 720 € per month.

You will be required to pay a registration fee of about 220 € per semester (included: the so-called “Semester Ticket”, which allows you to use public transport during the semester free of charge in the region of North Rhine Westphalia). But there are no tuition fees.

Do not expect to finance your studies by working. Your residence permit is only valid for studying, and if you abuse it, you can be asked to leave the country.

Can you help me to get into contact with companies in Germany?

Once a year in spring, the “Karrieretag” (“Career Day”) takes place at our Campus in Soest. Over 100 companies will present themselves and their career opportunities. You can directly get in contact with them. In addition we offer a Partner Meeting once a year for our IMIS students. Around 10 companies offer a speed job interview for all students who are currently looking for an internship.