Frequently asked questions and their answers
1. Question: Can I spend an exchange semester or year in Paderborn without knowing any German?
Yes, you can either “only” learn the DSH course or take part in courses taught in English. You can choose both options at the same time; that is, take the German course in the morning and one or two English seminars in the afternoon.
2. Question: Is it possible to only take part in the German course and not any departmental courses?
Yes, for every successfully completed 3-month-course of 240 hours you receive 15 ECTS credits.
3. Question: How many ECTS do I have to earn?
The normal ECTS point count amounts to 30 ECTS for a semester for a German student. However, it is very difficult for exchange students to achieve this point count and many partner universities request a decidedly lower number. You should clarify this with your home university before your arrival. The University of Paderborn does not impose a minimum requirement on finished courses or ECTS.
4. Question: When must I have signed my Learning Agreement?
That depends on your home university. The University of Paderborn has no deadline.
5. Question: When do I have to sign up for courses?
As an exchange student, you do not have to register ahead of time (for any exceptions of this rule, you will be notified by email). You should, however, speak with your professor before or after the first course meeting, introduce yourself as an exchange student, and agree on what you have to achieve in order to receive the ECTS credits.
Please try to also register over the organizational platform PAUL. If any problems arise, please contact Mrs. Ollech.
6. Question: Where do I find information about the courses?
Under Study you can find more information.
7. Question: Can I go home at the end of December or in January, because my Trimester/Semester starts there?
Sometimes, for example in Business Administration and Economics, this is possible. You should speak with the professors for each course ahead of time, in order to arrange a potential earlier exam date.
8. Question: How do I receive my transcript?
You must verify with the International Office which courses you attended and what grades and credits you received. Either confirm your course achievements from your professor with a “certificate” or a hand written and signed “processing slip for a transcript” that you get from the International Office. With the original copy of this document you then receive your transcript in the International Office.
9. Question: When do I have to re-register myself for the second semester?
The new semester with the ticket begins on April 1 and on October 1. You should be re-registered by then and have received the new ticket and student ID (after you have paid for it).
10. Question: How can I extend my stay from one to two semesters?
You can normally stay for a second semester, if your university and University of Paderborn both agree. For that it is necessary that your university sends an email message to Mrs. Weinert with an approval of extension and that you obtain the consent of the academic coordinator in Paderborn. If both sides approve, your stay will be extended and you can re-register for the second semester. If you have to extend your visa, Mrs Weinert will write a certificate for the local foreign authorities for you. Please keep in mind that your room is not automatically at your disposal for a second semester. Please extend your rental agreement or apply early at the International Office for another accommodation. You might have to look for a new room/ apartment yourself.
11. Question: When must I decide if I would like to take part in a semester afternoon course (10 hours each week of German)? Where and when do I pay for it?
You can decide up until a week before the language course begins and then take part in the placement test. You must register by Mrs. Ollech in the International Office. The fee of 100 € is then paid in the second week of the course by bank transfer. The transfer slip you get from Mrs. Ollech.
12. Question: Is there a free German course during the semester with two hours per week?
The course is arranged if there are enough students (at least 6 to 8) on a learning level that want to take part in the course and find a common free afternoon appointment (but not Mondays through Thursdays from 16:00 to 18:00, because the semester afternoon courses run then).
13. Question: How do I find the rooms in the university?
The letter stands for the building, the first number stands for the floor, and the following numbers are the room numbers. For example, the film room H1.232: you find it in building H, on the first floor, in room 232. If the room is only a letter with one number, for example H1 or C2, it is a lecture hall on the ground floor of the respective building (here, H or C).
14. Question: Do I have to set up a bank account in Paderborn?
We strongly recommend it, especially one of the numerous student bank accounts that impose no or only very few fees. But you are not obligated to establish a bank account; you must only be sure that your rent, the semester ticket, and eventually the language course and your health insurance can be paid. If you come from a European country, you can also transfer the money online from your account in your home country under specification of the IBAN and Swift codes.
15. Question: Am I allowed to work?
Yes, international students are allowed to work up to 90 full days or 180 half days per calendar year. You will receive the Lohnsteuerkarte (wage tax card) from the Einwohnermeldeamt (Residence Office). As a EU-citizen, you are on equal terms with German students and are not subject to these restrictions.
16. Question: Are there scholarships for international students?
Unfortunately the University of Paderborn does not award scholarships. Erasmus students usually obtain stipends from their home university.
17. Question: Can I stay in Paderborn and graduate from here?
Within the limits of international exchange, this does not work. At the end of your exchange stay, you must return to your home university. But we would be happy to have you apply as a regular international student and then come back to the University of Paderborn. You should let the International Office advise you during your stay in Paderborn. You can find information about the application process under “full-time students”.