All programs at the Institute are open for students from foreign countries. Within the master program “Development Economics and International Studies”, international students make up for the majority in most classes. But a lot of students who did not grow up in Germany are enrolled for the bachelor programs, too. In addition, the Institute welcomes frequently students from Erasmus or other exchange programs.
There are also a few Guidelines for incoming exchange students (see below) to help yourself with the first steps.
We all at the Institute try to consider the special needs and problems of incoming students. If you have any problems or questions, don’t hesitate to contact the lecturers!
For your start to the bachelor and teaching degree programs, our institute offers a special tutorial for incoming students linked to the fundamental lectures. There, we have the space to answer to your questions and problems with comprehension.
Additional support is offered by the University’s Department for International Affairs (RIA). Here you may find general information about starting your studies at the FAU acceptance of your secondary education qualification as direct university entrance qualifications etc.). If you have any questions, the staff there is pleased to help you.
Guidelines for incoming exchange students
In this way, you can be sure that you do not forget anything and that no problems will arise later on, as it can be difficult to get to grips with the complex systems of the German authorities. An intercultural introduction to the university system and getting to know other international students and German students at certain events is also very helpful.
The orientation courses are held at the beginning of the semester in early October and early April.
There is also a specific orientation course of the DEIS programme which is also held at the beginning of the semester in early October.
Before coming to Germany, please find out from your home university whether you have to fill out a Learning Agreement, which courses you have to take at FAU and how many ECTS credits you need.
FAU does not stipulate a minimum or maximum number of ECTS credits. However, we recommend 20 to 30 ECTS credits per semester.
Your Learning Agreement must normally be signed by the following:
• the person responsible at your home university
• your subject co-ordinator (departmental co-ordinator) at FAU
• StudOn: think of StudOn as a personalized storage room for all your courses. On StudOn, the instructors upload lecture material and information, you can upload assignments and communicate with your peers / fellow students. You can join groups for all your courses there (some are password restricted, you will get the password in the first lecture). It is also where the instructors post all updates and news relevant to the course.
• MeinCampus: think of this as an administration office. This is where you can get all official documents, certificates and grades. It is also where you register for an exam and find information on its date and status.
• Univis: think of it as a public catalogue for courses. This is where you can see all courses offered with the relevant information. You can also select and download your courses as a pdf schedule and see offers for next semester already.
All members of our staff have their offices on the first floor of Kochstraße 4 (see “Seminargebäude” on this map). If you want to see a staff member, please check their office hours beforehand. On the same floor, there is also a study room for everyone in our programme with computers you can use.
Note that you can select the semester in the top right-hand corner. In Univis, you can also find courses from all other Departments and Faculties. In the search bar at the top, you can use the drop-down menu to search by instructor, title or topic, please see the next question for more information on courses offered by other Institutes, Departments or Faculties. If you use “Search for a lecture”, you can use the option “expert search”. This option allows you to find all courses taught in English if you select “Englisch” under “Sprache”.
Most courses offered by our Institute have 5 ECTS. The number of ECTS for each course is always indicated in the course description in Univis, it can be less or more than 5 ECTS.
a) all seminars and some other courses require registration before the start of the semester. If that is the case, then you would find this information on Univis. In this case, you can register for the respective course on mein Campus (Veranstaltungen > Veranstaltungen der gesamten Universität > respective semester)
b) language courses have a separate sign-up procedure and may require a placement test, please refer to the language center (German: Sprachenzentrum)
c) courses not offered by our Institute may differ; again check Univis, and see the question below.
Word of Caution: We do realize that the German exam process can be stressful and confusing for students from other education systems. Please read the following information carefully and be sure to clarify any specific situation before the exams to avoid conflict. Re-taking failed exams and dropping courses is relatively common in Germany but the formal process allows very few exceptions, so please make sure you are aware of your options and obligations.
Disclaimer: The statements made here are not legally binding. The binding rules and regulations can be found here. Only the official Examination Rules (German: Prüfungsordnung) count.
In general, 1.0 constitutes a perfect grade, and 4.0 is the minimum grade you need to pass a course. The exact grading key for each course is set by the instructor at his or her discretion.
De-register: you may drop a course until 3 working days before the exam without any consequence, it will be as if you never took the course. Please note that you are not allowed to take the re-sit exam in this case.
Pass: if you get a passing grade (4.0 or better), you can see the grade and ECTS gained on MeinCampus. Please note that you cannot re-take the exam to improve your grade.
Fail: if you do not pass the exam (worse than 4.0, no show, or turning in blank paper), you have to retake the exam at the earliest possible date (usually re-sit exam or second submission in the case of a seminar). If you fail the re-sit, you get a third and final try. If you fail the third time, you completely failed the MA and you cannot get the degree. For seminars with papers, see below.
No-Show and Blank Exams: if you do not show up for an exam that you registered for, or you show up but turn in a blank paper, this counts as an automatic fail. For all further procedures, see the paragraph on “Fail” above. Contrary to popular belief, the only exception to this rule is medical certificates, see below.
Doctor’s Note (Notification of Sickness): if you do not show up, but can present a medical certificate of sickness (German: Attest) for the date of the exam, you are excused from the exam, it does not count as an attempt. Please fill out the notification of sickness (https://www.fau.de/files/2015/08/Krankmeldung.pdf) and send it – along with the medical certificate – to the Examinations Office within three days after the exam. In the case of sickness, you can take the exam on the date of the re-sit and this will be your first attempt. If you fail this first attempt, you can then try once again (see above). Please communicate with your instructor in advance if you have a medical certificate.
Please inform all professors and lecturers from whom you have obtained grades and ECTS credits that these need to be entered into Mein Campus. A preliminary list of grades can be printed from Mein Campus.
Once all of your grades have been entered into Mein Campus, please contact the Central Office for International Affairs (RIA) who will then print, sign and stamp the document.
If you have already returned to your home country, please provide your current address so that we can post your transcript to you.