Business Administration with Informatics B.A.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is a certificate from my university enough to prove my English skills?
All applicants are required to prove their English language proficiency either by taking the TOEFL test with a paper-based score 575/computer-based score of 232/ or 91 iBT score or by achieving an IELTS score band of 6.5.
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 clearly indicate that it should be forwarded to the Department of Electrical Engineering, FB EET-BBA, Campus Soest.
I took the TOEFL-test three years ago: is it still valid?
No, the TOEFL and IELTS test expire after two years.
How do I know whether I am eligible for the BBA Programme?
In order to enrol in the programme you must provide an equivalent to the German higher education entrance qualification.
Once you have sent in your application, your formal eligibility will be checked on the basis of your school certificates and your previous academic career.
Before and during the application process
Application via uni-assist
Application via university
EU/ EEA citizens:
Begin your application using the online application system of our university.
Application deadline 15th of July every year.
In both cases, the first step is completing an online application form, after which you will have to send 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!
Which types of documents are valid for the application?
Please do not send original documents as they cannot be returned.
All documents that are copies of the originals have to be notarised by a notary.
We reserve the right to require that certain documents be notarised 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 notarised translation into English or German.
Where can I get notarised copies of my documents?
We recommend getting your copies certified at a German Embassy or any German diplomatic representation. Notarised copies may also be authenticated as true copies of the originals with a stamp and signature from 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.
Is it possible to transfer credits?
In many cases, it is possible to transfer credits from already passed similar modules from other programmes comparable to the BBA courses at an academic level. The decision will be made by the head of the examination board on the basis of the transcript of your previous records plus module descriptions. Please apply and contact the head of the examination board after enrolment in your first BBA semester.
I am studying at another university but I would like to change to your BBA programme. Could I join in the second or third semester and would my credits be recognised at your university?
In general, it is possible to apply for our programme in a higher semester. Once you have been admitted, you have to contact the examination board for acknowledgement of your credits from your previous university. The examination board will then decide about the credit transfer.
After the application process
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 fulfils 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 two weeks by post.
For German or EU applicants, your application will be checked by the university. You will be notified about the result of your application after sending the documents to the Studierenden Service Büro.
What do I need for my visa application?
Beside the acceptance letter or admission note, the most important prerequisite is the evidence of financial means to pay for a 1-year stay in Germany. One should calculate a min. 720 € per month (including accommodation), in total 8.640 € for one year.
What documents do I need to apply for a student visa for Germany?
Since regulations vary among countries, please contact your German embassy or consulate for the current information.
Why do I need a blocked account?
Foreign students who do not come from an EU country must prove that they are able to cover their own studies and support by themselves. Proof of funding is usually required when applying for a visa and is a prerequisite for a residence permit in Germany.
In order to provide such proof, a blocked account is often necessary. This is a special account, which the owner can not dispose of freely. The student has to pay a statutory minimum amount to the blocked account: this is currently 861 € for each month the student stays in Germany. This amount remains blocked until the account holder arrives in Germany. Another special feature of the blocked account is that the owner can not withdraw or transfer as much money as they wish; students are allowed to use a maximum of 861 € per month.
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 you get in contact with the German embassy in your home country in due time to obtain specific information concerning entry requirements for foreign students in Germany.
According to German law, a residence permit for the purpose of seeking higher educational opportunities cannot be granted if you have already entered Germany with a visitor’s visa or on a visa waiver programme 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.
How long does a visa application take?
This is largely dependent on the German immigration authorities. Please contact the respective authorities as soon as possible to obtain detailed information about the visa application procedure and the expected duration.
Experience has shown that the visa application period can take up to four months.
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 to pay for the duration of your stay. At present the average cost of living is 853 € 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, see also: opportunities for student job. Your residence permit is only valid for studying, and if you abuse it, you can be asked to leave the country.
What do I need for to extend my residence permit?
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 account showing sufficient funding. A letter from your parents is NOT sufficient. Without this, you will not be able to continue your studies.
To extend your residence permit, you need to prove your financial situation, that you have health insurance and that you are enrolled at the university. An extension is granted for a maximum of two years. Then you need to re-apply.
Do I need health insurance for my stay in Germany?
After your arrival in Germany, you must replace your travel insurance with 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 (a 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 the public health insurance company of your choice, such as:
Further information and online application (in German):
Further information (in English) by Techniker Krankenkasse:
In general, it is recommended to have a health insurance. However students over 30 years of age are in a special situation: Tariffs of public health insurance do not include students older than 30 years. They can get voluntary health insurance, but at higher rates. We advise students over 30 years of age 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 have registered with during enrolment.
When and where do I enrol?
Enrolment must be completed during the time period specified in the admission letter sent to our prospective students by post. The admission letter will also provide information concerning the necessary documents to be presented for enrolment.
Please go to our Student Service Office in building 3 for enrolment. You can only enrol in person.
When do winter and summer semester start and end?
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
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. 1 ½ hour).
Other international airports are Frankfurt or Amsterdam, though they are not as close as Düsseldorf.
Arriving at and living at Soest
What is Soest like?
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 BBA Office will support you by finding accommodation at either student residences (which unfortunately tend to have a long waiting list) or through contacts with private landlords.
Are there possibilities for student jobs on or off campus?
If you’re from the EU (except Romania and Bulgaria until 2014), Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you have the same status as German students and can work as much as you want. Above certain time and wage limits, you do 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, as of 2005, 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 90 working days or 180 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. You must be in min. in your 3rd -Semester and your performance must be very above-average. Student assistant job vacancies are 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 to bring warm clothes for the winter, considering that the temperature might drop to -10°C plus the 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 and 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 , as well as a confirmed blocked account.
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.
Is it possible to get an Internet connection off campus?
Yes, you may get a connection in the place you live, although the price for the connection and the Internet service is expensive for a single student. In a shared flat, an internet connection will be cheaper.
Starting with the BBA program
Is the German language required for the course?
Knowledge of German is not required for admission and for studying, 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 also 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).
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.
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 materials (desk material: paper, pens, etc) that can easily be acquired in the local super markets in Soest.
How many hours do I need for studying?
The weekly number of teaching hours totals around 24 hours a week, and in addition, students are expected to spend roughly the same amount of time in private study.
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 get in contact with them directly yourself.