Welcome to the University of Tübingen!
To help you find your way around, this page will provide information about the Orientation Week for new students and valuable hints for getting a good start into your studies.
When you start studying at the university, nearly everything will seem unfamiliar and possibly confusing. But don’t panic: Many things sound more complicated than they are, and most apparent “problems” can be solved easily if you know what to do! In the following list you will find an overview of the Orientation Week events, as well as all the information you need in order to avoid the most common difficulties.
(Note: Please assume that introductory events will usually be held in German.)
As an international student, you are invited to attend the event “General orientation for international students”, which is held in English and specifically aimed at degree-seeking students whose native language is not German. Here you will receive important information about how to study at a German university in general, and at the University of Tübingen in particular, including a demonstration of how to register for classes and exams.
As an international student, you will also benefit a lot from participating in the advisory program "How to study at the University of Tübingen", a preparatory course especially designed for you. In addition, there is a Help Desk for international students where you can ask questions, a selection of language classes where you can improve your German-speaking skills, and a welcome program organized by the student group “StudIT” where you can meet other students from all over the world.
The following introductory sessions are held in German, but they may still be of interest to international students who speak the language well enough to understand the additional detail:
- The central introductory session “New at the university – what now?” provides useful information on how to organize your studies, how to compile your weekly schedule, and where to go if you need advice.
- In the special introductory session for new M.A./M.Sc. students, you can find out more about many things that are especially relevant for graduate students.
- Almost all lectures, seminars and tutorials are managed via the online portal “Alma”. The introductory lecture to the Alma Portal will show you how to work with this portal.
- There are also two special introductory sessions for new students aiming to become a teacher, where details about the structure of teacher training degree programs (Bachelor of Education, Master of Education) will be discussed.
One of the most important parts of the Orientation Week for all new students is the introductory meeting of your individual subject. Here, you will find out about the structure and content of your study program as well as subject-specific regulations. You will also get to know the most important contact persons, and you will receive help in finding the right classes for your course plan and in fitting them into your schedule. If you are enrolled in multiple subjects, please try to attend all relevant introductory meetings.
Because the introductory meeting probably won’t be specifically tailored to the questions you might have as an international student, it is always a good idea to make an individual appointment with your subject’s faculty course advisor. This is especially important if you are studying in one of those few smaller programs that do not offer a introductory meeting at all.
In many subjects, the elected student representatives (“Fachschaften”) offer additional welcome events with a different point of view. These events provide you with valuable hints for your studies, and of course with a great opportunity to meet other students and have a lot of fun.
If you think it would be wise to focus on improving your German-speaking skills, you may want to attend one of the German language courses for international students. Note that some of these courses start even before the regular beginning of the semester.
Some study programs also offer preparatory courses in mathematics or, rarely, in some other field in order to get your skills up to par (“Vorkurse” or “Propädeutika”). These classes also usually start before the regular beginning of the semester. Please check ahead of time whether there are any preparatory courses for your study program, and whether they might even be mandatory for you.
In case you need to complete any other language requirements for your study program (e.g. Latin, Ancient Greek, or an additional modern language), please have a look at the relevant course program before the semester starts.
In order to plan your studies in detail, you will need to know a few fundamental documents: the examination regulations (“Prüfungsordnung”) and the module handbook (“Modulhandbuch”) of your subject(s). Many programs also have model course plans (“Modellstudienplan” or “Studienverlaufsplan”) that summarize the structure of the program for you in the form of an example.
There are some important constraints on which courses to take, especially in the first few semesters, so you should read these documents closely at an early point, ideally even before the introductory events, or ask someone to explain them to you. They are especially relevant if you are planning to do your whole studies in Germany. You can find these documents on the websites of the individual faculties or study programs:
In addition to studying the main subject itself, students in all Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs are required to attend classes in the field of interdisciplinary key qualifications (“Schlüsselqualifikationen”; for details see the examination regulation and/or module handbook of your program). There is a special course program for this, coordinated by the Career Service.
The University Library offers courses about various topics (also in English), e.g. how to use the library, how to search in the catalog, and how to organize your academic literature.
Further information: www.ub.uni-tuebingen.de/kurse
The International Office offers courses for learning languages (both German and other languages) and workshops about intercultural communication. You can also inform yourself about opportunities for going abroad during the course of your studies.
The series "Study with a plan" by the Student Counseling Service contains presentations and workshops on various topics that may come up during your studies, e.g. semester planning, exam preparation, changing to a different program...
An important skill at the university is academic writing. This is of course part of your regular study program, but some central facilities also offer courses on this topic:
- Writing Center
Academic writing workshops for students of all subjects
- Studium Professionale / Career Service
Academic writing workshops for students of all subjects
Academic writing in foreign languages (other than German)
- Department German as a Second Language and Intercultural Programs
Academic writing in German as a foreign language
Questions specifically regarding your role as an international student in Tübingen can be directed at the Welcome and Help Desk for International Students during the orientation week, and at the Office for Advising and Admission of International Students during the whole semester.
If you have questions regarding the organization of your studies or if you are experiencing difficulties, you can also contact the Student Counseling Service throughout the whole course of your studies.
You can find an overview list of all contact persons for different topics that may arise during the course of your studies at the website “Advice and Information” and in the brochure "Beratungs- und Serviceangebote an der Universität Tübingen" (in German).