How to get started

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.

Brochures for download

Brochure "Orientation Week Winter Semester 2019/20, October 07-18, 2019"

  • Overview of introductory events for new students
  • How to get started at the university

Brochure "Welcome to the University of Tübingen"

  • Information for organizing and planning your studies
  • Activities, institutions, and services

Both brochures will be sent out to new students together with the enrollment documents. They are also available via the Welcome and Help Desk for International Students or via the Student Counseling Service.

The essential information in one place

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.)

General introductory events

Orientation for international students (in English)

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.

Other welcome events for international students

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.

Introductory sessions in German

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:

Orientation in your subjects

Subject-specific introductory meetings

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.

Welcome events by student groups

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.

Preparatory courses and foreign language classes

German language courses

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.

Preparatory courses

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.

Language requirements

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.

Important documents

Examination regulations and module handbooks

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:

Interdisciplinary key qualifications

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.

Additional events during the semester

University Library

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

Languages, intercultural communication, studying abroad

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.

Study with a plan

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...

Academic writing

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:

Further activities

Life at the university is more than just studying your subject. The University of Tübingen offers a wide range of additional events and workshops in the fields of society, culture, arts, and sports. Further information on the website "Campus Life".

Where can I get advice?

Faculty course advisors

If you have subject-specific questions about how to organize your studies, please contact the respective faculty course advisor.

Advice for international students

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.

Advice in teacher training degree programs

If you have questions about teacher training degree programs (B.Ed./M.Ed.), please contact the advisory service of the Tübingen School of Education.

Student Counseling Service

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.

Further services

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).