Depending on your country of origin, Germany’s (or, specifically, Tübingen’s) academic culture may possibly be quite different from the one you are used to. In Tübingen, we take a mostly explorative approach that heavily relies on critical analysis and discussion of different perspectives.
The way you structure and interact with your fellow students and professors / instructors may differ from what you are familiar with.
Here are a few examples:
- In Tübingen, you will have a lot of freedom in choosing the classes you want to attend according to your interests.
- You are welcome and strongly encouraged to actively participate in discussions and offer your perspectives.
- Academic culture will also play into essay writing. If in doubt, feel free and encouraged to make an appointment with the Research and Writing Center of the English Department and/or talk to an instructor of Academic English.
- You may be surprised by the recommended number of courses per semester and the weekly class meetings. The workload of courses is computed based on your preparation and independent study in conjunction with in-class sessions.
Understandably, such different cultures take time to get used to. Don't be afraid to reach out to your instructor(s), the student advisors of your study program and/or the English Department Helpdesk when you feel uncertain about what is expected of you.
Another great way to connect to other students and to get to know the English department is the Fachschaft (https://uni-tuebingen.de/en/78751), who are a group of student representatives that students can turn to for all sorts of problems. You can reach them via e-mail or on their Discord server**.
To share and talk about your experience as an international student, you may also want to check out StudIT – a group of students aiming to help international students – or join [informal communication channels].
Don't worry; the faculty is generally aware of this situation. Simply contact the instructor of the course(s) you want to join; usually, they will accept you into the course. Lectures are open to be joined without a limit to the number of participants. This is different for seminars and additional courses (e.g. “Übung”). Make sure to always include your student ID (Matrikelnummer) in all of your e-mails with university faculty and staff, as our computer systems cannot process names. Ideally, add it to your automatic signature at the end of your e-mails.
If you hand in your thesis by March 31st in the winter semester and by September 30th in the summer semester, you do not have to pay for the next semester.
You can find a database of scholarships for international students on the site of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD):
For most scholarships, you will need letters of recommendation from lecturers or professors. Since these applications must be planned well in advance, make sure your instructors know you and your accomplishments in class, so that they can write a strong letter of recommendation when you need it.
Please note that the university has several services dedicated to the support of international students — particularly with issues that pertain to coming to Germany and living as an international student in Tübingen, and not necessarily with your specific study program: