Information for Refugees
with Interest in Studying

The following information is meant for people, who had to flee according to humanitarian, international law or poiltical reasons and would like to study or to continue studies they had to interrupt. The International Office of the West Coast University of Applied Sciences (German name: „Fachhochschule Westküste“, FHW, FH Westküste) advises in general everyone who is interested in studying and has qualifications from abroad. However, the available options can depend on your residence status.

Everyone who is interested in studying at the West Coast University of Applied Sciences can apply directly to the university during the application phases. The dates, as well as the documents which need to accompany the application and the required language certificates are named on our website for International Students and in our Manual for Incoming International Students which can be downloaded from the International Office’s Download-Page (English Version).

For persons interested in studying who don't have their documents entirely available in Germany due to reasons connected with their escape, but can bring conclusive evidence for their educational biography (e. g. student ID, photo or newspaper article of graduation) it is possible to take part in a university aptitude test (German name: "Hochschuleignungsprüfung") for the desired subject. Please take into account that it is necessary to have a very good command of the language, the course of study is taught in.

If you are affected by these circumstances or if you are not sure whether your documents are sufficient for studying at the FHW, please make an appointment with the team of the International Office. You'll find the contact details in the box on the right.

If you are looking for general information regarding Studying for Refugees, we recommend the website run by the DAAD. provides you with information about the fields of study and the university system in Germany, as well as with hints for accompanying topics, such as financing or accommodation.

The Gesellschaft für Akademische Studienvorbereitung und Testentwicklung e.V. (g.a.s.t.) offers an online language placement test „onSET for Refugees“. The test helps refugees with interest in studying to assess their respective language level. It is available under for the languages German and English. Under „Who Can Take the onSET for Refugees“ you can find out if you are eligble. In order to access the test you will have to submit a document that verifies your residence status. After having proved that you meet the criteria you can take the test free of charge.

Please take into account, that ’’onSET for Refugees’’ can not be used for applications to our courses of study. Its purpose is to help you assess your current level for your further planning.

[+] Information for students with a refugee-background

Please do not send us original certificates, as rejected applications will be destroyed!

The application for admission for study applicants with a refugee-background must be completed with the following documents (as authenticated copies and with their translations, English certificates do not have to be translated):

Application for the first semester:

  • copy of the page of your passport including your name and photo
  • copy of your residence permit for Germany
  • complete curriculum vitae
  • certificate verifying your language skills (German for German study programs, English for English study programs)

Study applicants with a refugee-background who can determine their certificates from their home country, additionally hand in:

  • school leaving certificate, which gives you the right to study in the home country, including a list of subjects with grades
  • a certificate for a possibly passed entrance examination (including list of grades)
  • university report with transcript, if available
  • university certificates including a listing of the subjects and grades, if available
  • certificate of the so-called "Feststellungsprüfung" (final exam of a Studienkolleg) including list of grades, if available

According to the “Erlass des Ministeriums für Soziales, Gesundheit, Wissenschaft und Gleichstellung des Landes Schleswig-Holsteins“ ( Decree of the Ministry for Health, Welfare, Science and Gender Equality of Schleswig-Holstein) dated the 29th June 2016, applicants with a refugee-background with uncomplete or without certificates from their home country hand in the following documents:

  • sufficient proof for a “Plausibilitätsprüfung” (paragraph 4 and 5 of the Decree) and/or
  • TestAS certificate with a  default value of a minimum of 95 points at the main test, as well as at the study-specific test (paragraph 3 of the Decree)

Proof of German language skills:

The necessary language skills for German are regulated by "Rahmenordnung über Deutsche Sprachprüfungen für das Studium an deutschen Hochschulen (regulatory framework for German language examinations for programs of study at German universities as of 08.06.2004 and the KMK as of 25.06.2004) (RO-DT, Beschluss der HRK as of 08.06.2004 and the KMK as of 25.06.2004 in its form of the HRK as of 10.11.2015 and the KMK as of 12.11.2015) in the respective current version in accordance with the Annex to the “Beschluss der Kultusministerkonferenz” (decision of the Minister’s Conference of Cultural Affairs (KMK)) as of 02.06.2007. The necessary German language skills (according to §2 RO-DT) are certified by the "Deutsches Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz - Zweite Stufe (DSD II) - or by a certificate which is acknowledged as equal by "Kultusministerkonferenz" (conference of ministers of education and the arts).

Acknowledged as equal are so far:

  • "Zeugnis der Deutschen Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang ausländischer Studienbewerber" (DSH) with a minimal total score of DSH-2
  • "Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache für ausländische Studienbewerber" (TestDaF) with a result of the minimal level TDN 4 in all four parts of the exam
  • "Zeugnis der Prüfung zur Feststellung der Eignung ausländischer Studienbewerber für die Aufnahme eines Studiums an Hochschulen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland" (Feststellungsprüfung) with the part German passed in the exams at Studienkollegs
  • "Das Große Deutsche Sprachdiplom" and "Das Kleine Deutsche Sprachdiplom" which was given by Goethe Institute on behalf of Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (this certificate has been replaced by the “Goethe-Zertifikat C2” since 01.01.2012)
  • Holders of a passed "Goethe-Zertifikat C2: Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom“ or the "Das Zeugnis der Zentralen Oberstufenprüfung" (ZOP) (which certificate has been replaced by the “Goethe-Zertifikat C2” since 01.01.2012) which was awarded by the Goethe-Institutes or contracted institutions in or outside of Germany
  • “Deutsche Sprachprüfung II” by the Sprachen und Dolmetscher Institut in Munich
  • Holders of the certificate “telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule”
  • Graduates of a German language studies course in connection with a corresponding language test. In borderline cases, the Student Advisory Service, the International Office as well as the Chancellor of the West Coast University of Applied Sciences can give their opinion on the validity of the acceptance of the language skills (case-by-case decision).
  • The following certifications which are acknowledged through bilateral or other agreements by Kultusministerkonferenz or Hochschulrektorenkonfenz:
  • German included in the Diplome du Baccalauréat after attendance of a bilingual German-French branch of a secondary school
  • US-Advanced-Placement-exam (AP-Prüfung) in the subject "German"
  • school leaving certificate after graduation from a secondary school in the German speaking community of the Kingdom of Belgium
  • school leaving certificates from secondary schools in Luxemburg
  • "Reifezeugnis" of schools with German as teaching language from the autonomical province of Bozen-Südtirol (Italy)
  • the school leaving certificate of the German international branch at Liceo Gimnasiale "Luigi Galvani" in Bologna,
  • the bilingual leaving certificate from German School Dublin, St. Kilian’s.
  • the school leaving certificate of the bilingual department of the Liceo Ginnasio Statale “Romagnosi” in Parma and the Liceo Classico Statale Socrate in Bari

According to § 8 (3) RO-DT applicants for English programs of study at the West Coast University of Applied Sciences are not required to prove any German skills. This will be mentioned on the exmatriculation receipt. The exam regulations define the required proof of English language skills. The above named exception from the proof of sufficient German language skills are under the condition, that students participate in courses to obtain a sufficient level of German language skills and to provide appropriate certification of successful participation after one semester. The university recommends appropriate providers of German courses.

Application for a higher semester

Study places at a higher semester are only awarded in case of vacant places. If more applications are handed in than study places are available, a selection process will take place.