FAQ Study Abroad

German

Before Going Abroad

1) I’m interested in studying in Germany. Do I need to be a German major to go?

No, any UCONN student can study in Germany. For more information on programs, visit our Study Abroad website.

2) Do I need to speak German in order to study in Germany?

Not necessarily. While courses at most universities are taught in German, some fields offer courses in English. Most German universities offer language courses for learners of German at different levels. There is no better way to learn a language thoroughly and quickly than by living in a country where the language is spoken.

3) How can I get more information and apply for a program?

We are represented at the study abroad fairs at the beginning of the semester. For the date and place of the next study abroad fair, visit the Study Abroad website at http://www.studyabroad.uconn.edu. The Connecticut Baden-Württemberg Exchange Program is our most successful study abroad option with some of Germany’s top universities located in the southwestern German state of Baden-Württemberg.

4) Are there semester-long and summer programs?

Both summer and semester programs are available. We usually recommend that you go for a year since you will profit most from your acquired language skills after several months of full immersion. We have not had a student yet who regretted going for a year. If you’d like, we can put you in touch with recent returnees from abroad. Just contact the undergraduate advisor/study abroad evaluator for German majors, currently Professor Sebastian Wogenstein (wogenstein@uconn.edu).

5) How can I find out which courses will be taught while I am at a Germany university?

German universities usually do not have a course catalog like American universities. For regular university courses, search for the Vorlesungsverzeichnis. Detailed course descriptions can be found in the Kommentiertes Vorlesungsverzeichnis. Course listings and information is usually available only in German. You will most likely also register for courses designed for international students who are still in the process of learning German (usually referred to as Deutsch als Fremdsprache courses – DAF for short). Once you apply for studying abroad, you will receive detailed information on available courses and how to register.

6) In how many courses should I enroll while abroad?

If you’re going for one or two semesters, you should try to earn at least 12 credits per semester, which is the minimum number of credits at UCONN to be considered a full-time student. This is very important for your academic standing and for financial aid. German universities only specify ECTS credits. (These credits are different from the credits on your UCONN transcript and depend on a number of factors.) For your UCONN transcript, credits will be calculated by the number of hours of instruction at a rate of roughly 15 hours worth 1 credit (credits can be given on 1000 or 3000 level depending on the difficulty of the German course), provided the course had the equivalent written requirement of a regular UConn course. For example, if you take an advanced German language course in Germany that meets for a total of 90 hours, you can expect to earn 6 credits for the course upon your return to UCONN. Please note that the academic hour in Germany is usually 45 minutes long. Thus a course that meets for 90 min per week for 15 weeks (2Semesterwochenstunden, abbreviated SWS) counts as 30 hours and earns you two credits at UConn. (See also answers to related questions 12 to 16 and 19 to 21 in this FAQ.)

7) Will I need to have my registration bar lifted even if I am going to be abroad next semester?

No. There is much confusion about this issue. You should NOT have your registration bar lifted. The Study Abroad Office will assign temporary placeholder credits on your transcript while you’re abroad (“OFFC 4641 Study In Germany”). For this process, the registration bar does not need to be lifted. (If, however, you have a bar from the Bursar’s Office for outstanding payments, you will need to get the issue straightened out. You can see what kind of bar it is by clicking on the “prohibited” symbol.) Once you’re back at UCONN, you will need to submit your German transcript for course credit transfer. These transferred credits will then replace the temporary placeholder OFFC 4641.

8) What will appear on my transcript/Peoplesoft/Student Administration while I am abroad?

The Study Abroad Office will assign temporary placeholder credits on your transcript while you’re abroad (“OFFC 4641 Study In Germany”). Once you’re back at UCONN, you will need to submit your German transcript for course credit transfer. These transferred credits will then replace the temporary placeholder OFFC 4641.

9) When I am abroad, do I need to monitor my UCONN email account?

Absolutely! It is very important that you check your UCONN email account even if you may use a different account for your everyday correspondence. We will contact you through your UCONN email account. There will also be important message for you related to enrollment upon your return, etc. There are ways to forward emails from your UCONN account to your other account if you wish to avoid having to login in multiple accounts. Just be sure to monitor your UCONN inbox.

10) I am doing an internship in Germany and will need to write a report. When should I write this report?

It is highly recommended that you write this report during your internship or shortly thereafter. Your memory will be fresh and you will be able to ask colleagues or supervisors to explain details to you in German that you can include in your report. Once you’re back at UCONN and the semester has started, you are not likely to find the time to work on it.

11) How long is an internship report and what should I include?

The report should be 10 to 15 pages. It must be in German and will be graded. It should include information about the company/institution and what you did during your internship. If necessary, you may include a reasonable (!) number of illustrations. You may also include information on finding this internship, on coping with the language barrier, on your interaction with your colleagues, what you learned, liked or disliked. The internship is worth 6 credits.

Upon Your Return

12) How can I get credit for courses taken in Germany?

There is no automatic transfer of courses. You will need to contact the undergraduate advisor/study abroad evaluator for German in the Department of Literatures, Cultures and Languages. This advisor is currently Professor Sebastian Wogenstein (wogenstein@uconn.edu). For details on what to submit, see the answer to the next question (no. 13) in this FAQ. The advisor will evaluate your courses and will write a report for transfer to the Study Abroad Office. Once the Study Abroad Office approves, the report will be forwarded to the Office of the Registrar where the course credit will be entered into Peoplesoft and will appear on your transcript.

13) What do I need to submit to get course credit for courses taken in Germany?

When you contact the undergraduate advisor for course credit transfer, be sure to attach a pdf of your German transcripts (scanners are available in Babbidge Library) and the following form (1-Course Evaluation Form). Usually this can all be done via email. The study abroad evaluator will contact you if additional information is needed. (This may be the case if the evaluator is not familiar with a course you have taken and requests additional documentation.) Be sure to submit ALL your transcripts from Germany at the same time. Later additions are not possible.

14) I am waiting for one or more transcripts (Scheine) for courses I took in Germany. Can I submit the ones that I have already and submit the rest later?

No. All transcripts from Germany must be submitted at the same time. Later additions are not possible.

15) When do I need to submit my transcripts (Scheine) from Germany for transfer?

There is no deadline, but I recommend that you submit your transcripts from Germany (Scheine) early in the semester after your return to UCONN. Remember that the transfer takes several weeks. If you are a recipient of financial aid, you may be required to prove that you earned enough credits in Germany soon after the start of the semester following your return. In this case in particular, it is recommended that you get your credits transferred as soon as possible.

16) I have taken courses in Germany that I’d like transferred in a department other than German, e.g. to fulfill a General Education requirement. Is the procedure different from transferring GERM courses?

Yes. You will need to meet with the undergraduate advisor or study abroad evaluator of the UConn department in which you would like to earn credit. Each department has autonomy regarding the acceptance of courses taken abroad. You will need to show your German transcript and coursework to this evaluator and ask her/him to fill out the Outside Dept Memo. Once signed, you can either submit this memo to the study evaluator in German (Prof. Sebastian Wogenstein wogenstein@uconn.edu) together with your other German transcripts (Scheine) or ask the evaluator in the other department to email her/his approval directly to Prof. Wogenstein.

Courses cannot be transferred in other departments without this approval. In order to avoid the disappointment of courses not being accepted by a department, it is recommended that you obtain pre-approval by contacting the respective departmental study abroad evaluator once you have chosen your courses in Germany. Please use the Course Accreditation System of the Education Abroad Office.

No such approval is needed for courses you plan to transfer as GERM courses. All graded German university courses will be accepted as GERM courses by UConn.

17) I have completed an internship in Germany for Eurotech. What do I need to submit to get credit at UCONN and how many credits will I earn?

To earn credit for the internship abroad (GERM 3292), we will need documentation from the company/institution certifying that you completed your internship successfully. Most institution will provide you with such a “Praktikumszeugnis” at the end of your internship.

You will also need to submit a 15 page report (essay) on your internship. This report must be in German and will be graded. It should include information about the company/institution and what you did during your internship. If necessary, you may include a reasonable (!) number of illustrations. You may also include information on finding this internship, on coping with the language barrier, on your interaction with your colleagues, what you learned, liked or disliked. The internship is worth 6 credits. You must submit this report together with your other transcripts (Scheine) from Germany.

18) Can I submit my transcripts (Scheine) now and the internship report later?

No. All documents must be submitted at the same time.

19) How will my grades be calculated?

Courses at German universities are usually graded on a scale from 1 (best) to 6 (fail). A grade higher than 4 is considered a failing grade, with 4 = D. In the case of courses for international students, the grade adjustment is usually one increment to account for the increased difficulty of courses in Germany.

Example 1: If, e.g., you earn a 2 in a course, the grade would be equivalent to a B at UCONN without adjustment. With the adjustment, you will see a B+ on your transcript.

Example 2: If you earn a 1.7, the grade would be equivalent to a B+ at UCONN without adjustment. With the adjustment, you will see an A- on your transcript.

If you take regular university courses in Germany together with German students, your grade will be lifted by two increments. For the two examples above, your grades on your UCONN transcript would be A- and A respectively.

20) How are credits calculated, and what happens if I take a course that meets only for 30 hours per semester?

For the transfer to your UCONN transcript, credits will be calculated by the number of hours of instruction at a rate of roughly 15 hours worth 1 credit (credits can be given on 1000 or 3000 level depending on the difficulty of the German course) provided the course had the equivalent written requirement of a regular UConn course.

For example, if you take an advanced German language course in Germany that meets for a total of 90 hours, you can expect to earn 6 credits for the course upon your return to UCONN. This will usually show up as two 3-credit courses on your UCONN transcript.

If you take a course that meets only for 30 hours per semester, you can either get a 2-credit course number on your UCONN transcript or, if you have taken multiple such courses or other courses, we can combine it with another course. For example, if you have three courses of 30 hours each, we can transfer them as two 3-credit courses.

21) What kind of credit will I get for a course in Germany?

Usually you will get “GERM 3293 Foreign Study” for your courses in Germany. The number of credits is flexible, although we try to combine courses so that it would usually appear on your UCONN transcript as GERM 3293 with three credits.

Depending on the course content, you could also earn credit for other courses. A “Landeskunde” course with focus on a region in Germany, Germany, or the European Union, for example, can earn you credit for “GERM 3251 German Culture and Civilization.”

In order to earn credit for “GERM 3255W Twentieth-Century German Literature,” the German course must have focused indeed on 20th-century German literature and you must provide proof that you fulfilled the W requirement, i.e. that you wrote at least 15 pages of essay (double spaced, font size 12) and that you have two versions of those 15 pages: one draft with your teacher’s corrections and remarks and one final revised version in which you remedied all mistakes.

If you are studying abroad in Germany on a program other than the Baden-Wuerttemberg Exchange, be sure to review the established course equivalents on the study abroad website. If you take an already accredited course in Germany, it will be automatically transferred as stated. Avoid duplicating course work you already completed at UConn.

22) I studied in Germany for a year and took courses in one semester and completed an internship in the other. The internship is worth only six credits, and I will need to have 12 credits per semester to retain full-time student status. How will I get 12 credits for the internship semester?

We can shift excess credits from one semester to the next. It’s likely that you take an intensive language course when arriving in Germany, and these kinds of courses usually earn you a lot of credits. We can then take extra credits from such a course and apply it to the semester in which you need more credits.

If you have additional questions or need clarification on an issue, do not hesitate to contact the study abroad evaluator for German in the Department of Literatures, Cultures and Languages, Professor Sebastian Wogenstein (sebastian.wogenstein@uconn.edu).