Ruhr West welcomes applications from international students!
At Ruhr West, internationality is not just a goal to be achieved but part of our identity as a university. That’s why we established exchange agreements with foreign partner universities early on. Moreover, one in four residents of the Ruhr region has an international background, making cultural diversity a daily reality.
Whether you come here for a full degree programme or for a one- or two-semester exchange, you will be sure to receive special mentoring and support to help you integrate into the Ruhr West community!
Here you find more information if you want to become a degree student.
Here you find more information if you want to become an exchange student and take part in our International Exchange Semester.
International students applying for admission to a bachelor’s programme in Germany need to have the equivalent of the German university entrance qualification, commonly known as the Abitur.
You can also find out yourself by consulting the DAAD Online Admissions Database. Simply choose the country where you received your school-leaving certificate. The database will then inform you whether your certificate
If your school-leaving certificate is not sufficient for university admission, you will have to take a qualification assessment examination in Germany, called Feststellungsprüfung. This exam has been designed to assess students' proficiency in subjects that are crucial to their chosen programme of study. One component of the qualification assessment examination is a language test. You can prepare for this exam by enrolling in a one-year preparatory course (Studienkolleg) in Germany.
Special requirement for civil engineering: Applicants for the bachelor’s programmes in ‘Civil Engineering’ and ‘Civil Engineering and Management’ must have completed a relevant internship before being able to enrol in the programme. Please contact the International Office for more information.
Postgraduate admission:To enrol in one of our master’s degree programmes, a bachelor’s degree from a recognised college or university is generally required. Additional requirements may apply, depending on the specific programme. Please contact the International Office for more information.
Preparatory courses (Studienkollegs) are designed for international first-year applicants whose school-leaving certificates from their home countries do not qualify them for direct university admission in Germany. They are called preparatory courses because they prepare candidates for taking the assessment examination, or Feststellungsprüfung. Preparatory courses are offered by various German universities and universities of applied sciences but also by private providers.
Preparatory courses consist of various modules that focus on specific subject areas, including German language instruction. To participate in a preparatory course, however, some basic German language skills are required – at least level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Aside from taking the Feststellungsprüfung at the end of the course, students may also take the Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH) to demonstrate their German skills.
Subject-specific preparatory courses usually take two semesters to complete. Students who demonstrate above-average achievement may be permitted to take the Feststellungsprüfung after only one semester. Preparatory courses feature about 32 hours of instruction per week. Before enrolling in a preparatory course, students have to pass a placement test.
Preparatory courses for international students seeking admission to universities of applied sciences in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia are offered by two private non-profit institutions: Studienkolleg Bochum and Studienkolleg Mettmann. No tuition is charged for the course. If you have to complete a preparatory course before being able to attend Ruhr West, we will automatically sign you up for a placement test there. However, you are free to take your preparatory course at any German institution that offers this kind of foundation programme. For a list of institutions and further information, see here.
With the exception of the International Exchange Semester, the language of instruction at Ruhr West is German. That means German language skills are essential for academic success. Therefore, before being able to enrol at Ruhr West, international students have to submit evidence of their oral and written command of German.
Ruhr West accepts the following two German proficiency exams: Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (German Language University Entrance Examination, DSH) and Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache (Test of German as a Foreign Language, TestDaF). The TestDaF is offered by testing centres around the world, whereas the DSH is only administered at German universities. Both exams are offered several times a year. Check this or ask your International Office about upcoming test dates and registration deadlines. Both tests involve a fee.
Minimum test scores:
Exchange (non-degree) students from one of Ruhr West’s international partner universities are not required to take any of these tests.
Whether or not you need a visa to enter Germany and study here depends on your country of origin. Special regulations apply to citizens of the following countries:
All other students require a German student visa (issued by a German Embassy) before entering Germany. Please note that even if you come from a country (other than those mentioned above) whose citizens can enter Germany with a simple tourist visa, you must possess a German student visa in order to apply for the residence permit. Tourist visas cannot be converted into residence permits under any circumstances. So if you don’t have a student visa at the Citizens’ Office, you will be required to return to your home country. This regulation applies both to holders of a residence permit from another EU country and to persons who entered Germany with a tourist visa. There is absolutely no exception to this regulation and Ruhr West will not be able to assist you.
Applying for a student visa
Apply for your student visa at the German Embassy or Consulate in your home country, and do so well in advance, as processing may take several weeks. Your visa will be valid for up to 90 days. You will normally be required to submit the documents listed below. The Embassy, however, can ask for additional documents or further clarifications. The information provided by them takes priority.
For further questions, please refer to the German Embassy or Consulate in your home country. Addresses are available at the website of the Federal Foreign Office, which also provides further information on the visa process and the appropriate application forms.
Non-EU students in Germany are required to submit evidence of sufficient funds to finance their studies in Germany. In most cases, this proof of financial resources (German: Finanzierungsnachweis) must be included with the visa application. Expected living expenses are estimated by the Aliens’ Registration Office based on BAföG, a German funding programme for living expenses. At present, you must prove you have at least €670 per month, or €8,040 per academic year at your disposal.
Proof of financial resources can be provided in various ways. The following forms are generally accepted:
Contact the German Embassy or Consulate in your country to find out which form of financial proof is required.