Since the end of the 1960s it has been possible to study at a university of applied sciences in Germany.
Contrary to a course of study at a university, which is primarily oriented towards scientific theory, a course of study at a university of applied sciences (FH) is practice-oriented.
The range of subjects offered at the universities of applied sciences is very wide. Most of the subjects offered at universities are also available at universities of applied sciences, however, there are only a few disciplines in the humanities offered at universities of applied sciences because these universities are often more technically oriented. For example, if you would like to become an engineer, a university of applied sciences is probably the university of your choice. There are multiple connections between the universities of applied sciences and industry/businesses. During your studies at a university of applied sciences you take part in internships.
Since the implementation of the Bologna Guidelines, universities of applied sciences have been called "Hochschulen für angewandte Wissenschaften (HAW)." Others call themselves technical universities (technische Hochschulen, TH). At universities of applied sciences, there are also only the international Bachelor and Master degree programs, which are no longer distinguished in their titles from the degrees awarded at a "normal" universities.
If you want to come to Germany for a semester abroad at a university of applied sciences, there is also a lot to organize and consider - from your place as a student to your accommodation and financing. At your home university, the International Office will provide you with tips and support. Here you can also find out about exchange programmes with foreign partner universities. If you want to apply for financial support or an exchange programme, organisations such as ERASMUS and the DAAD are good contact points.
Universities of applied sciences are not entitled to award doctorate degrees. This means that you are not able to write a doctoral thesis here in order to be allowed to carry the title "doctor" afterwards.
Even as a student at the FH/HAW, you always need health insurance in Germany - regardless of whether you are spending the entire course or just one semester abroad in Germany. You must also prove that you have health insurance when you register. You can insure yourself either privately or with a statutory health insurance company, such as the DAK.
Our private insurance for students Care Student is cheaper than the statutory health insurance and offers better benefits with a deductible of 300 euros per year. If you are already over 30 or soon turn 30, private insurance is particularly attractive.
This is because the statutory health insurance for students over 30 costs about 150 euros compared to the private health insurance for about 107 euros.
It’s quite simple to find your health insurance for university of applied sciences students: just enter some information about yourself in our plan finder, and you will be offered a student health insurance plan that suits your needs. Even if you are not yet a student and are, for example, a language school participant or Work & Travel participant, we have the right health insurance coverage for you. And if you should choose to study at a later point in time, you can easily switch to public health insurance.