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Language Skills

The medical studies in Cologne are taught entirely in German!

Foreign students take part in the same lectures and exams as Cologne students.
Therefore you need a level of German language skills of at least B2.1 (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, CEFR) in order to successfully complete your studies. Please check here if your language certificate is sufficient AND attach this to your application (see above). In this case, you do not need to continue reading from here.

Those who have less than B2.1 (CEFR) should take note of the following information:

For certain subjects it is required to have a level of B2.1, such as gynecology, paediatrics, neurology, ophthalmology, forensic medicine, radiology/diagnostic imaging and for psychiatry even C1. In case you have chosen these subjects in your Learning Agreement, you will not be able to take these lessons until you have enough German language skills.

Specifically, this means two things for you, first of all you have to gain more German language skills AND also postpone the above mentioned subjects into the second semester, assuming that you had enough time to learn German until the start of your second semester. In case our bilateral contract allows you to study here without or with A1 / A2 knowledge of the German language, then of course you are very welcome to spend one or two semester at our medical school. However, you should be aware that you are unlikely to pass any courses here. Additional clinical internships (Famulaturen), as a substitute for failed exams or not received ECTS points, cannot be performed with none or low (A1 / A2) German language skills. Please clarify this beforehand with the coordinator from your home university!

A detailed overview of the required German language skills to the respective type of activity is shown on this table.

For enrolled students, free German courses are available at the University of Cologne. These are offered and organized by the "Department of German as a Foreign Language (DAF)" of the International Office of the University of Cologne. For each semester, a course is offered before the beginning of the semester (intensive course / pre-semester course), as well as a semester-accompanying course. Students who do NOT fulfill the above-mentioned language level are strongly advised to take the pre-semester course in order to have an optimal start to their study stay.

If you are attending the pre-semester course, you should plan to arrive at least one month before the beginning of the semester.

The application for the German course has to be send to the ZIB Med, not DAF. Please contact us in time, because the number of participants is very limited!

On the other hand the dates for the language courses are not determined by ZIB Med, but by DAF. At the beginning of the courses, you have to register in person and then take a placement test. After getting your result, you will be assigned to a course. You have no influence on the time and day of the week. In case you do not accept it, you will lose your place.

Unfortunately, the German courses often overlap with some courses of your medical studies especially with the beginning of the practical trainings en bloc. In this case, you have to pause your German course and come back at a later time point (if possible). At the end of the semester, you will receive a participation certificate (in percent and with credit points) from DAF.

Further information about the German courses under the following link.