Planning & Preparation
Academic Calendar & Deadlines
The academic year at HFU has 2 semesters - a winter and a summer semester
The lectures in the winter semester normally begin on 1 October and continue until the mid-January. This is followed by a 3-week exam period which continues until mid-February.
Exchange and visiting students who have to leave in December, an early exam in December can normally be organized.
The lectures in the summer semester begin mid-March and continue until the end of June. The following exam period continues until the middle to end of July.
Mid February to mid-March
End of July until the end of September
An orientation programme for all new foreign students in English-taught degree programmes takes place two weeks before the lecture period on both the Furtwangen and the Schwenningen campuses.
During these two weeks you will receive important information regarding your study at HFU and we will also help you complete all the legal formalities such as matriculation, organizing medical insurance, registration at the town hall and so on. A two-week intensive German course is also included free of charge enabling you to learn some basic survival German or to help you improve already existing German skills. At the weekend we organize various excursions in the area.
Please note: participation in the pre-semester Orientation Programme is mandatory for all exchange and visiting students.
If you wish to study in Germany you are generally required to apply for a student visa with the relevant German diplomatic representative abroad before you arrive in Germany. This does not apply to citizens of non-EU and EEA states. Further information about applying for visas can be found here.
In order to study in Germany you must have valid health insurance. According to German law, students enrolled at state or state-recognized universities in Germany must be insured through the statutory health insurance until the end of their 14th semester or until they are 30 years old.
Please check before applying whether your health insurance covers you for Germany or not. Further information about this can be found here.
Without proper health insurance, enrolment at the university is not possible.
All university students in Baden-Württemberg are insured by law against accidents which occur on the grounds of the university or on the way to and from the university. Accidents which occur in your free time outside the university grounds are covered by the student contribution paid to Student Services Freiburg. This coverage also covers holiday travel, internships and activities undertaken in connection with thesis work at foreign universities and research institutions.
Further information can be found here.
Personal Liability Insurance
In Germany you are liable by law for damages you cause, for example damage to your landlord's property. This can result in very high costs, therefore private liability insurance is extremely important.
We strongly urge you to take out liability insurance.
For activities carried out in connection with your study and which take place on university property, you are covered by your contribution to Student Services Freiburg. This insurance coverage is also valid for internship semesters necessary as part of your degree. Further information can be found here.
Scholarship holders (e.g. DAAD)
If you are on a scholarship you are likely to have accident and liability insurance for the duration of your stay in Germany through a group insurance policy. This will be stated in your scholarship documents. Further information can be found here.