Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of studying abroad?

Living and studying in a foreign country can provide some incredible experiences. Through a study abroad program like the International Winter University (IWU) at the University of Kassel, the cultural and academic ideas can lead one into a new world and cultivate new perspectives.

By participating in our study abroad program, you will likely to make friends from around the world. International experiences are second to none when it comes to enlightening and enriching one’s personal and academic development.

What are the advantages of studying at the IWU in Kassel?

The IWU offers three-week academic programs, which feature the strengths of the University of Kassel in environmental engineering, German language and culture. The University of Kassel plays a leading role in environmental engineering in Germany, and has contributed significantly to the advancement of renewable energy technologies worldwide through its academic research and innovative technology transfer. Taught by internationally renowned faculty members, IWU offers the best opportunities for you to study today’s global environmental challenges from a German perspective.

Germany’s cultural heritage lies in its history, arts, literature, music, and architecture. The city of Kassel is not only home to the world famous modern art exhibition “documenta” and an extensive and outstanding museum landscape, it is also where the origins of the Brothers Grimm’s famous fairy tales can be found. Kassel and the surrounding region also offer plenty of opportunities to explore German history first-hand. Some of the richest cultural heritage in Germany are here, which makes Kassel truly an ideal place for your introduction or further study of German culture.

We ensure that you are well taken care of during your stay in Kassel starting from your arrival in Kassel by providing the airport or train station pick-up and also 24/7 contact availability. Besides, each of our IWU team member has study abroad experiences, so we know exactly what you might need and feel during your stay in Kassel and therefore we are a perfect companion for you.

Where will I live?

Kassel’s unique homestay program offers the exciting chance to experience authentic daily life in Germany first-hand. Staying with a friendly and welcoming family will provide you not only with one of the quickest and most enjoyable ways to learn German through daily interaction and conversation. The host family will also be there to support you throughout your journey of exploring Germany and discovering its customs and people. They will be your home away from home.

Who can help me when problem arise?

Do not worry, you won’t be left alone! The IWU team is responsible not only for taking care of the organizational matters for your study, but we will also be there for you and are always ready to help, e.g. going with them to the doctor, in case you need one. We also provide a 24/7 emergency number. In addition, the host families who have been supporting our program for years know exactly how to assist you in case problems arise.

How can I contact my family during my stay in Germany?

IWU participants will have internet access on campus as well as at the host family. This way you can always keep in touch with your family and loved ones.

How much German will I need to know?

To feel at home in a foreign country, it usually helps to have a certain grasp of the native language. However, German knowledge is not required. You will learn this in our German courses that are offered on three different levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. The language of instruction is English and the IWU team as well as the host families speak English.

Our programs combine academic seminars with intensive German language course. Learning German in an intercultural setting will not only be a lot of fun, but will also help you to get the most out of your time in Germany. As an additional benefit, living with a host family will give you a great opportunity to put what you have learned into practice outside the classroom and boost the language skills beyond what you would be able to achieve through coursework alone.

How much does it cost to participate in the International Winter University?

The fee for the IWU Kassel is EUR 2,190. Applications on or before October 1 enjoy an early-bird discount of EUR 200,-.

Included in the fee are: 

  • One seminar of your choice (40-45 contact hours)
  • Language Course (30 contact hours)
  • Workshops
  • Cultural Program (Excursions to Marburg and/or Frankfurt, Opening- and Closing Ceremony, etc.)
  • Accommodation in host families; 2 meals per day included
  • Ticket for public transportation in Kassel
  • Health, Accident and Liability Insurance
  • 24/7 emergency number

Additional Expenses are incurred through:

  • Travel expenses
  • Personal spendings
  • Lunch at the cafeteria of the University of Kassel - approx. EUR 2.40 - 4.00 per meal
  • Participation in optional activities (trip to Berlin, etc.)
Can I pay with a credit card in Germany?

Yes, you can use your credit cards (Visa or Mastercard) and PayPal in many supermarkets and stores in Germany. However, in smaller stores it is not possible to pay with credit card or PayPal. If you need to get cash, ATMs can be found in the city center and on campus.

What types of scholarships are available?

If you are studying at one of the Universities of Massachusetts, Universities of Wisconsin, or universities in Queensland, there are scholarships available that cover a part of the tuition fee. Kindly contact the international office of your home university for further information. Moreover, a small number of full/partial scholarships are granted by the University of Kassel.

Do I need a Visa to participate in the International Winter University?

The German Embassy in your home country will inform you whether or not you need a visa in order to participate in the IWU program. You can find contact information for the German Embassy on the German Foreign Office website. Or have a look here: Visa requirements - List of countries  

Please note: Visa processing takes six weeks on average.

How safe is Germany?

According to international rankings, Germany is a safe country. There is no reason to be excessively worried about crime. People move about freely through German country villages or large cities, day or night, without taking special safety precautions. German police are regarded as helpful and reliable. You can call the police free of charge from any telephone in Germany by dialing 110. Most importantly, you can rest assured that our IWU team is always ready to help.

Practically every country in the world maintains an embassy or consulate in Germany. Therefore, if problems arise, you will be able to contact a representative from your home country.

How good is medical treatment in Germany and how will I be insured?

Patients in Germany receive excellent medical treatment. With its dense network of highly qualified doctors, the German health care system is regarded as one of the best in the world. Should you need medical treatment, there is probably no better place to receive top-notch health care than in Germany.

The program fee covers a health, liability and accident insurance during the IWU. The health insurance won’t apply to any chronic illness, allergies or pregnancy. For further information please contact the IWU office.