Hochschule Karlsruhe Hochschule Karlsruhe - University of Applied Sciences
Hochschule Karlsruhe Hochschule Karlsruhe - University of Applied Sciences
Students watching funny video on laptop

Exchange students

You have studied at one of our numerous partner universities worldwide for at least two semesters and would now like to study for a semester at HKA under an exchange agreement? Or perhaps you would like to come for two semesters in order to do an internship in a German company after a semester of courses on our campus? Alternatively you would like to write your Bachelor's or Master's thesis at HKA in cooperation with your home university?

Here you can find out how to apply as an exchange student at HKA and get relevant information for your upcoming exchange. 

Before your arrival

Which courses can I take?

As an exchange student you have the opportunity to attend courses in German or in English and to receive credit at home for your achievements from one or two exchange semesters at HKA. Courses from our regular degree programs, which are usually taught in German, can be found here.
You will find a large selection of courses taught in English at our International Program:  Winter Semester and Summer Semester.
For both languages, a language level of B2 (European Framework of Reference) is required.
By taking a German language course (two-week intensive course before the start of the semester and/or semester course) you can acquire 5 ECTS points.

When and how do I apply?

After your home university has nominated you for the exchange semester at HKA and you have agreed on a so-called Learning Agreement, you apply at HKA via the application portal of the International Office. The application deadline is November 30 for the summer semester and May 31 for the winter semester. If you need a visa, you should allow approximately 10 weeks for this and apply as early as November 15 or May 15.

Please ask your home university coordinator for advice on the exact application procedure and your learning agreement. Important: Some courses at HKA are not graded with a mark, but with pass/fail. 

Which documents do I need?

For your application:

  • Filled-in learning agreement; Students under the Erasmus program can upload the Erasmus learning agreement instead (the normal semester workload is 30 credit points (CP) according to ECTS, in accordance with your home university, you can take less CP but not more).
  • current transcript of records / transcript of grades from your university
  • for thesis or internship semester: short description of the planned topic
  • copy of your passport

Other important documents:

  • Visa: an overview of visa regulations can be found  here. Soon after your application you will receive an invitation letter which you should use to start the visa process as soon as possible. We collected some helpful here  and this page has proofen to be very helpful.
  • Since recently, proof of insurance is a mandatory part of enrolment at German universities. Therefore this needs to be taken care of before your arrival as well (by July for winter semester or January for summer semester).
  • Students with disabilities or chronic illnesses can find information on disadvantage compensation (e.g. for exams) or accessibility here. Please contact the International Office as early as possible - ideally already during the application process - to apply for compensation for disadvantages.

What about accommodation?

We strongly recommend starting your room search as early as possible. On this site you'll find a lot of helpful links.

After your arrival

Registering in Karlsruhe

Everybody has to register with the city of Karlsruhe (Bürgerbüro/Einwohnermeldeamt) within two weeks after moving into his or her apartment/room. Please note that you also have to notify the Bürgerbüro/Einwohnermeldeamt every time you change your address in Germany. To get registered you need to make an appointment here  (refresh th epage; choose "Zuzug nach Karlsruhe" (the last option under "Meldewesen).
You will need the following documents:

  • Your passport
  • Wohnungsgeberbestätigung / Landlord certificate (This form should be filled out and signed by your landlord, you can find it under Formulare. Unfortunately, all forms are only available in German).
  • If applicable: your residence permit or visa

Getting your residence permit

All non-EU exchange students either need to have a visa that covers the whole exchange period or a valid residence permit for studying purposes. This means that if your visa expires before the end of your exchange stay, you will need to apply for a residence permit for studying purposes before the expiry date of your visa.
For registration with the aliens department (Ausländerbehörde), please compile the following documents (copies):

  • filled out application for a residence permit (click here and choose "Antrag auf Erteilung einer Aufenthaltserlaubnis" under "Formulare")
  • copy of your passport including your current visa for Germany
  • confirmation of your registration as a resident of the city of Karlsruhe (see above)
  • copy of your rental contract
  • proof of sufficient funds to cover all expenses during your stay in Germany (at least 934,00 € monthly, e.g. blocked bank account or official statement of your scholarship)
  • "Zulassungsbescheid" and "Immatrikulationsbescheinigung" (Letter of Admission + Proof of enrollment)
  • Proof of health insurance 
  • biometric picture

You need to send the completed and signed application and the required documents in due time before the expiration date of your visa as a PDF file by email to abhspam prevention@oa.karlsruhe.de.  Make sure that your application is complete and save the automatically sent confirmation of receipt. The processing of applications currently takes about 10 weeks, so it is important to submit your application as early as possible.You will receive their decision via e-mail or post. After receiving their decision, you can make an appointment to submit the biometric data (fingerprints and photo - choose "Abgabe biometrischer Daten"). At this appointment they will order your new electronic residence permit.

General information about Karlsruhe

Check this website to learn about public transport system, recreational activities, doctor offices and more!

Before leaving Karlsruhe

De-registering from HKA

Once your stay at HKA is unfortunately coming to an end, we kindly ask you to request your de-registration (Exmatrikulation) from HKA to avoid any issues after your return. You will also need your "Exmatrikulationsbescheinigung" if you want to study at any German university again.
In order to ex-matriculate please get the signature from the library and send the signed request for exmatriculation via e-mail to anna.tillhonspam prevention@h-ka.de or upload it on the Hisinone portal. A few days later, you can download the de-registration certificate on Hisinone. You can also send the form before your departure, as the deregistration will only take effect after February 28/29 and has no influence on the current semester.

De-registering from the city

You have to notify the city of Karlsruhe that you are leaving the city. This can be done from one week before leaving until two weeks afterwards and is in your best interest because you also want to de-register from paying the Rundfunkbeitrag and avoid issues, should you ever travel to Germany again.

Both can be done online. To de-register from the city open Onlineanträge "Ins Ausland abmelden" and register on the new website (can be switched to English). Under "My online applications" you you will find an online form (in German) to fill out. They will send you a confirmation to the address given in the online form.

To de-register from paying the Rundfunkbeitrag you can simply follow the steps on their website (again - this is all in German). 

You should also inform your German health insurance provider a few days before you leave, so that you do not have to pay more than you need.

Transcript of Records

You can download your transcript of records here . Choose “Meine Funktionen” - click “Prüfungsverwaltung” on the left side - click “Bescheinigungen“ - choose the document/report you need (“Notenspiegel” = contains all courses you took, also the ones you failed. Only available in German | ECTS-Leistungsnachweis (Transcript of records) = does not include failed courses; comes with English translation). Some courses need to be added manually for exchange students. Therefore, the transcript is sometimes not complete even after the deadline to enter grades. Should you encounter any issues with your transcript, please contact us. Around mid-August or the beginning of March your transcript will also be send to your coordinator at your home university.

I want to stay longer

We are happy to know that you are enjoying your time at HKA and decided to extend your stay for a second semester.
Please inform us in the International Office at the latest by the end of June or the beginning of January, should you wish to extend your stay. You also need your home university's approval and please ask them to send a confirmation email to HKA's International Office. 

Please send us the following documents via mail:

  • Enrollment certificate from your home university for the period you want to extend your stay (Please notice that you need to be enrolled at your home university for the entire duration of your stay at HKA)
  • A new learning agreement signed and stamped from your home university or a confirmation about your internship

For the second semester at HKA you need to pay the student service fee again. Do not forget to also contact your health insurance provider and to get in touch with the Ausländerbehörde in due time to extend your residence permit (if needed).


HKA Fact Sheet


International Office
Anna Tillhon

Phone: +49 (0)721 925-1086
Fax: +49 (0)721 925-1089
anna.tillhonspam prevention@h-ka.de

Geb. R, Raum 006
Moltkestraße 30
76133 Karlsruhe