International Foundation Year (Studienkolleg)

The International Foundation Year at Karlshochschule is a one-year preparatory program comprising English and German language training, German cultural studies, mathematics, IT and foundations in economics and business administration designed specifically to provide international students with a direct path to undergraduate degree studies at our University.

Why a foundation year?

The International Foundation Year offers an entry to your desired Bachelor's program, when you have a secondary school degree which qualifies you to study in your home country, but which is not recognized as a higher education entrance qualification in Germany. In this case you need to attend a one-year preparatory program to match the length and contents of your education to what is needed to successfully start your Bachelor study program at the Karls. The International Foundation Year links your school education with our undergraduate programs and helps you to adjust from the secondary education in your home country to the academic culture and programs in Germany in general and at the Karls in particular.

Students who pass the International Foundation Year at Karlshochschule successfully will be admitted to our Bachelor programs.

The International Foundation Year starts every fall semester in September.


Facts about the International Foundation Year (Studienkolleg)

The International Foundation Year (Studienkolleg) is the basis for your Bachelor studies at Karlshochschule (1 + 3 years). The chart below lists all available Bachelor degree programs to combine with the International Foundation Year:

Requirements for entry

  • School leaving certificate
  • Eligibility to enter the foundation year according to German regulations
  • Proof of English proficiency (unless English is your native language)
    • Official certificate of level B2 according to the Common European Framework of reference for Languages (CEFR)
    • IELTS of 6.0 points or above
    • Internet-based TOEFL score of at least 80 points 

Degree Program Structure

Study year 1  

Business and Economics




German as a Foreign Language


English as a Foreign Language


German Cultural Studies



Show us your potential! Besides your school grades, we place strong emphasis on your personality, skills and interests. We are looking forward to learn about internships, stays abroad, your school and possibly vocational background, and extracurricular activities.

Whether you already know that you need to do a one-year preparatory program or you are yet unsure if your school degree qualifies for a Bachelor program: Just hand in your application to your desired Bachelor program and include all the required documents. We will assess your application, review all documents, and get back to you with the result: either entering directly a Bachelor program (3 years) or kicking it off with the International Foundation Year (Studienkolleg) followed by your Bachelor studies (1 + 3 years).

A complete application contains the following documents:

  • Online Application for Admission
  • An official certified copy of your school leaving certificate containing a transcript of grades. Please hand in an official certified copy of your school certificate. All documents have to be presented with a German or English notarized translation and need to be officially certified.
  • Letter of motivation: The letter of motivation offers you the opportunity to explain why you have decided to apply for the program at our university. You can share with us what you envision to learn, but also what you plan to contribute to your studies at Karlshochschule and what your goals are after graduation. The letter of motivation should be typed and be one page in length.
  • Curriculum vitae (résumé) in tabular form: Your curriculum vitae (résumé) should give you a brief overview of your life to date.
  • Copy of passport
  • Additional certificates (e.g. internship, extra-curricular activities): Certificates documenting vocational training, internships, international experience, extra-curricular commitment at school or charitable/non-profit association support a successful application. 
  •  If applicable, an APS certificate (for applicants from China, Vietnam and Mongolia only).

Please hand in your application documents by July 15 for non-EU applicants (possibly later, depending on the visa process of your home country)  and September 15 for EU applicants.

You can find more detailed information regarding the application documents on our Bachelor admissions page for international applicants.

Assessment exam (Feststellungsprüfung)

Once you have successfully completed all courses at the end of the foundation year, an assessment exam will be held. The exam will determine whether you have reached the required knowledge and language proficiency in order to start your preferred Bachelor study program the following year. During the foundation year we will prepare you for the assessment exam. Passing the exam will allow you to study the corresponding subject in our Bachelor programs. 

Expenses and Benefits

What is it worth to me to study at a university with an international atmosphere? How important is it to have an above average chance of getting the career I want right after getting my degree? What is that worth and how much am I willing to invest in having personal relationships with my professors and fellow students, and an education based on playful experimentation, rather than a full on, direct transfer of knowledge? Karlshochschule offers me truly priceless opportunities. I'm certain that tuition fees are not a cost, but an investment in my own future. 

The tuition fees for the International Foundation Year as well as the following Bachelor study program currently amount to € 690 a month. On top of this all students currently pay € 67.70 per semester to the Studierendenwerk Karlsruhe.