Group picture of the ASP Master students enrolled in 2016.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When considering to study in Jena, please have a detailed look at the (most) frequently asked questions of previous and your fellow students – and our answers to them.
Group picture of the ASP Master students enrolled in 2016.
Image: Christoph Worsch (University of Jena)

A. Prerequisites and preparation

  • 1. Am I an eligible candidate for the M.Sc. Photonics program?

    The answer strongly depends on your previous education. You should have a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) degree in Physics or Engineering Sciences. In the latter case, eligibility will strongly depend on your background in physics and mathematics. If you have a Bachelor's degree in Computer Sciences, Computer Engineering or Telecommunication Engineering you might also be an eligible candidate for the Master's degree program.

    Students commencing their studies at our School should ideally have basic or in-depth knowledge in

    • mathematics (complex numbers and functions, function theory, linear and vector algebra, ordinary and partial differential equations, vector analysis, integral theory) 
    • physics (electromagnetic field theory/Maxwell's equations, solid state physics).

    Hint: You can emphasize your experience in physics, mathematics and/or photonics in your CV as well as in your Letter of Motivation.

  • 2. How do I apply for an ASP scholarship?

    In order to apply for an Abbe School of Photonics scholarship you will need to provide the following additional mandatory documents on top of your regular application:

    • Two Academic Letters of Recommendation from previous or current professors

    When you apply for a scholarship, you will be automatically asked for these Letters during the application process.

    Please contact your professors and ask them this favour, which is quite common in international academia. We also have a template that your professors may use herepdf, 439 kb. The template is, however, not mandatory. Please make sure that the final letters contain your professors' signature, a date, and the official headline or stamp of their university.

    Alternatively, and if you are unable to upload these documents yourself, you have the possibility to provide us with your professors’ contact information during the application. After your application is submitted, your professors will be contacted by us and asked to submit the letter via email to us.

    However, you will not be informed of the arrival of the letters. Thus we suggest you make sure to remind your referees in case they are late in submitting them. We expect the letters to be submitted no later than two weeks after the respective deadline.

  • 3. Which English language proficiency level or test is required?

    All lectures, courses and modules of the Master of Science in Photonics are not taught in German, but completely in English. Proof of your English skills is a requirement for admission. Since the Master of Science in Photonics is an all-English program, applicants should be proficient in both written and spoken English. Please see our preferred score levels below. While we understand that the results of these language proficiency tests do not perfectly reflect your real capabilities, we believe that the following test scores (minimum points/grades) indicate an appropriate level at which you will be well prepared for the courses of our Master's degree program:

    • TOEFL PBT (550)
    • TOEFL CBT (215)
    • TOEFL IBT (85)
    • TOEIC (780)
    • IELTS (6.5)
    • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

    The following students are exempt from providing proof of their English proficiency:

    • Nationals from the USA, U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or Canada, as well as B.Sc. or M.Sc. graduates who obtained their qualification in one of these countries, are considered as native in English and do not need to provide a proof of their English proficiency.
    • If relevant parts of your previous higher academic education were completely taught in English, you may substitute a test certificate by uploading a respective statement from your University as a proof of your English proficiency.
    • If you received a German Abitur and therefore, have attended English classes in a German Gymnasium for at least 8 years, your Abitur is considered as a sufficient proof of your English language skills.

    If none of these scenarios applies, you are required to provide us with an English language test. However, even if one of the above scenarios fits your situation, we strongly encourage you to provide an English language test or certificate as well, since it will clearly enhance the chances of your application's acceptance.

  • 4. I have not yet taken an English proficiency test. Can I apply without one?

    Proof of your English skills is a requirement for admission. Therefore, during the application you will be asked for a valid English proficiency test. If you cannot submit the test right away, you will be asked to indicate a date on which you will take the test. You will have to provide it before the final application deadline.

    Please be aware that in some countries, such as Bangladesh for instance, German embassies require a valid TOEFL or IELTS test score for processing visa applications, even if you have been accepted at a university without such proof. In this case you should make sure that a missing English test result will not conflict with your visa application.

  • 5. What is meant by "Native Language/Bilingual", "Medium of Instruction", or "English as a Foreign Language"?

    We regard strong language skills as a crucial prerequisite for our Master of Science in Photonics program. Since the terms "Native language/Bilingual", "Medium of Instruction" and "English as a foreign language" are the basis for your application, we would like to clarify their definitions. Please take your own situation and background into careful consideration before choosing the option which applies to you.

    Native Language/Bilingual: If English is your first language (mother tongue), you are a native speaker. If English is one of two or more of your first languages, you are bilingual.

    Medium of Instruction: If your previous academic education (e.g., at university) has been conducted entirely in the English language, we consider English to be the "Medium of Instruction" within the scope of your academic career. In this case, please provide us with proof of this, for example an official letter from the Registrar's Office of your university or with a note to this effect on your Transcript of Records. Please note: Statements of attendance to language courses offered by your university or claiming that your pre-academic education (e.g., in school) was offered in English are not sufficient proof for the option "Medium of Instruction".

    English as Foreign Language: In all cases not covered above, English is regarded as a foreign language. This includes: if you grew up in an environment, in which English is an official language, but not commonly spoken; if you have learned English in your primary or secondary education; or if English was only part of your academic education.

  • 6. Do I need German language abilities as a requirement for the program?

    No, German is not a requirement for acceptance and admission. We especially do NOT require any DSH (German language proficiency test for entrance to a German higher education institution), TestDAF, attendance to a Studienkolleg (German study preparatory course) or Feststellungsprüfung (German certification for the ability to study in a German university).

    However, we strongly recommend engaging with the German language in order to integrate into the culture and manage daily life. For this reason, the Abbe School of Photonics offers a presessional German language course to all of its international students in September each year in addition to German language courses during the study period. These courses are highly advisable since students benefit a lot from this course.

  • 7. Are there particular requirements concerning my GPA or the GRE?

    We do not set any requirements for our applicant's GPAs (Grade point average) since these numbers differ enormously depending on the university and the country. Our Online Application System will ask you for several certificates and your Transcript of Records. We will base our decision mainly on these documents. For this reason, we ask you to provide us with your GPA as stated on your certificates and diploma. See also here.

    A Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or any other similar test is not required, but can of course be added to your application as an additional, supportive document.

  • 8. What should my CV include?

    In Germany, we expect the CV to be a chronological list (with dates) of all the stages of your professional career, including school. We consider it an advantage if there are no gaps in your CV, so please take the time to list all successive chapters of your life thus far.

  • 9. How much will my studies in Germany cost? What expenses will I have each month?

    Living expenses in Germany are very dependent on your lifestyle, which city you stay in, and which university you are enrolled at. For Jena, it is recommended to have about 800 Euro available per month. For a rough estimation, the following expenses must be taken into consideration:

    Living expenses: When it comes to accommodation there are many options. The first and best option is to stay in a university dormitory (StudentenwohnheimExternal link), because the fee is subsidized. Monthly rent will cost you approximately 150 - 300 Euro. In addition, you will need some budget (at least 200 Euro / month) for food, drinks, and other living expenses such as communication costs, entertainment, travel expenses etc., which will cost you around 100 - 300 Euro. The university is equipped with cafeterias and dining halls (Mensa). The meals offered in the Mensa come at favorable prices, compared to having lunch in a restaurant or Imbiss (kind of snack bar). Another option is: cooking at home (which is cheaper).

    Semester contribution: While our students do not have to pay any tuition fees, a semester contributionExternal link must be paid in order to matriculate. The semester contribution is approximately 240 Euro. This amount covers the fees for the Student Government Body (Studentenschaft), Student Services (Studierendenwerk) and the Semester Ticket. The Semester Ticket allows all students to travel by public transport within Jena (JeNah) and by regional trains within Thuringia (Deutsche Bahn). First-semester students must pay an additional one-time fee of 20 Euro to obtain their student ID card, called THOSKA.

    Insurance: For students, health insurance costs ca. 105 Euro per month (= 85 Euro health insurance fee + compulsory long-term care insurance ca. 15 Euro + a small administrative fee of ca. 4-6 Euro depending on the health insurance company, for all students under the age of 31. The Abbe School of Photonics recommends students to organize their health insurance through the Abbe School of Photonics, rather than on their own. All students in Germany are required to be insured by law. Students are expected to be insured starting from the first day of their first semester (i.e., beginning October 1st for winter term, regardless of date of arrival). This reduced student fee applies to all students under 31 years of age and if their home country has no bilateral agreements on recognition of local health insurance in Germany. A different price rate applies to students over 31 years of age or with children. The university will not accept any private travel or emergency insurances as proof of insurance. The Abbe School of Photonics recommends, however, that students have travel insurance for their journey to Jena and for the time before the semester starts on October 1st).

    Books and course materials: Many books and course materials can be rented at the university library for free. However, there may be additional materials that you might need to purchase. Calculate approximately 100 Euro per semester for these costs (copies, books, course material etc.).

    Electronics devices: Since some parts of teaching will take place online, a computer or notebook with a microphone and a camera are advantageous.

  • 10. Do I need a German visa? How long will it take me to get one?

    In general, you will need a visa. But don’t worry, it is comparatively easy and straight forward to get a student visa for Germany. The timeframe to get a German visa granted will vary from country to country and may take up to several months. Please ask the German embassy of your home country about the procedure as soon as possible after your application and make sure you apply early enough.

    Citizens of certain countries can enter Germany without a visa:

    • EU members or the Schengen Treaty
    • Citizens of Australia, Canada, Honduras, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Norway, San Marino, Serbia, Switzerland and USA

    All other applicants must apply for a student visa in their home country before departure. You can find a short overview of Visa requirements and exemptions for entering Germany hereExternal link.

    Accepted students should submit their Acceptance Letter provided by us to the embassy along with the visa application as soon as possible. Ask the German embassy in your home country about the visa requirements and how long the entire process of visa application might take. Do not - under any circumstances - enter Germany with only a tourist visa.

    Nevertheless, to have an appropriate visa when entering the German Federal Republic is your own responsibility. Please double check the requirements for your personal case with the German embassy in your home country.

  • 11. I do not have a passport. Can I submit my application anyhow?

    If you do not have a valid passport, you should immediately apply for a new one. The issuance of a new passport can take many weeks or even months.

    However, for your application at the Abbe School of Photonics we accept a copy of your passport as well as copies of other identifying documents like an ID-card or a driver's license, if they are issued using the Latin alphabet.

    Finally, in order to enter Germany and successfully enroll at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena you will need a passport. Therefore, you should make sure that you apply for a passport as soon as possible after your acceptance.

  • 12. May I apply although I have not (yet) finished my current academic degree?

    Yes, you can apply with a preliminary Transcript of Records including all completed courses (or any other overview of attended classes and achieved grades officially issued by your education institution) thus far. This document needs to be uploaded to our Online Application System, as it is required to evaluate your application.

    However, the earlier we receive your Academic Degree Certificate and your official Transcript of Records, the better. Please upload these documents as PDF files as early as possible. If these certificates are not issued in the German or English language please also provide a certified translation.

    Your academic degree certificates and your Transcript of Records (as well as certified translations if necessary) will have to been provided upon your enrollment at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena.

B. Application at the Abbe School of Photonics (all online)

  • 1. In general, how does the application process work?

    Online Application and Acceptance by the Abbe School of Photonics

    Please follow all instructions in the online application portal and finally, submit your application before the deadline (for current deadlines, see link. After submission, the Selection Commission will carefully check every single application in detail. 

    If further information is needed from you, or the information you provided is incomplete, you will receive an email from the Online Application Portal suggesting the following steps to complete your application:

    1. You are given the option to withdraw your application. 
    2. Once withdrawn, you can again edit your application, modify it, and/or add further documents. All documents previously provided by you and checked by us will remain valid and do not need to be uploaded once again.
    3. After this, you can resubmit your application. 

    Once your documents and application are complete, our selection decision may take about four to eight weeks. You will be notified via email whether you have been accepted and/or if you have been granted a scholarship. 

    If you were accepted, you will receive an Acceptance Letter from the Abbe School of Photonics via email. A detailed explanation (in German and English) will be attached to this letter, containing specific information regarding the program, language requirements and costs. This letter will be very useful in order to apply for a visa at the German Embassy or Consulate.

  • 2. Which documents should I prepare for my application?

    We understand that the application procedure asks for a lot of data and documents, and we thank you very much for your efforts. This information is generally required for the application/enrollment to German universities. Please find an up-to-date and detailed list of all required documents here.

    The Abbe School of Photonics works on the acceptance and admission process together with other offices within the university. Please prepare your data as PDF files and scans for the upload to our Online Application System. The files should not exceed 5 MB in size each. You will be invited to upload also a passport photo which can be a JPEG file. If documents are not issued in English or German, a certified translation is needed as well.

    Please note: An incomplete application file will not be processed. Similarly, providing us with incorrect data may also lead to a retrospective refusal.

  • 3. Are certified copies (or hard copies) required for the online application?

    No, at the application stage, certified copies are not required. Please upload only PDF files and scans to our Online Application System. The files should not exceed 5 MB in size each.

    Likewise, paper documents are not required for the online application. Only after you have been accepted and also have accepted the offer, you will be asked to submit certified hard copies of your documents.

  • 4. Is the 'School Leaving Certificate' the same as the HEEQ?


    The "School Leaving Certificate" provides you with the necessary qualification for admission to a university or other higher academic institutions (e.g., Abitur, secondary school leaving licence, baccalaureate, A-levels, high school graduation certificate, senior school certificate (e.g. WASC) etc.).

    In academia, we commonly call the school leaving certificate rather "Higher education entrance qualification" (HEEQ).

  • 5. Which system of grades or marks is needed for the application? Our current study program differs to that of the USA or Germany. In which system should I provide my GPA/score?

    During the application, you will be asked you about the status of your higher academic education so far. As you are applying to a Master's degree program, and according to our reuirements, you should typically hold or to be about to obtain a Bachelor's degree, but other options are also possible. During the application, you will be able to enter up to five different stages of your previous academic edcation, for example, at five different institutions or five different study tracks. Respectively, you can upload up to five different Transcripts of Records (ToRs) and/or Certificates/Diploma. 

    Academic grading systems differ strongly around the globe. Even on a regional level, grades and performance systems may vary significantly. In general, we are very experienced in reading foreign documents and can classify the grades according to your national school system.

    However, to support us and to allow for a fair and transparent evaluation of your previous academic performance, you are invited to provide a short description of your national and regional grading system. To help us map out your performance on a unified scale, please explain the framework of your previous grading system by indicating

    • (a) the highest achievable grade (100% performance, best), 
    • (b) the lowest achievable grade (0% performance, worst), and 
    • (c) the lowest pass grade (between 0 and 100% performance, pass).


        • If your grading system allows for a maximum of 100 points, but 65 points are required to pass, you enter 100 (best), 0 (worst), and 65 (pass grade).
        • In Germany, academic grades typically range from 1.0 (best) to 6.0 (fail), while 4.0 is the pass grade. 
        • If your grading system uses letters instead of numbers, please transcribe them into a numerical scale. Use the Grade Point Average. Example: US universities typically use a letter system from A to F, but you need at least a D to pass.
  • 6. Should I provide all of my academic degrees or only the most applicable?

    Application procedures at European/German universities require the complete educational background of an applicant. For admission and enrollment with us, your full educational record is needed. For this reason, we ask you to provide every academic level and degree you have obtained in your CV.

  • 7. I have previously changed my field of study. Do I have to provide any documents in this case?

    You can indicate up to five different study tracks and upload the respective documents. If you have changed your field or course of studies, please provide information about this time and - if applicable - a transcript of records for the courses you attended within the cancelled or changed program. A short description of the reasons for changing your studies will be needed as well. 

  • 8. Concerning foreign language tests, what is the "Common European Framework of Reference" (CEFR)?

    The "Common European Framework of Reference" (CEFR) indicates the level of your proficiency in a foreign language. You will find, for example, that most modern European textbooks use the CEFR to indicate their level of language proficiency. The levels "A1" and "A2" represent beginner levels, "B1" and "B2" intermediate, and "C1" and "C2" almost or equal to native speaker's proficiency.

    For more detailed information about the CEFR please refer to the Language Policy Division of the Council of EuropeExternal link.

  • 9. I want to submit my language certificate at a later time. What should I pay attention to?

    We would like to ask you not to submit your language certificate e.g. by using TOEFL/TSE institution code of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. Instead, please scan the certificate and send it directly to

    Please note that screenshots are only temporary proofs of your test results. We finally require the scanned PDF file of your official result sheet. Since your English language proficiency is taken into consideration at the evaluation process of your application, our Selection Committee cannot make its final decision until we receive your official test result. 

  • 10. Are there any additional mandatory documents for applying for an ASP scholarship?

    In order to apply for an Abbe School of Photonics scholarship you will need to provide the following additional mandatory documents on top of your regular application:

    • Two Academic Letters of Recommendation from previous or current professors

    When you apply for a scholarship, you will be automatically asked for these Letters during the application process.

    Please contact your professors and ask them this favour, which is quite common in international academia. We also have a template that your professors may use herepdf, 439 kb. The template is, however, not mandatory. Please make sure that the final letters contain your professors' signature, a date, and the official headline or stamp of their university.

    Alternatively, and if you are unable to upload these documents yourself, you have the possibility to provide us with your professors’ contact information during the application. After your application is submitted, your professors will be contacted by us and asked to submit the letter via email to us.

    However, you will not be informed of the arrival of the letters. Thus we suggest you make sure to remind your referees in case they are late in submitting them. We expect the letters to be submitted no later than two weeks after the respective deadline.

  • 11. The Letter of Recommendation is enclosed in a sealed envelope which I am not allowed to open. What should I do? Should I send it via postal mail?

    Yes, in this particular case, please forward this document via regular mail to us.

  • 12. I am from China or Vietnam and have to provide a certificate from the Academic Evaluation Center (APS). Where do I find more information about this requirement?

    Chinese, and Vietnamese applicants need to provide a certificate from the Academic Evaluation Center (APS) of the German Embassy. The APS will verify the academic documents awarded to you in your home country and may also interview you for validation of your qualifications. The APS provides the fastest way to issue your German visa. Considering this, please apply as soon as possible.

    You will find more information here:

    If your academic degree was not awarded in your home country, you do not have to provide this certificate.

  • 13. I have already submitted my application, but I noticed some mistakes in it/ forgot to upload a document. What shall I do?

    In the portal, select the function Withdraw and edit application. You can then upload the missing documents in the application component marked as incorrect. Please resubmit the application at the end of processing.

  • 14. My application is not complete and I am supposed to upload missing documents in the portal. How does that work?

    In the portal, select the function Withdraw and edit application. You can then upload the missing documents in the application component marked as incorrect. Please resubmit the application at the end of processing.

  • 15. When will I be notified about the outcome of my application?

    Due to the large number of applications, we ask for your patience and understanding during your wait for admission. While the Selection Committee do their best to review all applications as fast as possible, this process can take four to eight weeks depending on the number of applicants.

    You will receive an answer as soon as the evaluation of your application is completed. Once more, we ask for your understanding and cooperation, as queries about the status of your application cannot be answered before then.

  • 16. I didn't receive my Acceptance Letter. What should I do?

    Once you have been accepted by the Abbe School of Photonics, you will receive an Acceptance Letter. Should the consulate/ embassy need proof of authenticity, simply contact us at

  • 17. I uploaded the missing document to the portal. However, the document is still displayed as a missing document. Why?

    After you have uploaded the document and resubmitted your application, your application status will not automatically change. Instead, the status will be edited manually by us. For this purpose, your application must be checked again. Depending on the total number of received applications, this process may take some time. Therefore, we strongly recommend to submit a complete application from the start.

C. Admission and enrollment

  • 1. In general, how do admission and enrollment work?

    After being accepted by the Abbe School of Photonics, you will be contacted by our Master Service Center (our central University department for ALL study programs). Since you are accepted at this stage, the following is now only a formal process. The Master Service Center will particularly ask for certified copies of some documents you already provided online. Simply follow the instructions given to you and send the requested documents via postal service. The Master Service Center will then also provide you with an Admission Letter which will be required for the on-site enrollment in Jena.

    Finally, admitted students will complete the process of enrollment here in Jena in the International Office of our university. This is usually done in person. You will be issued your student ID card and finally become a full-scale student. This final process is called Enrollment.

  • 2. After being accepted - which documents do I need?

    As soon as you have accepted the offer in the online application portal, you can start your enrolment preparations. You will be find further informtion in your inbox, and you will be asked for a few more documents to gain admission and complete the enrollment process. You will be notified separately about these requirements.

    For more information on which documents you have to submit in paper, please visit our Enrolment information page and use the selection box in the Prepare your enrolment documents section.

    Submit the documents required for enrolment in hard copy and by post to the Master Service Center. We will check whether your documents are complete and may ask you to submit further documents. As soon as your documents are complete, we will forward your file to the Student Service Centre or the International Office. They will finalise your enrolment process, after which you will receive your student ID card (Thoska) as well as your log in to access the Friedolin student portal and the University Computer Centre.

  • 3. What do you mean by certified translations or certified documents?

    A certified translation or copy is an official translation or copy of a document which is issued, or legally attested for, by a public agency, an auditing agency, or any other public authority (e.g., the Administration Office or Examination Office of your university, a notary, the embassy etc.). Certified translations of the required documents must be uploaded already during the online application process if the original language is not either English or German.

  • 4. Am I automatically enrolled if I am admitted to the M.Sc. Photoncis program?


    Admission to a Master's program does not mean that you have been enrolled. First, you need to accept your study place in the portal by the specified deadline. The deadline is displayed in the portal and also in your admission letter. After that, further steps need to be taken in order to enrol. Please see the answers to the questions above for further information.

  • 5. I have submitted documents for my enrolment preparations already. Can you confirm the reception?

    Your application status will change to "Application for enrolment in process", once we have received your paper documents. Please note that processing your documents may take some time. 

    You will be notified again,

    • if your enrolment preparations are completed and your application file was forwarded OR 
    • if documents are missing. In this case, you must submit them within a specified deadline in order for us to prepare your enrolment successfully. You also receive a letter about the missing documents in your portal inbox.
  • 6. I have been admitted, but I have not received my original admission letter via regular mail. What do I do?

    Admission letters are not sent via regular mail. To view and download your admission letter, please log in to the portal. You find your admission letter in your inbox. The admission letter contains a verification number which allows you to verify the authenticity of the document for up to six months.

  • 7. I have sent you the documents for my enrolment preparations and received a message that my file has been forwarded. However, there is still an info block in the portal about missing documents. Why?

    The yellow info block informing you about missing documents is displayed in the status "Application for enrolment in process", regardless of whether you have already sent documents or not. The info block only disappears when your status changes to "Enrolled". Only then your whole enrolment process is complete.

  • 8. I have received an approval but will not get my visa in time. Can I start my studies online and come to Jena a bit later?

    Your admission is only valid for the semester for which you have applied. However, in the M.Sc. Photoncis program, there is a limited number of online-only study slots for the duration of the first and second semester. Thus, if you cannot arrive in Jena on time (in October at the latest), you can start studying remotely and online. The program can be studied remotely at maximum for one year, and all 60 necessary credit points (CPs) can be earned during that period of time. 

    However, in order to advance to the third semester and to finally obtain the Master's degree, each first-year online student has to move to Jena at some point before the start of the third semester. It is mandatory for all students to study on-campus during the third and fourth semesters. 

    Note that scholarships can only be offered to on-site students. If you want or need to start your studies remotely, please contact as early as possible and inform us about your plans. 

  • 9. Can I defer or postpone my admission? Does my admission also apply to the start of my studies in the next semester or one year later?

    Unfortunately, your admission to the Master's program is only valid for the respective year for which you have applied. Your admission cannot be transferred to the following semester or your. In this case, you still have the online option as explained in the previous question. If you do not want to start studying online, you have to reapply the following year. 

    Note: If you have been accepted by the Abbe School of Photonics once, we will be very generous in accepting you also for the next year and give you more time to apply for your visa and prepare for coming to Jena!

D. Coming to Jena and getting started

  • 1. How and when do I apply for a dormitory?

    Please submit your application for accommodation in one of our halls of residence to the Studierendenwerk ThüringenExternal link student welfare organisation. Please note that places are limited and demand is high. It is recommended to apply as early as possible.

    Please keep in mind that an application does not necessarily guarantee you a dormitory apartment or room. Furthermore, the Studierendenwerk Thüringen takes its decisions on the principle of first-come, first-served. Please be aware that applications for dormitories should be submitted as soon as possible after admission to the university. Applications later than July 31st will not be considered for placement. By the same token, do not apply earlier than April 1st.

    Please note: The Studentenwerk will inform you themselves once a place has been found for you. In this case, please accept their offer immediately, even if the dormitory does not meet your expectations completely. You can move after your first semester, but due to a shortage of dormitory places, a rejection of, or no reaction to their offer will leave you without a home

  • 2. What does the Abbe School of Photonics scholarship cover?

    There is a limited number of Abbe School of Photonics scholarships for international students of the Master of Science in Photonics program. The Abbe School of Photonics full scholarship includes a stipend of up to 860 Euro per month. The scholarships are granted by the State of Thuringia. It covers (a part of) your living expenses in Germany.

    Your scholarship will be transferred to your German bank account after your arrival. Unfortunately, it is not possible to receive any financial support before your arrival. You will receive your scholarship rate for the first 3 months a few days after the enrollment procedure.  

  • 3. What are my financial options as a self-funded student?

    Generally, proof of sufficient financial resources must be given when international students apply for a visa at a German diplomatic representation abroad or for a residence permit at the Immigration Office (Ausländerbehörde), which will enable the applicant to pursue university studies without financial hardship. Sufficient financial resources must cover your study costs as well as your daily needs.

    If you would like to find a student job, please also take into consideration that you will be limited in your opportunities to work. International students usually do not have a work permit and without this, international students are only allowed to work for a limited time with a student visa. If you are from a non-EU country, you will be allowed to work 120 full days per year or 240 half-days. In any case, if you are studying in a foreign country it is not a good idea to be dependent on a job from the very start of your studies just to cover your basic needs. Furthermore, knowledge of the German language is important for working in Germany. If your funds are limited, we suggest that you apply for another scholarship (e.g. DAAD, scholarships from your home country, etc.) or to find other sources of funding.

  • 4. Are there financial requirements for my visa application?

    For your visa you need to prove that you have sufficient financial resources for your studies. You will receive specific instructions when you apply for your visa at the appropriate consulate or embassy. However, here are four ways to provide such proof:

    1. You receive a scholarship and provide proof of it.
    2. If you can cover your living expenses with your own funds (e.g., savings), you can provide proof of this with an account statement, for instance. Your bank or embassy should normally accept a bond.
    3. You may also submit a letter of financial support from a person you know, e.g., family member or friend, which declares that this person will financially support you.
    4. In some exceptional cases, the German embassy or consulate may require a specified amount to be paid into a blocked access bank account so as to ensure financial security for the initial period of the applicant's stay in Germany. You remit a default amount at a German bank. The bank will block this credit voucher for your stay abroad. During your stay you will have access to this money. Please note that the Abbe School of Photonics is not allowed to assist you with opening such an account.

    You can find more information about the living expenses in Germany here.

  • 5. Is it necessary to have a German health insurance?

    All students in Germany are unexceptionally required to have a health insurance that meets the requirements of German law. Students are required to be insured at a German statutory health insurance carrier from the first day of their first semester (i.e., beginning October 1st for winter term; regardless of date of arrival). The university will not accept any private travel or emergency insurances as proof of insurance. There is a reduced student fee, which generally applies to all students under 31 years of age. Different regulations apply for students over 31 or with children (contact your coordinator). Abbe School of Photonics will assist you to find a suitable health insurance upon your arrival.

    If you are a citizen of the European Union and have a health insurance in your home country, you should ask your health insurance for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or the form E 111.
    Please note: Your journey to Jena and the days before your enrollment will not be covered. We strongly advise you to take out a travel insurance policy.

  • 6. When should I arrive in Germany?

    We are recommending you to come to Jena in late Auguast or early September.

    We offer a presessional intensive German language course starting at the beginning of September. Participation is highly recommended. This is the best preparation for studying here, since you have enough time to learn the basics of the language of your new home country, meet new friends, and get to know Jena and Germany. The personal enrollment for this course takes place in the last week of August. If, for some reason, you are not able to participate in the language precourse, you are expected to arrive by the end of September at the latest, since our program starts with two mandatory presessional courses in Mathematics and Physics during the first weeks of October.

  • 7. How can I travel to Jena?

    There is no international airport in Jena. You will most probably arrive in Frankfurt, Berlin,  or Munich.

    • From Frankfurt: There are high-speed trains (ICE) running hourly from Frankfurt-Airport or Frankfurt Central Station to Erfurt or Weimar, where you can change to a regional train to Jena (approx. travel time: 3.5 to 4 hours).
    • From Berlin: Take the shuttle bus or S-Bahn (tram) to Berlin Central Station. From here there are hourly high-speed connections to Jena (approx. travel time: 3 hours)
    • From Munich: Take a local train or shuttle to Munich Central Station. During the daytime, there are hourly high-speed connections from Munich to Jena (approx. travel time: 4-5 hours)

    To find a suitable connection, please check the website of Deutsche BahnExternal link. You can also ask travel agencies for support.

    If you wish to be assisted by a student mentor, please register here. This way, you have the chance of arranging for your mentor to pick you up from the train station in Jena.

  • 8. What is THOSKA and what is it good for?
  • 9. Will I get any further help, once I am in Jena?

    You will be provided with all kinds of helpful and important tips and information before you arrive in Jena. Furthermore, one of our mentors will get in touch with you to help you with your preparations. If you would like to be supported by a student mentor at the beginning of your stay in Jena, please register here. Your student mentor will assist you with all necessary steps in the first few weeks after your arrival, and your coordinator will organize orientation weeks for you to help you getting started, meeting your fellow students, and preparing yourself for your classes.

    Last but not least, our professors, teachers, and students are also here to help you to cope with your prospective studies - a strong and supportive community is awaiting you in Jena!

    We look forward to welcoming you!