Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

show Content A. Prerequisites and preparation

show Content A 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).

Please emphasize your experience in the field of optics or photonics within your academic education or your professional career in your Curriculum Vitae as well as in your Letter of Motivation.

show Content A 2. Which English language proficiency level or test is required?

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 a 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 English Proficiency (CPE) exam or Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) exam

Please note: We do not accept TOEFL ITP assessment tests.

(Due to COVID-19 we will not insist on a renewal if your test has already expired, but please double check with your visa requirements.)

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

  • Nationals from the USA, U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, or BSc and MSc graduates who obtained their qualifications in one of these countries.
  • BSc and MSc graduates who have been taught their previous higher academic education completely in English (language statement from the University is required)
  • If you have received a German Abitur and have taken English classes at a German Gymnasium for a minimum of 8 years, we will also accept your Abitur as sufficient proof of your English language skills.

We encourage you, however, to provide us with an additional language certificate to elevate your chances of acceptance.

show Content A 3. 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, the Online Application System will ask you 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 inconvenience your visa application.

(Due to COVID-19 we will not insist on a renewal if your test has already expired, but please double check with your visa requirements!)

show Content A 4. What is meant by "Native Language/Bilingual", "Medium of Instruction", or "English as a Foreign Language"?

We regard strong language skills to be a crucial prerequisite to successfully master the Master of Science in Photonics program. Considering the sporadic uncertainty of the terms "Native language/Bilingual", "Medium of Instruction" and "English as a foreign language" we would like clarify their definitions which we use as a basis for your application. Therefore, please take your own situation and background carefully into consideration before wrongfully choosing an option which does not apply to you.

Native Language/Bilingual: We regard English as your native language if you are raised in a country where English is the commonly spoken, and at least one of your parents (or equivalently: legal guardians) is also a native speaker of English. You are bilingual, if you have grown up completely in a country where English is the first language and neither of your parents is a native speaker of English, or you have grown up in a country where English is not the first language but one of your parents is a native speaker of English and you have had significant exposure to English for the entire time you grew up.

Medium of Instruction: If your previous academic education (e.g. at university) has been completely conducted 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 Transcript of Records where the fact that all lessons have been held in English is noted. Please note: Statements of attendance to a language course offered by your university or claiming that your pre-academic education (e.g. in school) happened in English language do not serve as sufficient proof for the option "Medium of Instruction".

English as Foreign Language: In all cases not covered above, English is regarded as your foreign language, even if you grew up in an environment, where English might be the official language but is not spoken commonly or you have learnt English in your primary or secondary education or English was only a part of your academic education.

show Content A 5. 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 you to learn German language in order to integrate into the culture and manage daily life. For this reason the Abbe School of Photonics offers, in addition to German language courses during the study period, a presessional German language course to all of its international students in September each year. This course is highly advisable and students benefit a lot from this course.

show Content A 6. 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. The 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 and not taken into consideration for your application.

show Content A 7. 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 as positive if there are no gaps in your CV so please take the effort to list all the chapters in your life so far.

show Content A 8. How much will my studies in Germany cost? What expenses will I have each month?

Living expenses in Germany are very dependent on your life style, in which city you stay and at which university you are enrolled. For Jena it is recommended to have about 860 Euro available per month. For a rough estimation, the following expenses must be taken into consideration:

Living expenses: When it comes to places to live, there are many options. The first and best option is to stay in a university dormitory (Studentenwohnheim), because the fee is also normally subsidized. Monthly rent will cost you approximately 150- 300 Euro. In addition, you will need money (at least 200 Euro / month) for food and drinks as well as other costs like laundry, clothing, phone, internet and other communication, entertainment, travel expenses etc. which will cost you around 100 - 300 Euro. The university normally has cafeterias and dining halls (Mensa). The meals offered in Mensa come at favorable price, compared to having lunch in a restaurant or Imbiss (kind of snack bar). Another option is: cooking at home (which is cheaper). A broadcasting fee has to be paid (follow the link for the details).

Semester contribution: While students do not have to pay any tuition fees, a semester contribution must be paid each semester in order to matriculate. The semester contribution is approximately 230 Euro. Covered by this amount are fees for the Student Government Body (Studentenschaft), Student Services (Studierendenwerk) and the Semester Ticket (JeNah and Deutsche Bahn). The Semester Ticket allows all students to travel with local transportation within Jena and the regional trains within Thuringia. First-semester students must pay an additional one-time fee of 20 Euro for the issue of their student ID card, called THOSKA.

Insurance: Health insurance costs ca. 105,- Euro/month for students (=85 Euro health insurance fee + compulsory long-term care insurance ca. 15 Euro + a small administrative fee of the health insurance, depending on the company ca. 4-6 Euro, for all students under the age of 30). 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 have health insurance that meets the requirements of German law. Students are required to be insured starting from the first day of their first semester (i.e. beginning 1 October for winter term, regardless of date of arrival). This reduced student fee applies to all students under 29 years of age and if their home country has no bilateral agreements on recognition of local health insurance in Germany. For students over 30 years of age or with children, a different price rate applies. 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 travelling to Jena and for the time before the semester starts on Ocotber 1st).

Books and course materials: Many books and course materials can be borrowed at the university library. However, there will or may be additional materials that you need to purchase that cannot be found at the library. Calculate approximately 150 Euro (or more) per semester for these costs (copies, books, course material etc).

Electronics devices: as parts of the teaching will be online, you will need a computer or laptop with microphone and camera.

show Content A 9. Do I need a German visa? How long will it take me to get one?

In general, you will need a visa. In general, it is comparably easy and straight forward to get a visa for studying in Germany - so do not be afraid of this! 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 in your home country at the day you submitted your application about the procedure and make sure you apply early enough.

Citizens of certain countries can enter Germany without having 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. A short overview of Visa requirements/ exemptions for entry into the Federal Republic of Germany you can find here.

If you do not have a valid passport, you should immediately apply for one. The issuance of a new passport can take many weeks. Accepted students should submit their Acceptance Letter from the Abbe School of Photonics to the embassy along with the visa application as soon as you can. 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 a tourist visa.

Nevertheless, to have a valid passport and an appropriate visa when entering the federal territory of 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.

show Content A 10. I do not have a passport. Can I submit my application anyhow?

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. However, in order to enter Germany and in order to 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.

show Content A 11. 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 provide us with both documents as scanned PDF-files as soon 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 shown at the latest at enrollment at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena.

show Content B. Application process and enrollment

show Content B 1. How will the application process to the Abbe School of Photonics proceed?

Applying to a university abroad is usually a rather lengthy and complicated process. For your convenience, we have divided your progress in applying to the Abbe School of Photonics into three easy-to-master steps. Most of the steps can be done comfortably online.

Step 1: Submitting your application (online)

After you have completed your application file, you may submit your application. Your online application needs to be handed in until  the deadline. At the end of this process you will receive the "Application for Admission" form which you have to print out, sign it and then (this has to be done only after beeing acepted by the ASP evaluation committee) send it as a scanned copy to   - please note: this document has to be sent to us via email only if you are accepted.

Please do not send any application materials via post, unless we have specifically asked for it!

After submission, the Selection Commission will make its admissions after each priority deadline, respectively. This process lasts about 4-8 weeks, respectively. (In case, that a sufficient number of applications is submitted before the deadlines, we will start earlier with the evaluation procedure and decision sending.)

If your application to the Abbe School of Photonics has been accepted, you will receive an Acceptance Letter. You will need this letter in order to apply for a visa at the German Embassy or Consulate. With this letter a detailed explanation (in German and English) is attached. This explanation contains specific information regarding the program, language requirements and costs. It will be sent via email only.

Step 2: Submitting further documents (online & postal)

After being accepted by the Abbe School of Photonics you will receive an email from our University (Master Service Center) asking you for further documents for enrollment. Please, simply follow the instructions given to you in this email and send the requested documents which are necessary for the enrollment. Also, the Master Service Center will send you an Admission letter which you should keep because you´ll need it for the enrollment process once you are here.

Step 3: Enrollment

Finally, admitted students have to come to Jena to open a new chapter in their academic career by completing the process of enrollment. This process will be done in the International office of our university. This has to be done in person/ due to Covid-19 via regular mail, exceptionally.

show Content B 2. Summary: What to keep in mind about Admission and Enrollment?

After getting acceptance by our Abbe School of Photonics selection committee your documents will be reviewed by the University´s central admission office (Master Service Center). For this, they will send you an email and will inform you about what is necessary for enrolling to our university. The Abbe School of Photonics acceptance letter you´ll need for applying for a Visa and the Friedrich Schiller University´s admission letter for the enrollment when you arrive here. But don´t worry about all this information: more details will be provided via email to guide you through the process!

After you received both letters and have sent all the documents which were requested, you are ready to start your studies in Jena.  You will be issued your student ID card and finally become a full-scale student. This final process is called Enrollment. It has to be done in person/ due to Covid-19 via regular mail.

Concluding, you first have to be accepted by the selection committee as a sign of your qualification, then you will be admitted by the Central University Administration (Master Service Center) in order to officially check your application materials for completeness. If all your documents which are necessary for the enrollment are complete,  you can enroll in person to the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and become a "Master of Science in Photonics" student.

show Content B 3. What do you mean by certified translations or certified documents?

A certified translation or a certified copy is an official translation or copy of a document which is issued or legally attested by a public agency, an auditing agency or any other public authorities (e.g. the Administration Office or Examination Office of your university, a notary, the embassy etc.). An apostil as proof of authenticity is not required. For your application at the Abbe School of Photonics you just have to upload certified translations of required documents, if they are not available in English or German language.

All documents marked with an asterisk (*) in the list of required documents  have to be sent/given to the Friedrich Schiller University Jena before the time of enrollment as certified copies. The documents need to be signed and stamped to be accepted as certified.

show Content B 4. 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 and these documents are generally required for the application/enrollment to German universities.

All documents mandatory for application are:

If available, you might also wish to submit these voluntary documents too:

  • Passport photo
  • Language proficiency certificates of other foreign languages
  • References from former employments
  • Professional qualifications

If you apply for an Abbe School of Photonics scholarship, please also read the corresponding FAQ question.

For the acceptance and admission process the Abbe School of Photonics works together with other offices within the university. Therefore, we need you to upload your documents in separate files in order to provide them to the offices and committees responsible for your acceptance, admission, enrollment and services at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena without violating your rights of privacy. For example, your Letter of Motivation is only of interest to our Selection Committee, your passport only for the International Office, etc. Providing all of these documents in separate individual files is necessary for your process of being accepted, admitted and enrolled and helps to speed up the process for you.

Please note: All documents need to be digitized and, with the exception of the passport photo, be provided as a PDF document, preferably in black & white or grey scale with a maximum of 5 MB file size each. If those documents are not issued in English or German language, a certified translation is needed as well.
Please note: An incomplete application file will not be processed and willingly providing us with incorrect data may also lead to a retrospective refusal.

show Content B 5. 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, together with your regular application, the following additional mandatory documents:

show Content B 6. After being accepted - what documents do I need?

Yes, after your acceptance to the Abbe School of Photonics you will be asked for a few more documents to gain admission and complete the entire enrollment process. After acceptance to the Abbe School of Photonics you will be notified separately about this issue.

Documents mandatory for admission and enrollment are:

  • Passport photo.
  • Certificate of Name Change* if you are married or have changed your name for any other reason
  • Higher education entrance qualification* (if you took one; special test to enter university, only in some countries)
  • Certificate of the Feststellungsprüfung* only if you attended a Studienkolleg* (preparatory course) in the Federal Republic of Germany or took the Feststellungsprüfung (assessment test)
  • Academic Evaluation Centre* for Chinese, Mongolian and Vietnamese applicants.

Again, these documents have to be submitted as digitized PDF files and, if not issued in English or German, together with a certified translation. Please do not send any documents by postal mail unless you are specifically asked to.

All documents marked with an asterisk (*) will have to be shown as original or certified copies at the time of enrollment at the University Jena.

show Content B 7. 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 make a scan of the certificate and send it directly to the Abbe School of Photonics via e-mail.

Please note: We can accept screenshots of your online announcement of your results only as a temporary proof of your test results and also need the scan (as PDF file) of your official result sheet as soon as possible. As your English language proficiency is taken into consideration at the evaluation process of your application, the final decision about your file by the Selection Committee of the Abbe School of Photonics can only be made after the scan of your official test result has been received.

show Content B 8. What is the "Common European Framework of Reference" (CEFR)?

The "Common European Framework of Reference" (CEFR) indicates your level of proficiency of your foreign language independent of the language you are learning or the textbook series you are using. Modern European textbooks state the level of language proficiency aimed by a remark about the CEFR level. The levels "A1" and "A2" indicate beginners, "B1" and "B2" intermediate and "C1" and "C2" almost or equal native speaker's proficiency.

For more information about the CEFR please refer to the Wikipedia article about the CEFR or the Language Policy Division of the Council of Europe for more detailed information.

show Content B 9. What is the "School Leaving Certificate"?

With the "School Leaving Certificate" you must provide the school certificate with which you gained qualification for admission to a university or another higher academic institution (e.g. the Abitur in Germany,e.g. secondary school leaving licence, baccalaureate, A-levels, high school graduation certificate, senior school certificate (e.g. WASC) etc.).

If you took a placement or assessment test to enter university, this is a separate document you have to upload ("Higher education entrance qualification").

show Content B 10. 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?

Please provide your grades according to the system your school leaving certificate uses. If there is no explanation on the certificate itself, please provide some additional information about this in the additional free-text field in the section "further documents" at the end of our Application Assistant.

We must know your performance relative to the system of grades that was applied for your academic qualification. Since these systems differ strongly around the world, we must know the range of grades, in particular the best and the worst grade that is achievable. With achievable, we mean the worst grade with which you still pass the studies. In addition to the grade you achieved, this helps us mapping your grade to a unified scale.

      • In Germany, you can finish a study within the range of grades from 1.0 (best) to 4.0 (worst). With 5.0, you would fail.
      • Some systems measure the achievable points and have a threshold of points which you need to pass . If a system allows e.g. for a maximum of 95 points, but 65 points are required to pass, you enter 95 (best) and 65 (worst).

If your systems uses letters instead of numbers, please map them to a numerical scale. Use the Grade Point Average.

      • US universities typically use a letter system from A to F, but you need at least a D to pass. You would map this according to the following table:

Letter Grade

Grade Point Average

A / A+

4.0 (best)


















1.0 (worst)

D- / F


show Content B 11. Should I provide all of my academic degrees or only the most applicable?

Application procedures at German universities require the complete educational background of an applicant. For admission and enrollment to the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, your full educational record - starting from elementary school until today - is needed. For this reason, we ask you to provide every academic level and degree you have in your CV.

show Content B 12. I have previously changed my field of study. Do I have to provide any documents in this case?

Even if you changed your field or courses of studies, please provide information about this time and - if applicable - provide a transcript of records for the courses you attended within the cancelled or changed program. Furthermore, a short description of the reason for changing your studies will be needed as well.

show Content B 13. How should/can I provide my "Academic Letters of Recommendation"?

If you are interested in applying for an Abbe School of Photonics scholarship, please upload two academic letters of recommendation from current or former professors. Please make sure that your professors signed your letters of recommendation and that they contain a date and an official headline from the university or a stamp.

If you are unable to upload these documents, you have the possibility to provide contact information for each professor in the Application Assistant. After submission of your application, your professors will receive a notification from our system to submit the letter themselves.

We also have a template that your professors may use here. The template is, however, not required.

We will not inform you when the recommendation letters are sent, but we will ask you for support in reminding your referees in case they are late in submitting the letters. We are expecting the letters to be sent two weeks behind the deadline latest.


show Content B 14. The Letter of Recommendation is enclosed in a sealed letter, which I am not allowed to open. What should I do? Should I send it via postal mail?

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

show Content B 15. What kind of passport photo should I submit?

In order to receive your student identity card the university requires your photo. The photo is needed as a JPEG file and it has to meet biometric standards: meaning a high quality photo (3x4cm at 300dpi which equals 355x475 pixel) of your face only, without sunglasses hats, etc., except for religious reasons. The face should be centered and photo borderless, focused and sharp. You will need a biometrical photo as well for your residence permit here in Germany.

show Content B 16. I am from China, Vietnam or Mongolia and have to provide a certificate from the Academic Evaluation Center (APS). Where do I find more information about this requirement?

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

show Content B 17. I cannot submit my application. My status says I have not uploaded all documents. What shall I do now?

You should first check your application carefully. An upload might have failed or something may not have been saved correctly.

While working with the Online Application System you will notice some fields that are marked in bold. These fields must be filled in in order to proceed with the application process. If one of these fields is left empty or the required document is not uploaded, you cannot submit your application. Please check and complete this information and try to submit your application again. If a document or data is not available or you still face technical problems, contact us.

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

show Content B 18. I have already submitted my application, but I noticed some mistakes in it/ forgot to upload a document. What shall I do? .

Please contact the Abbe School of Photonics immediately so that the information can be edited, new documents can be uploaded or your file can be reopened. However, since this is a rather complicated process, it is advisable to submit your application only after carefully checking that all data and required documents are submitted.

show Content B 19. When will I know if I have been admitted?

Since we have a large number of applicants, we ask for your patience and understanding that the evaluation process can take a few weeks time. However, the Selection Committee members will do their best to review the applications as fast as possible. Behind each deadline, it takes about 4 - 8 weeks to evaluate all the applications, depending on the numbers of applicants (compare B1).

You will receive an answer as soon as the evaluation of your application is completed. Please understand that requests on the application status cannot be answered.

show Content B 20. I didn't receive any Acceptance/Admission Letter. What should I do?

After you have been acceped by the Abbe School of Photonics, you'll receive an Acceptance Letter as a pdf-file via Email. Just print it. If the consulate/ embassy needs a proof of authenticity, contact us via

Later on, you´ll receive another Admission letter from the University main administration (Master Service Center) via Email. They will inform you which documents are necessary for the enrollment. 



show Content C. Coming to Jena and getting started

show Content C 1. How and when do I apply for a dormitory?

Along with your admission to study at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, you will get an application form for housing in one of the dormitories run by the Studierendenwerk Thüringen. You may also download this application form from their website. Please keep in mind, that an application does not necessarily guarantee that a dormitory apartment or room will be granted. Furthermore, the Studierendenwerk Thüringen decides by the principle of first comes, first served. Please be aware that applications for dormitories should be provided as fast as possible after admission to the university and applications later than July, 31 will not be considered for placement. Do not apply earlier than April 1st.

Please note: After the Studentenwerk has found you a place, you will be informed by them. In this case, please accept their offer immediately, even the dormitory does not meet your expectations completely. You may move after your first semester, but due to shortage of dormitory places, a rejecting of their offer or not reacting on it will leave you without home.

show Content C 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 400... 800 € per month. The scholarships are granted by the State of Thuringia. It covers (a part of) your living expances in Germany.

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


show Content C 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 have to cover your study costs as well as your daily needs.

If you 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 coming from a non-EU country, you will be allowed to work 120 full days per year or 240 half-days. Also, 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 studies just to cover basic needs. Furthermore, German language knowledge is important for working in Germany. If your fundings 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.



show Content C 4. Are there financial requirements for my Visa-application?

For your visa you need to prove that you have enough financial resources for your studies. You will receive specific instructions when you apply for your visa at the appropriate consulate or embassy. Here are three methods to provide proof that this amount is available to you:

  1. You receive a scholarship and provide proof of it.
  2. If you are able to cover living expenses with your own finances and money, you have to provide proof of this, for instance with an account statement. 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.

More information about the living expences in Germany, you will find here.

show Content C 5. Is it necessary to have a German health insurance?

All students in Germany are unexceptionally required to have health insurance that meets the requirements of German law. Students are required to be insured at a German statutory health insurance carrier starting from the first day of their first semester (i.e. beginning 1 October 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 30 years of age. For students over 30 years of age or with children, different regulations apply (contact your coordinator). Abbe School of Photonics will assist you to find a suitabel health insurance after 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 or the form E 111.
Please note: Your travel to Jena and the days before your enrollment won't be covered. We highly advise you to take out a travel insurance policy.

show Content C 6. When should I arrive in Germany?

We are offering a presessional German intensive language course starting at the beginning of September. It is highly recommended to participate in this. 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 int he last week of August. If, for some reasons, you can´t participate in the language precourse, you are expected to arrive by the end of September, since our program starts with two mandatory presessional courses in Mathematics and Physics during the first weeks of October.

However, enrollment to the university is not possible before the last days of September/ beginning of October.

show Content C 7. How can I travel to Jena?

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

  • From Frankfurt: There are high-speed trains (ICE) running hourly from Frankfurt-Airport or Frankfurt Central Station to Erfurt or Weimar. In Erfurt or Weimar you have to change to a regional train to Jena (approx. travel time: 3.5 to 4 hours).
  • From Leipzig/Halle: There are two possible train connections from Leipzig/Halle Airport to Jena.
    • via Leipzig: Take a regional train to Leipzig and then change to a high-speed train (ICE) to Jena (approx. travel time 1:45 hours).
    • via Halle: This connection uses regional trains only and runs via Halle and Großheringen to Jena (approx. travel time 1:45 hours).
  • From Berlin: Take the shuttle bus or S-Bahn 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 Bahn. You can also ask travel agencies for support.

If you wish to be assisted by a student mentor please register here. If you  arrange it with your student mentor, she/he will also pick you up from the train station in Jena.

show Content C 8. Will I get any further help, once I am in Jena?

Of course, you will!

You will be provided with helpful and important tips and information before you arrive in Jena. Furthermore, one of our mentors will get in touch with you and will 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.
Your coordinator is organizing orientation weeks for you to help you getting started, meeting your fellow students, and preparing yourself for your classes.

And 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!

show Content C 9. COVID-19 related information