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What is the International Summer Campus?
The International Summer Campus is the central platform of the University of Potsdam for short-term programs. The varied offer includes three program lines for international target groups. This includes subject-specific summer schools, tailor-made programs for partner institutions and intensive German courses for international students.
What is the International Summer Campus Office (ISCO)?
The International Summer Campus Office (ISCO) is responsible for the organization and implementation of the programs which are part of the International Summer Campus. As institution of the International Office, the ISCO cooperates with renowned scientists from the University of Potsdam and international partner institutions.
What programs does the International Summer Campus offer?
The International Summer Campus offers three program lines:
- Summer School Programs:
Summer School Programs are subject-specific courses for international students, PhDs and PostDocs. The courses are primarily held in English.
- Tailor Made Programs:
Tailor Made Programs are individual programs for closed groups from international partner universities.
- Intensive Language Programs:
Intensive Language Programs offer intercultural language and specialist courses in German:
Deutsch(land)kurs Willkommen: two-week orientation course for students in mobility and exchange programs (e.g. Erasmus) before the start of the semester in spring and the fall.
International Summer Academy Sans Souci (ISAS): four-week summer program in August focusing German language, culture and history for students with advanced knowledge of German
Who teaches the International Summer Campus programs?
The ISCO engages qualified teachers from the University of Potsdam and freelance lecturers for the International Summer Campus. All lecturers have expertise in their field, many years of teaching experience and intercultural sensitivity. We hire guest speakers for selected programs in order to combine theory and practice in the respective subject area.
Where do the International Summer Campus programs take place?
The programs mainly take place on the campus Am Neuen Palais of the University of Potsdam. For details on the venue, please refer to the respective program description.
Is the campus of the University of Potsdam barrier-free?
The campus and rooms of the University of Potsdam are partially barrier-free. The ISCO advises students individually on questions about accessibility. If you have any questions on this topic, please contact us at any time.
Am I enrolled during the programs?
Generally, no enrollment is required for short-term programs of the International Summer Campus. Enrollment is only possible for students in regular courses or in mobility and exchange programs. Please note that the Deutsch(land)kurs Willkommen usually takes place before the start of the semester. The exact dates can be found in the respective course description.
Do I receive a student ID?
At the beginning of the program you will receive a participant ID from us. With this ID you will benefit from lower prices in the canteen of the Studentenwerk Potsdam and numerous cultural institutions in Potsdam and Berlin. You will also have access to libraries and computer pools of the University of Potsdam. Please note that the participant ID is not a ticket for local public transport. Further information on local public transport can be found here.
Can I acquire credit points?
In selected programs of the International Summer Campus you can acquire credit points according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). For details, please refer to the respective program description. One ECTS credit point corresponds to a workload of 25-30 hours. In addition to the face-to-face events, the workload also includes excursions and time for self-study.
Does my home university accept the credit points acquired?
The respective home university decides on recognition of credit points. In general, we recommend all students to clarify questions about recognition of credit points with their home university at an early stage.
Do I get a certificate?
For programs in which you can acquire credit points, you will receive a certificate upon successful completion. The certificate contains all important information about the program (title and duration of the course, number of contact hours, credit points, grade if necessary). If no credit points are planned, you will usually receive a certificate of attendance.
What are requirements for participating in the program?
The general conditions of participation and course-specific requirements (e.g. language or specialist knowledge) apply to the programs of the International Summer Campus. The minimum age for participation in the programs is generally 18 years. For the International Summer Academy Sans Souci (ISAS), underage participants aged 16 and over can be admitted after consulting the ISCO. In this case, the ISCO needs a declaration of consent and a copy of ID from the parents or legal guardians. Please refer to the respective program description for particular subject-specific or linguistic requirements.
What language skills do I need?
Prior knowledge of the German language according to the Common European Framework of Reference (GER) is required for the Intensive Language Programs.
• Deutsch(land)kurs Willkommen: language level A2
• International Summer Academy Sans Souci (ISAS): language level B2
English language skills on B2 level are required for English-language Summer School Programs.
Do I need a language certificate to register?
You do not need a language certificate to register. As part of the Intensive Language Programs, you will take a placement test at the beginning of the program. Based on the results, we will assign you to the language course that is right for you. Please note that a language level that is too low can mean that you will not complete the program successfully and will not be able to acquire credit points.
How do I register for a program?
Information on registration and deadlines can be found in the respective program description. You can register using an online form or by email.
Deutsch(land)kurs Willkommen: Students in mobility and exchange programs (e.g. Erasmus) register via the UPrepare information platform. You will receive access to UPrepare a few months before your stay from the International Office of the University of Potsdam.
What payment options do I have?
Usually, payment can be done by bank transfer. If fees are incurred for the transfer, these costs must be borne by the participants.
What scholarships are possible for the International Summer Campus?
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) awards university summer course scholarships for participants of the International Summer Academy Sans Souci (ISAS). Please refer to the DAAD website for details on the application process. Current information on possible scholarships or early bird discounts can be found in the respective program description. Students can also inquire about scholarships at their home university or organizations in their home country.
Will I get a refund of my fees if I drop a course early?
Reimbursement of fees already paid is only possible under certain conditions. For details on the withdrawal and cancellation regulations, please refer to the conditions of participation.
Is participation in the supporting & cultural program mandatory?
Participation in the supporting and cultural program is usually voluntary. Shared activities and excursions are an integral part of most programs and are therefore included in the fees. A partial payment or a partial refund is excluded.
Can I change my course?
The classification into the language courses of the Intensive Language Programs is based on the results of the placement test. A change of course is only possible in exceptional cases and within the scope of the available capacities after consultation with the ISCO.
I have learning difficulties and/or a physical impairment. What should I do?
Participants with learning difficulties and/or physical impairments should inform the ISCO team when registering. Only if we are informed in advance we can, after examination, take any necessary steps and respond to the needs.
Do I need a visa to enter Germany?
Students from countries of the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland generally do not need a visa. Participants from other countries should find out about the current visa requirements on the website of the Federal Foreign Office at an early stage. Since a visa can take several months to be issued, students should allow sufficient time for the application.
Can ISCO support me in applying for a visa?
On request, the ISCO will send you an official letter of invitation. The prerequisite is that you are already registered and have paid all fees.
What are the current COVID19 regulations?
Please check regularly for international travel and quarantine regulations for your country of departure. Current information is available on the following websites:
Please also note that proof of vaccination with an EU-approved vaccine may be required for some countries. A list of approved vaccines can be found here.
When should I arrive?
Please refer to the respective program description for the arrival and departure dates. The accommodation (if booked through ISCO) is only available during the official program period. Moving in earlier or moving out later is not possible.
How do I get to the campus of the University of Potsdam?
The campus Am Neuen Palais is located on the western edge of the Sanssouci Park and is easily accessible by public transport. From the nearest train station "Potsdam, Park Sanssouci" it is a 10-minute walk to the campus. You can find information on current connections at any time on the website of the Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg (VBB). For trips between Berlin and Potsdam you need a ticket with the “Berlin ABC” tariff. Further information on arrival you can find here.
What should I bring with me?
The following things are usually important:
• Visa and, if applicable, letter of invitation from the University of Potsdam
• valid test/vaccination or convalescent certificate (if applicable)
• Valid health insurance in Germany (we also recommend taking out private liability insurance and, if necessary, accident insurance)
• Cash for the first few days
• Medication: If you need certain medication, it is essential to find out about current regulations before you travel and seek advice from your doctor's office. You will usually need a doctor's certificate to take prescription medication with you. During the trip you should keep the medication in the original packaging.
• Mobile phone / smartphone: We recommend checking your international tariff or activating your SIM card.
• Adapter (connector type F is standard in Germany)
• If you will live in a student dormitory: LAN cable and bed covers for pillow and bedspread
Do I have internet access?
On the campus of the University of Potsdam, all participants have access to the university's own WLAN. If you have booked accommodation in the student dormitory through ISCO, Internet access is possible there via LAN cable. You either bring the appropriate cable (or a WLAN router) with you from home or you can buy it on-site in Potsdam. In order to activate internet connection in the student residence, the ISCO asks for the MAC address of your computer before the start of the program. Students who live with a host family have access to WiFi there.
When do I get more information on how to prepare?
You will receive more information about preparing for the program at least two weeks before your arrival. You will receive your participant ID, important documents and WiFi access at the beginning of the program in Potsdam.
What accommodation options do I have?
The ISCO offers accommodation for selected programs. For details, please refer to the respective program description.
• International Summer Academy Sans Souci (ISAS): ISCO arranges a limited contingent of single rooms in the student dormitory of the Studentenwerk Potsdam. You can book a room directly when registering for ISAS online. The bedding is included in the rental price.
• Tailor Made Programs: At the request of partner institution there is the possibility of accommodation in host families, hotels or hostels.
Alternatively, students are free to look for private accommodation in Potsdam or Berlin. On the ISCO website you will find useful information on individual housing options. Important note about the Deutsch(land)kurs Willkommen: Students in mobility and exchange programs (e.g. Erasmus) apply independently for a place in a dormitory at the Studentenwerk Potsdam. Further information is available on the UPrepare online platform.
When I will know which student dormitory I will be living in?
The rooms are allocated by the Studentenwerk Potsdam. You will receive more information on the day of arrival at the latest. Please note that the ISCO as an intermediary has no influence on the allocation and therefore cannot take any preferences into account.
What is in the dormitory?
All rooms of the Studentenwerk Potsdam have a basic set of furniture including bed, wardrobe, shelf, desk and possibly your own refrigerator. The kitchen and bathrooms are shared with other students. Basic equipment is available in the communal kitchens. Please be prepared for the fact that you may need your own dishes. There are no towels, bedding (pillows, blankets, sheets), adapters for sockets, hairdryers and LAN cables. For participants of the International Summer Academy Sans Souci (ISAS) bed linen is included in the rental price.
Can I share my room in the dormitory with friends?
The ISCO only arranges single rooms in student dormitories. Therefore, you cannot share the room with friends or anyone else. Disregarding the house rules or rental conditions can lead to expulsion from the dormitory.
Is food included in the price of accommodation?
Usually, no meals are included. Exceptions apply to certain Tailor Made Programs, e.g. in the case of accommodation in hostels or host families.
Where can I go for a cheap lunch?
The Studentenwerk Potsdam operates a canteen and cafeteria on the campus Am Neuen Palais. With the participant ID you benefit from lower prices in the facilities of the Studentenwerk. The price for lunch is 3-5 euros.
What transport connections to the dormitories exist?
The Studentenwerk Potsdam has several dormitories throughout the city. The campus of the University of Potsdam can be reached by public transport from all dormitory locations. The public transport system in Potsdam is developed very well. For trips within Potsdam and to Berlin, travelers can use trams, buses, S-Bahn, U-Bahn and regional trains. There are also many places where you can borrow bicycles.
Who do I contact if I have any questions or problems in the student dormitory?
The first person of contact for urgent problems is the responsible caretaker in your dormitory. Your caretaker can be reached both by mobile phone and during personal consultation hours.