Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ
You can find answers to questions about our learning and teaching opportunities in German as a foreign language here in a quick and systematic way.
Questions regarding the different courses that we offer
1. Where do I find information relating to the different courses?
- In the navigation bar (left) please click on "Courses and learning offers". There you will see the “Kurskatalog - course catalog" with detailed descriptions of the current courses.
- You can also find the DaF courses (DaF – Deutsch als Fremdsprache - German as a foreign language) in the PULS course catalog. A list of all courses can be found in the category "Special courses / Zessko / German as a foreign language". The courses offered as part of "Studiumplus" can be found under "Foreign Language I" and "Foreign Language II" for the WiSe exam version 2013/14 as well as in Module 5 (basic phase) or Module 9 (advanced phase) for the WiSe 2009/10 exam version.
- On the notice board in front of the DaF offices (Neues Palais campus, building 19, room 3.25 / 3.26a) you will also find a current list of the entire range of courses.
2. Which course is suitable for me?
- That depends on your learning objectives and on the level of your German. Take the placement test and contact the DaF office for advice during the enrollment period (Neues Palais campus, building 19, room 3.25 / 3.26a/3.27).
3. Who can attend the courses?
- Students (including exchange/program students), PHD candidates, Postdocs and employees of the University of Potsdam as well as cooperating academic institutions in the region (universities of applied sciences, Max Planck Institutes, etc.) are allowed to attend the DaF courses.
- German studies students are only admitted in exceptional cases. The Institute for German Studies has a specific courses for these students.
- German native speakers are not admitted to the DaF courses at the Zessko.
- Guests (auditors) can only be admitted in exceptional cases and only if there is free capacity at the end of the enrollment period.
4. What are the course fees ?
- The current Zessko fee schedule applies to all German courses at the Zessko.
- Currently the DaF courses for registered BA and MA students (including BA / MA exchange students) at the University of Potsdam are free of charge.
- UP doctoral students, postdocs and employees pay 20 euros per SWS (weekly hours per semester), so for example, a course with 4 hours per week will be 80 euros per semester.
- Doctoral students and postdocs of associated academic institutes pay 30 euros per SWS (weekly hours per semester), so for example, a course of 4 hours per week will be 120 euros per semester.
- Guests/auditors pay 40 euros per SWS (weekly hours per semester) plus the guest student fee according to the matriculation regulations of the University of Potsdam.
Questions about the placement in the courses
1. How do I know which language level I have?
- Either you have acquired a recognized language certificate (e.g. Goethe certificate, telc, TestDaF, DSD) or you take our placement test
2. Do I always have to take a placement test?
- No placement test is necessary for the courses at level A1.
- If you have successfully completed a course with us (passed the final examination) and would like to attend the follow-up course, no placement test is necessary.
- If you are a degree seeking Bachelor student of study at the University of Potsdam, you can enroll directly in PULS for suitable courses (Studiumplus / Key Competence) without a placement test.
3. Where can I take the placement test?
- Online from April 1st (summer semester) or October 1st (winter semester): You can find access to the test for a limited time on the DaF homepage.
- In the Zessko: During the enrollment week (beginning of April or beginning of October) you can also take the test in the Zessko's self-study area. The current dates can be found on the DaF homepage.
4. How can I register for the placement test?
- You do not need to register in person; you should only choose the test which suits best your current level in German: A2 or B1-C1.
- During the enrolemnt week, you can also come along to the Zessko (Neues Palais campus, building 19, media center in the second floor.
5. Can I register for a course immediately after taking the placement test?
- Not immediatly. The feedback page at the end of the placement tests guides you about what steps to take (sending a message to the German office at Zessko).
6. Can I take the placement test at home or abroad?
- Yes, you can take the plavcement tests from the beginning of April (summer semester) or October (winter semester). All you need is a computer with an internet connection, a browser, speakers + microphone or a headset.
Questions about enrolling in the courses
1. How can I register?
- If you are a degree-seeking Bachelor student at the University of Potsdam, you can enroll directly in PULS for suitable courses (Studiumplus / Key Competence)
- If you are UP Master student, exchange student (Erasmus+), doctoral student or postdoc, please take the placement test first (for more details, see the faq placement test section above) and then apply via e-mail or in person in our Zessko German office (Campus Neues Palais, Building 19, Room 3.25 / 3.26a/3.27; only during the enrollment period at the beginning of April or beginning of October). If you comply with the requirements, we enroll you.
- No placement test is required for the A1.1 courses. You can apply directly online. You will find an online form at the beginning of the semester on the registration page for the A1.1 courses. Fill in the form. We will notify you during the enrollment week whether you can get a place in the desired course.
2. Is a placement test required for all courses?
- The placement test is required for all courses except for the basic A1.1 courses.
- If you are a full-time degree-seeking Bachelor student at the University of Potsdam, you can enroll directly in PULS (Studiumplus / Schlüsselkompetenz) without a placement test.
3. If I am already registered on a course and would like to cancel the course. How can I unenrol?
- If you have registered for a course in PULS, you must also unregister in PULS. For technical reasons, the lecturers cannot do this for you.
- If you have enrolled in courses AT THE ZESSKO and would like to unenrol again, please inform your instructor and send an email to the DaF office (see contact).
Questions about the certificates for attending a course
1. Which certificates will I receive after successfully completing the course?
- Upon successful participation, you will receive a statement of attendance with ECTS credits and a grade. The details can be found in the course commentary (courses & learning opportunities => course catalog).
- If you pass the final exam at the end of A1 and A2 courses we will issue an A1 resp. A2 certificate.
- For degree-seeking Bachelor students at the University of Potsdam (who want to graduate from the UP) and who have enrolled directly in PULS (Studiumplus / Key Competence), the course performance (credit points) is recorded electronically in PULS. You then do not need an extra certificate.
2. Are there any conditions to get a certificate?
- The conditions for successful participation are regulated separately for each course. The details can be found in the course commentary (courses & learning opportunities => course catalog).
3. When can I pick up the certificate?
- You can obtain the statements of attendance from the Zessko German office after having completed and passed the exams. As for exchange students (Erasmus etc.) we will send the "Scheine" to the International Office, where the "Transcript of Records" is filled out.
4. Where can I pick up the certificate?
- You can obtain the certificates in the main Zessko office at Neues Palais campus (3rd floor) or in the Zessko German office.
Questions about the use of materials
1. Where can I find material for learning German?
- In the Zessko media centres: on the Neues Palais campus, building 19, room 2.11 and on the Griebnitzsee campus, building 6, room 1.17.
- You may also talk to your lecturers - see contact for office hours .
2. What materials are used in the courses?
- In the integrative courses at levels A1 to B2, we currently use commercial textbooks that are supplemented by university-specific materials.
- In the courses on individual skills from level B1.2 we use self-developed university-specific materials.
- There is accompanying material on Moodle for all courses from level A1. Some courses only work with digital materials on Moodle.
3. Do I have to buy the learning materials?
- If a course uses commercial textbooks, please purchase them.
- We provide the self-developed materials on Moodle free of charge.