Hildesheim has a lot to offer: Besides different universities with a wide range of courses, interesting training companies and many opportunities for further education it is living in this area that makes training or studying in this city an experience. Hildesheim, and its districts, is a modern, “little” big city that connects traditions and trends. Hildesheim has “churches and culture” but also much more. In the summer, the Platz an der Lilie becomes a city beach , Since 2017 Hildesheim Fairtrade Town and since the autumn of 2019, people are whizzing through the streets on e-scooters.

But even the everyday advantages such as good transport connections (ICE-train station and the motorway connection to the A7), a good infrastructure within the city and its districts (SVHi and RVHi) as well as a wide range of shops and restaurants make life in Hildesheim attractive.

What remains are a few more questions:

  • Flat or flat sharing?
  • Handball, water polo – or rather tricking and obstacle course?
  • Club, pub or shared flat entertainment?
  • Spend the weekend at home, chill out at the Hohnsensee or parachute at the airfield?

Even if we can’t make the decision for you – we are happy to show you the whole range of possibilities that are available when you study or train in Hildesheim.

More about life in the Hildesheim region
Go to “Study in Germany”

Access to the German Training Market

Before entering the country from abroad

From the European , the European Economic Area and Switzerland

You can apply directly to your preferred university/college. A Visa is not required.

All higher education entrance qualifications, which allow you to study in your home country, are also valid for applications to a German university/college. For example: the Spanish Bachillerato, the Austrian Matura, the British A-Level, High School Diploma or the French Baccalauréat. If you have a foreign German university entrance qualification, you do not have to provide proof again.

But you have to prove that you have a basic knowledge of the German language. For this purpose, the universities and colleges offer special language courses, as part of the German language examination for foreign applicants for example.

Some courses of study are fully taught in English. In this case you do not need any knowledge of the German language for the course of study itself. But it is advisable to learn German so that you integrate well at university, in everyday life and in private. Good German language skills are also very important for the German labour market. If you plan to work in Germany after you have finished your studies, a good knowledge of German is essential. In most companies German is the usual corporate language.

Students from some non-EU countries do not need a Visa. Up-to-date information and if your country of origin is among those countries, can be found here.

If your country is not listed, you need a Visa for the purpose of studying. Article 16 of the Residence Act lays down the legal conditions for international students from third countries.

As soon as you have been admitted to a German university for studying and your livelihood is secured, you will get a residence permit to study in Germany.

If you hold a such a residence permit, section 3 of Article 16 of the Residence Act says that you can work up to 120 full days or 240 half days per calendar year. You are also allowed to take up student part-time jobs without restriction.

After you have successfully completed your studies, you can stay in Germany for up to 18 months to find a job. During this time, you can work without restriction.

Use the “anabin” database to check if your GCE A-levels/graduation diploma matches or is equal to the German university entrance qualification (Abiturzeugnis) .

If you have attended a German school abroad and you have a German university entrance qualification, you do not have to provide proof again.

In order to enter Germany you
always need a Visum.
For the purpose of in-company training – the so-called dual training – that lasts at least two years you can apply for a Visa. This is a residence permit for the purpose of in-company training and further education as per Article 17 sec. 1 of the Residence Act. You need to apply for a Visa at the German diplomatic mission (embassy or consulate) in your home country. With this Visa you can enter Germany. The Federal Employment Agency has to agree before you start your training. Generally, the Employment Agency will agree if there are no German or other preferential applicants for this training place.
All conditions for the training you are interested in must be met and your livelihood must be secure during the time of training.

If you want to learn a profession at a university of cooperative education or a similar institution, you do not need the agreement of the Federal Employment Agency.

If you want to stay in Germany for longer than stated in your Visa, you have to apply for a residence permit at the local immigration office in good time after entering Germany.

You can have a second job during your time of training with working time of up to 10 hours per week. After completing your training, your permit can be extended for one more year. During this time, you can look for a job that matches your training. For this purpose, you have to apply for a residence permit at your local immigration office. During this time, you can work in any job you like to secure your livelihood.

As soon as you have found a job that matches your training, you can apply for a residence permit at the immigration office.
For further information on this topic please click here.

If you are already living in Germany, you can get advice from the career service of the Federal Employment Agency. You can also take a self-exploration test on the website of the Federal Employment Agency to find out what your strengths are and what you like best. On top of that, you can get advice from the Vocational Information Centres (BiZ) of the Federal Employment Agency.
Many companies publish their job advertisements on their company websites and on social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Xing.

You can also find out about open training places on the job exchange of the Chamber ofCommerce (Industrie- und Handelskammer or IHK for short) and the Chamber of Crafts
(Handwerkskammer) Hildesheim -Südniedersachsen.

Of course, the popular regional job and training exchanges and fairs (such as Azubiyo, meinestadt.de , Nacht der Bewerber , Abi Zukunft Hildesheim) also offer great opportunities to get a good overview of the training market.

Particular to the German Training Market

The most common form of professional training in Germany is the dual training. This is an excellent and well noted form of professional training for professions that do not need a university degree course. This type of education involves practical training in a company and theoretical training at a vocational school. There are different forms of schooling. You either attend school for 1 – 2 days per week or in blocks, which means that the lessons take place over a period of several weeks or months at a time.
Other professional training is available at a vocational school. Unlike the dual training, this is a school-based education. The duration of study and the framework lesson plan are individually specified for each profession. Depending on your school-leaving certificate, you can get the secondary school certificate (Realschulabschluss) or the advanced technical college certificate (Fachhochschulreife) during your time of training. When you get the advanced technical college certificate you can enrol at university to study.

You have to register for training at a vocational school. Please note that there are registration deadlines you have to meet. Depending on the vocational school you want to go to such deadlines can be different.

The working hours for trainees are laid down by the Labour Law. In the case of minors in training, meaning young people between the age of 15 and 18 years, the Youth Protection Act lays down the working hours for minors. For example, young people are not allowed to work for more than 40 hours a week. If they have to work more than 40 hours per week, they have to take more breaks during their daily work routine. To work for more than eight hours a day is not allowed at all. But if this should happen, it must not be more 30 minutes per day. This extra working time has to be compensated for. This can be done on the following day, for example, by reducing the working hours by 30 minutes.

According to Article 16 of the Youth Employment Protection Act young people are usually not allowed to work on weekends (Saturday and Sunday). But there are exceptions. For example in the hairdressing trade, the hospital/health sector, the catering industry.

Article 19 sec. 2 of the German Youth Employment Protection Act lays down the most important facts about holidays:

  • The employer has to give minors paid holidays for every calendar year.
  • Minors that are under the age of 16 years at the beginning of the calendar year have a minimum of 30 working days of holiday per year.
  • Minors that are under the age of 17 years at the beginning of the calendar year have a minimum of 27 working days of holiday per year.
  • Minors that are under the age of 18 years at the beginning of the calendar year have a minimum of 25 working days of holiday per year.
  •  Trainees that attend a vocational school should go on their holiday during school
    holidays if possible. If this is not possible the employer has to give the trainee one day of holiday for each day the trainee went to vocational school during his/her holiday.
If trainees get sick and cannot work during their training, their salary/wage will be paid for up to six weeks, but not during the first four weeks after starting their training. In this case, the trainee receives sick pay from the health insurance.

Recognition of foreign Professional Qualifications and Academic Degrees

If you have a foreign professional and/or academic degree already, you should have these qualifications recognised in Germany. The German labour market makes a difference between regulated and non-regulated professions. Regulated professions are professions in medicine, law, teaching and public service for example. All other professions are normally not regulated. You can search for the “regulated professions” by clicking on the following link of the Federal Employment Agency: Link
The following institutions can help you with the process of recognition of your profession:

Studying in Hildesheim – Study Opportunities

There are different types of universities in Germany. You can study at a university, a university of applied sciences, a technical college, a university of cooperative education or training academy.

Hildesheim is home to the “Stiftung Universität Hildesheim” which means “Foundation University of Hildesheim”.

The university also has an “International „Office

The following courses are offered by the University of Hildesheim:

  • Educational and Social Sciences
  • Cultural Studies and Aesthetic Communication
  • Linguistics and Information Sciences
  • Mathematics, Natural Sciences
  • Economics and Computer Science

University of Hildesheim

The HAWK University of applied sciences and arts in Hildesheim, Holzminden and Göttingen offers the following study programmes in Hildesheim:

  • Architecture (BA, MA)
  • Childhood Education (BA)
  • Civil Engineering (BEng, MEng)
  • Conservation and Restoration (BSc, MSc)
  • Design (BA, MA)
  • Educational Sciences for Allied Health Professions (BA)
  • Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Physiotherapy (BSc, MSc)
  • Social Work (BA, MA)
  • Wood Engineering (BEng)

Visit the HAWK website for more information here.

You can contact the International Office directly:
E-mail: international@hawk.de
Phone: +49 (0) 5121 – 881 145/146

more information

North German University of Justice (HR Nord)

The following course of studies is offered by HR Nord:

  • Degree course Judicial Officer (FH)

This course of the administration of justice is preparing the student for the tasks of a qualified judicial officer. Judicial officers can be found in all areas of the justice system. The post of judicial officer is on the first entry level of category 2 staff, specialising in justice. After successfully completing your studies at the university of applied sciences, a decision will be made if you are accepted as a probationary civil servant (3 years). At the end of this period, you may be appointed as an official.

more information

The Diakonie-Kollege Hildesheim

The Diakonie-Kolleg Hildesheim meaning a college run by the diaconia (Social Welfare) is an educational institution for the health profession in the area of speech therapy. Here speech therapy training is offered for a period of three-years. Alongside this training students can already take study courses in ergotherapy, speech therapy and physiotherapy.

more information

Dual studies at the Stiftung Universität Hildesheim

At the University of Hildesheim you can complete various dual courses of study in the field of informations management (in cooperation with Robert Bosch Car Multimedia GmbH), in information systems (in cooperation with the Schlote Gruppe) business or social services (in cooperation with an employer in the area of social services in the labour market or in child and youth services).

more information

City inspector

The city of Hildesheim, in cooperation with the Kommunalen Fachhochschule, meaning the Communal Technical College n Hanover, offers training to become a municipal inspector along with a bachelor’s degree.

The course lasts for three years. You can choose between the course of study “General Administration” and “Public Administration”.
Please note: You have to be a German- or EU-citizen.

more information

Dual studies at the HAWK Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen

The following dual courses of study are offered by the HAWK University in Hildesheim:

  • Business Administration (B.A.)
  • Electrical Engineering/Information Technology (B.Eng.)
  • Electrical Engineering/Information Technology – Major in Engineering Informatics (B.Eng.)
  • Electrical Engineering/Information Technology – Major in Measurement and Automation Engineering (B.Eng.) (B.Eng.)
  • Care (B.Sc.)
  • Therapy, speech therapy and physiotherapy (B.Sc.)

more information

Health Insurance, Social Security and Tax Identification Number

In Germany you need health insurance to enrol at a German university or college. This applies to everyone and it does not matter if they are from an EU-country or a third country. Without a health insurance you cannot register in Germany. This is to make sure that your do not have to pay the costs of medical treatment and medicines when you have an accident or fall ill.
Student health insurance costs about 110 € per month and is valid up until your 29th birthday or the end of the 14th semesters. Depending on the health insurance company you choose the cost for this insurance can differ.

For further information see: link

If you want or need to work during your time of study, you need a social security number. The easiest way to apply for a social security number is to apply directly with your health insurance.

If you work more than 20 hours a week during lecture periods, you have to pay social security insurance. But this applies only to health insurance, nursing care insurance and unemployment insurance.

Students have to pay pension insurance when they have a job that earns them more than 450 € per month (marginal employment). In this case, it does not matter if the student is employed whilst studying or during the semester break.

You need the tax identification number to register with the tax office. This is important if you want to work during study time or during semester breaks. When you register at the Citizens’ Office you automatically apply for a tax identification number. The number is sent to you by mail after about two weeks.

Important: Make sure that your mailbox has a name tag with your name on it because otherwise the postman will not deliver letters addressed to you or any other important documents that you wish to receive by mail.

Finances: Tax classes, tax return & bank account

Tax classes

Every employee in Germany has to pay income tax. Income tax is usually taken from the gross wage or salary of an employee. The employer forwards the tax to the Tax Office. Along with the income tax the solidarity surcharge and church tax are send to the Tax Office by the employer.

The amount of income tax you have to pay depends on your income tax class. This income tax class depends on your civil status:

Income tax class I

  • Is for single persons
  • Is for married persons/partners, whose husband, wife/partner do not have to pay the full amount of tax.
  • Is for married persons/partners who are permanently separated, also widowed persons (from the second year after the death of their husband, wife/partner).

If there are children, the child allowance can be entered in the so-called electronic income tax deduction criteria if necessary.

Income tax class II

  • Is for all single parents who meet the criteria of income tax class I but are entitled to single parent relief.
  • Is for widowed persons with at least one child from the month following the month in which their husband, wife or partner died. But in this case the so-called widow splitting applies. Widow splitting means that the lower tax rate of the joint taxation also applies in the year after the death of the husband, wife or partner.

Income tax class III

  • For married persons or persons living in a registered partnership, which are notpermanently separated from their husband, wife or life partner and who have not chosen tax class IV.
  • If the husband, wife or life partner is also employed then he or she gets tax class V. For widowed persons in the year in which the husband, wife or partner died and in the following year. The person who died must have had to pay full income tax at the time he or she died. The husband, wife or life partner has to still live with de person who died at the time he or she died.
Income tax class IV

  • For married/partnered employees if both partners have to pay full tax and are living together.
  • Husbands, wives or life partners can change their tax class once a year if both partners are employed.
  • Both (husband, wife, partner) should earn about the same amount of money.

Income tax class IV-Factor

  • Since 2010, the new art. 39f allows married people to choose tax class IV with a factor. In this tax class the tax payment is divided fairly between husband, wife or partner during the tax year. Both husband, wife or partner receive a basic allowance and if they have children perhaps a child allowance. The so-called spouse splitting reduces tax and is also included. The factor is calculated individually for every married couple by the Tax Office. Tax class IV/IV-factor is best for all married couples where both husband, wife or partner are employed. The income tax that is set comes very close to the final income tax, so that after a tax return there is only small additional amount to be paid by you or to be paid back to you by the Tax Office.

Income tax class V

  • Is for husbands, wives or partners where the husband, wife or partner has tax class III.
  • Is for husbands, wives or partners if the difference in pay for husbands, wives or partners is very large.

Income tax class VI

  • Is for employees that have a second or another job.
  • In this income tax class the most tax has to be paid and no allowances are included apart from the old-age relief. Since the income of the first employment is not known, in this tax class you have to pay a lot more tax than in the other tax classes.

More information is available at Tax Office Hildesheim.

Church Tax in Germany is calculated at a certain percentage of the income tax. In Lower Saxony the rate for church tax is 9% of the income tax. Like the income tax, this tax is also paid by the employer to the Tax Office and the Tax Office then passes it on to the churches.

In Germany church tax has to be paid when you belong to a religious community that is recognised as a public body.

If you are not a member of any church, you do not have to pay church tax. Depending on the federal state you are living in you have to state that you want to leave the church in person at the Registry Office or Local Court.

Since 1995 the solidarity surcharge has to be paid to cover the costs of the German unification. The rate of solidarity surcharge was set at 5.5% of the income and corporate tax in 1998. Like the church tax, the employer pays the amount directly to the Tax Office.

It is planned to abolish the solidarity surcharge for most of the population. More details will be announced by the lawmakers.

The tax return is used by the Tax Office to calculate the tax base for individual persons and companies. Art 149 of the German Tax Code describes who has to file a tax return. According to the Income Tax Act a tax return has to be filed every year.
  • The tax return has to be filed until the end of the seventh months after the end of the calendar year in which the income tax was paid. This means that a tax return has to be filed until July 31 of the following year.
  • You can prepare the tax return by yourself or by using the online-program ELSTER.
    You can also go to a tax advisor who will prepare the tax return for you for a fee.
If you are working in Germany, you need a bank account. You can open a bank account with any bank in Germany.

If you are an EU-Citizen, you don’t have to open a new bank account. You can use the bank account you already have. It is best to ask your bank what kind of fees you have to pay for direct debits and withdrawals at a cash point for example. It may be cheaper to open a new bank account in Germany.

Learning German

If you want to start to study in Germany, you have to have adequate language skills. You can find further information here.

Please ask the university you have chosen if there is a so-called language centre or if specific language courses for international students are available.

More information on German courses

The Adult Education Centre Hildesheim offers German language courses . Of course there are more Language school in the city and country of Hildesheim which you can also contact.
If you already have some knowledge of the German language, there is a placement test to find the right language course for you. Students will be divided into groups according to their level of knowledge. Language levels are set with the help of the Common European Framework of Reference for as follows:

A1 – beginner
A2 – basic user
B1 – advanced user
B2 – independent user
C1 – proficient user
C2 – near-native speaker

In addition, there are also job-related language courses. These are especially useful if your German language skills are so good that you could already start work.