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Boost Your German Skills: How to Apply for DAAD University Winter Courses 2025 | Scholarships Available

Are you an international student or recent graduate looking to improve your German language skills and immerse yourself in German culture?

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers fully-funded University Winter Courses that provide an excellent opportunity to study in Germany for up to 6 weeks.

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What are the DAAD University Winter Courses?

Boost Your German Skills: How to Apply for DAAD University Winter Courses 2025 | Scholarships Available

The DAAD University Winter Courses are short-term study programs that take place at various universities across Germany during January and February.

These courses focus on improving participants’ German language proficiency as well as their knowledge of German regional studies and culture.Key features of the program include:

  • Courses taught exclusively in German
  • Duration of up to 6 weeks
  • Fully-funded scholarship covering course fees, accommodation, insurance, and travel allowance
  • Open to undergraduate students, recent graduates, and doctoral candidates from any field of study

Program Details for 2025

Dates and Duration

The 2025 University Winter Courses will run for up to 6 weeks, starting in January and ending in February 2025. Exact dates vary slightly by university, but a typical schedule is:

  • Arrival weekend: Early January (e.g. January 4-5, 2025)
  • Course dates: Early January to mid-February (e.g. January 6 – February 14, 2025)
  • Departure: Mid-February (e.g. February 15, 2025)

Scholarship Benefits

Successful applicants will receive:

  • One-time scholarship payment of €2,151 (€2,326 for participants from Least Developed Countries)
  • Country-specific travel allowance
  • Health, accident and liability insurance

It’s important to note that course fees and accommodation costs are usually deducted directly from the scholarship amount by the course provider. Participants receive any remaining balance.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the 2025 University Winter Courses, you must:

  • Be an undergraduate student, recent graduate, or doctoral candidate in any subject area
  • Have completed at least 2 years of university study by the start of the course (for undergraduates)
  • Be at least 18 years old when the course begins
  • Be enrolled at a university outside Germany at the time of application and during the course
  • Have not previously received a scholarship for DAAD University Winter Courses
  • Demonstrate German language proficiency of at least level B1

Language Requirements

Applicants must prove German proficiency of at least level B1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Accepted language certificates include:

  • onSET-Deutsch
  • TestDaF
  • Goethe-Zertifikat
  • DSD
  • DSH
  • telc Deutsch
  • ÖSD-Zertifikat

The language certificate must be no more than 1 year old at the time of application.

How to Apply for the 2025 University Winter Courses

Application Timeline

  • Application period opens: July 1, 2024
  • Application deadline: August 15, 2024 (23:59 CEST)

Note that your home university may have an earlier internal deadline for nominating students.

Required Application Documents

To apply for the 2025 University Winter Courses, you’ll need to submit the following documents through the DAAD portal:

  1. Online application form
  2. Full curriculum vitae in tabular form (in German)
  3. Letter of motivation (in German)
  4. Copy of university transcript with grades (German or English translation)
  5. Proof of enrollment at your home university
  6. German language certificate (no more than 1 year old)
  7. Copy of passport
  8. For undergraduate students: Copy of high school diploma
  9. For graduate students/doctoral candidates: Copy of undergraduate degree certificate
  10. Any other relevant certificates (e.g. internships, work experience)

Application ProcessNursing Abroad images 2024 06 25T194952.914

  1. Create an account on the DAAD portal
  2. Complete the online application form
  3. Upload all required documents
  4. Submit your application before the deadline

Click here to start your application for the 2025 University Winter Courses

Selection Criteria

A selection committee will review all applications based on:

  • Previous academic achievements
  • Quality and relevance of the motivation letter
  • German language proficiency
  • Overall application quality and completeness

Preparing for Your Winter Course in Germany

Once you’ve been accepted to a University Winter Course, it’s time to start preparing for your study abroad experience! Here are some key steps to take:

1. Confirm Your Participation

Respond promptly to your acceptance letter and confirm your participation by the given deadline.

2. Apply for a Visa (if required)

Check if you need a visa to enter Germany based on your nationality. If so, apply for a student visa as soon as possible, as processing times can be lengthy.

3. Arrange Travel to Germany

Book your flights to arrive in time for the official arrival date. Consider purchasing travel insurance to cover any unforeseen circumstances.

4. Pack Appropriately

German winters can be cold, so pack warm clothing, including a heavy coat, gloves, hat, and waterproof boots. Don’t forget any medications you may need.

5. Prepare Financially

While your main expenses are covered by the scholarship, bring some extra money for personal expenses, souvenirs, and optional weekend trips.

6. Brush Up on Your German

Review basic German phrases and grammar to help you hit the ground running when your course begins.

7. Research Your Host City

Learn about the city where you’ll be studying, including local attractions, transportation options, and cultural norms.

What to Expect During Your Winter Course

Academic Experience

University Winter Courses typically include:

  • Intensive German language classes (90 contact hours over 6 weeks)
  • Lectures and seminars on German culture, history, and society
  • Optional subject-specific courses taught in English (varies by university)

For example, the University of Stuttgart’s Winter University program offers the following English-taught modules in addition to German language classes:

  • 20th Century Architecture
  • Art History
  • Cross-Cultural Communication
  • International Business
  • German Film & Literature

Cultural Activities and Excursions

Most programs organize cultural activities and excursions to help you experience German life beyond the classroom. These may include:

  • City tours
  • Visits to museums and historical sites
  • Day trips to nearby cities or attractions
  • Cultural workshops (e.g. cooking classes, traditional crafts)
  • Social events with local students


Accommodation is typically arranged by the course provider and may include:

  • Homestays with German families
  • Student dormitories
  • Shared apartments

Living with a host family can be an excellent way to practice your German and gain insight into everyday German life.

Grading and Credits

Most Winter Courses offer the opportunity to earn academic credits. For example:

  • German language course: 9 ECTS credits (90 contact hours)
  • Subject-specific courses: 4 ECTS credits each

Grading is usually based on:

  • Active course participation (10%)
  • Homework completion (10%)
  • Interim assessments (30%)
  • Final exam (50%)

Be sure to check with your home university about credit transfer policies before departing for Germany.

Making the Most of Your Winter Course Experience

1. Immerse Yourself in the Language

Take every opportunity to practice your German, both in and out of the classroom. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – locals will appreciate your efforts to speak their language.

2. Engage with Local Culture

Attend cultural events, try local cuisine, and explore your host city to gain a deeper understanding of German culture and way of life.

3. Connect with Fellow Students

Build friendships with both international and German students. These connections can lead to valuable cultural exchanges and potentially lifelong friendships.

4. Document Your Experience

Keep a journal, blog, or photo diary to record your experiences and reflections. This will be a treasured memento of your time in Germany.

5. Stay Open-Minded

Embrace new experiences and perspectives. Be prepared for cultural differences and approach them with curiosity and respect.

6. Plan Weekend Trips

Take advantage of Germany’s central location in Europe to explore other nearby cities or countries during free weekends.

7. Reflect on Your Goals

Regularly assess your language learning progress and set goals for improvement. Take advantage of resources like language tandems or conversation groups to practice outside of class.

After Your Winter Course: Next Steps

As your University Winter Course comes to an end, consider these steps to build on your experience:

1. Request Transcripts and Certificates

Ensure you receive official documentation of your course completion, grades, and any credits earned.

2. Update Your CV

Add your Winter Course experience to your CV or resume, highlighting the skills and knowledge you gained.

3. Stay Connected

Keep in touch with friends and contacts you made during the program. Join alumni networks or groups to stay connected to Germany.

4. Consider Further Study in GermanyNursing Abroad images 95

If you’re interested in returning to Germany for a full degree program, research options and funding opportunities. The DAAD scholarship database is an excellent resource.

5. Apply Your New Skills

Look for opportunities to use your improved German language skills and cultural knowledge in your studies or career.

6. Share Your Experience

Consider volunteering as a study abroad ambassador at your home university to inspire other students to participate in similar programs.

Conclusion: Why Choose a DAAD University Winter Course?

Participating in a DAAD University Winter Course offers numerous benefits for international students and graduates:

  1. Improve your German language skills through intensive, immersive study
  2. Gain firsthand experience of German culture and academic life
  3. Earn academic credits in a short timeframe
  4. Receive a fully-funded scholarship covering course fees, accommodation, and insurance
  5. Expand your global network and make international connections
  6. Enhance your CV with valuable international experience
  7. Explore potential opportunities for future study or work in Germany

The DAAD University Winter Courses provide a unique opportunity to experience German language, culture, and academic life in a supportive and structured environment. Whether you’re looking to boost your language skills, explore German universities, or simply broaden your horizons, these courses offer an excellent stepping stone for your international academic journey.

Ready to take the next step?

Click here to learn more and apply for the 2025 DAAD University Winter Courses in Germany.

Don’t miss this chance to immerse yourself in German language and culture while advancing your academic and professional goals!

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