Exchange students at KISD study in the project-based BA »Integrated Design«. Except for a few events that are only offered to students in the exchange programme, you study together with regularly enrolled students from different semesters and select projects in different areas of expertise. You will largely create your own semester programme.
To prepare for studying at the KISD different steps should be undertaken before and after your departure. On the following pages you will get information about:
International Cooperation Center at KISD
If you have requests concerning your studies and the exchange programme at KISD, do not hesitate to contact the student tutor at the International Cooperation Center. The ICC is located on the first floor at KISD (room 123). If you are a prospective exchange student, please note, that it is very important to check your emails regularly: you will get informed by the International Cooperation Center about your course selection, the first meeting, current events and news.
International Office of FH Köln and KARIBU programme
If you have questions with regard to the enrolment at FH Köln (Cologne University of Applied Sciences) or need general information about your first steps in Cologne, please contact the International Office of FH Köln.
More Information about the KARIBU programme of FH Köln.
You can also contact International AG, a students working group at KISD that supports international students and works very closely with the ICC. Throughout the semester they organize different events for and together with the international students at KISD.
There is no traditional course schedule at KISD. Instead, a new curricular calendar is published at the beginning of each semester with new projects and seminars. As an exchange student you choose course units from this curricular calendar having the opportunity to custom tailor your semester to your interests within a certain framework. The new curricular calendar will be available on our website in August (winter semester) / in January (summer semester).
As soon as the new calendar is published, we will send you an email with further instructions about the course selection at KISD: As an exchange student you will be advised and get further instructions by the International Cooperation Center in August / February. Please read the brochure KISD opportunities, in order to get to know the study structure at KISD, get suggestions for your semester planning and to prepare for the course selection.
You will have to make your course selection in the beginning of September (winter semester) / of March (summer semester). Please take possible specifications of your home university into consideration. At our official Welcome Meeting in the very beginning of the semester you will get additional advice from us and have the chance to finalize your study plan.
The official welcome meeting will be taking place at beginning of Semptember each year. Make sure you arrive before this date. In this meeting you will be welcomed by the Dean and get to know the International Committee.
At the beginning of October »Cologne Resources« project starts. This is an obligatory one-week project for all the freshmen students at KISD and new exchange students. You will get to know the resources of KISD and Cologne, and will have a chance to work in a small group with one of our 14 professors. The subjects of these projects vary from professor to professor in his/her respective field of teaching. On Friday you will have your first public presentation.
Project and seminar start
One week later the regular projects and seminars start. Please check the curricular calendar and make sure to come in time to the first meetings: Always at the first meeting of a project, the final decision will be made regarding who can join the project: if you are not present, someone else will get your place.
There is an obligatory mentoring program for exchange students. You will be informed which professor will supervise you as a mentor. During the semester we will also have meetings with all exchange students. The International AG will organize international nights and excursions – for this we will need your ideas and support!
Before your departure please ask your health insurance to give you the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). After your arrival in Cologne please take this document to any AOK branch (a German state medical insurance company), e.g.:
Pavillon 4, Philosophikum
You may also check the »Just arrived« booklet, page 11 for addresses.
There you will receive a medical insurance certificate for the time you are studying in Germany – on the basis of the documents of your health insurance. You have to bring this certificate to be enrolled.
Personal enrolment in the International Office
After your arrival in Cologne please enrol at:
Raum A1.52 - A1.56
50678 Köln (tramway stop »Ubierring«)
Monday to Friday, 9:00-16:00
For enrolment you should bring the following documents:
- Letter of acceptance (KISD)
- Matriculation form
- Application form MultiCa
- 1 passport sized photo (3,5 cm x 4,5 cm) for the MultiCa form
- Medical insurance certificate from the AOK
You can to download the forms here.
Semester fees at FH Köln are € 219,35 including the »Semesterticket«, which includes various social and insurance fees as well as your personal ticket (»MultiCa«) for public transportation in Cologne and the surrounding areas. You can travel within North Rhine-Westphalia by downloading your NRW semester ticket here.
After your personal enrolment you will get a letter of the International Office confirming your enrolment and telling you the bank account details of FH Köln in order to transfer the money for the semester ticket. Please do not send any documents by post and do not pay the money from an account abroad. All your documents will be accepted and handled by the International Office after your arrival and personal enrolment.
After your enrolment, you will receive a letter from the International Office with your personal »MultiCa«. This is your student ID and a rechargeable debit card, so you can reload it with money to spend at the different services of the FH (cafeteria, copy machines).
Two to three days after you have transferred the semester fees to FH Köln this card can be stamped at one of the red machines inside the FH main-building, Claudiusstraße 1, in front of the »Studienbüro«. Please refer to this map for further instructions. Your card is only valid with this stamp and you will have to get a new stamp each semester. Once you print an additional printout, you will also be able to travel with your student card in the whole federal state North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), the explanation for this can be found on the International AG’s Space.
The Language Learning Centre (SLZ) is a central academic facility of the Cologne University of Applied Sciences. It is a department of the Centre for Academic Qualifications and Advanced Training (ZaQwW).
At present the SLZ is offering modular semester courses in German as a Foreign Language, English, French and Spanish for students who have already commenced their studies at the University of Applied Sciences, including exchange students. The courses are based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and range from levels A1 to C2, depending on the language taught.
Online registration is required for admittance to our courses; students who have no certification clearly indicating their level of competence as defined by the CEFR need to do a placement test prior to the registration period.
For further information about our courses please contact:
Kendra Jaudzin (German as a Foreign Language; Spanish) – kendra.jaudzin(at)fh-koeln.de
Please arrange accommodation as early as possible, as reasonably priced accommodation in Cologne is in short supply. Unfortunately FH Köln can«t provide any student accommodation.
The simplest and often cheapest kind of accommodation is in a students« residence hall. There are 84 hall of residences in Cologne, administrated by Kölner Studentenwerk (KSTW), as well as many privately run halls. Unlike in other countries, Germany's student residence halls are not located on campus, rather throughout the whole city, giving students the opportunity to choose the location they would like to live in. If you are interested in a room in a hall you can find detailed information as well as the online application form on the website of KSTW.
Due to great demand, an application is no guarantee that you will actually be allocated a place. However, your chances increase the earlier you send your application in.
Shared flats (WG)
There are a lot of shared flats (WG) in Cologne – it is very common for students to live together in one flat, each student has his own room, but you share kitchen, bath room etc. Please check the KISD Space of the International-AG to get to know tips concerning the search for shared flats. KISD students who live in a WG and want to go abroad for one or two terms, often rent their rooms temporarily while they are away. If you are interested in such a room, please contact your »buddy«.
For general information about accommodation, activities and other important issues, please check the brochure »Just Arrived« of the International Office or contact your KISD »buddy«. They can provide tips concerning finding accommodation, but also with regard to orientation in Cologne and basic supplies in the beginning of your stay in Germany. You can also visit the KISD Space of the International-AG for information, events and tips.