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Coming to Vechta
Studies, research, short-term stay: We support you on your way to the University of Vechta and during your stay or studies.

“Back to School” programme and adaptation period for international teachers

 

The adaptation course enables international teachers (with a teacher training degree from a university abroad and with a teaching qualification) to acquire skills that were not covered in that study programme and thus are missing in comparison to a German teacher training degree (e.g., a second subject) and to work as fully approved teachers at state schools afterwards.

 

The “Back to School” programme prepares for the adaptation period and provides individual support for participants in the adaptation period.

 

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Requirements

The requirement for participating in the adaptation period at the University of Vechta is, in particular, a notice of recognition from the State Office for Schools and Education (or of the Lower Saxony Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs, which issued the notices in the past). The notice has to refer to the teaching profession at primary schools or at Haupt- and Realschulen (lower secondary schools). You can find the subjects offered at the University of Vechta here.

In addition, a proof of German language skills at level C1 (TestDaF with 4x4 Points, TELC C1 Hochschule, DSH-2, Goethe-Zertifikat C2, Österreichisches Sprachdiplom C1 Oberstufe Deutsch or Deutsches Sprachdiplom Stufe 2 (DSD II)) or highly advanced language skills (level C1 / for conditional admission) are required for participating in the adaptation period.

Support through the “Back to School” programme

If you have any questions about the requirements, please feel free to contact Dr. Katrin Schumacher (katrin.schumacher@uni-vechta.de).

Duration & Financing

The adaptation period usually lasts a maximum of 3 years, whereas these 3 years usually include a university part as well as 1 to 1.5 years of practical school training (corresponding to the teaching practice period (Vorbereitungsdienst)). During the practical school training, the participants are already employed by the state of Lower Saxony and are therefore paid for their work.

Participants of the university part of the adaptation period are in principle entitled to the federal student loan programme (BaföG) if the individual requirements are met. There are specific exceptions regarding the age limit (45 years).

Students in the adaptation period can also apply for the Deutschlandstipendium and/or, if the requirements are met, submit a hardship application for partial reimbursement of the semester fees.

The DAAD funded project "Ukrainian Teachers & Social Workers: Shaping the Future, Building Bridges", scholarships can be awarded to Ukrainian students in the adaptation course for foreign teachers. Further information on the project website.

Support through the “Back to School” programme

If you have any questions regarding BaföG and the BaföG application, the Deutschlandstipendium as well as the hardship application, please feel free to contact Lea Sophie Schmidt (lea-sophie.schmidt@uni-vechta.de).

Step 1: Application to the State Office for Schools and Education and (language) preparation

In order to participate in the adaptation period, you need a certificate of recognition from the Regional State Office for Schools and Education (or of the Lower Saxony Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs, which issued the notices in the past). Further information can be found here (in German) and in this information sheet (in English).

The application for recognition can be submited by post or online.

Please note: It is advisable to submit the request as early as possible, as the assessment of the applications by the State Office for Schools and Education usually takes several month (a proof of German language skills is not required for the request).

Support through the “Back to School” programme

If you intend to attend the adaptation period at our university und would like assistance with your application, please contact Dr. Katrin Schumacher (katrin.schumacher@uni-vechta.de) or Lea Sophie Schmidt (lea-sophie.schmidt@uni-vechta.de). We offer various German intensive courses to prepare for the adaptation course.

Sign university Vechta

Step 2: Enrolment at the University of Vechta

As soon as you have received the decision from the Regional State Office for Schools and Education (or the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs) and the required language certificate, you can enrol for the university part of the adaptation course.

You can enrol via an online portal (in German). The application deadline is 31 March for the summer semester and 30 September for the winter semester (however, we strongly recommend an early application so that the individual study plan can be prepared in time for the start of lectures).

For the subjects Physical Education, Design Pedagogy/Art and Design, and Music, an aptitude test must be taken or an equivalent performance must be recognised by the representative of the relevant subject. . The assessment tests take place on fixed dates, which are published on the website of the subject.

Please note: There is no selective admission policy for the adaptation period. This means that all applicants who meet the requirements and apply properly will be granted a place.

Support through the “Back to School” programme

Of course, we will be happy to assist you with enrolment if necessary. In this case, please contact Dr. Katrin Schumacher (katrin.schumacher@uni-vechta.de).

Step 3: Studies (university part of the adaptation period)

After your application, the Central Degree Programme Coordination will prepare an individual study plan for you based on the assessment of the State Office for Schools and Education (in consultation with the academic subjects concerned), which contains the modules that have to be successfully completed.

Depending on the assessment, the curriculum contains content from Education Studies, the first subject and the second subject (e.g., if the second subject is missing, 50 CP in the second subject for the teaching profession at Haupt- and Realschulen (lower secondary schools).

Please note: For students in the adaptation period at the University of Vechta, the module “General School Placement” (Allgemeines Schulpraktikum, ASP) (9 CP) in the field of Educational Studies can also be included as part of the individual study plan determined by the university, provided that the decision of the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs asks for the corresponding credit points. In this way, students in the adaptation period can gain accompanied practical experience in the German school system prior to the school placement.

Support through the “Back to School” programme

We support students in the adaptation period individually (e.g., with preparing the timetable) and through various mentoring programmes. If students are interested, they can also participate in our German intensive courses.

Step 4: Practical school training and graduation

If the assessment of the State Office for Schools and Education requires a period of practical school training, this will take place after having completed studies (corresponding to the teaching practice period (Vorbereitungsdienst)). A German language certificate on the level C1 ist required in order to participate. Participants are employed at the state of Lower Saxony and they are paid. In contrast to the teaching practice period (Vorbereitungsdienst) for graduates of a German teacher training programme, participants in the adaptation course do not need to take a final examination (state examination) at the end of their practical training period. Instead, a report on the success of the practical training period is issued. If the practical school training is successfully completed, the State Office for Schools and Education will confirm the recognition/equivalence of the teacher training.

Graduates can then apply to become regular teachers. German language skills on the level C2 are required for application.

Contact (in German, English, Ukrainian, Russian or Arabic)

If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Dr.in Katrin Schumacher (phone: 04441 15 610, e-mail: katrin.schumacher@uni-vechta.de) or Lea Sophie Schmidt (phone: 04441 15 158, e-mail: lea-sophie.schmidt@uni-vechta.de) in German or English.

We will be happy to answer your questions in other languages as well: Please contact  Olha Jantzin (phone.: 0 4441.15 631, e-mail: olha.jantzin@uni-vechta.de) in Ukrainian or Russian and Omar Farhan (e-mail: omar.farhan@mail.uni-vechta.de) in Arabic.

 

 

Further information

For participation in the university part of the adaptation course, proof of German language skills at level C1 (TestDaF with 4x4 points, TELC C1 Hochschule, DSH-2, Goethe-Zertifikat C2, Österreichisches Sprachdiplom C1 Oberstufe Deutsch or Deutsches Sprachdiplom Stufe 2 (DSD II)) or highly advanced language skills (at level C1, for admission with a condition) is required.

To prepare for the adaptation course, we offer various intensive German courses.

The International Office offers various mentoring and tutoring programmes for students in the adaptation course for foreign teachers:

  • Study Guides: The study guides provide orientation and support for international first-semester students. They supervise the international first-semester students of a degree programme and are themselves advanced students of that programme.
  • Individual mentors: Individual mentors offer support, for example, in preparing for and following up on courses, with questions about everyday study life, as well as with questions about the organisation of studies, forms of examination, etc.
  • Examination tutors: Students in the adaptation course for foreign teachers can receive support in this programme from a student tutor in preparing for examinations (for a written exam, paper or homework).

Further information and registration options for the programmes can be found on this website.

For students in the adaptation course at the University of Vechta, the module "General School Internship" (9 CP) in the field of "Educational Sciences" can also be included within the framework of the individual study plan determined by the university - provided that the decision of the Regional State Office for Schools and Education provides for corresponding credit points. In this way, students in the adaptation course can gain accompanied practical experience in the German school system prior to the practical school training.

The module consists of a preparatory course (always in the summer semester) as well as a following 6-week internship phase, in which students, guided by mentors (teachers of the respective internship school), participate and actively contribute to everyday school and teaching life and are given the opportunity to reflect their internship impressions.

Within the DAAD-funded project "Ukrainian Teachers & Social Workers: Shaping the Future, Building Bridges", scholarships can be given to Ukrainian students in the adaptation course for foreign teachers. Further information on the project website.

From the summer semester of 2024, a study module (in a hybrid format) is being planned in the field of educational sciences, which is designed to meet the specific needs of students in the adaptation course for international teachers.

The Coordination Centre Family-Friendly University will be happy to advise you on the compatibility of studies and family and on compensatory arrangements to make your studies more family-friendly.

Paper (in German) as PDF download on objectives, hurdles and possible solutions in the recognition procedure for foreign teaching qualifications

The International Office regularly informs about new offers for prospective foreign students and teachers with and without a refugee background at the University of Vechta as well as about application deadlines.

The newsletter is aimed not only at prospective students and teachers with and without a refugee background, but also at all interested counselling centres and volunteers.

If you would like to be added to the mailing list to receive the newsletter, please write a short email to Dr. Katrin Schumacher (katrin.schumacher@uni-vechta.de).

The following groups of people (even if they have occasionally worked as teachers in their home country) cannot be assessed by the State Office for Schools and Education and therefore cannot take part in an adaptation period:

  • Teachers without an academic degree (i.e., teachers with a non-academic teaching qualification)
  • Teachers without formal teaching qualifications (i.e., teachers with an academic degree, but without complete teacher training; this applies, for example, to people from countries in which a teacher examination or probationary year is required after graduation and who cannot provide proof of this)
  • International students in a teacher training degree programme without a degree

Teachers to whom this applies can directly contact the University of Vechta in order to request recognition of skills (or acceptance of skills acquired outside of higher education) and for being placed in a higher semester of the teacher training degree programme (Bachelor Combined Studies or Master of Education).