Adaptation period for international teachers
The adaptation course at the University of Vechta enables international teachers (with a teacher training degree from a university abroad and with a formal 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.
At the University of Vechta, teacher training is for primary schools and schools at the lower secondary level (Hauptschule and Realschule). The offered subjects can be found here.
The adaptation period usually lasts a maximum of three years, which often include a longer period of practical school training (similar to the teaching practice period), during which the participants are already employed at the state of Lower Saxony and are therefore remunerated for their work.
Requirements for the adaptation period are, in particular, a corresponding notification from the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs and German language skills at level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, e.g., DSH-2, TestDaF with 4x4 points, telc C1 Hochschule, or highly advanced German language skills (for conditional admission, which may be granted based on an examination of the individual documents; if you have any questions, please contact us).
tep 1: Submitting a request to the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs
In order to be able to complete an adaptation period at the University of Vechta, you need an assessment of your teacher training degree by the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs of Lower Saxony. This assessment specifies which contents of study still need to be completed. The notification must refer to teaching at primary schools or schools at the lower level (Hauptschule and Realschule).
A detailed information sheet (one for teachers from other EU countries, plus Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland, and one for teachers from non-European countries) on how to request an assessment of the equivalence of your teacher training degree and further information can be found here.
Please send the request to the following address:
Please note: Currently, there are long waiting times for the processing of requests. It is therefore advisable to submit the request as early as possible (a proof of German language skills is not required for the request).
Step 2: Application to the University of Vechta and individual study plan
If you have the assessment from the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs of Lower Saxony and a recognised language certificate (e.g., TestDaF with 4x4 points, DSH-2, telc C1 Hochschule), you can apply for the adaptation period. (If you do not have a recognised language certificate but highly advanced language skills, you may be admitted on the basis of an examination of your individual documents, subject to the condition that you submit the language certificate at a later date; please contact us if you have any questions.)
For the subjects Physical Education, English, 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.
Participants in the adaptation period are enrolled in the degree programme “Adaptation Period”. The participants are in principle entitled to the federal student loan programme (BaföG), provided that the individual requirements are met. There are specific exceptions regarding the age limit. If you have any questions, please contact Lea Sophie Schmidt (lea-sophie.schmidt[at]uni-vechta[dot]de).
You can find the application form here (at the very bottom under the tab “You are interested in a Master’s degree?”). The application deadline is 31 March for the summer semester and 30 September for the winter semester (however, we recommend an early application so that the individual study plan can be prepared in due time before the start of lectures).
The contact person for applications for the adaptation period is
Dr. Ann Kristin Schmitt-Grawe
Room: R 047
Phone: +49 (0)4441 15 611
Step 3: Studies (adaptation period) and, if applicable, practical training
All modules listed in the individual study plan must be completed with examinations. The examinations must be passed.
As soon as all modules have been completed, Dr. Schmitt-Grawe will confirm to the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs that the theoretical part of the adaptation period has been completed.
If the assessment by the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs also requires a period of practical training (similar to the teaching practice period), this will follow after the theoretical part. The participants will be employed at the state of Lower Saxony and will be remunerated. Afterwards, the graduates can apply for a teaching post.
“Back to School” programme
The “Back to School” programme prepares for the adaptation period and provides individual support for participants in the adaptation period.
Depending on individual qualification, participants can join in both level 1 and level 2.
Further information can be found here.
Please note: Who cannot participate in an adaptation period?
The following groups of people (even if they have occasionally worked as teachers in their home country) cannot be assessed by the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs 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 completed 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 institutions) and for being placed in a higher semester of the teacher training degree programme (Bachelor Combined Studies or Master of Education).
Last update: 10/03/2020 · Print this page