Credit for courses taken abroad and for exams taken outside the Viadrina
What do we mean by "credit" or "exemption"?
You may be able to have study periods abroad or examinations taken outside the Viadrina accredited (German: "Anerkennung"), in other words, we give you "credit" for them. This means we allow them to count instead of courses and exams that you would normally have to take for your degree at the Viadrina. We speak of "exemption" ("Befreiung") from courses when you are skipping over a level within the Language Centre's programme, to enter a higher level directlöy.
The world of language teaching and learning is as diverse as the countries in which languages are spoken. The same applies to accreditation of foreign language skills. The following are therefore only guidelines and individual cases may need to be considered individually.
1. General rules
1.1 The Mittelstufe and Oberstufe courses together are classed as the the level "Language Proficiency for Higher Education". The examination completing this level is either the "HF exam" or the "UNIcert® II", which is approximately equivalent to the B2 level of the Council of Europe' Common Framework of Reference (CEFR).
The Examination of Academic Communication (UNIcert® III) (excluding German) is the approximate equivalent of the Council of Europe’s C1 level). The Examination of Academic Communication in German (UNIcert® IV) is equivalent to the level C2.
1.2 We require complete documentation for recognition of achievements not made at the Language Centre. It should contain the following information:
- Information about the certificate-issuing institution (the university you went to on your eychange);
- total hours of instruction;
- details about what was taught;
- in the case of exams or language courses not listed on this page: details of the CEFR level (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages)
1.3 A language achievement or examination used to gain University admission ("Zulassung") cannot be used to count as part of a program of study at Viadrina.
1.4 Individual language levels cannot be translated into grades by the Language Centre, on the basis of what you have done elsewhere (except UNIcert® examinations of other universities).
1.5 A placement test is required to take language courses if your language exams and courses were not documented as per step 1.2.
2. Credit considered equivalent to the DSH (German)
The following examinations will be accepted as an alternative/equivalent to the German Language Examination for University Admission for Foreign Applicants (DSH):
on a school leaving certificate, proof of language proficiency at a level needed for admission to a German university;
the "Deutsches Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz Stufe II" (DSD II);
the "Kleines Deutsches Sprachdiplom" or the "Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom", issued by the Goethe-Insitute under contract with Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich;
the Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung (ZOP), taken and passed through the Goethe Institute either in Germany or abroad;
successful completion of a German-language degree from a German Higher Education institution;
the DSH, taken at a German Higher Education institution or Studienkolleg;
the "Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache" (TestDaf) with a Proficiency Level of 4 in all four sections.
3. Credit for the Programme of Language Competence for Higher Education ("HF"/UNIcert II) and UNIcert® III equivalence
At the Language Centre, the following examinations will be accepted as equivalent to the completion of General Language training (HF or UNIcert® II):
- TOEFL (only the internet based, IBT ): minimum of 80 points (Not TOEFL ITP)
- IELTS: minimum of 6.5 (academic only)
- Cambridge Advanced (now called "Cambridge C1 Advanced"): only with a grade A (NOT just the designation "B2")
- Cambridge Proficiency (now called "Cambridge C2 Proficiency"): minimum grade of C
- DELF B2 (DELF 2e degré) where in three of the four parts, at least half the maximum points was attained. The certificate should not be older than 2 years.
- CELI 3 (B2) – Università stranieri Perugia
- CILS 2 (B2) - Università stranieri Siena
- Certyfikat znajomości języka polskiego jako obcego – Council of Europe’s B2 Level
- TRKI-2 – Level B2 CEFR
- Tisus (Sweden)*
- DELE superior, Instituto Cervantes examination*
4. Credit for the UNIcert® III /Academic Communication Level
4.1 You can only be given credit at the Academic Communication level for things you have done during study abroad in a country where the target language is spoken. Internships or other stays abroad cannot be recognized for the Academic Communication level; this is not allowed within the framework of our examination regulations.
For French: The DELF C1 certificate will count instead one of the Academic Communication courses. It is therefore possible to take the UNIcert® III examination following the successful completion of just one other Academic Communication course.**
4.2 The following documentation must be submitted to obtain recognition for things done during a period of study abroad:
- proof that you have passed at least two graded academic courses in a relevant field (i.e. not language courses)
- a written essay/term paper ("Hausarbeit") written during the study abroad program
You can be exempted from one Academic Communication course if you study abroad, but in a country where the relevant language is not the official (and everyday) language.
Students considering attending a study abroad program should seek advice in the individual language departments ("Lektorate") of the Language Centre before beginning their period of study abroad.
* These examinations are counted towards the Programme of Language Training for Higher Education (HF/UNIcert® II) and not towards the Academic Communication programme.
** DELF C 1 corresponds to the Council of Europe’s C1 level; however, it does not cover specialist academic purposes. For this reason, it exempts you from only ONE of the Academic Communication courses.