FAQs Summer & Winter School

Application procedure

Please fill out our online application form. If you are applying for one of the business programmes, please support your application with the latest transcripts for your study programme (in English), proof of your English language level (only for non-native speakers and those not completing their degree in English) and a photograph of yourself. For the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management Course, a letter of motivation is required, which answers the question: Why are you interested in entrepreneurship/innovation?

  1. Fill out the online form with your basic personal and academic information. You will receive a link to the online platform. Please create your own user account and password.
  2. Upload all the necessary documents and complete your personal and academic information, using the user account you just created in Step 1.

After submitting application, you will receive an email to inform you that your application has been received and whether or not it is complete.

Once your application is complete and has been reviewed by our selection committee you will receive a short e-mail confirming whether you have been accepted (your acceptance is however still subject to the payment of the programme fees on time). Attached to this email you will find an invoice which needs to be paid within the timeframe stipulated in the email. Your application will be confirmed upon receipt of payment. You will then receive an official acceptance letter from us via email.

The Summer School is open for applications from January 31.
The application deadline is April 1.
The application deadline for nominated students from partner universities is March 15.
Students requiring a visa to enter Germany should apply as early as possible. After March 15, there's a rolling admission procedure subject to the availability of places.

The Winter School is open for applications starting from August 15.
The application deadline is October 15.
The application deadline for nominated students from partner universities is October 1.

The language of instruction of our business/economics/law courses is English. It is therefore very important that participants are able to speak and understand English at a satisfactory level. For this reason, proof of your English proficiency (TOEFL ibt 90 or equivalent) needs to be sent with your application. Please note that this information is only a guideline. If you are in any doubt about your English language level and how to prove this, please contact us before applying.

This is only necessary for students applying for one of the business/economics courses. All transcripts must be translated into English and the translation should be certified by the International Office or the dean of the department at your home university.

Upon receiving your acceptance email please transfer the full amount as indicated in the invoice attached. The amount has to be paid by the due date on your invoice—your acceptance is confirmed upon receipt of payment.

Summer School:

You may cancel a course in writing any time before April 25 at no charge (minus the non-refundable programme fee of €150). After that date, no fees can be refunded. If you wish to make a cancellation please contact us as soon as possible.

Winter School:

You may cancel a course in writing any time before November 1 at no charge (minus the non-refundable programme fee of  € 150). After that date, no fees can be refunded. If you wish to make a cancellation please contact us as soon as possible.

We reserve the right to cancel courses that contain less than 10 participants (for German language courses) or 12 participants (for business/law courses) up to four weeks prior to the start of a given programme. Should such a cancellation be necessary, the affected participants will be notified and informed about available alternatives. If no satisfactory solution can be found for a particular participant, he/she may cancel his/her participation in the programme free of charge and receive a full refund of all fees paid up until that point.

Cancellation of a course or other aspects of our Summer/Winter School programme as a result of illness or unforeseen events/developments may occur. In such cases we reserve the right to make substantive changes to the programme or cancel the programme entirely.

In case of cancellation of an event due to illness, force majeure or other unpredictable events for which the HWR Berlin Summer & Winter School cannot be held responsible, participants are not entitled to the event being held. Liability claims in excess of the amount paid to the HWR Berlin Summer & Winter School are excluded insofar and to the extent that, in particular, the HWR Berlin Summer & Winter School is not liable for lost profits, lost savings, or for other direct or indirect consequential damages.

A change of teaching staff and slight changes to the course content do not entitle the participant to a renunciation of their contract or to a reduction in the course fees.

In the interest of all concerned orderly conduct is expected from all participants. Severe infringement of such conduct may lead to expulsion from the summer/winter programme and will also result in the participant’s home university being informed. Students are expected to turn up on time for all classes and excursions.

Programme Information

Please enquire early (at least 8 weeks prior to the trip) at a German consulate in your home country about visa requirements. Students from the United States, Mexico, Singapore, Australia, and from a number of other countries may enter Germany with a passport only and remain for up to three months without a visa. If your home country does not have such an agreement with Germany, you must procure a tourist (short-term Schengen Visa) visa, which covers the period of the HWR Berlin Summer & Winter School programme. You should apply for such a visa at the German embassy or consulate in that country in which you are registered (e.g. in the US if you are a Chinese national studying full-time in the US!). It is also recommended that you bring along a document (i.e. from your parents or funding agency) that certifies that you can cover the costs e.g. of living expenses. Sometimes, an embassy wants to see the insurance package. In this case, please contact us as early as possible so that we can e-mail it to you.

For general visa information, please see the following web site of the German Foreign Office at www.auswaertiges-amt.de.

Link to the application: https://videx.diplo.de/videx/desktop/index.html#start

Note: If you plan to travel before/during/after HWR Berlin Summer & Winter School to other countries, please make sure you apply for a multiple-entry visa for Germany.

Please be aware that it is the responsibility of the participant to check the visa requirements and apply and secure a visa (if necessary) before the start of the programme. If you fail to do so and are unable to take part in the programme we will be unable to issue you with a refund.

New in 2024: ETIAS

ETIAS stands for the European Travel Information and Authorisation System. The ETIAS will pre-screen travellers from "third-countries", who are citizens from countries not needing a Schengen Visa. The screening would pertain to terrorism or migration related risks. The objective is to identify individuals who pose security threats before they are able to travel to the Schengen area.

ETIAS is not a visa, it is a visa waiver, similar to the U.S. ESTA and Canadian eTA. Travelers currently visiting European Member countries visa-free (e.g. citizens from UK, USA, Mexico), will require an ETIAS in 2024 onwards. The ETIAS fee charged on applications for travellers is EURO 7.

More information and application can be found here: https://etias.com/what-is-etias

Course fees generally include:

  • A non-refundable programme and service fee of €150
  • Tuition fees (including study visits to companies and institutions)
  • Health, accident and personal liability insurance (mandatory)
  • Extra module: German Culture & Society: Intercultural Perspectives
  • Course material
  • Support from the International Office
  • Most parts of the optional culture and leisure time programme
  • One certificate confirming the grades received

Optional Housing: Accommodation (with breakfast) in a double room sharing with a fellow student of the same gender.

Participants will bear additional costs for individual expenses.

Please note that the course fees for an online course are different. Please turn to the individual courses to find out.

Upon successful participation in the course, students will receive credits according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) and a certificate of attendance. ECTS is a credit system based on student workload, which involves e.g. lectures, seminars, course-related field trips, practical work, papers, and self-study.

German grading is based on grades ranging from 1 to 5, with 1 as the best grade and 5 as a fail. Students taking a summer/winter school course for credit are advised to check accreditation with their home institution in advance.

After having successfully attended a summer/winter school course, students are entitled to receive a certificate (transcript of records) confirming the grades received. This certificate can be sent either to their home institution (nominated students) or to their home address (free-mover).

If you are absent from class due to illness, you will have to provide a certificate from a doctor. We will provide you with a list of doctors who speak English on the first day of class. Furthermore, in order to ensure that all participants are prepared for their stay in Germany/Europe, all participants receive a good health, accident and personal liability insurance policy (mandatory) for the duration of their programme.

Please be aware that students must present the “treatment form for the doctor/dentist” or “Behandlungsschein” (which will be sent to participants before the programme starts) to the doctor before being treated. The insurance company will then settle the claim directly with the doctor/dentist, so students do not have to make payment themselves.

Unfortunately we are unable to award scholarships. We do however award grants (fee waivers) to nominated students from partner institutions. Please check with the International Office of your home university to check if they have an agreement with us.

All applicants can also apply individually for a scholarship from the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service). Please visit the following website for more information: www.daad.de

The course literature and reading lists will be made available three to four weeks prior to the start of the programme and we suggest that you start reading beforehand in preparation. During the programme it will be very difficult to catch up if you fall behind on the readings and there is generally little time to prepare for the assignments.

  • Lunch and dinner: lunch can be bought during weekdays at the student cafeteria for about € 3
  • Costs for stationery/school supplies
  • Public transport ticket (currently € 99 for a monthly ticket and € 41,50 for a weekly ticket covering zones A and B)
  • Even though most parts of the optional culture and leisure time programme are included in the course fee, one or two optional extra-curricular activities are not included: e.g. cinema ticket (about € 6), individual consumption of food and beverages (beer garden, beach bar etc.).

All courses will be accredited according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). In order to receive a grade (and thus credits), participants need to pass the assessment(s). For the German language classes, there is one assessment towards the end of the course. For the business/economics classes, there will be several assessments, usually once per week on a Friday. Grades will be based on active participation and regular attendance in class and class excursions, on self-study and homework assignments, and on the examinations. Students must attend at least 80% of all mandatory classes and excursions, if students fail to do so their final grade will be downgraded. Students are expected to be on time for classes.

The HWR Berlin grading system is explained below:

  • 1,0 – 1,5:
  • 1,6 – 2,0:
    Very Good
  • 2,1 – 3,0:
  • 3,1 – 3,5:
  • 3,6 – 4,0:
  • 4,1 – 5,0:

General Information

Upon acceptance each participant will automatically be provided with a good travel health, accident and personal liability insurance policy (mandatory) by the HWR Berlin. Please be aware, however, that the insurance package only covers the official period of the Summer or Winter School programme. The insurance package covers your stay in Germany and in any other “Schengen” country (e.g. Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Netherlands). If you plan to arrive earlier or plan to stay on after the course, you need to buy further insurance individually. More information on the mandatory insurance package is available in the pre-departure info package and upon arrival.

Please note that the HWR Berlin is not liable for any medical expenses or accidents incurred by the participant. All students will receive a list of English speaking general practitioners as well as a list of general emergency numbers upon arrival.

Summer School

The official arrival days for participants in the summer are:
Sunday, June 23, 2024 (four-week programme) or Sunday, June 30, 2024 (three-week programme).
Classes begin the Monday following the official arrival day.
You can book flights to Berlin’s airport (BER). Berlin also has a central bus station (ZOB) and a central train station (Berlin Hauptbahnhof).

Winter School

The official arrival day for participants in the winter is Sunday, January 7, 2024.

Useful Links:

The HWR Berlin – like most German universities – does not own any student residence halls. We have arranged appropriate off-campus accommodation for the duration of the programme. Here, participants will be assigned to double rooms and thus will share a room with a fellow participant of the same sex. 

Please note that the accommodation is run by a third-party provider and the HWR Berlin is not liable for any issues/incidents related to this accommodation

Three-week course / Summer School

Move-in date: Sunday, June 30, 2024
Move-out date: Saturday, July 20, 2024

Four-week course / Summer School

Move-in date: Sunday, June 23, 2024
Move-out date: Saturday, July 20, 2024

Two-week course / Winter School

Move-in date: Sunday, January 7, 2024
Move-out date: Saturday, January 20, 2024

Please note that your choice of accommodation in the online application is binding. Changes to this choice can only be made up until April 15 for the Summer School and October 15 for the Winter School.

You have the possibility to arrange your own accommodation. We will then be happy to deduct the accommodation fee from the total fee. Please find below a selection of reasonably priced youth/student accommodation in Berlin. Please note that we are unable to provide any further assistance with your accommodation search:

Youth hostels:
Aletto Jugendhotels – www.aletto.de
Meininger City Hostels & Hotels – www.meininger-hostels.de
Hotel Die Fabrik – www.diefabrik.com
Jugendhotel Berlin – www.jugendhotel-berlin.de
Eastern Comfort – Hostelboat – www.eastern-comfort.com
City Hostel – Jetpack: www.jetpak.de

Student apartments & flat shares:

Flats or private rooms:

As a registered Summer School student you will be able to use the university's library. Unfortunately your status will not allow you to take out any books for use outside the reading rooms during your stay in Berlin. The library is usually open Monday through Friday from 10am to 6pm.

WiFi ("eduroam")

The HWR Berlin uses the eduroam WiFi in all its facilities. You might already use eduroam at your home university as well. To connect to the WiFi please search for the wireless network "eduroam". All participants will receive their personal login information on the first day of the programme.

You will have free access to the computer facilities in the library. Given the limited opening hours and terminals in the library, though, it does make sense to bring your own personal laptop along with you. However, please be aware that you will need a European plug adapter and that the voltage might differ from country to country (in Germany this is 220 Volts).

The easiest way is to consult the internet. Here is the official website of the City of Berlin, which is designed especially for tourists: www.berlin.de. We will also send you further information and tips prior to the start of the programme.

Yes, Berlin has a very good public transportation system (subway, trams and buses) that is safe and widely used. A weekly ticket (7-day ticket) can be purchased from the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) for €41,50 for the fare zones AB which are ample for travelling within the centre of Berlin. A monthly ticket costs €99 again for the fare zones AB. A limited service runs after midnight in the form of night busses or subway trains.

Further information regarding public means of transport in Berlin can be obtained in English on the homepage of the BVG: www.bvg.de

Please note that according to the BVG rules, you cannot claim student status (and thus receive a student discount) if you are studying in Germany for less than 6 months. This means all participants must buy a standard adult travel ticket and NOT a student ticket.

Berlin is generally a very safe city. The HWR Berlin is located in the center (West) of Berlin; and all accommodation (student hostels & dorms) are located in safe areas. Public transportation is highly frequented and safe to use both during the day and night.

Participants should be aware however that pickpockets do operate in areas popular with tourists so we advise participants to be especially vigilant in these areas.

Berlin enjoys a continental climate. July is an excellent time to visit Germany with an average temperature of 22°C (75°F). However, be prepared that there might be periods of rain and/or hotter weather of around 30°C (~ 90°F).

Berlin winters are generally cold. The average daily temperature is -1°C (about 30°F), pretty cold for spending time outside unless you have the proper warm clothing. It also regularly snows in Berlin during January and the winter months.

There is no dress code for classes – most students wear casual clothing. For special occasions, e.g. company visits, opera visit, it is more appropriate to wear more formal clothing. Summer weather in Germany may vary; make sure to bring summer clothes, but also a warm sweater for the evenings and a rain jacket. January is typically very cold, so make sure to take along a winter jacket, sweater, gloves, and boots. Please keep in mind that rain/snow are likely and appropriate clothes and shoes are necessary.

The HWR Berlin Summer & Winter School is primarily an academic programme for international students. Participants are expected to attend and be well prepared for their classes during the programme. The International Office team arranges many cultural and social events during the week and sometimes at the weekends. We strongly recommend participants travel either before or after the summer/winter programme.

Please be aware, though, that the insurance package issued to you only covers the official period of the summer or winter school programme. You will need to buy further insurance individually for any days you will be spending in Germany or Europe which are not part of this official period. Also, please make sure that your visa is valid for travelling to other countries.