A basic principle of German universities is "academic freedom". Every student is free to choose his institution of higher education and lecturer. Of course provided that all the conditions for admission are fulfilled. Private universities, art and music academies as well as sport academies generally select candidates based on tests or interviews. But for most other subjects however, you can register directly at the university. Before the semester begins, long queues of hopeful students can be seen in front of the Registrar's office. Most of them are usually young people and carry the same papers:
- the registration application (available at the Registrar's office)
- the school leaving certificate (translated in German and if required certified) or the notification of admission from the Foreign Students' Office
- proof of adequate knowledge of German if applicable (or knowledge of English for international study courses)
- a certificate from the university in the home country, if a course was begun or completed in the country of origin
- proof of medical insurance
This small document portfolio ensures successful registration. All that remains is to pay the fees each semester and one can immediately call oneself a real student.