The language

We welcome your interest in studying geosciences in Jena.

What about the language ?

We should state outright that the BSc and MSc degree programs are defined in German. This means that German is the language of record in which the legal documents are written, and that German is the official language of communication. Admission to the MSc degree program requires proficiency in German at level B2.

Having said that, you should know that we have many foreign students from all over the world. All of our faculty are fluent in English in conversations and in the classroom, all but our regional publications are in English, and many faculty members have spent some (or even many) years in foreign countries. We actively encourage our German students, starting about at the advanced undergraduate level, to become proficient in English in reading, speaking and writing because we all know that many geoscience careers require international mobility and language communication skills.

If you are interested in spending an exchange semester or exchange year here but have no intention to enroll in the MSc program, you will encounter few problems. Science classes are held with lots of graphs and illustrations anyway, and geoscientific terminology is similar worldwide. Practicals and labs are tutored and taught in small groups. You would be very welcome to ask questions in English, and they would be answered in English as well. If the class is not formally offered in English and if you make yourself known, the instructor may switch to English on his own decision unless there are objections from other class attendees. Of course, we will also fully certify your attendance.

However, even as an exchange student you would be expected to make some reasonable effort to learn and speak at least some German. After all, knowledge of a culture and its people comes through knowledge of its language, and speaking and understanding some German will make everyday life outside the classroom easier and more enjoyable.

For foreigners intending to enroll in a degree program, some universities (maybe Jena as well) will admit candidates early and at the German B1 proficiency level. During the summer, students then take the B2 class so that they are ready to be enrolled in their degree program when classes start in the fall.

The university offers capable help to foreign students by offering language classes, assisting in many problems of everyday life, and with administrative issues.