The department works with CEF levels.
These are useful to you if you want to study abroad, do a master's degree or need to prove your English level to a future employer.
What are the CEF levels?
These levels have been developed by the Council of Europe and the letters stand for Common European Framework. Sometimes, the levels are called CEFR: Common European Framewok Reference. CEF and CEFR are the same thing.
There are basically 6 levels:
A1 and A2 - basic user (approximately beginner and false beginner)
B1 and B2 - independent user (approximately lower and upper intermediate)
C1 and C2 - proficient user (approximately advanced and upper advanced - native speaker level)
A self assessment grid can be found here.
The levels are not only for English but for every language you learn and should be recognised by any university, organisation or company.
What levels are the BIM and BKM courses?
You have at least a B2 level in order to study compulsory English for International Management. The aim during your studies to to achieve at least C1 level in business English. A study semester abroad is a requirement of your degree. The final "Leistungsübersicht" records that exams are at C1 level and this certification should be sufficent for many cases when you finish your degree.
The entrance level to study is mixed. However, students should achieve B2 level with a special emphasis on English for marketing and communications on passing the 'Business Skills' exam.
What is the internal exam?
These are the exams in the section above. If you want to study abroad, you should ensure that you pass the exams above and make enough time in your schedule to do this.
Is there an alternative?
Other professional exams such as TOEFEL, IELTS, Cambridge or BULATS can prove that you have at least a B2 level. If you have done or do exams in any institution, you should ask for a confirmation of your CEF level.
Will I need to prove my CEF level?
You need to prove at least a B2 level if you want to study abroad or go on to study for a Master's degree. You should check with your target university to see what requirements they have because it is possible you need to do the TOEFL or IELTS test in any case.
Is a B2 level absolutely necessary?
YES! YES! YES!
You will definitely have problems if you wish to study abroad and have a lower level. Life will be difficult enough and you will have to get used to other things such as culture and the way of studying. You cannot assume you will learn the language once you are in another country as there will not be the time to do this. Furthermore, we have to consider the reputation of HSD with partner universities.
If you wish to study for a Master's, a requirement is usually at least B2 English as you will be expected to be able to read and analyse English texts for example.
You may need certification of your language level in English for a variety of other reasons.
How do I get a certificate?
BIM students needing certification for their semester abroad should note that an internal HSD certificate exists in agreement with the International Office and the DAAD certificate is no longer issued as general proof of language skills. The International Office signs and issues this certificate.
If you need to prove a C1 level, there are basically 3 options for you to show you have this level:
1) Do an internal HSD FB-W course (see above) and pass the exam for this course.
And / Or:
2) Do the TOEFL or IELTS test.
Check if your target university has one of these as an entrance requirement.
It could be that you have passed C1 exams at HSD but you will still have do TOEFL or IELTS as an entrance requirement of your target university.
3) Produce another certificate from an acceptable institutions and /or exams.
Your certificate should state clearly you have a CI level.
I reserve the right to reject any certificate that I do not view as acceptable or meeting the criteria of the department.
What if I absolutely need a DAAD certificate?
If you are a BIM student in the 3rd or 4th semester or a BKM student who has passed the English exam, please send a confirmation from your target university to confirm the university requires a DAAD certificate. Then, complete the first section of the DAAD form and send this to me with a copy of your "Leistungsübersicht".
International Students' ID Card
Students studying abroad will benefit from having an international ID that has the word "university" rather than "Hochschule" so that they can get all student discounts.
There is an internationally recognised card for students for exactly this purpose:
https://www.isic.de/de/isic-beantragen/ (in German) or
https://www.isic.de/en/get-your-card/ (in English).
Students can easily apply online and get it in an app.