IMPORTANT: OCTOBER 2019
Read the following before contacting me to issue any kind of certificate on behalf of the HSD:
The Prüfungsamt has instructed that I should NOT issue any kind of additional certificate from now on. In future, all requests for language or other certificates should be addressed directly to the Studienbüro.
In addition, do not give my name as a reference for a job or university application.
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 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 compulsory '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. You may TOEFL or IELTS to fulfill visa requirements.
Is a B2 level absolutely necessary?
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.
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.
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.