My sister is living in Saudi Arabia in a city that has very few limited education options for her. She has to stay there for certain circumstances and she can't leave for a different country. She has now been enrolled in an architecture program at a private University there for a year so far. Yesterday, she found out that her degree is only recognized throughout the middle east and not world-wide and we don't know why. So, her university is only recognized in Saudi Arabia and other middle-eastern countries.

I live in Germany and once I start working, I can afford to sponsor her and bring her here. She has the dream of continuing her education here in Germany. Now the problem is that we don't know what to do in that case at all.

I recall when I got my master admission in Germany, that they told me that although they didn't find my home university in their universities catalogue, yet the admission commission decided to give me the admission because I had good grades and good recommendation letters.

My question is:

Considering her situation, can she still continue her education in Germany after finishing her degree in Saudi Arabia?

Even if she has to re-do some courses. We are wondering if there is a possibility to get an admission from a German university regardless if they ask to redo a lot of courses or not, we just want to know that there is a hope for her to continue her education in Germany.

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    The important question is whether she has something that is recognized as a high school degree. If she has that, then she can be admitted to a Bachlor's course in architecture - as a student with no previous knowledge of architecture. Once she is in, she could apply for getting credits for courses she did earlier. From what I have heard, architecture is a very special topic as the courses are built such that students can later join an architect's professional organization, which is required for architect work in DE. These guys are known to be quite picky, so she may need to start from scratch.
    – DCTLib
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 8:48
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    I'd suggest contacting some universities and Hochschulen that may be interesting (e.g., close to where you live), then discuss this informally with someone in charge of admission. They may be able to suggest what she could do between now and then to prepare. Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 10:01
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    @DCTLib she does have a recognized high school degree. The problem is that her grades in high school won't allow her to apply formally to a bachelor degree in Germany since they are low. However since she is admitted to a university, then a "transfer" might be possible, I believe. My sister is not stupid but she had really taught family situations during her highschool. Now I find hope that transfer could be possible, because my grades in highschool wouldn't let me study CS in Germany yet I studied CS abroad and then I got admitted to a master in famous uni in Germany.
    – Jack Twain
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 11:23
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    I have edited your question slightly, to make your actual question more clear. I hope it is Ok with you.
    – Alexandros
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 12:18
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    @JackTwain: There are a few universities with pretty low grade requirements for architecture: nc-werte.info/studiengang/architektur (german). Some universities even admitted all applicants (those with green checkmarks). Commented Mar 23, 2015 at 19:57

1 Answer 1


If her high school degree is not recognized, then there is the possibility to apply to a Studienkolleg. They generally offer one- or two-year programs that teach German and enough other subjects to be accepted as an Abitur or Fachabitur. Then she can start a bachelor's program. Most universities have a quota for taking in students from foreign countries, this is generally 5 % of the places to study. But enrollments are down in Germany at the moment, so there are good chances of getting a position. Check the enrollment dates: usually July 15 for the winter term, January 15 for the summer term.

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    The question is asking about how to proceed if the bachelor's degree is not recognized, rather than if the secondary school degree is not recognized.
    – aeismail
    Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 1:48
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    I had understood the question to be about admission to a bachelor's program. And for this you need a school-leaving certificate that is recognized in Germany. Even if one has studied at a bachelor's level in a foreign country, this is not always accepted. It depends on the country. If the bachelor's degree program is accredited and recognized in Germany, then there is a chance to transfer if there are at least 30 credits that are acceptable AND there are spaces available. You can see the previous grades / waiting semesters needed at the site nc-werte.info/studiengang Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 10:02

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