Information for Parents

What are the benefits of studying abroad?

Living and studying in a foreign country can provide some incredible experiences. Through a study abroad program like the Hessen International Summer University (ISU) at the University of Kassel, the cultural and academic ideas can lead one into a new world and cultivate new perspectives.

By participating in our study abroad program, your child is likely to make friends from around the world. International experiences are second to none when it comes to enlightening and enriching a person’s personal and academic development.

What are the advantages of studying at the ISU in Kassel?

The ISU offer three to four-week academic programs, which feature the strengths of the University of Kassel in environmental sciences, Nano technology, and German language and culture. The University of Kassel plays a leading role in environmental engineering in Germany, and has contributed significantly to the advancement of renewable energy technologies worldwide through its academic research and innovative technology transfer. Taught by internationally renowned faculty members, ISU offers the best opportunities for your child to study today’s global environmental challenges from a German perspective.

The nano module combines the world of nano science with different approaches to intercultural communication and is designed to encourage the exploration of applying nanotechnology to everyday life as well as expanding upon the knowledge of other cultures and the way we as humans interact. Seminars taught by scientists from the Kassel’s nanotechnology research center CINSaT provide your child with direct access to some of the field’s most revolutionary researchers.

Germany’s cultural heritage lies in its history, arts, literature, music, and architecture. The city of Kassel is not only home to the world famous modern art exhibition “documenta” and an extensive and outstanding museum landscape, it is also where the origins of the Brothers Grimm’s famous fairy tales can be found. Kassel and the surrounding region also offer plenty of opportunities to explore German history first-hand. Here is some of the richest cultural heritage in Germany, which makes Kassel truly an ideal place for your student’s introduction or further study of German culture.

We ensure that your child is well taken care of during their stay in Kassel starting from their arrival in Kassel by providing the airport or train station pick-up and also a 24/7 emergency number. Besides, each of our ISU team member has own study abroad experiences, so they know exactly what your child might need and feel during their stay in Kassel and therefore they are a perfect companion for your child.

University Emergency Numbers:

+49(0)561 804 2222 for emergencies on campus

+49(0)561 804 7777 for all other types of matter (Service Desk)

Where will my child live?

Kassel’s unique homestay program offers the exciting chance to experience authentic daily life in Germany first-hand. Staying with a friendly and welcoming family will provide your child not only with one of the quickest and most enjoyable ways to learn German through daily interaction and conversation. The host family will also be there to support him or her throughout their journey of exploring Germany and discovering its customs and people. They will be your child’s home away from home.

Who can help my child when problem arise?

Do not worry, your child won’t be left alone! The ISU team is responsible not only for taking care of the organizational matters for your child’s study, but we will also be there for your child and are always ready to help, e.g. going with them to the doctor, in case your child needs one. We also provide a 24/7 emergency number. In addition, the host families who have been supporting our program for years know exactly how to assist your child in case problems arise.

How can I contact my child during his/her stay in Germany?

ISU participants will have internet access on campus as well as with the host family. Even if they don’t bring mobile phones to Germany, you will be able to contact your child through voice-over-IP softwares (e.g. skype), email, or via landline of the host family where your child lives.

How much German will my child need to know?

To feel at home in a foreign country, it usually helps to have a certain grasp of the native language. However, German knowledge is not required. Your child will learn this in our German courses that are offered on three different levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. The language of instruction is English and the ISU team as well as the host families speak English.

Our programs combine academic seminars with intensive German language instruction. Learning German in an intercultural setting will not only be a lot of fun, but will also help you get the most out of your child’s time in Germany. As an additional benefit, living with a host family will give one great opportunity to put what one has learned into practice outside the classroom and boost the language skills beyond what one would be able to achieve through coursework alone.

How much does it cost to participate in the International Summer University?

The fee for the ISU Kassel is EUR 2,190. Applications on or before 1 April 2016 enjoy an early-bird discount of EUR 1,990.

Included in the fee are: 

  • Two seminars of your child’s choice (40 contact hours)
  • Language Course (40 contact hours)
  • Workshops
  • Cultural Program (Excursions to Eisenach and/or Frankfurt, Opening- and Closing Ceremony, etc.)
  • Accommodation in host families; 2 meals per day included
  • Ticket for public transportation in Kassel
  • Health and Liability Insurance
  • 24/7 emergency number / service 

Additional Expenses are incurred through:

  • Travel expenses
  • Personal spendings
  • Lunch at the cafeteria of the University of Kassel - approx. EUR 1.50 - 4.00 per meal
  • Participation in optional activities (trip to Berlin, etc.)

Can my child pay with a credit card in Germany?

Although most major stores, hotels and restaurants accept all major credit cards (Visa or Mastercard), credit cards in Germany are not as commonly used as in some other countries and hardly ever used to pay for small value items. In many German supermarkets and smaller stores it is impossible to pay with credit card. If you need to get cash, ATMs can be found in the city center and on campus.

What types of scholarships are available?

If your child is studying at one of the Universities of Massachusetts, Universities of Wisconsin, or universities in Queensland, there are scholarships available that cover a part of the tuition fee. Kindly ask your child to contact the international office of his/her university of further information. Moreover, a small number of full/partial scholarships are granted by the University of Kassel.

Does my child need a Visa to participate in the International Summer University?

The German Embassy in your home country will inform you whether or not your child needs a visa in order to participate in the ISU program. You can find contact information for the German Embassy on the German Foreign Office website. Or have a look here: Visa requirements - List of countries  

Please note: Visa processing takes six weeks on average.

How safe is Germany?

According to international rankings, Germany is a safe country. There is no reason to be excessively worried about crime. People move about freely through German country villages or large cities, day or night, without taking special safety precautions. German police are regarded as helpful and reliable. You can call the police free of charge from any telephone in Germany by dialing 110. Most importantly, you can rest assured that the ISU team is always ready to help.

Practically every country in the world maintains an embassy or consulate in Germany. Therefore, if problems arise, your child will be able to contact a representative from their home country.

How good is medical treatment in Germany and how will my child be insured?

Patients in Germany receive excellent medical treatment. With its dense network of highly qualified doctors, the German health care system is regarded as one of the best in the world. Should your child need medical treatment, there is probably no better place to receive top-notch health care than in Germany.

The program fee covers a health, liability and accident insurance during the ISU. The health insurance won’t apply to any chronic illness, allergies or pregnancy. For further information please contact the ISU office.