FAQ for Prospective Applicants
What is the Carl Benz School?
Carl Benz School is an independent body that offers students the opportunity to study Mechanical Engineering entirely in English, and upon successful completion of the Bachelor of Science program, students are awarded a B.Sc. degree from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).
For the duration of their studies, Carl Benz School students have access to the facilities and services in KIT. In addition, they attend compact classes consisting of not more than 60 students that are offered by the university lecturers of KIT. Furthermore, Carl Benz School students enjoy constant guidance and counselling, various field trips and a cross-linked community here in the heart of the Karlsruhe city.
What type of student fits in at Carl Benz School?
- The most fundamental requirement is the strong interest in studying and understanding machines. It is also good to be open minded, determined to excel in one’s studies and understand that university studies require self-discipline and hard work. An interest in German and the culture would enrich one’s experiences here.
- The community is international and cross-linked – It is not only about studying but also the building of friendships and life-long connections.
- Carl Benz School students come from the following countries: Austria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Georgia, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom, USA and Venezuela.
What are the general admission requirements?
- Your secondary school leaving certificate must be equivalent to the German ‘Abitur’ (German High School Diploma), for example A-levels or the International Baccalaureate.
- Exceptional subject knowledge in mathematics, physics and chemistry.
- Proof of English language proficiency (TOEFL/ IELTS/ TOEIC)
- Good SAT scores (at least 1.200 points - new SAT)
For information on admission requirements download our Admission FAQs.
- In some countries, high school ends after the 11th, 12th or 13th year. As long as there is an official examination proof that the high school education of the specific country has been successfully completed, applicants are eligible to apply.
- Transcripts with good Math and Physics grades, positive letters of recommendation, a strong interest in studying engineering and motivation to excel in one's studies help increase one's chances of being admitted to the program.
- Please do not just send an email with your transcripts and ask if you are eligible for application. Only a complete application with an application form and the accompanying documents will be processed.
- You can find a list of documents required for your application in our Admission FAQs.
What is the curriculum like?
The three-year (six-semester) Bachelor of Science program offers students a well-balanced theory-and practical-based curriculum.
The program comprises lectures, tutorials and lab courses, with lecturers and tutors coming from different institutes in KIT . This ensures that the quality of the subjects taught will be of the highest standard.
To make sure that the students are well-prepared for the final exams, some subjects even require students to fulfil certain conditions, for example, having to accumulate enough points by completing assignments or quizzes in order to qualify for the examination registration.
What are the language requirements?
All courses are offered in English and applicants have to understand enough English to actively participate in the classroom.
If English has been the language of instruction of your higher education, please download our Declaration of English Proficiency signed by your school stating how long you have been studying in English.
If your mother tongue is not English, please include a certified proof of your English language proficiency, in the form of TOEFL / IELTS / TOEIC.
Applicants must score at least:
An understanding of German is not a prerequisite for application to the degree program, although some German would definitely help when you are living in Germany.
What are the specializations offered?
After the 4th semester students can choose to specialize in:
- Global Production Management
- Energy Management
- Automotive Engineering
For more information on the different subjects please have a look at the Curriculum & Specializations section on our website.
What is the Pre-Semester?
The Pre-Semester is an eight-week preparatory course in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry as well as English. It starts at the beginning of August and ends in mid-October every year.
If your secondary school leaving certificate is not recognized, you are given an indirect admission. This means that you will need to participate in our Pre-Semester to reach the level required to meet the higher education entrance qualification in Germany.
At the end of Pre-Semester, candidates who have not been admitted directly must pass the assessment of eligibility (entrance examination) in order to gain enrolment in the B.Sc. program of Mechanical Engineering International.
All classes in the Pre-Semester classes (Chemistry, Math, Physics and English) are held entirely in English.
The course is highly recommended even if you are given direct admission. The course aims to prepare you and give you the knowledge to meet the challenges of studying Mechanical Engineering at a German university.
The Pre-Semester costs are 4.500 € and include summer semester fee, housing & accommodation, excursions, extra tutorials and teaching materials.
Important reminder: Applicants who have received the letter of admission must make sure that they have their visa application sorted out and can arrive in time for Pre-Semester.
What are the accommodations and facilities like at Carl Benz School?
- Carl Benz School (CBS) is housed in a 3-storey historical building which has been modernized. There are 120 single / double rooms that are equipped with a private bathroom, telephone and internet connection.
- A study chair, table, bed and cupboard are provided. 4-6 students share the general living quarters comprising of a kitchen, dining area and a study/ social area. Students have also easy access to the self-service laundry automat.
- The administration is also located in the same building, which means that students do not have to travel far in order to contact the CBS staff.
- Within the building, there is also a library, an auditorium, seminar rooms, a music room, a bar / common room and a 24hr PC pool. For a bit of sports on rainy days there is even a table-tennis table available in the basement.
Watch our campus tour video to get a better impression!
I already have a first/ undergraduate degree. How do I apply?
- Please apply normally like all the other applicants, with your university transcripts (instead of high school transcripts) and letters of recommendation from two lecturers/ tutors from your previous university.
If you have completed your first/ bachelor degree in a country with English as the official language, you do not need to provide proof of your English language proficiency.
I am currently a university student and want to join Carl Benz School. How do I apply and what about credit transfers?
- Please apply normally like all the other applicants. Instead of high school transcripts, your university transcripts are needed. Letters of recommendation can either be from your high school teachers or university lecturers. The same deadline applies for all applicants for that particular year.
- Carl Benz School does NOT process credit transfers. This means you must join the Pre-Semester (for more information see “WHAT IS THE PRE-SEMESTER FOR” in the “FOR SUCCESSFUL APPLICANTS” FAQ), pass the end of Pre-Semester qualification exam successfully and join the bachelor program like the other students.
- After you have been formally admitted to the Bachelor of Science program, you can start applying for credit transfers but there is no guarantee that your credits will be transferable.
- A central committee in KIT, also known as VPK, processes credit transfer applications. The following documents will be required :
- university transcripts
- official detailed course descriptions from your previous university
- If you want to transfer to KIT directly, please contact the KIT International Students Office (not part of Carl Benz School).
My official results are not out yet! Can I apply?
- Official High School Graduation Results
If they are not available yet, you can still apply by sending us your preliminary transcripts that show your performance over the past 2 school semesters.
- Official Results of English Language Test
If the results have not been announced yet, you can send your application first and submit the official results later but within the application deadline.
- Official Results of SAT Score
If the results have not been announced yet, you can send your application first and submit the official results later but within the application deadline.
Application: What do I have to send to Carl Benz School?
Please apply via our Application Portal (www.carlbenzschool.applicationportal.org)
In order to apply to the Carl Benz School, please include the following documents:
- Transcripts of records / Predicted grade sheets
- SAT Scores
- Passport photographs
- Motivation Letter
- English language proficiency test certificate (if English is not your mother tongue) or Declaration of English Proficiency (if English has been the language of instruction of your education)
- Optionally, other documents proving your qualification
- Declaration of Financial Support
You can find all information on application and the process in our Admission FAQs.
What are the costs? Are there scholarships?
- Pre-Semester* (Beginning of August ~ Mid October):
4500€ including: Course fees, accommodation, compulsory German national health insurance, study material, guided tour and excursion costs
The Carl Benz School of Engineering holds a college structure within the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), which is why the specific college fee applies in addition to the university enrollment and tuition fees. The college fee covers academic learning and additional services* that are provided by the Carl Benz School.
- Normal Semester (6 months):
|KIT Tuition Fee**||CBS College Fee*||Overall Semester Fee|
|EU Student||153,69 €||7.000 €||7.153,69 €|
|Non-EU Student||1.653,69 €||7.000 €||8.653,69 €|
- Other costs: Travelling to and from Germany
- At the moment, Carl Benz School does not offer full scholarships/ aid/ loans. After the first year of studies, merit-based partial scholarships might be available but it is advisable that applicants make sure they have enough personal financial resources to support the entire duration of their stay and studies here. Nevertheless there are Official Scholarship Funds.
*More information on Pre-Semester is available under “What is Pre-Semester“ in the FAQ section“For Successful Applicants“.
What documents do I have to send to Carl Benz School after receiving my letter of admission?
- “Confirmation of Acceptance“ form
- “Indication of Room Preference“ form
- “Visa Process Assistance Required“ form (if necessary)
To send the documents back to Carl Benz School, you can either:
- scan and fax (+49 (0)721 608 47882)
- scan and email (admissions∂carlbenzschool.kit.edu)
Please note the deadline(s) given on the form(s) wherever applicable.
What are the visa requirements to enter and stay as a student in Germany?
- Applicants from EU and EFTA are free from the visa requirements.
- As a general rule, all other nationals from other countries need a visa in order to stay and study as a student in Germany. Please be sure to contact the German embassy in your country when you are uncertain if you need a visa.
- Important: Please find out the documents and duration required for your visa processing so that you can plan and arrive in Germany in time for your Pre-Semester.
- You CANNOT join us with a tourist visa. DO NOT enter Germany with a tourist visa and expect that a student visa will be issued to you in Germany! Once you are in Germany, you will not be able to apply for a student visa!
- Do not despair if the embassy informs you of a long application processing procedure that takes quite some time. You can download the “Visa Process Assistance Required ” form (available in the download section), fill it and email it to the student office immediately and Carl Benz School will try and help you in reducing the waiting time needed for your visa to be processed.
Note: In some countries, there is the need to open a blocked bank account as
part of the student visa application. Please read “BLOCKED BANK
ACCOUNT: WHAT IS IT“ in the FAQ.
Blocked bank account: What is it?
- Normally students from non EU-countries are required to open a blocked bank account and the embassy in your country may require you to open this account before issuing you a visa—please be sure to confirm this.
- Such an account is required in order to prove that you have sufficient financial resources to support your studies and stay here in Germany.
- At the time the website is updated, current requirements state that a requested total deposit of at least 7776€* (lasting for a whole year) must be in this account and the account holder can ONLY withdraw a maximum of 648€* per month from this account. This means you will have to estimate your cash needs and plan accordingly.
*Amount may vary from country to country. Please confirm with your bank.
How to open a blocked bank account?
- Please note that Carl Benz School CANNOT help you to open the account.
- It takes MORE than a week to open a blocked account and therefore you are advised to start applying for one immediately, in order you don´t delay your arrival for Pre-Semester.
- The German embassy in your country might be able to give you more information regarding which banks to contact.
Not yet 18 years old upon arrival in Germany: EXTRA documents required for opening of bank account in Germany
Successful applicants who are not yet 18 years old upon their arrival in Germany should first clarify the opening of bank accounts before they leave their country of residence. Many German banks strictly require the signature of BOTH parents if a student under 18 wants to open a bank account here in Germany.
In other words, before you come to Germany, tell the German bank (which has provided the blocked bank account) that you are not yet 18 years old and require the relevant form(s) for opening an account here in Germany. Have BOTH parents to sign on the relevant form(s) provided by the German bank and with that document, you will be able to open a bank account in Germany.
The Carl Benz School CANNOT help you if you do not have the relevant forms with the necessary signatures from BOTH parents as required by the German bank.
For more information and details, please be sure to contact the German bank directly BEFORE you come to Germany.
What happens after arriving in Germany?
- Matriculation at the university
- Joining the German national health insurance
- Registration at the Karlsruhe Resident Registry Office
- Opening of bank account
- Getting a German mobile phone number
- Renewing student visa at Foreigners’ Office (110€ to be paid there)
- The Student Office does 1), 2) and 3) on behalf of new comers. Please submit the necessary documents when the student office sends you an email to ask for them.
- It is important for all students to have a bank account here in Germany and therefore it is advisable to open an account as soon as 3) is completed.
- A German mobile telephone number will be especially useful for foreign students who want to avoid international roaming fees and keep in touch with family and friends.
Reminder: Please inform the Student Office of any changes to your contact information, be it your address or mobile telephone number.
How do I get to Karlsruhe and Carl Benz School?
- If you are landing in Frankfurt International Airport, there are high-speed trains that bring you to the Karlsruhe Main Train Station (Hauptbahnhof).
- From the Karlsruhe Main Train Station, you can take one of the following trams:
Tram S1/ S11 (heading for Hochstetten or Neureut)
Tram 4 (heading for Waldstadt)
- When you arrive at the tram stop Herrenstraße, it is less than a 5-minute walk to Carl Benz School.
- For students arriving for the first time in Karlsruhe during office hours, a representative from Carl Benz School would be able to meet you at the train station to show you how to get to Carl Benz School.
- Please be sure to contact Carl Benz School in advance to confirm your date and time of arrival by filling in the “Arrival Confirmation” form (included in your admission package).
How accessible is Karlsruhe and Carl Benz School?
- Karlsruhe* is located in the state of Baden-Württemberg in south Germany and is a university city with a student population of more than 22,000.
- The comprehensive tram and train network in Karlsruhe is a busy one, making it very convenient to travel to different parts of Germany and Europe. There are direct high-speed trains that connect the main train station to the Frankfurt International Airport.
- Several tram lines link the Karlsruhe Main Train Station to the Herrenstraße tram stop, which is the tram stop closest to Carl Benz School.
- Carl Benz School itself is a 5-minute walk from Kaiserstraße (King’s Road), the high street in Karlsruhe. This means a very central location, where university facilities, institutes, laboratories, libraries and offices are easily accessible on foot or by bicycle.
- In addition, many shops and supermarkets are only a stone’s throw away, making shopping relative hassle-free.
- The magnificent Schloss (palace) and huge Schlosspark (palace garden) are also right next to the Carl Benz School, and students have the possibility to engage in sports or just enjoy leisurely strolls.
*For more information to the city of Karlsruhe, please refer to the links provided on the Carl
Benz School website.
Could you provide me any information on the general cost of living in Germany?
You are interested in studying B.Sc. Mechanical Engineering (International) at Carl Benz School in Karlsruhe, Germany? Here you find all relevant information on the admission requirements and the admission process.View our admission requirements
As the Mechanical Engineering College of the KIT, Carl Benz School offers teaching at the highest academic level. The exceptional quality of both research and teaching at KIT is repeatedly proved by different international rankings.
Take a look at our rankings