Due to the restricted admission of many German universities, it is not possible for everyone to study their desired major at their desired location. If this is a problem that you are facing, a study plaintiff is a possibility for you. But what exactly is to be considered? Many potential students think that winning a student lawsuit is as simple as just handing in a form. But realistically, it is a lot more than that. Being a plaintiff does not guarantee you a spot in any university; it’s not as simple as you may imagine.

What happens in a lawsuit?

One possible starting point is the so-called “capacity” suit. Legally, universities are required to accept their full capacity of students, because, according to basic law in Germany, everyone has the right to pursue the profession of his or her choice. A capacity suit accuses the university of not taking in their maximum amount of students. First of all, you need to be aware that if you do not want to deal with this whole thing by yourself, you should hire a lawyer. Keep in mind that this, of course, causes costs to be born in (almost) every case.

The process is as follows: First, the capacity lawsuit must be submitted by you or your lawyer to the court. The university may then submit a contradiction in which will attempt to prove that it has already given all possible spots to other students. If you have a successful capacity suit, in most cases the university grants additional spots, which are shared among all plaintiffs. If this number is larger than the number of plaintiffs who are complaining, it is solved.

But, particularly in the case of popular subjects, such as medicine, or in popular regions such as Berlin, Hamburg or Munich, the success rate is rather low. This is precisely the problem. Applying to a University or major which has a high number of applicants, results in a lower chance of you getting in.

What does it cost you?

Depending on the chosen process and whether or not you involve an attorney, the costs are very different. 50 euros, however, is the sum of the application of a procedure. Many lawyers also make special offers to study plaintiffs. For example, such that you agree to a success bonus, which means that you only have to pay if your argument is successful. This will save you any fees if the lawsuit does not suceed.You should always try to be aware of the charges incurred in advance. If you are not aware of these conditions, and you decide to file a lawsuit and it does not succeed after several legal steps, you could still have to pay the entire cost. The total cost in the end could very well exceed 1,000 euros.

What are the alternative options?

For one thing, you should consider whether or not it really is worth spending the money. In particularly difficult cases, it can easily become very expensive, and may go on for weeks. You should also ask yourself whether this university or subject is absolutely worth it. Maybe there are other cities that you would also like to study in, and that have enough space for you.

One option is just waiting one or two semesters and applying again (and having a higher chance of getting in). You can instead use this time to do something different before you start your studies. You could travel, do an FSJ or even do an internship in your desired area of study. For more ideas and suggestions, check out the gap-year article on our site. No matter what you decide, you should carefully consider all of your many different options before diving into one. Ask your parents and friends for advice, and discuss what might be the best fit for you. Sometimes you can get so lost in something, and that you can’t see the forest behind the trees.

So, do not rush into anything, because clearly, there are many different paths of action!

Stress is terrible! It ruins your time with friends and family, because you just can’t really get rid of it. Since we don’t want you to go to the hospital with a stomach ulcer this semester, we have put together a short list of the best tips and tricks for you.

  • Meditation: You can not imagine the difference it will make. It doesn’t even have to be yoga. Just simply focus on breathing, and relax both mentally and physically. The term “meditation” tends to bring a floating old man to mind, but it is really just a question of collecting yourself.
  • Music: It is scientifically proven that music is an effective remedy for stress. Calming sounds help to relax the body and the brain.
  • Friends: A quick chat with friends can do miracles for the soul. To laugh together, relax and simply forget all worries, makes life much more jovial.
  • An important point was just mentioned: Laugh! Through the laughter and joy, endorphins pour out, which make you feel much more positive and as a result everything does not seem so bad.
  • Green Tea or Matcha: Caffeine causes a temporary energy boost. When you drink coffee, your blood pressure is briefly raised and you experience a surge of energy, but after a short time you feel worse than before. Therefore, we would advise you to drink green tea or matcha. Matcha and green tea need a little longer to work, but they last much longer and are better for you.
  • Exercise: Exercise, even for 5 minutes, is a very good remedy for stress. Jogging and over exercise can help clear your mind. Even going once around the block helps you to collect your thoughts. Take your time for yourself! If you play sports often, you know that you really do feel a thousand times better after a run or a good workout. You don’t even have to go out, doing a few exercises at home still does the trick.
  • Organization: As you know, the Germans tend to be very structured and organized anyways, but we all know that things can get chaotic and last minute every once-and-awhile. As they say; “A little structure never hurt nobody”. We suggest that you make a to-do list for each day. It shouldn’t have too many points, remember to be realistic.

As you can see, it is not difficult to relieve your stress. No matter how you deal with your stress, it’s a good idea to regularly take a quick timeout.


Putting aside the option of doing a gap year and moving on to the question: ”Should I do vocational training, a dual course of study or just the classical approach?”

All of these three options have pros and cons, so you should primarily analyze your own learning methods and how you study the best. Is it best for me to study in a really structured and school like environment? Do I achieve better results, when I get to learn in a more practical way? Or do I thrive on a symbiosis on those both paths and want to further educate myself with theoretical knowledge, but also get to experience the real work life? One of the positive aspects of doing vocational training or a dual course of study is the financial independence. As a student you are always financially dependent on either your parents or a scholar ship program, but as a vocational trainee or a dual course of study student, you receive a monthly salary and are able to afford your own student apartment. If you do not need your own apartment because you still live at home, you have the opportunity of putting some money aside and saving it for a new car or your first apartment, when you are down with your training. Assuming that you work hard and do your job well, the chances of being hired by the company, that is doing your training, after you are done, are pretty good. Therefore, vocational training and a dual course of study seem to be a bit more safe than studying the classical/old school way. The pro-arguments of the classical approach mostly coincide with the negative aspects of the other two possibilities, because, statistically speaking, people that have a “Hochschulabschluss” tend to have more chances of being promoted throughout their career. Furthermore, less academics are jobless than none academics (only 2,5% of all academics were without a job in 2005), so as a trainee you may have a more secure path, but probably not as many prospects. Additionally there are a lot of private universities in Germany that offer the classical course of study, but with a focus on practical learning as well. So after having analyzed the pros and cons of the various educational paths, it might be a tad bit easier to decide which way to go.

After having assembled an inner pro-con-list and having silenced the nervous and slightly paranoid voice inside your head, you can ask yourself:” Is it really a matter of life and death to decide what educational path you want to choose?” There is a famous saying:” Every way leads to Rome.”, which applies in this scenario, because it isn’t as important anymore what you study or that you study at all. That a man cannot be successful without having studied law, business or medicine and a woman has to study history and then find herself a nice lawyer, is as ancient as can be. The true problem nowadays is the incredible amount of competition on the job market, due to the fact that 60% of a year finish with a high school diploma and 77% of all those go to university to further their studies. 25 years ago only 32% finished with a high school diploma and 70% went on to universities. In addition to that, we don’t only have to compete with all of Germany, but also the whole world. Therefore my advice to you is: Do something you love or at least really like, so you can stick out of the mass of people doing the same thing you are. This is only possible, when you are truly passionate about what you do and have fun doing it. Of course, when looking at the statistics a lawyer earns more than a yoga teacher, but if yoga is totally your thing and you manage to make it your own, then by all means go ahead and do it, because in the end you might get a lot more out of it. All in all it is not only about the material aspects, but that you manage to spend 50 years working in your job without having a heart-attack or an ulcerated stomach.

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