WHAT ARE DUAL STUDIES?
Dual study programs are a perfect alternative for those who wish to experience vocational and academic education simultaneously and get the most out of both. This combination is offered by many German higher-education institutions with several opportunities at students’ disposal. The greatest thing about such program is that one can still participate in a university course but can also sign a contract with an employer. This allows students to gain professional work experience and lay the foundations of their future careers by establishing corporate contacts / relations. There are four types of dual programs: training-integrated, practice-integrated, job-integrated, and job-accompanying. All four of them are available to both German and international students. Some companies are willing to pay students not only for their work throughout the completion of the program but also their tuition fees.
TYPES OF DUAL STUDIES
A dual program that involves a training component is ideal for those who wish to combine a study course with vocational training in a recognized company. In addition to the university diploma one will also obtain first-hand experience and professional qualification. The latter will be assessed with an exam arranged by a particular Professional School. In order to enroll in a dual training-integrated program, students must have signed a contract for either training or internship and must have obtained a general university entrance qualification (Allgemeine Hochschulreife). The duration of this type of studies can vary from three to five years.
This program is designed for those who have already passed a vocational training or have obtained professional experience elsewhere, and wish to develop already acquired skills. Such in-company practice allows students to grasp the working processes by working at different enterprises for several months or exploring certain departments of one particular company. The entry requirements here are similar to those for the training-integrated programs. However, for practice-integrated studies, apart from the university entrance qualification and the internship, and trainee contracts, students might also apply with a part-time employment contract. These types of courses are usually only three years long.
Job-integrated dual studies are courses of studies where a study program is integrated into the job. Therefore, such programs are designed for those who are already professionals and have a full-time job but wish to connect their working experience with theoretical knowledge. The best way to do so is to either take a distance learning course or to arrange a specific schedule with the employer for a limited number of working hours. Applicants here will need a recognized vocational qualification and professional experience, and have to make sure that they will have enough spare time that will be dedicated to their studies. This advanced training program takes generally three years to be completed.
Extra-occupational (dual) studies
Job-accompanying dual studies are more or less similar in nature with job-integrated studies, with the sole difference that in this case, students cannot get reduced working hours and employers should guarantee that they will release students depending on their studying schedule so they can attend theoretical classes or if they need to take any exams. Participants must have a university degree plus if applicable vocational qualification or professional experience. As with the training-integrated program the duration of job-accompanying dual studies can take around three to five years depending on the type of the course, be it an evening course, distance learning, etc.