Guide for ERASMUS+ Students

Dear student,

thank you for being interested in the exchange program at our university. We would like to welcome you at our university as an exchange student.

Below you can find information about HKS and its programs.

The university of applied sciences and arts in Ottersberg (Hochschule für Künste im Sozialen, Ottersberg) is a state recognized private university.

Our university is one of the oldest schools for art therapy in the world and a member of 'European Consortium for Arts Therapies Education' (ECArTE) organization. We have been participating in the ERASMUS program since 2010.

Ottersberg, a small town with 8,000 residents, is located close to cities of art and culture like Bremen, Hamburg and Hannover. Students’ artistic works will be benefit and truly inspired by both peaceful countryside and modern cities. Our students live partly in Bremen, Ottersberg and in close vicinity to the university. Bremen is easily reached by train in 20 minutes. With the student's ticket you can also travel to Hamburg, Hannover, Osnabrück and to East Frisian coast. The ticket costs around 32 Euro/month.

We offer four specially designed study programs.

Bachelor’s programs

  • Art in Social Contexts. Art therapy and Education (about 180stud.)
  • Dance and Theater in Social Contexts (about 70 stud.)
  • Fine Arts (about 40 stud.)
  • Social Work (about 30 stud.)

Final award: 
B.A. (Bachelor of Arts)
B.F.A. (Bachelor of Fine Arts)
Length of study: 8  semesters / 7 semesters

Master’s program

  • Art and Theatre in Social Context (about 40 stud.)

Final award: 
M.A. (Master of Arts)
M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts)

The academic year consists of 2 semesters:
Winter-term (01.09.-28.02.) usually starts at the end of Septemer and will be finished in February;
Summer-term (01.03.-31.08.) will last from March to July.

Please select the courses you would like to attend from the respective module handbook. Then ask the International Office whether these courses are offered in your exchange semester.

Language skills for exchange students
Lessons are held in German language; proficient language scills (level B2) are recommended. If you you don’t have the necessary resources, we try to translate the significant content of the lessons in English.

Accomodation and support
HKS-Students will help looking for accomodation. The International Office will arrange a contact for you. Students will support you with regard to local authorities as well and they will be contact persons for you during your stay in Ottersberg.

Health Insurance
Citizens from EU need to have an EHIC ('European Health Insurance Card' - insurance card for foreign countries, please ask your health-insurance) or an comparable health insurance.

Study fees
According to the ERASMUS+-agreement, ERASMUS-students are exempted from paying fees for tuition at our university.

Transcript of Records/ECTS
Before leaving Ottersberg back home, you will usually receive your transcript of records.


Grading scheme


 Intermediate Grades

 ECTS Grades

"Sehr gut" 1,0

Very Good (1,0 - 1,5)



"Gut" 2,0

Good (1,51 - 2,5)




"Befriedigend" 3,0

Satisfactory (2,50 - 3,5)



"Ausreichend" 4,0

Sufficient (2,51 - 3,5)



"Nicht ausreichend" 5,0

Non sufficient/Fail



Grading scheme download here

How to apply?

  • Please submit the following documents (via email or per post):
  • Application form
  • A short personal 'Statement of Academic Purpose' explaining what major you wish to study at HKS
  • portfolio (necessary only for the program Fine Arts to assign to a fitting class)
  • health insurance certificate (EHIC or a comparable insurance)
  • a short statement with regard to your language scills


    15.06. (winter-term - 01.09.-28.02.)
    15.12. (summer-term - 01.03.-31.08.)

The university will inform you of its decision as soon as possible after receiving your application.

Please send your application to:
Hochschule für Künste im Sozialen, Ottersberg
c/o Sharif Bitar
Große Straße 107
28870 Ottersberg/Germany
T. +49 (0) 4205-3949-34
F. +49 (0) 4205-3949-79

For academic queries (for example, Learning Agreement and Credit Points), please contact
Prof. Dr. Gabriele Schmid

Student's support
The following information content has been mainly provided from HKS-students

1. TO-DO-List:

• Check the validity of your personal documents
• ID card or passport (must be valid at least 6 months)
• Health Insurance certificate
• Travel insurance, if necessary


  • Students from EU/EFTA countries do not require a student visa.
  • All other students must apply for a visa (Please note that you should apply for student visa, not tourist one).
  • You should apply for the student visa at the German embassy or consulate of your home country.

It would be helpful to have a bank account with a local bank at the beginning of your stay.

You decided to study as an exchange student at the HKS Ottersberg, but haven't found an accomodation yet? Ask us for help and we will try to find a suitable accomodation. It's practical to search in Ottersberg and/or Bremen. The International Office will arrange the contact to us.

2. Arrival

If you arrive, our HKS student will try to accompany you to your "new" home.
If you wish to arrive first by yourself, we are happy to take you on a tour and give you brief introduction.
Up on arrival and moving in to your new home, you must register at the residents' registration office/authority within the first two weeks. Do not worry about your German language skills. HKS students will accompany you throughout the process.

During your stay, you will get a semester ticket (VBN-ticket) which allows you to access all public transport in Bremen and commuter trains to nearby cities (such as Hamburg, Hannover, Oldenburg, etc.). The ticket cost you about 30,00 €/month.

3. Good to know!

It is not a must to speak German fluently. However, you should at least be able to communicate something (even with hands and feet).

It is useful to have a prepaid card for your mobile here. It helps you save costs.

Moreover, it is helpful to have a bicycle on site (we provide bicycles for ERASMUS+-students, to be rented free of charge) so that you can easily travel to the university from Ottersberg train station, about 3 kilometres distance.

You do not have to bring your whole "artist case" with. There are a number of art supply stores in Bremen. Our university also has its own small shop, where you can buy brushes, colors, paper, (a large cutting machine is available as well), etc in reasonable price. You may also use the large paper cutting machine of the shop.

So, no need to stuff your luggage with “unnecessary" items.

We are looking forward to welcoming you to our university of arts and applied sciences in Ottersberg. If you have questions pror to arriving don't hesitate to send us an e-mail, either to the International Office or to your contact student.

Information: Kristiana Jahnke, HKS Alumni

Module Handbooks


Contact Person
Sharif Bitar
T 04205 – 39 49 34

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Hochschule für Künste im Sozialen (HKS)

Große Straße 107
D-28870 Ottersberg

Tel.: +49 4205 - 39 49 0
Fax: +49 4205 - 39 49 79

gefördert durch Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur
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