Frequently Asked Questions

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About the Carl Benz School

What is the Carl Benz School?

The Carl Benz School as the Mechanical Engineering College of the KIT is an independent body that offers students the opportunity to study Mechanical Engineering  in a program taught entirely in English. Upon 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 College Program students have access to the facilities and services of the KIT. In addition, students attend classes held by esteemed KIT lecturers with a total number of no more than 60 students. Furthermore, participants of the CBS College Program receive continual academic guidance and support, partake in various field trips and join a international community here in the heart of the Karlsruhe.

What is the CBS College Program?

The CBS College Program was developed over the past 20 years to provide international students with the tools, skills, and experiences needed to achieve academic and professional success. Dedicated student counselors and a close student community have our students’ back so they can focus on what’s important in their Mechanical Engineering (International) studies.

By joining the CBS College Program, our students benefit from:

  • Academic Support Program
  • Exclusive Mentoring
  • Smart Projects
  • Study Counselling and Career Guidance
  • Administrative Support
  • Strong Industry Network
  • Social Events & Teambuilding
  • CBS Language Courses
  • Secure on-campus housing

Read more here.

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 beneficial to be open minded, determined to excel in one’s studies and understand that university studies requires self-discipline and hard work. An interest in Germany and the local culture can also greatly enrich the CBS student experience.
  • 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 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.

Please find more information on our curriculum here.

Which specializations can students choose?

After the 4th semester in Mechanical Engineering (International), 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 our Curriculum & Specializations section.

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. Depending on your admission, a participation in the Pre-Semester might be mandatory for you.

  • Indirect Admission: If your secondary school leaving certificate is not recognized, you will receive an offer for 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 received an offer for direct admission must pass the Assessment of Eligibility (entrance examination) in order to gain enrolment in the B.Sc. program of Mechanical Engineering International.
  • Direct Admission: The course is highly recommended even if you have received an offer for direct admission. The pre-semester 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 5.250€ (regular price) / 4.700€ (early bird price to be paid by June 30th, 2024) and includes lectures, extra tutorials, teaching materials, exam fees, events & excursions as well as accommodation on the ID campus or in the KIT Guest House (depending on availability). All classes in the Pre-Semester (Chemistry, Math, Physics and English) are held entirely in English.

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.

>> For more information on our Pre-Semester, please click here.

What are the CBS Summer Programs and when can I register?

The Carl Benz School Summer Programs are the perfect opportunity to get first insights into the field of Mechanical Engineering. The unique combination of challenging lectures and workshops in engineering and leisure activities addresses technically interested students from age 16 – 19. The Carl Benz School offers two Summer Programs, the Carl Benz School Summer School in Karlsruhe, Germany and the Summer Engineering Academy in Suzhou, China. Both programs provide young students a first impression of the field of engineering.

>> The registration is open from December 1st - May 31st, 2024.

Can I study Mechanical Engineering at KIT without being part of the CBS College Program?

Mechanical Engineering (International) is currently the only Bachelor program offered in English at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), and attracts mostly international undergraduate students. The Carl Benz School works in synergy and close cooperation with the Mechanical Engineering (International) program in order to provide a college style community for these international undergraduate students. At the CBS College Program, students not only receive on-campus housing, administrative support, and student services, but also academic counseling, tutoring, mentoring, personal development and intercultural workshops as well as a myriad of extra and co-curricular opportunities and activities that enrich their academic and personal journey that are not part of the KIT Mechanical engineering program. Very importantly, at the CBS College Program we can also help students find Internship opportunities in their final year of studies, which can be a big challenge for international students without additional support.

Students are not required to be part of the CBS to enroll in the Mechanical Engineering (International) program, but need to be aware that German public universities do not offer extensive support for undergraduate students and that while Karlsruhe is an international city and there are many international students at the KIT, the undergraduate community is at the CBS. In general, students who receive academic support through onboarding, counseling, tutoring, and academic mentoring programs—such as those provided by the Carl Benz School of Engineering College Program—tend to perform better academically and successfully complete their studies with less stress compared to their peers who lack such support.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask us for a personal consultation.

Admission Requirements & Application Process

When can I apply?

The KIT Online Application Portal for the B.Sc. program in Mechanical Engineering (International) at the Carl Benz School of Engineering opens in December 2023. Get your applications ready for the 2024/2025 winter semester!

Don’t forget to secure your exclusive spot in the CBS College Progam in parallel by following the steps on the College Program Registration Portal.

What are the general admission requirements?
  1. High School Degree
    High School leaving certificate such as: US High School Diploma, Abitur, International Baccalaureate, etc.
  2. Two years of High School Physics
    Two years of High School Physics by the conclusion of the certificate of secondary education or one of the following tests:
    • ACT International Subject Test Physics (at least 24 points, offered only in very few countries)
    • TestAS Fachmodul Ingenieurwissenschaften with a percentile rank of 75 (offered only in German language)

  3. One of the following three Standardized Tests:
    SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test)
    • Composed of Reading Test, Writing and Language Test and Math Test
      - Minimum score of 1200 points
    ACT (American College Test)
    • Composed of English Test, Mathematics Test, Reading Test and Science Test
      - Composite Score of 24 points
    • Percentile rank of 75

  4. English Language Proficiency
    • Declaration of English Proficiency if English has been the language of instruction for the past two years
    • a General Certificate of Education (GCE) at the „A-Level“or „AS-Level“ with a minimum grade of „B“ in “English”
    • an „International Baccalaureate (IB)“ Diploma with a minimum grade of 5 in „English“
    • Results of a standardized English Language Examination from among the following only:
      (University of Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English)
      (University of Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English)
      570 pb // 250 cb // 90 iBT Band score of 6.5
      (and no section lower than 5.5)
          Level II or better

  5. Motivation Letter Your motivation letter should be written in English and not exceed two pages in length. It should cover the following topics:
    • Introduction and personal background
    • Interest and skills in science and engineering
    • Motivations for studying in Mechanical Engineering
    • Personal goals during your studies
    • Future career goals

  6. Optional Documents
    Additional certificates applicants may include in their application:
    • Extracurricular activities
    • Work experience (internships, vocational, or professional training)
    • Significant awards and distinctions
    • Recommendation letters

    Transcripts with good grades in Math and Physics, 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. 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.

    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.

    >> Check our admission requirement page for the latest updates and take a look at our admissions flyer for 2023/2024.

What are the language requirements?

One of the following:

  • Declaration of English Proficiency if English has been the language of instruction for the past two years
  • A General Certificate of Education (GCE) at the „A-Level“ or „AS-Level“ with a minimum grade of „B“ in “English”
  • An „International Baccalaureate (IB)“ Diploma with a minimum grade of 5 in „English“
  • Results of a standardized English Language Examination from among the following only:

    (University of Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English)
    (University of Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English)
    570 pb // 250 cb // 90 iBT Band score of 6.5
    (and no section lower than 5.5)
        Level II or better
Does the CBS has an SAT Code?

Yes! Our SAT Score Reporting Code is 3592.

What is the APS Certificate and do I need it?

The Akademische Prüfstelle (APS) reviews the documents of applicants from China, India, Mongolia and Vietnam who wish to apply to study in Germany. It is a mandatory part of your application and cannot handed in after the application deadline ends. Please upload your APS certificate on the application portal in the "HZB" section by clicking on the APS Certificate "+ New Document" button.

>> Find the FAQs of the APS website here

>> Find checklists for applicants from India here

>> Find the KIT information regarding APS (Under: "Country-specific requirements") here

My official results are not out yet. Can I apply?

Depending on your high school program, you might receive your final official results later. Here is what you can do:

  • Official High School Graduation Results:
    Should the final certificates not yet be available, you can still apply by sending us your preliminary transcripts showing your performance over the past two school years. Please note that we do not accept predicted grades.

  • Official Results of SAT Score / Official Results of English Language Test:
    Should the results have not yet been announced, you can send your application first and submit the official results at later date. Please note that your application will be required to have been submitted in full by the April 30th deadline at the latest.
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). Letters of recommendation from lecturers / tutors from your previous university can be submitted, but are not mandatory. 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.

  • The Carl Benz School does NOT process credit transfers. This means you must join the Pre-Semester, pass the end of Pre-Semester qualification exam successfully and join the Bachelor program.
  • After you have been formally admitted to the Bachelor of Science program, you may then begin applying for credit transfers; however, there is no guarantee that your credits will be transferable.
  • A central committee from the KIT (VPK) is responsible for processing credit transfer applications. The following documents will be required:
    1. university transcripts
    2. 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 the Carl Benz School).
What documents do I have to send to Carl Benz School after receiving my letter of admission?

After receiving your letter of admission, you are kindly asked to fulfill the following steps in order to accept your study offer:

  • Your admission documents (Admission Letter, Notification of Tuition Fees, and CBS Supplementary Letter) have been issued by the KIT’s Admissions Department and are available for download on the online application portal. The Admission Letter will provide details on the next steps needed to accept your admission offer from KIT. Additionally, further admission conditions that may be necessary to complete before finalizing your enrollment will be detailed in this document.
  • To confirm your admission for Mechanical Engineering (International), you need to log into the KIT Application Portal – where you have applied for Mechanical Engineering (International) – and click on the button to accept your university position.
  • Make sure to pay the first KIT semester fees in time.

Please note: To secure your spot in the CBS College Program, please make sure to follow the steps below as well. As the College Program spots and exclusive and limited, you should not wait too long:

  • If you have not done so already, register via our College Program Registration Portal using the Application Number from your Mechanical Engineering (International) application. It is very simple, just follow the few steps explained on the portal. In order to secure your spot, you need to have received admissions to B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering (International) for the responding winter semester.
  • Along with your College Program registration, please send us back the Confirmation Reply. In this two-page document, you can choose your room preference in our on-campus housing, select your preferred payment options and manage the Pre-Semester participation.
  • Keep an eye on your emails, the CBS Admissions Team will contact you afterwards to inform you about the status of your College Program registration and the next steps.

>> If you require assistance, please get in touch with our helpful team via email at admissions∂carlbenzschool kit edu or via phone at +49 (0) 721 608-47901.

Coming to Germany

What are the visa requirements to enter and stay as a student in Germany?

Applicants from EU and EFTA are exempt 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 ask the Carl Benz School team about the “Visa Details Form” form (on request), fill it and email it to the student office immediately and the Carl Benz School will try and help you in reducing the waiting time needed for your visa to be processed.

What is a blocked bank account?
  • 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.
  • Current requirements state that a requested total deposit of at least 11,208€* (lasting for a whole year) must be in this account and the account holder can ONLY withdraw a maximum of 934€* per month from this account. This means you will have to estimate your cash needs and plan accordingly.

* Please take a look at further information on the website of the Auswärtiges Amt (Foreign Office)

How to open a blocked bank account?

Please note that Carl Benz School CANNOT help you to open the blocked bank account. It might take more than a week to open a blocked account and therefore you are advised to start applying for one immediately, in order to avoid a delay in your arrival for the 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.

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 of your parents sign on the relevant form(s) provided by the German bank. 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.

Apply for German Health Insurance

It is mandatory for people living in Germany to have German health insurance. While there are many different health insurance provides, here are three of the largest health insurance providers in Germany. Please apply for only one health insurance provider.

Please reach out to our CBS Student Office if you need any assistance.

What happens after arriving in Germany?
  1. Matriculation at the university
  2. Joining the German national health insurance
  3. Registration at the Karlsruhe Resident Registry Office
    The Student Office completes the steps 1), 2) and 3) on behalf of new College Program Students. Please submit the necessary documents when the Student Office sends you an email to ask for them to ensure that the processes can be completed in time.
  4. Opening of a bank account
    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.
  5. Getting a German mobile phone number
    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.
  6. Renewing student visa at Foreigners’ Office (110€ to be paid there)

CBS Campus

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 the Carl Benz School.
  • Please be sure to contact the 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 43,000.

  • 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, the main shopping 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 few steps away, making shopping relative hassle-free.
  • The magnificent Schloss (Palace) and huge Schlosspark (Palace Garden) are also right next to the Carl Benz School where our students have the possibility to engage in sports or just enjoy leisurely strolls.

>> Find more information on the city of Karlsruhe here

What are the accommodations and facilities like at Carl Benz School?

CBS College Program participants can live directly on our secure campus with their fellow classmates.

  • The Carl Benz School is housed in a 3-storey historical building which has been modernized. We offer 120 single / double rooms, 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. Our students have also easy access to the self-service laundry automat.
  • Our administration is located in the same building, meaning that students do not have to travel far in order to contact the CBS staff if they need any assistance.
  • 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 a table-tennis table available in the basement.

>> Find more information on our our campus, CBS on-campus housing or Karlsruhe as a study location.
>> Watch our campus tour video to get a better impression!


How much are the general cost of living in Germany?

The estimated general living expenses per month for a single student are as follows:

  • Public Transportation: approx. 34 EUR / Month
  • Food: approx. 167 EUR / Month
  • Pocket Money: approx. 150 EUR / Month
  • Compulsory German Health Insurance: approx. 34 EUR / Month

Other possible expenses:

  • The costs of travelling to and from Germany should also be taken into consideration.

>> Find more information about the living costs in Karlsruhe here.

Do you offer scholarships?

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. Please take a detailed look at our costs and fees here.

The Carl Benz School is currently not offering any scholarships. Please take a look at official scholarship funds such as:


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