If you have already started or are about to start your voluntary service, it is recommended that you apply as soon as possible. Should you then be admitted, you will get preferential admission during the next two admission periods ahead of all other applicants (also known as pre-admission). However, if in the interim an admissions test is instituted or modified, you must take it as part of the process.
Based on Section 14 of the Higher Education Admission Statute (HVVO), service is defined to include:
- A maximum three-year service in the German army, the former German Border Police or the Federal Police
- Volunteer military service in accordance with the Compulsory Military Service Act
- Federal voluntary service as provided for in the Federal Voluntary Service Act
- Volunteer social, environmental, or cultural (gap) year (even if performed for less than one year)
- A one-year European voluntary service or other service (provided it is recognized by the Federal Office of Administration).
- A minimum two-year service as development aid worker per the Development Aid Worker Act
- Caring for a child or other relative (one or two removes) for up to three years (proof in the form of a birth certificate or doctor’s certification required with a true, documented explanation of why no other caregivers were available).
The following do not qualify as service:
- Work and Travel
- Temporary work abroad
Pre-admission applies to EU citizens and foreigners holding German degrees if the service performed in their respective home countries is comparable with the military or civilian voluntary service of the Federal Republic of Germany.
In addition, the time spent in service counts as waiting time.
If you apply to the Dialogue-Oriented Service Procedure (DOSV) [de] keep the following in mind: If you have received an offer of admission or an admission, you can ask for a postponement. With this postponement, your offer of admission or admission remain in force during the next two admission periods following the end of your service. Follow the procedure explained on the DoSV website [de].