Signing up for courses has actually been a lot more difficult than I originally expected. Before I left UF I had to sign up for the amount of credits I planned on taking here in Bonn. I personally decided to sign up for 12 UF credits because I wanted to have the freedom to travel and explore Germany and Europe.
I participated in the Orientation Course, which took place in September before the semester began. This course, which counts as transfer credit, consisted of both German language instruction and cultural field trips. At the end of the course there was a language assessment and based on this assessment teachers suggest courses for students to participate in during the semester.
There are two categories of classes. First, there are courses offered by the International Center. They offer two types of courses, Intensive German Courses, which are 12 UF credits, and specific topic courses, which are generally 3 UF credits. There are three levels of intensive German courses (A, B &C), where A is the beginner course and C is a B2 level. The specific topic courses, such as Text Production, German History, and European Integration, either focus on certain aspects of the German language or focus on a theme like history or media.
Second, there are normal university courses or the courses offered by Bonn University. You are only allowed to participate in these courses generally if you max out of the intensive course. Normal university courses generally only meet for two hours a week. The amount of credits one receives depends on the individual student. For example, for a normal Bonn University student coming to class is 3 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), taking an exam is 6 to 8 ECTS, and writing a fifteen page paper at the end of the semester is 12 ECTS. The formula to translate the ESTC credits into UF credits is ECTS x 0.6 = UF Credits. Therefore, the issue becomes that 5 ECTS are equal to 3 UF credits, which is generally one course.
To make matters more complicated, it is the Bonn International Center’s policy that exchange students must take at least 12 hours of class a week. If one is not in an intensive course and takes normal university courses this ends up being six classes, which can be as much as 29 UF credits.
I am personally taking two courses through the international office, which are 3 UF credits each, and two normal university credits, which are 3.6 UF credits each. Although this satisfies my UF credit requirements of roughly 12 credits it does not satisfy the Bonn International Center’s requirements. To satisfy the Bonn requirements I sit in on an extra lecture.
Moral of the story is that if you are at least at a C1 level of German, to avoid the headache I suggest to sign up for at least 15 UF credits.