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Information for International Doctorate Candidates

Our Service

The International Office would like to support international doctoral candidates in their studies at the University of Hildesheim and offers a comprehensive service:

  • help in searching for accommodation
  • participation in the introductory week for international programme students
  • participation in offers contained in the semester programme
  • the language course offer made by the International Office
  • network meetings of the international doctoral candidates at the University of Hildesheim
  • provision of a language tandem
  • loan of media
  • advice, pastoral care and integration

Our Service Flyer as download

Application for admission to doctoral studies, information on the individual faculties and doctoral regulations
Reports of personal experience

Jan Erik Kermer PhD Student

I expect many will not look back too fondly at the year 2020 for obvious reasons…but I hope all of us were able to find a silver lining in the midst of adversity. The pandemic has taught me to count my blessings and live in the moment which is no bad thing! In all honesty, I did not harbour great hopes to be able to carry out my research stay at Hildesheim University; it had already been delayed by six months and I feared that it would never happen. However, fortunately, with a bit of luck, my stay received the go-ahead! I felt both privileged and relieved to be able to travel (something that I had hitherto taken for granted) to carry out my research activities. Although the pandemic had tempered my expectations, I still had high hopes for my stay at Hildesheim University and I was certainly not disappointed! On the contrary, the experience exceeded my expectations. My personal highlight was the visit to Heidelberg; a quaint and elegant city along the Neckar river and the academic home of many grand scholars, notably, Max Weber and Jürgen Habermas. The snakes-and-ladders climb along the “Philosophenweg” (Philosophers Walk) was certainly worth the physical effort, with a breath-taking backdrop of the city a sight to behold. Naturally, my stay involved a lot of hard graft, and lockdown Mark II at least helped me to focus on the task at hand. Hildesheim University’s modern, state-of-the-art facilities ensured that I could get the most out of my research stay. That said, the experience was not all plain sailing. As in much of Europe, the pandemic situation began to deteriorate in the Autumn, and I had to adjust quickly to heightened restrictions at roughly the halfway point of my stay. Amenities began to close such as museums, gyms, bars and restaurants and I had to find different ways to keep mentally and physically healthy. Luckily, Hildesheim and the surrounding area is blessed with beautiful woodlands and countryside, which allowed me to go for daily walks and jogs to keep my spirits high. Although limited opportunities to socialise proved a challenge at times, fortunately, Hildesheim University provided regular virtual courses and workshops to keep me engaged! On the whole, my experience was an immensely positive one, and I thoroughly recommend prospective students to choose Hildesheim University for an international exchange. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Professor Schünemann for his unwavering support on both a personal and professional level. I learned a great deal about my PhD project (as well as Germany’s rich culture!) from our verbal exchanges. I would like to extend my thanks to the University’s International Office for their ongoing support and assistance and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for awarding me the research scholarship.

Und vielen Dank Hildesheim!

Marija Đorđević

Hildesheim Research Life


I came to Hildesheim in 2014 without knowing what to expect and without much expectation from the coming five years. I visited the town one time during the heat wave that summer and realized that though it is small it can easily become a temporary home, the same went for the University.

However, I was not prepared for the pleasant surprise the Hildesheim University turned out to be. In the very beginning I was very fortunate to have a dedicated supervisor, Prof. Dr. Stefan Krankenhagen. He placed a lot of challenge and trust in me, giving me a large room to conceptualize and test my ideas, always with enthusiastic and at the same time assertive tone. During my five-year research project, I had a chance to work with undergraduate and master students at the university, through to seminars and two excursions abroad. I came to know how specific and above all interesting the program of cultural studies in Hildesheim is, and was truly humbled by the vit and intellectual level and potentials of most of my students.  

Much of my good experience is owed to what the University of Hildesheim has to offer as an educational and research institution – from working spaces and library to the significant support of the International Office, I as an international student received. The International Office assisted me with any and all issues I as a foreigner in Germany encountered, and they even made it possible to get an official engagement as a research assistant within the Institute for Media, Theater and Popular culture. They did their best to make Hildesheim feel like home for the very first day. And the programs they do offer for international Ph.D. students do provide very useful skills, especially the language courses with the English academic writing seminar being of great help for the production of my thesis.

As much as I know that much of the positive experience of my Hildesheim research life is owed to the great synergy I had with my supervisor, that can be seen as simply luck.

Liliana Camacho González (Mexico)

Mein Leben und Studium in Hildesheim

Diese kleine Stadt bietet mich alles, was ich brauche. Ich kann zu Fuß überall hin und bin von der Stadtmitte innerhalb einer Viertelstunde in der Natur. Hier habe ich auch Kontakt mit anderen Menschen außerhalb der Uni, was für mich auch wichtig ist, denn als Doktorandin bleibe ich mehr als ein normaler Erasmus-Student und viele Studenten, die ich in der Uni kennengelernt habe, sind schon wieder weg. Zum Promovieren finde ich diese Stadt perfekt, man hat nicht so viele Ablenkungen und trotzdem kann man eine sehr schöne Zeit verbringen. Das Personal an der Uni, sowohl die Dozenten und Professoren als auch die Mitarbeiter sind immer gut erreichbar und die Kommunikation läuft mit ihnen immer sehr freundlich und persönlich, was mir sehr gut gefällt. In der Bibliothek kann ich auch sehr gut arbeiten und dort finde ich die wichtigste Literatur für mein Dissertationsthema. Daher war und ist für mich die Uni Hildesheim die erste Option und bin glücklich, dass ich hier promovieren darf.

Liliana Camacho González, May 2019



Rafael Rego Drumond (Brazil)

My name is Rafael Rego Drumond. I came from Brazil to study machine learning with the Information Systems and Machine Learning Lab (ISMLL) group. I am currently researching on multi-task learning, meta-learning, and time-series classification. I am also a tutor for the Data Analytics Masters Program.  I have been here for two years have enjoyed my stay here a lot. The University provides a cozy environment for learning and teaching. So far I have been working with other brilliant minds in Machine Learning and also had the chance to help students with lots of potentials. Hildesheim might be the most ideal city for a researcher: It's quiet, peaceful and beautiful. This provides a healthy setup for Ph.D. studies and daily life alike. The natural scenes, the music events and the fact it is close to other beautiful towns make the stay here really enjoyable.

May 2019

Zheng Han (China)

Hallo zusammen,

ich bin Zheng aus Peking, China. Seit Oktober 2012 promoviere ich bei Prof. Dr. Kreß im Institut für Interkulturelle Kommunikation. Ich untersuche Konfliktssituationen bei der Interaktion zwischen chinesischen und deutschen Muttersprachlern. Nun bin ich schon fast ein halbes Jahr hier in Hildesheim und zu der Stadt kann ich nur sagen: klein, aber fein! Als Großstadtmensch genieße ich die Ruhe hier sehr. Die Uni bzw. die Lehrkräfte kann ich auch nur als gut bewerten. Ich glaube, das liegt daran, dass es in unserer Uni nicht so viele Studierende gibt. Deshalb können sich die Lehrkräfte sehr gut um die Studierenden kümmern.

Was mir hier außerdem noch besonders gut gefallen hat, ist unser International Office. Als ich noch in Peking war und noch nicht offiziell von Prof. Kreß angenommen wurde, war ich schon in Kontakt zum I.O. Von der ersten Email von Frau Bädecker-Zimmermann fühlte ich mich schon in Hildesheim ganz herzlich willkommen. Nachdem ich angekommen bin, hat sie und auch die anderen Mitarbeiter in I.O. mir viel geholfen. Ab Januar dieses Jahres habe ich einen Arbeitsvertrag vom I.O. bekommen, als Forschungsassistentin für meine Professorin zu arbeiten. Das hat meine finanzielle Situation sehr verbessert. Leider habe ich bis jetzt noch keinen Tandempartner gefunden, mit dem ich zusammen Sprachen lernen kann. Wenn Du Lust hast, melde Dich bitte bei Frau Bädecker-Zimmermann!

Thai-Nghe Nguyen (Vietnam)

Hello friends, 

I am Thai-Nghe Nguyen. I come from Can Tho University in Vietnam.

I have been studying in the Information Systems and Machine Learning Lab (ISMLL) at the University of Hildesheim  since 2009 for the degree of Doctor of Natural Sciences (Dr. rer. nat.) in the Department of Computer Science. I am working in the area of applying machine learning to education. My tentative thesis title is “Predicting Student Performance in an Intelligent Tutoring System”.
I chose the University of Hildesheim for my study for many reasons. First, I found that the ISMLL is an excellent research group which is led by young and very active professors, meaning that I can learn many things from the group. In fact, every year, the ISMLL offers many papers at the top conferences in my research area. Second, the ISMLL is an international group where we can meet many friends who come from different countries. This is a good opportunity to share our knowledge and to understand each other’s culture. Third, Hildesheim is a nice and safe city (in my opinion). The living conditions are not expensive, either. Last but not least, I found that the International Office offers us many excellent services, especially for the new students, e.g. helping to find accommodation; support for free language courses (German, English); helping to find private health insurance; scholarships, etc.

I am very happy to be studying at the University of Hildesheim.

You can contact me anytime.

Rasoul Karimi (Iran)

I am Rasoul Karimi, PhD Student at the University of Hildesheim. I am studying in the Information Systems and Machine Learning Lab (ISMLL) under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Dr. Schmidt-Thieme. I started my studies in January 2009.

The reason that I chose Germany for my study goes back to 2005. At that time I was going through a short term internship programme at the University of Magdeburg in Germany. The programme was funded by the DAAD. I very much enjoyed my time, gaining a lot of experience, and found Germany to be a nice place for research and life. Therefore, after returning to Iran, I looked for PhD admission in Germany and found this position at the University of Hildesheim.

The international office is a good place to meet foreign students.  Also, you can explain your problems to them and they will help you. For example, I was looking for student assistants. I sent the advertisement of this job to the International Office. They posted the advertisement to student forums of the university and I then received a lot of applications!

Title of my thesis: Active Learning for Recommender Systems


Frank Hukporti (Ghana)

My name is Frank Hukporti, a DAAD Scholarship holder and a Ph.D. candidate from Ghana. My field of research is ‘Historical Ethnomusicology’ and I’m working on ‘’Military Bands in Ghana’’. All the requisite materials needed for my work are at my disposal. However, Hildesheim University is a very nice environment for teaching and learning and the people are very welcoming.  The quality of lecturers is outstanding, and I’ve also got to know the city quite well, and have made friends through their leisure-time programmes.

The International Office meets Ph.D. students monthly to be sure we are well settled and everything with our studies is going well. I have never regretted studying in Hildesheim, it’s your turn now, apply to the University of Hildesheim in Germany and your academic life will never be the same. To find out for yourself, please visit us at


Other Feedback

Ich freue mich sehr darüber, dass ich zwei Forschungsaufenthalte an der Universität Hildesheim hatte. Von April bis Juni 2012 forschte ich im Rahmen des EU-Projektes Tempus IV „Vernetzte und gestufte Aus- und Weiterbildung in Bildungsmanagement“, das Frau Prof. Dr. Olga Graumann leitete.

Damals habe ich viel empirischen Stoff (Experteninterviews mit den Professor(inn)en der Universität und Fragebögen) gesammelt. Nach der Rückkehr hat sich das Thema meiner Dissertation geändert. Ich habe dann beschlossen, mich um ein DAAD-Forschungsstipendium zu bewerben, um wieder nach Hildesheim zu kommen, weil die Universität Hildesheim im Bereich der Erziehungswissenschaft sehr stark ist. Ich hatte Glück, im November an der Universität als DAAD-Stipendiatin forschen zu können.

Während dieses Forschungsaufenthalts hatte ich ein paar Beratungsgespräche mit meiner wissenschaftlichen Betreuerin Prof. Dr. Olga Graumann, auch mit Frau Prof. Dr. Melanie Fabel-Lamla, Frau Dr. Hella Barlage, Herrn Prof. Dr. Volker Schubert, Herrn Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Arnold, Herrn Prof. Dr. Peter Cloos. Diese Beratungsgespräche haben mir geholfen, das Dissertationsthema aus verschiedenen Perspektiven im Kontext der Internationalisierung der Bildung und Forschung zu betrachten.

Eines meiner Hauptziele der Forschungsaufenthalte war die Literaturrecherche. Es war für mich von großem Vorteil mit deutschen Wörterbüchern und Enzyklopädien zu arbeiten, der Bücherbestand der Universitätsbibliothek ist sehr gut. Die Systeme von Begriffen sind in beiden Ländern unterschiedlich. Es ist für meine weitere berufliche Tätigkeit sehr wichtig, diese Systeme gut zu beherrschen, weil einige, von unserer Universität angebotenen Kurse im bilingualen Format ausgearbeitet sind.

Der Besuch von verschiedenen Veranstaltungen hat mir  viel gebracht. Den Seminaren, Vorlesungen, Kolloquien für Doktorand(inn)en und interkulturellen Trainings, die ich besucht habe, habe ich wichtige Informationen entnehmen können.

Frau Bädecker-Zimmermann, Frau Kroppach und Frau Barancic haben mir bei vielen organisatorischen Fragen sehr  geholfen. Das „Buddy-Programm“ finde ich gut. In Hildesheim haben mich Monika Winkler und Timofey Myasnikov sehr gut betreut.  Nach meiner Abreise sind wir in Kontakt geblieben.

Während meiner beiden Forschungsaufenthalte habe ich bei Frau Dr. Regula Freytag gewohnt. Sie hat mir bei meiner Forschung sehr geholfen. Wir haben zusammen auch viel unternommen: Theater- und Museumsbesuche, zahlreiche Ausflüge... Es ist auch zu betonen, dass der  ständige Verkehr mit Muttersprachler(inne)n den Grad meiner Sprachbeherrschung wesentlich erhöht hat.

Meine Teilnahme an Seminaren, Kolloquien für Doktorand(inn)en des Fachbereiches 1 der Stiftung Universität Hildesheim, Beratungsgespräche mit deutschen Professor(inn)en und die Arbeit mit Monografien, Enzyklopädien und Zeitungsbeiträgen in der Universitätsbibliothek haben bestimmt nicht nur meine Kenntnisse der deutschen Sprache verbessert, sondern auch meinen Gesichtskreis erweitert und meine Qualifikation als Hochschullehrerin erhöht.

Darya Staravoitava, Brester Staatliche Universität namens A.S. Puschkin




"Thank you very much for the very useful links and for the picture. Thank you also for all the information you shared with us during the meeting. I am very grateful.

Though I have a few days to go, I will make the best of the time and certainly, I'll choose to study or recommend this University to any of my colleagues who has the opportunity to study in Germany."


Eric Otchere

The network of international doctoral candidates
International PhD network meeting in November 2019

International PhD network meeting in May 2019



 International PhD network meeting on April 11th, 2019



International PhD network meeting on November 14th, 2017


Entry and residence of doctoral candidates from non-EU countries (the adjusted German Residence Act)

The German Residence Act was adjusted providing various possibilities for foreign researchers from countries outside the European Union to stay in Germany for research purposes, whether for a limited period, for example to complete a doctorate, or for a longer stay. 

Depending on one's personal situation (family circumstances, desired length of stay, salary level etc.), several different residence permits are available (residence for the purpose of study, residence for the purpose of employment/EU Blue Card, permanent residence permit for specialists or research visa). These are structured differently and are aimed at different target groups.

New information leaflet provides overview on residence permits

Due to the complex nature of the German Residence Act, choosing the most appropriate residence permit can often be difficult. For this reason, the HRK has produced an overview of the different residence permits available to academics from third-party countries. This overview is intended to make the process of choosing the correct residence permit easier both for foreign researchers and for those responsible for issuing the invitation and giving advice at the German university or research institution. 

The revised overview in English and German provides information about the requirements for obtaining each particular residence permit, such as the minimum salary levels or any language skills required, and also gives information on topics including relocating with a family and access to social security benefits, such as child benefit or parental pay.


More information and the leaflet for download can be found on the HRK website: 

With the help of the Quick-Check you can quickly find out whether you meet the requirements for a visa. You can also find more information on the website of the Auswärtiges Amt.