ausbildung in Germany for a South African

I'm from South Africa and I would like to do a ausbildung in Germany but I have a high school diploma and not a bachelors. I would like to do nursing. I was planning to first do the language course for a year while doing a social year. So do I need to apply for a language course visa or a study visa and then after extend my visa or convert to a work visa for the ausbildung?
Please help x

Apprenticeships ("Ausbildung") are vocational training programmes meant for those who do not enter university. Thus a degree is of course not required.
German language skills (usually B2) are needed to enter nursing school, so attending a year of classes is a good idea. You probably need a student visa during that time - the language school you enroll in will be able to help you with this.
Nurses are in short supply, so school enrollment and finding a job will be easy. Just note that, like all social professions, it is not a well paid job.

Can I apply for a language course while I'm in South Africa in Germany? And if yes can you please suggest good but inexpensive language schools in Germany?
Thank you for answering my last post.

Of course you can book a place at a language school from abroad.
In case you want to get a student visa based on that course, the school will be able to help.
There are very many schools all over Germany. Which one is good for you depends on where you will live. The local "Volkshochschule" (community college) is usually a good start.

Can you please post the colleges link/website?

All universities and similar schools are listed on
In case you meant community colleges: There is no website listing them all, but you can easily find them by googling, e.g. "Berlin Volkshochschule" as key words.

I've been doing research and I found out I won't be able to apply for a student visa through the language school (at least the college you directed me to) and convert it. Are there any other ways to go to a language school in Germany and then do a social year and ausbildung without leaving Germany after attending the language school?

Sounds like you are making things complicated. One can usually go to Germany and learn the language if you have the financing to support yourself (over 8000 Euros a year). But you mention a “social year” and I question if you know what it means. This was a concept used as an alternative for men who didn't want to go to the military when it was still required. Young women could also do it as volunteers. The idea is to work (very little pay) in some kind of socially needed place like a nursing home or with handicapped people. Germans can do it at home or in other countries. It is not a program for non-EU foreigners to come to Germany as far as I know. Thus, I don't think there is any visa set up to comply with such a thing.

If you are under 26 then maybe you should consider coming as an au pair. This means living with a family for between 6 and 12 months and helping out with the kids and doing some light house work. It is not well paid (€ 260/month) but housing, food and health insurance is provided and the intent is for the person to get a chance to learn German – for which the family must pay up to 50 Euros a month towards a language school.

Not sure if there are any additional visa difficulties for Iranian citizens - but your profile claims you are Iranian while your post says you are South African??

More information about visas to study or train in Germany is available at: … -node.html 

Information about being a trainee in Germany (it mentions that one can usually stay an additional year to work in the field one trained in): … le#page=10

Information about working as an au pair: … 012998.pdf

I'm South African (updated my profile). The thing is I would like to do the ausbildung in nursing but I found out I had to do a social year before that, and also learn the language. I have the means to study at a language school but I just want to know where can I start because I'd really like to do nursing and further my studies in Germany. I would also like help on which visa would I have to apply for.

touwnee_aiko wrote:

I'm South African (updated my profile). The thing is I would like to do the ausbildung in nursing but I found out I had to do a social year before that, and also learn the language. I have the means to study at a language school but I just want to know where can I start because I'd really like to do nursing and further my studies in Germany. I would also like help on which visa would I have to apply for.

Of course one needs to learn the language well enough to properly do any training. But where did you get the information that you have to do a "social year"?

Someone on YouTube who did ausbildung in nursing mentioned the social year as a requirement. So you don't need to do a social year and which visa can I be eligible for?

I think there can be some confusion about requirements depending on what program one gets into. In Germany one can study nursing at University, at other schools or a vocational training (Ausbuildung) where one learns and works and actually gets paid. In non-vocational training programs one will learn theory for around 2 years and then do a 1 year internship at a hospital or nursing home – which might get translated in some contexts as a social year. Then comes the state exam every nurse must pass. In vocational training or Ausbildung, one combines learning and working over an app. 3 year period and thus don't need a separate year internship. But neither type of program has a prerequisite of a social year. It wouldn't make sense since the year is a time when one learns to put the theory into practice and one cannot do this before they have learned  the theory yet. Much of the information I find in the internet tells why and how nurse education is offered in Germany – but is not so clear on the requirements.

I am posting a link below (German only) to a specific program offered from a hospital in Stuttgart that offers a nursing vocational training (Ausbuildung). I assume that it's requirements will be pretty similar to other such programs although there can be slight differences. It mentions as requirements: being at least 17, having completed school, a statement from a doctor that you are in proper health, a statement from the police about if you have a criminal record and for foreigners a B2 or higher German certification. They also give a list of documents needed to apply which should include a letter about why you want to be a nurse, a resume including work and school attendance and activities, school diploma. They mention that one needs minimally a B2 German certificate but strongly suggest a C1 is better.

One also has to get the needed work or residency visa or permit – but not sure how this is done coming from overseas before one is accepted into such a program. I assume that if they feel you are qualified then they will give a conditional acceptance. With the letter of acceptance you can apply for the needed visa. But of course if the visa doesn't come through for any reason, you cannot take part in the program.

My personal observation is that a new comer to Germany has to be very talented with languages to actually manage a B2 level after just a year. And like they suggest, C1 is more likely to suggest success in the training and then actual career. One can't just learn the language intending to somehow pass the certification test. One will have to learn it well enough to understand the nursing instruction and work in the hospital with both patients and medical personnel. If one doesn't comprehend what a doctor tells you or which medicines are to be given – or how, then one could kill somebody.  I think many foreigners are tempted by the idea that Germany needs nurses but completely underestimate the challenge of the language and/or the job – as nursing demands not only medical knowledge, a good temperament for working with people under difficult conditions but also long and strange working times. It's a hard job and many people burn out on it. … flege.html

The problem is that I don't know the language, so can I learn the language in Germany?

touwnee_aiko wrote:

The problem is that I don't know the language, so can I learn the language in Germany?

Of course one can learn German in Germany. University is free but not really set up for beginners to learn the language. One would need the educational requirements to get into University and better already have a decent level of German before coming. Like already mentioned above, one can go to community college (Volkshochschule). But this cost money and you need money to live (at least 8600 euros a year) and is not part of a paid vocational training. Nobody is going to pay you to learn the language.

I am not informed if one can say go to Volkshochschule, pass their B2 certificate and then get the needed visa to then do a vocational nursing training without returning to their home country. ((Maybe someone here like Beppi knows this better?)) But even if this is possible, there would be no guarantee that having done the B2 that they get accepted into a nursing program or get the needed visa.

Can I apply for an Ausbildung while I have a language course visa and then go back home to apply for a work visa then go back to Germany? Wouldn't that be a better option?

Yes, that would work as far as I can see!

So it won't be illegal to apply for an Ausbildung while I still have a language course visa?

Applying would never be illegal.
But if you are accepted, you need to convert the visa type before you actually start.

Can you please suggest a list of language schools for international students that can actually help with the visa situations because I've been searching non stop on Google and nothing promising is showing.

I don‘t think there IS such a list. You probably have to contact individual schools and ask.
Furthermore, you need to check the costs against your financial situation, as especially private language schools can cost a fortune for the full-time course you need to get a visa. At non-profit organisations like universities or community colleges you can already get a course at €600-800/month, but I don‘t know how they assist with visa.

Okay then. Can you at least mention one language school that's legit?

Can you Google?
Enter „Sprachschule Deutsch“ and the city you want to find a school in.

I'm already in Germany with a working holiday visa and learning German (A1.2)

I'd like to do an Ausbildung (vocational training).
When my visa expires in October, which visa could I apply for to continue until B2?
Could the Language course visa be converted to Work visa for the Ausbildung?
Thanks a lot,

You can't convert the language course visa to work visa. You have to go back home, then apply for the work visa.

To attend an apprenticeship in Germany, you need an apprenticeship visa ("Visum zum Zwecke der Ausbildung"), which must be applied for at the German embassy in your country. (Only in exceptional cases it might be possible to convert from another German visa without leaving the country - ask about it at your local "Auslaenderamt".)
A visa to attend a language class ("Aufenthaltserlaubnis zum Besuch eines Sprachkurses") can be applied for within Germany after you have registered for an intensive language class (at least 18 hrs of lessons per week) and you need to show sufficient finances for your living expenses.


i‘m from Uganda and have been in Germany on a one year volunteer contract in nursing.. but my contract is due to expire in APRIL as well as my Visa. But i got an Ausbildung for three years which starts in AUGUST. And where i got my Ausbildung is totally a different place from where am doing my volunteer service who actually give accommodation. What am i supposed to do if my visa and contract expires?

i will be very grateful for any further assistance


@Asaph Alphaeus You either get an extension of your current visa for the period until the apprenticeship begins (contact your local Ausländeramt for this!) ,or you leave Germany (and in fact the Schengen area) for the period.