Derek Twiss

Grüße! I’m Derek from Connecticut and I’m 28 years young. I first started studying here in Karlsruhe in 2016 when I began the Introductory College Prep Program (Studienkolleg). After completing the year-long introductory year, I was able to begin my bachelors in Intercultural Management and Communication.

Student life here has been very interesting and engaging with participation in student council (StuV), many practical business projects to add to your CV and various events throughout the semester. Studying with people from all over the world makes it easy to learn different languages and offers various points of view (which will be increasingly important in a global economy).

While moving to Germany was a big life decision, it has proven to be one the most exciting and enlightening moves I’ve made yet! The sense of community as well as support networks in place here made my move almost seamless. Settling into a new city of course takes time, but with the help of my job in an Irish pub, making friends within the community with similar interests, such as going to concerts and playing music, has become a reality for me. The city of Karlsruhe, which is situated very conveniently for travel, in the center of Europe, offers various sports programs and extracurricular activities and always has something going on for it’s citizens, so tell me about your interests and maybe I can send you in the right direction!

I am looking forward to providing you with more content in my feed so that you can get an idea of student life here in DE, as well as getting in touch with you to help you in the process of getting over here to study in such a great little city. I would be happy to email or message or make an appointment to talk on the phone or Skype.

„While leaving the US might seem like the impossible, the sense of community and collaborative spirit here at the Karls is sure to support you in achieving your degree and what lies beyond.“
2019/08/14
Brutal Assault-Czech Republic

 I had been looking forward to the past week for 6 months, when my brother would finally make it over to visit me and we would get to go to arguably one of the best metal festivals in the world, Brutal Assault in Czech Republic! It was definitely a great time with very reasonably priced tickets, concessions and a relaxed and friendly atmosphere! The week flew by and I would definitely do it again as it was under 100 Euros per ticket and only a 6 hour drive from Karlsruhe. After seeing so many great bands for such a low price, I could understand why so many people here in Europe regularly attend 3-5 day festivals. Now that that is over with, it’s back to work selling my furniture, dealing with bureaucracy and organizing accommodation in Vilnius! Stay tuned for more content!

P.S. If you could attend one festival in Europe, which one would it be and why? =)   

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2019/07/27
Heidesee-Karlsruhe

With the recent heatwave, it's important to stay cool, but also to get some fresh air! One of my favorite ways to do that here is to visit one of the many lakes in the area. There are many man-made as well as natural lakes where you can relax, read a book, take a dip and catch some rays. The park and lake culture here in Germany is really relaxed and most people realize the dangers of burnout. It’s of course important to work hard and play hard! In other news, I’m really looking forward to my journey to Lithuania and working more on the organizational side of things day by day. I’ll be sure to post some content from my journey as well as the orientation week that starts August 30th! Stay tuned for more content and my impending change of location!

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2019/07/19
DAS FEST 2019-Karlsruhe,DE

DAS FEST 2019! This festival set a record for number of attendees in 2009 with 400,000 and since then, a ticket is required to enter the mainstage. I imagine with lower security and more people, the party was a bit more intense and according to many locals, “It’s not as good as it used to be when it was free!” but that doesn’t mean that the party doesn’t go on! With acts from Funk to Folk to House tech, there’s something for everyone, plenty of cold drinks and great festival food! I’m personally only going to make it to the fest on Sunday to see Rival Sons, but the city is already crawling with festival tourists on this muggy Friday afternoon as the fest is, as every year, sold out for friday and saturday. I hope that you are able to make it to DAS FEST when you move to the area and can experience the true festival spirit of community and being part of something bigger! As always, I’m looking forward to hearing from you and stay tuned for more content!

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2019/07/12
God is an Astronaut-Substage

Who would have thought so many different artists would make their way through Karlsruhe?! This week I had the opportunity to see God is an Astronaut, who are a post-rock band from Ireland. I’m really stuck on living in Oststadt, since it puts you right near both Substage and Jubez, as most of the rock bands I like to see play in either venue. Of course, there are more underground venues for all types of subgenres and subcultures. I was originally just attracted to the university’s image and ideas about what an education really means and ended up in one of the most commonly toured cities in Germany (and western Europe). Since networking is probably one of your fortes as an incoming Karls student (or existing one), it isn’t hard to make all kinds of interesting connections in a reasonably small city. Stay tuned for more summer fun content! 😉

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2019/08/14
Brutal Assault-Czech Republic

 I had been looking forward to the past week for 6 months, when my brother would finally make it over to visit me and we would get to go to arguably one of the best metal festivals in the world, Brutal Assault in Czech Republic! It was definitely a great time with very reasonably priced tickets, concessions and a relaxed and friendly atmosphere! The week flew by and I would definitely do it again as it was under 100 Euros per ticket and only a 6 hour drive from Karlsruhe. After seeing so many great bands for such a low price, I could understand why so many people here in Europe regularly attend 3-5 day festivals. Now that that is over with, it’s back to work selling my furniture, dealing with bureaucracy and organizing accommodation in Vilnius! Stay tuned for more content!

P.S. If you could attend one festival in Europe, which one would it be and why? =)   

ctrl-down
2019/07/27
Heidesee-Karlsruhe

With the recent heatwave, it's important to stay cool, but also to get some fresh air! One of my favorite ways to do that here is to visit one of the many lakes in the area. There are many man-made as well as natural lakes where you can relax, read a book, take a dip and catch some rays. The park and lake culture here in Germany is really relaxed and most people realize the dangers of burnout. It’s of course important to work hard and play hard! In other news, I’m really looking forward to my journey to Lithuania and working more on the organizational side of things day by day. I’ll be sure to post some content from my journey as well as the orientation week that starts August 30th! Stay tuned for more content and my impending change of location!

ctrl-down
2019/07/19
DAS FEST 2019-Karlsruhe,DE

DAS FEST 2019! This festival set a record for number of attendees in 2009 with 400,000 and since then, a ticket is required to enter the mainstage. I imagine with lower security and more people, the party was a bit more intense and according to many locals, “It’s not as good as it used to be when it was free!” but that doesn’t mean that the party doesn’t go on! With acts from Funk to Folk to House tech, there’s something for everyone, plenty of cold drinks and great festival food! I’m personally only going to make it to the fest on Sunday to see Rival Sons, but the city is already crawling with festival tourists on this muggy Friday afternoon as the fest is, as every year, sold out for friday and saturday. I hope that you are able to make it to DAS FEST when you move to the area and can experience the true festival spirit of community and being part of something bigger! As always, I’m looking forward to hearing from you and stay tuned for more content!

ctrl-down
2019/07/12
God is an Astronaut-Substage

Who would have thought so many different artists would make their way through Karlsruhe?! This week I had the opportunity to see God is an Astronaut, who are a post-rock band from Ireland. I’m really stuck on living in Oststadt, since it puts you right near both Substage and Jubez, as most of the rock bands I like to see play in either venue. Of course, there are more underground venues for all types of subgenres and subcultures. I was originally just attracted to the university’s image and ideas about what an education really means and ended up in one of the most commonly toured cities in Germany (and western Europe). Since networking is probably one of your fortes as an incoming Karls student (or existing one), it isn’t hard to make all kinds of interesting connections in a reasonably small city. Stay tuned for more summer fun content! 😉

ctrl-down
2019/08/14
Brutal Assault-Czech Republic

 I had been looking forward to the past week for 6 months, when my brother would finally make it over to visit me and we would get to go to arguably one of the best metal festivals in the world, Brutal Assault in Czech Republic! It was definitely a great time with very reasonably priced tickets, concessions and a relaxed and friendly atmosphere! The week flew by and I would definitely do it again as it was under 100 Euros per ticket and only a 6 hour drive from Karlsruhe. After seeing so many great bands for such a low price, I could understand why so many people here in Europe regularly attend 3-5 day festivals. Now that that is over with, it’s back to work selling my furniture, dealing with bureaucracy and organizing accommodation in Vilnius! Stay tuned for more content!

P.S. If you could attend one festival in Europe, which one would it be and why? =)   

ctrl-down
2019/07/27
Heidesee-Karlsruhe

With the recent heatwave, it's important to stay cool, but also to get some fresh air! One of my favorite ways to do that here is to visit one of the many lakes in the area. There are many man-made as well as natural lakes where you can relax, read a book, take a dip and catch some rays. The park and lake culture here in Germany is really relaxed and most people realize the dangers of burnout. It’s of course important to work hard and play hard! In other news, I’m really looking forward to my journey to Lithuania and working more on the organizational side of things day by day. I’ll be sure to post some content from my journey as well as the orientation week that starts August 30th! Stay tuned for more content and my impending change of location!

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2019/07/05
GOT exhibition-Belfast

All I need is a suit of armor and I would look like I belonged on the iron throne, right?! I had a blast in Belfast at the Game of Thrones exhibition which was full of all kinds of weapons, costumes as well as the original iron throne used on set. Belfast was full of great cafes, pubs and restaurants, not to mention very friendly and accommodating people. Though my time in Belfast was rather short, I felt it was well deserved after all the stress of the semester and it’s really nice (not to mention necessary) to get out of Karlsruhe every once in a while. Compared to a typical vacation to Disney World or Virginia Beach, I would say this would be much more affordable, were it not for my expensive taste in cafes and craft beer!? This week I’ll be sure to post about Dublin, which I also briefly visited, but am looking forward to visiting again. There was so much to see and so little time, but there’s always affordable budget flights and plenty of vacation time here to go out and explore! As always don’t hesitate to write me, I’d be glad to answer questions or even just have a chat! =)

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2019/07/27
Heidesee-Karlsruhe

With the recent heatwave, it's important to stay cool, but also to get some fresh air! One of my favorite ways to do that here is to visit one of the many lakes in the area. There are many man-made as well as natural lakes where you can relax, read a book, take a dip and catch some rays. The park and lake culture here in Germany is really relaxed and most people realize the dangers of burnout. It’s of course important to work hard and play hard! In other news, I’m really looking forward to my journey to Lithuania and working more on the organizational side of things day by day. I’ll be sure to post some content from my journey as well as the orientation week that starts August 30th! Stay tuned for more content and my impending change of location!

ctrl-down
2019/07/19
DAS FEST 2019-Karlsruhe,DE

DAS FEST 2019! This festival set a record for number of attendees in 2009 with 400,000 and since then, a ticket is required to enter the mainstage. I imagine with lower security and more people, the party was a bit more intense and according to many locals, “It’s not as good as it used to be when it was free!” but that doesn’t mean that the party doesn’t go on! With acts from Funk to Folk to House tech, there’s something for everyone, plenty of cold drinks and great festival food! I’m personally only going to make it to the fest on Sunday to see Rival Sons, but the city is already crawling with festival tourists on this muggy Friday afternoon as the fest is, as every year, sold out for friday and saturday. I hope that you are able to make it to DAS FEST when you move to the area and can experience the true festival spirit of community and being part of something bigger! As always, I’m looking forward to hearing from you and stay tuned for more content!

ctrl-down
2019/07/12
God is an Astronaut-Substage

Who would have thought so many different artists would make their way through Karlsruhe?! This week I had the opportunity to see God is an Astronaut, who are a post-rock band from Ireland. I’m really stuck on living in Oststadt, since it puts you right near both Substage and Jubez, as most of the rock bands I like to see play in either venue. Of course, there are more underground venues for all types of subgenres and subcultures. I was originally just attracted to the university’s image and ideas about what an education really means and ended up in one of the most commonly toured cities in Germany (and western Europe). Since networking is probably one of your fortes as an incoming Karls student (or existing one), it isn’t hard to make all kinds of interesting connections in a reasonably small city. Stay tuned for more summer fun content! 😉

ctrl-down
2019/06/28
Sommerfest-Karlshochschule

Yet again, we come to the end of another semester and what better way to celebrate all of our hard work than a BBQ put on by the Karls!? The APRO company project presentations went swimmingly (quite literally as we were all dealing with the recent heatwave in Europe) and many of the students who were away on internships and semester abroad were back to party, visit and present their reports for transfer week. Not only was it a BBQ for the end of the semester, but the Karls is also celebrating it’s 10th anniversary this year.  It was rather bittersweet to see everyone just briefly, as many students will be making their way back home for summer and many will also be leaving before the semester in Germany begins, such as myself. For my semester abroad, I chose University of Vilnius in Lithuania, which I am very excited about! The semester in Lithuania begins in the second week of September, but I will be leaving Karlsruhe at the end of August to attend their orientation week. Fear not! I am still available and earnestly awaiting your emails and skype-sessions! Stay tuned for Lithuania and vacation content to come! Enjoy your summer and hope to talk soon!

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2019/06/28
Sommerfest-Karlshochschule

Yet again, we come to the end of another semester and what better way to celebrate all of our hard work than a BBQ put on by the Karls!? The APRO company project presentations went swimmingly (quite literally as we were all dealing with the recent heatwave in Europe) and many of the students who were away on internships and semester abroad were back to party, visit and present their reports for transfer week. Not only was it a BBQ for the end of the semester, but the Karls is also celebrating it’s 10th anniversary this year.  It was rather bittersweet to see everyone just briefly, as many students will be making their way back home for summer and many will also be leaving before the semester in Germany begins, such as myself. For my semester abroad, I chose University of Vilnius in Lithuania, which I am very excited about! The semester in Lithuania begins in the second week of September, but I will be leaving Karlsruhe at the end of August to attend their orientation week. Fear not! I am still available and earnestly awaiting your emails and skype-sessions! Stay tuned for Lithuania and vacation content to come! Enjoy your summer and hope to talk soon!

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2019/06/18
APRO-Karlshochschule

APRO – one of the busiest and most stressful, but also most looked-forward-to 4th semester modules at the Karls, where each team is assigned a company or community project and act as consultants to fulfill multiple tasks. These tasks often include things like a stakeholder analysis, marketing plan or even creating a tourism video, followed by a presentation of your finidngs. While it makes for a very busy two weeks, it can be one of the most rewarding experiences during your time here at the Karls. Pictured is one of the two groups working on a project for Daimler Automotive, that I happen to be sharing an “office” room with. We aren’t the only class who is busy though, 6th semester is finishing up their internships and working on their theses and 2nd semester students are busy with case studies and exams. I think we are all looking forward to next week’s Sommer Fest for a cold beverage and Barbecue!

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My Mission as a KarlsAmbassador!

Hello! Salut! Buongiorno! Guten Tag! My name is Derek and I have always had an affinity for languages, as well as traveling to visit the beautiful places and fascinating people all over the world. These experiences have been so fulfilling and perspective-altering, that I would like to share what I have found and help others to experience the same. Since Karlsruhe is in such an optimal traveling location, many people can be found traveling on a regular basis, not to mention the exceptional amount of vacation days provided here in Germany. While there is a level of culture-shock coming from the states, I believe you'll find that there are also many similarities to your life back in the US. In an era of fear and polarization, it's my personal feeling that the way forward is to overcome your fears and be open to people from different walks of life, as it can be such a rewarding experience. The journey is much less daunting with support and community on your side and I, for one, look forward to getting in touch with you and talking about all the imaginative and exciting (yet academic) possibilities for you at Karlshochschule!

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The Karls-People

In Germany, students call each other ‘Kommilitonen’ – this is based on a Latin term that means something like ‘fellow combatants’. And that’s exactly how it really is: At Karls, I feel like I'm surrounded by people who are working for the same things and want to stand up for what’s right together. The professors, staff and other students are inspired by the idea of creating something bigger – committed to the environment, sustainability and a better world. That's why I don’t feel like there are any hierarchies here. I can chat with my professors as easily as with my roommate. I can confidently say: The people here are the ones who have made Karlsruhe a second home for me.

The Karls-Philosophy

Karls has developed its own constructivist philosophy and didactics. The exact wording can be found on karlshochschule.de. But I can tell you in my own words how this philosophy feels to me and how it has become tangible in my life. Put briefly: At Karls, I can let myself and my ideas blossom. I can incorporate my knowledge, my ideals and my expectations and deepen them in a lively dialogue with my fellow students. My ideas are taken seriously here – I learn from my professors, of course, but my professors also learn from me. Instead of a strict curriculum and tons of theoretical knowledge, at Karls, I am given a wide range of information that I can structure however I want, and many opportunities to try it out in practice.

The Karls-Education

When I arrive at Karls in the morning, I overhear scraps of conversation between my classmates in English, German, French, Spanish and many other languages. It is precisely this open intercultural exchange that also shapes the experience of studying at Karls. Here, it’s totally normal for your course of study to cross the boundaries between disciplines. For example, it’s simply a matter of course for economists to be concerned with topics such as sustainability, environmental conservation and social justice. Conversely, sociologists at Karls are developing business models that will change the way we understand management. There’s no question that the idea of a language barrier is unimportant at the Karlshochschule. Most of the courses take place in English, and learning German is on the curriculum from day one.

Management

What should our future look like? How do we want to manage tomorrow? In the Management degree program, you will learn to take responsibility for a complex world in which negotiating skills are just as important as understanding and empathy. The pop-up menu gives you more information about your specialization options.

International Business

If you do not want to conceive of economics merely as a game of numbers, but instead want to understand and apply economic questions in an intercultural context, then you’ve come to the right place. You can design your own course of studies and specialize in three different areas.

Society

The world needs not only doers, but also thinkers. People who write the rules of the future and act as protagonists on the international political and economic stage. In these four courses of study in the field of ‘Society’, you’ll get exactly the know-how you need.

Management (M.A.)

The reality of economics and business is negotiated again and again between those involved in it. There are no universal truths, but rather well-functioning viewpoints. This is exactly what the course of studies conveys: Here, students and teachers work together on cultural and social science topics and apply them to management practice.

Spezialisierungen

Would you like to enter the creative industry or set up your own start-up? Do you want to make a difference in the political system of your country or, as the person in charge of an NGO, foster social change? Whatever your vision is: The Master's program offers you six different specializations from which you can choose two – so you can tailor your studies to your exact goals.

„The interconnectedness of modules within and across semesters is stunning. This Master’s is definitively about ‚Rethinking Management‘ and requires engagement on the brink of my comfort zone.“

Mischa Burmester,

Alumnus Master of Management

Conditions

At Karls, we know that grades are not everything. Here, what counts above all is a person’s commitment and the values that define them – and that cannot be measured. The most important thing about your online application is therefore your letter of motivation. This is your chance to show us who you are and why you are a good fit for Karls. Karls is an officially accredited university and must adhere to the rules of the German registration authorities in the application process: Therefore, another prerequisite is a recognized secondary-school degree in Germany.

Help Center

I've put together a bunch of PDFs for most countries on the South American continent. Here you will find a step-by-step checklist for your journey to Karls – from your letter of motivation to how to apply for grants and scholarships and even the application form for a visa. Also, the exact requirements for your education are in the PDF for your country or your region. In addition, you will find in the PDF the contact details of the most important contact persons, e.g. your consulate or embassy. If at any point you feel unsure – don’t worry: I'm here for you.

Download PDF
International Foundation Year

Are you thinking ‘Karls is exactly what I want for my life’, but unfortunately are missing the appropriate degree? Maybe you also have a very good school diploma, but it is not recognized by the German registration authorities? Don’t despair! Many of my fellow students once felt the same way. The solution for you might be the Foundation Year: Within a year, you will learn all the necessary content and then take an exam. This means you’ll meet the admission requirements and can enrol at Karls. Wondering if a Foundation Year is also for you? Write to me and I'll explain everything else, including where and when you can do it.

Do you have further questions about Karls or your studies? Then just write me. I will be at your side with words and deeds and look forward to hear from you.

Karls-FAQ

https://karlshochschule.de/en/faq/

Ambassador (by me)

While German is always useful, you can easily get away without speaking German. All bachelors students are required to take German, but for Master’s students, it isn’t compulsory(but highly recommended!).

There are many different expat clubs in Karlsruhe to meet and network with people. I would be happy to recommend cafes and pubs that are especially international and friendly.

The student visa allows you to work a maximum of 120 full days or 240 half days a year. In Germany, there are mini jobs which pay 450€ per month, untaxed, normally at 16 hours per week, depending on the job. If you earn more than 450€, you will need to pay taxes on the amount that exceeds 450€, a part of which you will be able to get back at the end of your studies by filing.

Try to network as much as possible and keep an open mind regarding a job. It’s relatively easy to find a job as a bike courier whereas it might be a bit more difficult to find a job as a bartender or waiter/waitress. Most of these jobs require service industry level German, which is quite easy to pick up. From my personal standpoint, I would add that I have made a lot of friends outside of university through my job, so it's a great way to branch out into the community. 

From Karlsruhe, which is basically smack dab in the center of Europe, there are many means of transportation to get you wherever you wish. With budget airlines offering flights as low as 5€, trains leading everywhere, budget bus lines and carsharing apps, it makes it easy to travel and meet family and friends in Europe. Most other students are also interested in traveling and can usually recommend cheap and easy ways to get just about anywhere. To get an idea, Karlsruhe is 45 minutes from the Black Forest, 15 minutes from the french border and here is a short list of distances to nearest major cities:

 

From

Cities

Distance (km)

Time by Train

Karlsruhe

Stuttgart

80

40 minutes

Karlsruhe

Frankfurt

142

1 hour 15 minutes

Karlsruhe

Luxembourg (Luxembourg)

235

2 hours 45 minutes

Karlsruhe

Zurich 

270

3 hours

Karlsruhe

Munchen (Munich)

291

3 hours

Karlsruhe

Paris 

556

5 hours