Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


Not sure if you want to continue studying, and consider dropping out? You don’t know what prospects you have after dropping out? Then this website offers you an overview of existing options for action.
Frequently asked questions:

Decision making – who can assist me?

It makes sense to think carefully about the decision to drop out. To do this, it is helpful to know the causes of the current unsatisfactory situation and to consider possible future alternatives.

The General Counselling Service supports you in the decision making process and advises you on the prospects after dropping out of your studies. The consultations are confidential and without a relationship of dependency.

Counselling is confidential, personalized, open-ended and free of charge. There is no relationship of dependence between the person who seeks advice and the adviser.

Special dropout/perspective counselling

Additionally to the general advisory there is a special "dropout counselling". Advice is given online via Zoom, phone or in person. Appointments by arrangement, simply write to and briefly describe your concern.

Who can support me if I have problems during my studies?

Difficult but solvable situations may underlie the decision to terminate. You would like to complete your studies in principle, but are inhibited by study problems, fear of exams, motivational difficulties, etc.? The General Student Advisory Service and the Psychological Advisory Service at Humboldt-Universität offer you advice and support:

General Counselling Service

Advice is provided online via Zoom, by telephone or in person.

Psychological study advice

Advice is provided online via Zoom, by telephone or in person. You can e.g. book an appointment via the online appointment system.

Charité students

Please contact the advisory service of Charité directly.

Disability Advisory Service

Advice is provided online via Zoom, by telephone or in person. Information on barrier-free studies, compensation for disadvantages, cases of hardship, etc. can be also found on the website "Studying with disabilities".

Mental crises

In acute crisis situations, you can contact the Berlin Crisis Service.

What options do I have?

Can I do an apprenticeship?

You can choose between dual and school-based vocational training. Especially those who drop out of university are increasingly in demand because of the skills they have acquired.

Is it possible to shorten the duration of the apprenticeship?

Sometimes, it is possible to shorten the duration of the training for a few months up to 1.5 years, if it is expected that you will achieve the training goal in the shortened training period. Reasons for this can be, among other things, the entrance qualification for a technical college or university, employment, work experience or academic achievements. Further information on reduced training times can be obtained directly from the chambers.

How can I start my professional life directly?

If you are determined to start your professional life immediately, you have different options. You may want to turn a part-time job into your main job, or you start by looking for a job and making targeted applications. It is recommended not to conceal the dropout when applying, but to explain it well. An internship is also a suitable way of entering professional life.

Especially if you have not yet acquired a professional or academic degree, it makes sense to carefully weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of starting your career directly.

Who will help me with finding a job and planning my career?

Job consultation

The careers counselling service at the Employment Agency supports you in your job search. Appointments can be made by phone or the contact form on the website.

HU Career Center

In cooperation with the Employment Agency, the Career Center offers a Consultation hour in preparation for the job market.

How do I finance myself after dropping out?

The Social Counselling Centre of the studierendenWERK advises you on financing issues and has also an overview website for contact points for international students.

How can I start my own business?

With the appropriate ideas and knowledge of self-employment or founding a start-up, you can also consider this.

Alternatives – how can I use the time during the reorientation?

In some phases it can be good to gain new impressions in a different environment or to consciously take time for a reorientation. Valuable experience can be gained, new perspectives can arise and contacts can be made through volunteer work or a a voluntary service.

The Humboldt University offers information and advice, e.g. on internships or semesters abroad.

Is there a way to still get a university degree?

Various circumstances make you consider dropping out of your studies, but you still want to obtain a university degree? An apprenticeship is not a suitable alternative for you? Maybe a change of course or place of study is the right solution.

For this decision, please also note the website "Change of subject or course".

Maybe you feel more comfortable at another university/college or you prefer a dual study program. Dual programs combine a university course with practical training or work experience with an employer. Unlike part-time courses, in a dual program the employment and/or training element is an integral part of the course.

If you opt for a dual program of study at a higher education institution, you must also sign a contract with an employer. Your curriculum will be closely connected to your job, and the course will be completed in two different places.

You may find the database Higher Education Compass for study programmes in Germany useful. Feel free to use the filters!

Where can I get information?

The Queraufstieg platform provides information on counselling services, educational paths and events on the subject of dropping out as well as links on residence law and support for refugees.

If you are unsure which job, which training or which course of study might suit you, the pages of the Employment Agency provide assistance.

If you are not sure where your skills lie and which jobs might fit in with them, you are welcome to try out the skills assessment tool (in German).

Remember, an education or career is what you make of it. If you are highly motivated, be creative and you use the principle of "Life Design" to shape your very own path that suits your needs and interests in the respective phase of life. You are not limited to the pure supply and demand relationship of the labour market, the latter being more dynamic than just a few years ago, making it difficult to derive reliable forecasts. Your personal motivation and self-efficacy through the development of your individual skills are therefore decisive for your satisfaction. Do not be afraid to develop your own solutions and repeatedly reflect on your needs and situation.

You can also get support in the form of Education and Careers Guidance in Berlin.

We wish you success!


Last updated: January 2023

Contact for questions or feedback on this page:

The Compass Hotline:
Phone: +4930 2093-70333
Mail: Contact form

With sending an email you agree that your data is processed by an electronic ticketing system (OTRS). Please note the information:


Information according to EU-DSGVO


When contacting facilities of the study department, personal data are partly collected and processed. The processing of personal data, such as the name, address, e-mail address, or telephone number shall always be in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (EU-DSGVO) and in accordance with the Berlin Data Protection Act (BlnDSG). Further information on this, your rights and options can be found at