Academy for transcultural exchange (ATA)

Workshop "Stick Together" 2019, photo: Sophia Kesting
Workshop "Stick Together" 2019, photo: Sophia Kesting
Workshop "Stick Together" 2019, photo: Sophia Kesting

The Academy of Transcultural Exchange is an academic programme to refugees. By welcoming refugees, the HGB also effectively seizes the opportunity to foster cross-cultural diversity within the institution, to further develop a welcoming culture for foreign students and staff, thus pushing the internationalisation process forward. Within the framework of the ATA programme, which is limited to up to four semesters, refugees are offered the opportunity to prepare for a regular course of study in one of the four diploma degree programmes at the HGB Leipzig. The programme students have the opportunity to earn credits that can be credited to a later course of study at the HGB Leipzig or, after completion of the programme, can lead to enrole in a higher semester.

The Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig is partially financed by public funds allocated by the members of the Saxon State Parliament.


Application for winter term 2021/2022
Admission to the AtA is possible after passing an aptitude test and presenting a positive residence certificate from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).   

The application period for the winter term 2021/2022 starts on March 1, 2021 and ends on April 16, 2021.  
The following documents are required for the application:

  1. selection of a maximum of 5 study-related or study-direction-related artistic and design work sample
  2. letter of motivation with desired field of study (Painting / Graphic Design, Graphic Design / Book Art, Media Art, Photography)
  3. curriculum vitae in tabular form with details of previous training and artistic activities 
  4. proof of university entrance qualification (e.g. Abitur certificate or equivalent)
  5. proof of sufficient knowledge of the German language by at least an A2 certificate
  6. proof of a positive residence permit issued by the Federal Office for Migration and
    Refugees (BAMF), if applicable a copy of the travel document, the residence permit

Procedure of the application process

  • You send your application documents at the latest by April 16, 2021 to: ata@hgb-leipzig.de
  • The application documents will be checked formally and for artistic suitability
  • If the result is positive, you will be invited to participate in the artistic aptitude test on May 17-21, 2021. In case of a negative result, you will receive a written rejection.
  • After passing the artistic aptitude test, participants will receive a written notification of the admission.
  • In case of a positive result (admission) you can enroll at the HGB.

Applications & Questions to: ata@hgb-leipzig.de  

Multilingual information in PDF form:

The Programme

The programme is limited to a maximum of four semesters. After finishing this programme, students can enrol in a Diploma degree programme, if they have reached the required language proficiency and artistic maturity. Students can obtain a Diploma degree in one of the specialist classes. The ATA (Academy for transcultural exchange) programme does not result in a degree, but the modules completed will be credited, when the students enrol afterwards in a Diploma degree programme at the HGB Leipzig (Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig).

Language courses
Courses in German as a foreign language are offered for refugee students enrolled at the Academy for Transcultural Exchange in order to gain the required language proficiency. So students can acquire or improve their language skills through German courses at different levels (B1 to C1), by this the ATA aims to address the different language levels of the students. These courses are taught in small groups, in accordance with the teaching methods at the HGB Leipzig. In these language courses students can reach the level of language skills required for an enrolment in a Diploma programme at the HGB Leipzig (according to § 28 Abs. 5 of the study regulations). In addition to the usual language lessons, the courses include theory lessons relevant to the degree programmes, as well as necessary subject-specific and scientific vocabulary. Additional intensive courses are offered in between terms. The language lessons are open to interested students also after passing the required language level, if students need additional help concerning language problems with their subjects.
Equipped Workshops
The students get to know the different graphic and audiovisual workshops in weekly changing courses.
Specialist classes
By joining the classes of the Diploma courses, ATA-students learn the basics of the intended degree-course.
Application for the Diploma Programme

The application form for admission to a more advanced semester (no online application procedure) can be downloaded as a PDF document and needs to be submitted by

  • 31 May for admission to the following winter semester
  • 30 November for admission to the following summer semester

Applications submitted after these deadlines cannot be considered for admission to the following semester.
The application must include the following documents, without the documents an admission is not possible:

  1. a selection of degree course-related / subject-related art and design samples
  2. letter of motivation including the intended specialist class and the semester you want to join
  3. CV with essential information about previous education and artistic activities
  4. complete and authorised transcript of your university entrance qualification / graduation certificate / final school report
  5. Complete proof of credits you already obtained and certificates of exams you took before
  6. a photo of yourself (attached to the application)
  7. proof of language poficiency in German by one of the following certificates:
  • “Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang” (DSH)
  • “Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache” (TestDaF) achieving at least level 3 in all parts of the test
  • “telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule”
  • “Prüfungsteil Deutsch” as part of a preparation course

Proof of language proficiency is not required for:

  • international applicants who are German native speakers
  • applicants who acquired their university admission certificate (Abitur, completed professional education, completed degree course) at a German-speaking institution,
  • applicants who got the certificate of the Deutsches Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz - Level II (DSD II);
  • applicants who got the certificate of the Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung (ZOP) issued by the Goethe-Institut or an institution commissioned by the Goethe-Institut
  • applicants who got the certificate of the Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom (level C2) or Kleines Deutsches Sprachdiplom (level C1) issued by the Goethe-Institut.

Contact list

Chairman of ATA commissionJ.-Prof. Dr. Katrin Köppert - 187 koeppert@hgb-leipzig.de
ATA commissionCarsten Benger benger@hgb-leipzig.de
Prof. Christoph Feist - 230 feist@hgb-leipzig.de
Melina Weissenborn mewe@hgb-leipzig.de
Prof. Steven Black - 221 black@hgb-leipzig.de
Alexander Bernhardt a.bernhardt@mail.de
Christian Hoppe christianhoppe@posteo.de
Prof. Markus Dreßen dressen@hgb-leipzig.de
Prof. Jörg Ernert - 140 ernert@hgb-leipzig.de
Prof. Oliver Kossack - 282 kossack@hgb-leipzig.de
Maria-Cornelia Ziesch - 105 kanzler@hgb-leipzig.de
ATA AGStudent working group ata_ag@hgb-leipzig.de
Academic advisingRoswita Harmel harmel@hgb-leipzig.de
Social counsellorsYamen Khamis khamis@hgb-leipzig.de
Jana Kuppardt kuppardt@studentenwerk-leipzig.de