Tips and information for every situation

Studying with an impairment

We are here to support you!

Do you have an impairment or chronic illness and are looking for ways to optimise your studies? Then you’ve come to the right place! On this page, you will find information on the compensation mechanisms in place for people with impairments, your contact persons and networking opportunities.

Study according to your needs

  • Accessibility

    To study with us, you don’t have to navigate the underground. Your distance learning are accessible to you wherever you are.

  • Flexible time management

    Your online study programme adapts to you and your circumstances: You decide when and where you study or sit your exams.

  • Virtual community

    You can network and exchange ideas with other students with disabilities at any time via our online campus – from the comfort of your own home.

Your motivation can move mountains!

You have a family, job or impairment? None of these things need to stop you from being a success. Our students are living proof and tell you their story here. 


Equal opportunities for all

We want to offer equal opportunities to everyone. That’s why you can apply for impairment compensation when taking exams. These are the impairments we have compensation mechanisms for:

  • a mental illness (e.g. depression or anxiety disorder)
  • a chronic illness (e.g. an illness of the immune system)
  • partial performance disorders (e.g. dyslexia or dyscalculia)
  • visual impairment or blindness
  • Hearing impairment or deafness
  • speech impairment
  • movement impairments
  • autism
  • any other impairment

Our tip: Contact the Examinations Office (Prüfungsamt) directly as soon as you are enrolled at IU and one of the above conditions applies to you. Our Examinations Office will be happy to show you which compensation mechanisms are available to you, e.g.

  • Extension of the writing time

  • Extension of exam duration

  • Personal/technical assistance

Our Student Registrar’s Office (Studierendensekretariat) and Examinations Office (Prüfungsamt)

Your contact persons

If you are a student with a health-related impairment, you face challenges big and small every day to achieve your goals. We want to be by your side:

  • The Student Registrar’s Office (Studierendensekretariat) and our Study Coaches will help you organise your online study programme.
  • Our Examinations Office (Prüfungsamt) will support you in applying for compensation mechanisms for your impairment.

We embrace inclusion!

Our volunteer networking team for inclusion, consisting of lecturers and interested students, contributes to the inclusive design of IU. You want to network with other students with impairments or chronic illnesses? Then simply send the team an e-mail:

Equal Opportunities Officer

Our institution is based on the principle of equal opportunities for all. Therefore, we attach great importance to maintaining and strengthening equal rights and opportunities for all members of IU International University of Applied Sciences. Our Equal Opportunities Officer is responsible, for example, for ensuring equal opportunities for all members of the institution and eliminating disadvantages.

What counts is you: We are here for you!

  • Your tutors

    In each course, you can contact a tutor who will usually answer your questions within 48 hours.

  • Your Study Coaches

    Our Study Coaches support you with your time management, study organisation and motivation. They accompany you individually on your way to a successful degree.

  • Your community

    In our MS Teams group, you can get to know other students with chronic illnesses or impairments and and chat with them. Interested? Then write to:

Free trial? Let’s go!

You can try out your study programme for four weeks – no commitment. The fees for this period only apply if you decide to continue your studies with us.

Simply register online for your desired programme.

Studying with a child

How to master your distance learning as a parent

You’re a parent and are wondering if you can handle studying and parenting at the same time? You can! With a study programme that fits in with your family life and offers you a lot of freedom. This makes your distance learning a breeze!

Advantages of distance learning for parents

We offer parents many advantages that make their distance learning easier so they can pursue their personal and professional goals. 

  • Study online

    New parents have to remain one thing above all: flexible. That’s why our study programme for parents is online – from your application, to study scripts, to exams.

  • Flexible time & cost models

    Your studies should fit in with your family life – not the other way around. That's why we offer you flexible time and cost models that you can change at any time.

  • Maximum support

    Together, we can make it! Whether it’s planning your studies, in your everyday life or during your individual exam preparation, we are always by your side.

  • Write your exams online 24/7, 365 days a year. No matter when, no matter where!

  • You want to take more time for your family in between? Take a semester off!

  • Our teachers and study coaches look forward to getting to know you.

Financing your distance learning as a parent

Financing their distance learning is not always easy for parents. However, there are certain financial aids in place that can help you. Both the state and some foundations provide financial support for students who are also parents. With the help of parental benefits, housing subsidies, child allowances and other offers, you too will be able to fulfil your dream of studying!

Financing advantages at IU International University of Applied Sciencies
Parental allowance
Maternity benefit
Child benefit and child supplement
Federal Foundation Mother and Child (Bundesstiftung Mutter und Kind)

How to organise your distance learning as a parent

A few simple tricks can make it easier for you to balance family life and distance learning. One of them is creating an individual study plan that fits perfectly with your family life. 

Here's how: Set up your individual study plan by first roughly dividing up your semester. By when do you want to be through with the content of which module? When do you want to do which exam? Then you should be more specific: When are there gaps in the coming weeks that you can use for your studies? Don’t just consider fixed times – such as your working hours – but also childcare time, shared rituals and time for your hobbies. Once you have worked out your time slots for learning, fix them in your calendar – like fixed professional appointments.

Tip: Plan only approximately 60% of your time – with the remaining 40%, something unforeseen will probably happen anyway. This helps you avoid frustration if you cannot stick to your plan. 

3 tips on how to stay on the ball

Do you have the feeling that you are treading water and not really making any progress in your distance learning as a parent? These three tips will help you stay on the ball!

  • Set sub-goals

    By setting yourself small sub-goals, your path to the big goal becomes more manageable. You move forward step by step and become more aware of your development. You should also celebrate small successes – such as the first exam or a submitted term paper. Think about how you can celebrate your personal milestones with your family and motivate yourself for your next goal.

  • Share with your family

    We’re sure your family is proud of the path you've taken! Let them share your successes, your feelings and thoughts. Explain to them why you sometimes have less time and what you want to achieve with your degree. This way, you don't have to go through your studies alone, but rather, it becomes a family affair.

  • Exchange with fellow students

    With over 100,000 students, our network is very large. You have the opportunity to connect with your fellow students on various platforms such as Microsoft Teams. Exchange ideas with other parents in the same situation, get the best tips for your distance learning with child and let yourself be motivated by like-minded people in learning groups.

You want to try us out? Go for it!

We give you time to check at your leisure whether the IU online study programme is right for you: That's why we offer you the opportunity to test our entire range of courses for one month without obligation.

Simply register online for your desired study programme. If you cancel your contract within this time, your trial month is free.

Studying in old age

Distance learning for seniors

Retired people are fitter than ever these days – both physically and mentally. Just put your feet up and do the crossword puzzle? For many, that is out of the question! That is because now, you're at the best age to tackle all the things that you didn't have time for before, alongside your job and family: for example, your dream of going to university!

Why it pays to study in old age

  • Mental training

    By studying, you train your mental fitness by dealing with complex topics and tasks.

  • Broadening horizons

    You acquire knowledge and skills in subject areas that have always interested you.

  • New challenges

    With your studies, you are always on the move, making new contacts and facing exciting challenges.

Your advantages when studying online

  • Study without a university entrance qualification

    You can also complete your online study programme without a university entrance qualification, e.g. with a completed apprenticeship and subsequent work experience.

  • Flexible time management

    Your online study programme adapts to you and your circumstances: You decide when and where you study or sit your exams.

  • Location-independent

    Mobile or from the comfort of your own home: Your distance learning are always where you are. You can even take your exams online!

Make sure you are well-advised on your studies in old age

Do you have questions about the right study programme for you or financing it with a small pension? For these and other concerns, advice centres, as well as further websites are available on the internet. Here you will find an overview of various advice services so that you are well informed on all topics related to your studies in old age.

Academic Association of Senior Citizens in Germany (Akademischer Verein der Senioren im Deutschland)
Federal Working Group on Academic Further Education for Older People