As a partner of the local universities, the Studentenwerk supports the process of internationalization and provides international students with service packages and consulting services on the fields of living, catering, funding, social affairs and culture.
Information, questions and notes regarding planning your studies
The range of degree courses in Germany is large and diverse. The course guidance centres at universities and colleges provide you with an overview over the range of degree courses and give advice with regard to which degree course to choose. The official university prospectus for Germany offers additional guidance for choosing your degree course.
In order to be able to study in Germany, you need a university entrance qualification, thus a certificate, with the help of which you can be admitted to study in your country.
The universities in Germany, however, can also set additional requirements. Consequently, for certain degree courses or individual universities, there are additional requirements regarding the grade point average or also language skills.
Please, also note that the application deadlines differ. It is therefore advisable to inform yourself in as much detail as possible about admission requirements of the degree course of your choice. The International Offices and the Student Secretariats of the universities, in particular, are contact persons on those issues.
You can find further information on the topics language skills, aptitude tests, recognition of certificates, application procedures and preparatory colleges at: http://www.internationale-studierende.de/en/prepare_your_studies/prerequisites_for_studying/ (external Link).
Most degree courses in Germany are offered in German. However, you can also study several subjects in English. Inform yourself in good time about which language the subjects selected by you are taught in.
If your educational background is not sufficient to be directly admitted to studying in Germany, you will have to pass an assessment test. For this, you generally attend a preparatory college.
During the studies, the universities and colleges of the Region Lower Bavaria/Upper Palatinate offer many opportunities to learn languages and to intensify language skills. The International Offices will provide you with more detailed information.
Students from the European Union, the European Economic Area and from several other countries can enter Germany without a visa. All other international students generally need a visa – in particular if they want to stay in Germany for longer than three months.
Inquire about the entry requirements valid for your country in advance. Once you have arrived in Germany, you will have to present your visa to the German foreigners’ registration office, which will convert it into a residence permit for studying purposes.
You can find further information on the topics visa, proof of finance, health insurance and residence permit at: http://www.internationale-studierende.de/en/prepare_your_studies/entry_into_germany/ (external Link).
In Germany, the students live either in halls of residence of the Studentenwerke (Student Unions) or in private accommodation. It is best to start searching for an accommodation prior to your departure to Germany. In most cases, you personally have to search for a room or a flat because, differently to perhaps many other countries, at German universities you do not automatically receive an accommodation upon enrolment.
Your first own contract of tenancy – the obligations of the landlord and the tenant
In Germany, a contract of tenancy is a reciprocal agreement between the landlord and the tenant, which regulates the temporary transfer of rental property for money: the landlord is obligated to allow the tenant to use the rental property whereas the tenant, in return, has to pay the rent agreed upon.
- The tenant’s obligations
Paying the rent on time
Tenants are obligated to pay the rent on time. Generally, you have to pay the rent in advance by the third business day of each month at the latest. In the case of arrears of rent of more than two month’s rents or two rent payments in part, the landlord is entitled to terminate the contract of tenancy without previous notice. Also rent payments that are permanently paid late can, in the worst case, lead to a termination. In order to avoid this, it is best for you to set up a standing order for the rent payment. Please, pay attention to your account being sufficiently covered at the beginning of each month.
Paying a deposit
In order to rent a flat, a deposit of a maximum of three net rent payments excluding services charges generally has to be paid. This deposit is due at the beginning of the tenancy relationship and can be paid in equal shares over the first three months of tenancy.
Paying attention to the house rules
Independently of the general respect that you ought to pay every house resident, each house has its own rules. You ought to pay attention to these. This applies to for example noise but also equally for the disposing of garbage. Please, bear in mind that a large number of violations against the house rules can lead to a termination on part of the landlord.
If you detect defects in your flat, you should immediately report these to your landlord. If further damage is caused because you have not reported the defects, the landlord, in the worst case, can request you to take over the costs.
Heating the flat
Many tenants want to save heating costs; and therefore, they only scarcely use their heating system. If the flat, however, becomes mouldy because of this or if a pipe freezes, you are responsible for these damages. You are responsible for the flat being sufficiently heated.
Do not sublet without permission
If you want to sublet parts of the flat or the entire flat, for example during a stay abroad, you have to obtain the landlord’s consent prior to this.
- The landlord’s responsibility
During the period of tenancy, the landlord is responsible for the flat to correspond to the condition that it was in at renting. He thus is obligated to repair damages. However, you as a tenant generally are to repair minor damages or cosmetic repairs on your own. This includes for example painting the living and useable space in the flat. However, equally as the landlord is responsible for the condition of the flat, also tenants are obligated to maintain the flat. The landlord guarantees that the heating system works and that it can heat the flat to a minimum of 20°C. As a tenant, however, you also have to report immediately when the heating system does not work.
The landlord is not responsible for all damages that you are personally responsible for. Therefore, it is important that the tenant deals with necessary insurances when moving into the first flat. A private liability insurance can insure the tenant in the event of damage.
What does studying in Germany cost? Students in Germany generally have monthly expenses of EUR 819 on average (2016, source: 21. Sozialerhebung [21st social survey]):The students’ expenses vary greatly. The amount of expenses depends on e.g. the students ‘age and living form.
- EUR 323 Rent including service charges
- EUR 168 Food
- EUR 94 Public transport/car
- EUR 80 Health insurance, medical fees, medication
- EUR 61 Spare time, culture, sport
- EUR 42 Clothes
- EUR 31 Telephone, internet, broadcasting revenue
- EUR 20 Learning material
The students’ expenses vary greatly. The amount of expenses depends on e.g. the students‘ age and living form.
In order to facilitate your orientation at your university, we have listed several contact partners for you that can help you on issues regarding the planning of your studies.
Your university is the contact partner for issues regarding your studies.
The Studentenwerk supports you on issues regarding funding, student residential complexes and social and cultural matters.
- International Office
The International Office is the most important contact point for international students and supports you on organisational issues.
- Student Secretariat/Study Centre
The Student Secretariat is responsible for the matters of applications, admission, enrolment certificates and exeats.
- Course guidance centre
The course guidance centre supports you on general issues regarding the choice of your degree course, application and the study regulations.
- Academic advisor or study programme coordinators respectively
The academic advisor or the study programme coordinators respectively answer question regarding the respective degree course, the module catalogue and the timetable.
- The examination office
Please, turn to the examination office if you have questions regarding examination matters and the posting of grades. This office is additionally responsible for issuing certificates and credentials.
- General Students’ Committee (AStA)
The elected students’ union represents the students’ interests and organizes various information sessions.
- Student body of a faculty and representation thereof
Student bodies of a faculty are elected students’ unions and committees supporting students’ interests. They are particularly committed at the start of university for a successful study start for freshmen and they develop their own student projects.
- International university groups
International university groups set themselves to connect students among each other. They organize diverse offers, student projects or tandem programmes. University groups provide a good environment for getting to know new students at the location of study.
- International tutors of the Studentenwerk
International tutors champion international students at the universities. They develop cultural offers, organize sport and spare time activities and offer “international” consultations.