Please note: In the English translations the Studierendenwerk Freiburg is referred to as Student Services Freiburg

In contrary to other countries, Student Services in Germany are responsible for the social care of students. Whilst the university is responsible for research and education, Student Services are responsible for organisation of everyday life providing the framework for a successful education. For example, providing or helping to find accommodation, inexpensive meals in student cafeterias and offering advice regarding financial and social matters. In addition, Student Services Freiburg supports cultural activities and offers many opportunities for intercultural interaction.  

Student Services in Baden-Württemberg is required to offer services in accordance with §2 Student Services law. Student Services is an institution with legal capacity meaning that it is self-governing within the framework set by the Student Law.  

Student Services consist of three organs that deal with fundamental economic and political decisions: The Board of Directors, The Board of Representatives and the Managing Director.
State financial aid, BAföG financial aid refund, the students semester fees and income through e.g. cafeterias or dormitories cover the cost of care and support.

Student Services Freiburg currently has approx. 350 employees that care for over 46.000 students of which over 5.000 are international students. Student Services Freiburg also has branches in Offenburg, Furtwangen, Villingen-Schwenningen, Lörrach and Kehl and is responsible for the social care of the students in theses universities.

Student Services is responsible for the students of the following nine institutions:


Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg
Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Freiburg
Evangelische Hochschule Freiburg
Katholische Hochschule Freiburg
Hochschule Macromedia Freiburg
ISBA - Internationale Studien- und Berufsakademie Freiburg

Hochschule Offenburg
Hochschule für öffentliche Verwaltung Kehl
Hochschule Furtwangen
Duale Hochschule BW Villingen-Schwenningen
Duale Hochschule BW Lörrach



Deutsches Studentenwerk (DSW) - Verband der Studierenden- und Studentenwerke
Studierendenwerke Süd-West


Student Services in Baden-Württemberg are regulated by Student Services Law:

§ 2 Responsibilities
1. Student Services co-operate with universities, with the academies of Cooperative State University Baden-Württemberg (Duale Hochschule) and the Film- aswell as the Pop Academy Baden-Württemberg to provide care and support for students as long as these institutions do not have their own independent support service.

2. Social care and support serves students in the following areas of focus:

  • Catering
  • Student housing
  • Promotion of cultural, sporting and social activities
  • Childcare
  • Health and Well-being
  • Social advice for foreign students
  • Organising financial aid

Managing Director

The managing director directs business matters of Student Services and is the superior of all employees. The managing director must have adequate experience in economic, social and legal areas and is elected for six years. The managing director regularly informs universities about the work of student services.

Board of Directors

  • The board of directors consists of:
  • Three representatives from the directors of the institutions (universities) that Student Services cooperates with (§2, 1)
  • Three representatives from the students of these institutions
  • Three external specialists ideally from the business sector and city administration.
  • One representative from the ministry of education and Research
  • one representative of the staff council

The managing director is present at board meetings and contributes advice. The managing director can be excluded from the meetings by the board of directors. The election of the representatives, and how long they serve, are determined by set rules regulations. The ministry of education and research sends its representative.

Board of Representatives

Members of this board are
a) By virtue of Office: The full-time members of the university board of directors - the university representative directors - the directors of the Cooperative State University Baden-Württemberg - the managing director of the Film-  or the Pop Academy Baden-Württemberg.

b) Due to elections: Full-time educators and students of the universities and the other institutions that are under Student Services’ care. In addition to members in point a), universities and academies of Cooperative State University Baden-Württemberg (Duale Hochschule) with up to 3000 students, the Film Academy and the Pop Academy each send one educator and one student to the board of representatives.

Universities with up to 7000 students send two representatives (student and educator) each; universities with up to 14000 students three and institutions with over 14000 students four students and four educators each to the board of representatives.
Educators serve for two years and students for one, beginning at the start of term on the 1st of January.

Im Jahr 2003 entwickelten die Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter des Studierendenwerks Freiburg zusammen mit einer externen Beraterin ein gemeinsames Leitbild, das die Unternehmensphilosophie umreißt und die Grundlage für ihre Arbeit bildet. 2015 wurde das Leitbild überarbeitet und um einen weiteren Punkt ergänzt.

Einen Auszug finden Sie hier.

Wir sind dazu da, die Studierenden der Hochschulen unserer Region in ihren sozialen, wirtschaftlichen, gesundheitlichen und kulturellen Belangen zu fördern.

Wir heißen Studierendenwerk weil wir nicht nur für Studenten da sind, sondern auch für Studentinnen. Und da Sprache das Denken und das Bewusstsein bestimmt, nennen wir uns gendergerecht Studierendenwerk.

·        Mit unseren sozialen Leistungen unterstützen wir die Studierenden aus dem In- und Ausland darin, ihr Studienziel zu erreichen.

·        Wir handeln wirtschaftlich und stellen uns erfolgreich dem Wettbewerb, indem wir unsere vielfältigen Serviceleistungen aus einer Hand anbieten.

Unsere gemeinsamen Unternehmensziele erreichen  wir nur mit zufriedenen Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeitern.

Semester contribution

Student Services Freiburg-Schwarzwald (Studierendenwerk) is responsible for the social support of students within the university region of Freiburg offering many useful and helpful services such as canteens, cafeterias, halls of residence and counselling services. These services are funded from three sources: the state, Student Services’ own recourses and semester contributions paid by students.

Over the past years the services offered have continuously grown with the biggest being the addition of approximately one thousand new student rooms in the last ten years. A further one thousand rooms are planned over the next eight to ten years. Cultural support and counselling have also been expanded.

The semester contribution is currently 56 Euros plus - for students in Freiburg - the additional 28 Euros for the Freiburg Semester-Ticket.

What are Student Services and what do they do?
Student Services are institutions of public law and responsible for the care and support of social, financial and cultural matters. Student Services offer students a variety of services that are tailored to that particular place of study. There are Student Services in every location where there is an educational facility and in many regions they are responsible for multiple educational institutions such as Student Services Freiburg. 

Do I have to pay the Student Services fee?
Yes. The fee is automatically included in the matriculation fee you pay at your university. The semester fee allows you to use all of Student Services’ services. For example, you will be able to eat in the inexpensive cafeterias, live in dormitories and take advantage of many other services.

How can I be excluded from this fee?
The obligatory fee is included in the matriculation fee.

What do I get in return?
A routine day: Get up, grab your bike, get a quick breakfast at Café Europa, go to a lecture until 12, have lunch at the Mensa, go to a seminar, register for a Studitour-excursion in the late afternoon, hand in your BAföG application, go back to the dorm and in the evening see a concert at the Mensa Bar. Like we said, a normal day with Student Services.

Who decides how much the fee is?
The fee amount and all of the important activities of Student Services is decided by the board of directors - the rectors, professors, representatives of the city and the business community and students from the different universities.

Who receives my registration fee that I pay every semester?
The registration fee goes to the university.

As a student in Freiburg, do I have to register Freiburg as my primary residence?
Registration laws state that people must register their place of residence as being the place where most time is spent, otherwise known as ‘Primary Residence’. Consequently, the law requires that, in cases where people have two residences, the one in which most time is spent must be registered as the primary residence.

How does the Semester Ticket work?
Please check here

Do I have to pay the contribution for the Semester Ticket even if I don’t need it?
Yes, if you are studying at one of the prior mentioned universities. The financing of the ticket is only possible when all students contribute.

Can I buy a ticket if I study at a different educational institution?
Unfortunately no. There are no exceptions. The ticket is only available to students of the prior mentioned universities that have a contract with the RVF.

Am I actually insured?
Yes, all students are insured against accidents under German law. Students that study at universities associated with Student Services Freiburg additionally are insured against accidents during free time, against bicycle and clothing theft and also have liability insurance.