The first steps

You’ve been admitted to one of Freiburg’s universities! But what now?!

There are several steps to complete once you’ve arrived in Freiburg. To ease your settling in process in Freiburg, we have divided the first days in Freiburg into six different steps.

At the beginning of each semester, the Studierendenwerk’s international dormitory tutors will be offering administrative toursThrough these tours you will be provided with helpful and important information on the different administrative steps and offices.

Important for all students with passports from countries other than EU-member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway: You are required to obtain a residence permit for Germany.

On September 1st 2011 the “electronic residence permit” (eAT) has been introduced in Germany.

Students with passports from countries other than EU-member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway are advised to call the foreigners’ registration office to make an appointment. The processing time will take around 4-6 weeks.

Telephone number of the immigration office: 0761 / 201 - 49 32 (Mon. – Fri. 8.00 - 12.00 and 13.00 - 16.00.

Train connections to and from Freiburg can be found at

Students participating in study programs are provided rooms at one of the dormitories through the University.

All those who are not participating in a study program or come to Freiburg as a free-mover, have to find housing options themselves.

In contrast to many other countries, students in Germany are not provided a room automatically upon admission to a university.

Living in dormitories

Naturally, even if you’re not coming to Freiburg as a program student, you can apply for a room in one of the Studierendenwerk’s dormitories.

Living in a dormitory provides a lot of opportunities and can be beneficial in finding new friends. However, living in a dormitory also has unique characteristics and one has to follow certain rules. Usually the apartments or floors are shared by male and female students who share a kitchen and sanitary fittings. They occupy individual rooms though. The dormitory’s residents are responsible for the cleanness of the shared rooms. This means that all students, regardless of their gender, are required to clean. Obviously residents are also required to clean their own rooms.

The Studierendenwerk has initiated an international dormitory tutor program. The tutors are tasked with aiding the international students in particular and will help them with questions regarding the everyday life. Furthermore, they’re offering a cultural and leisure time program for all of the residents.


Living in private accommodation

There are several options when looking for private accommodation in Freiburg. These options include small apartments, shared apartments or rooms within the landlord’s apartment and shared bathroom and kitchen spaces. Oftentimes the shared apartments (WGs) are mixed, meaning that men and women live in one apartment and the housekeeping is done mutually.


The Studierendenwerk can be of assistance in finding private accommodation of all kinds. 

German Registration law requires all people living in Germany, temporarily or permanently, to register at the Citizen Registration Office (Bürgeramt). EU citizens and citizens from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway qualify automatically for a student residence permit which they receive immediately.


The following documents must be presented:


  • Rental contract
  • Passport (if necessary) or Personal Identification (EU)
  • 1 passport sized photo (EU citizens require 2)
  • A white registration form (available at the registration office)


The white confirmation note obtained from the Citizen Registration Office must be presented to the immigration office. The blue carbon copy must be presented to Student Services or to your landlord and the bank.


Studying in Germany without a German bank account is practically impossible.

The following documents are needed to open an account:

  • Passport or Personal Identification
  • Proof of admission
  • Registration confirmation

All students in Germany are required to take out health insurance. We recommend that students apply for statutory health insurance. Students are eligible to take out health insurance at a discounted rate for 14 semester or until they reach 30 years of age. When fulfilling these criteria, health insurers are obliged to insure students at the discounted rate.

The statutory health insurance covers visits to general practitioners and physicians as well as prescribed medication. Some services or medications may require a small contribution. Please note: This insurance does not cover the costs of cosmetic dentistry. The discounted insurance premium for statutory health and nursing care insurance amounts to 91,96 € per month. The premium for childless students who have already reached 23 years of age amounts to 93,59 €. These amounts are current for the summer term 2019. The premiums include a contribution to the nursing care insurance, which was introduced in Germany a couple of years ago. You are required to pay the premium prior to enrolling at the university. You can find an insurer comparison, provided by the health insurance center (Krankenkassen-Zentrale), here.

Students from within the European Union, who possess a “European Health Insurance Card” (EHIC), are required to present their insurance card to a statutory health insurer (such as the AOK, TK, etc.). Once these requirements are fulfilled, the statutory health insurer will provide a certificate, which will exempt you from taking out health insurance in Germany.

For students who are 30 years of age or older, we recommend taking out private health insurance in order to cover the costly hospitalization and medical procedures in Germany. On average, a one day stay in the hospital will cost more than 200 €. If you have any further questions regarding health insurance, the Studierendenwerk’s social counsellors will be happy to help you.

For taking out health insurance, you’ve got three options:

1.       Taking out health insurance with a statutory health insurer. The following documents will have to be presented when taking out health insurance:

  • Passport
  • Proof of admission
  • Bank account details

2.       Students are exempted from taking out health insurance in Germany, if they are insured in their home country and can provide the European Health Insurance Card or form E128, which was provided to them by their health insurance. Students from a European Union member state, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iceland, Israel, Croatia, Liechtenstein, Morocco, Macedonia, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia, Montenegro, Turkey and Tunisia are exempt from the compulsory insurance in Germany if they can provide the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or form E128 which was provided by their health insurer from their home country.

The following documents will have to be presented to one of the statutory health insurers in Germany:

  • ID Card/Passport
  • Proof of admission
  • EHIC or Health Insurance Form E 128

The German health insurer will then provide a certificate, which will exempt you from taking out health insurance in Germany. The certificate is required when enrolling at a German university.

3.       You may also be exempt from taking out health insurance in Germany if you can provide proof of sufficient coverage through a health insurance in your home country:

You may be exempt from taking out health insurance in Germany if your health insurer from your home country can provide proof of sufficient health insurance coverage for the duration of your studies.

Please note: Travel health insurance is not sufficient for this matter.

You will have to present the following documents to a statutory health insurer in Germany:

  • Proof of insurance from your home country (German translation)
  • Passport
  • Proof of admission



On September 1st 2011 the “electronic residence permit” (eAT) was introduced in Germany and the other European Union member states. All students, who are required to obtain a “residence permit for the purpose of their studies”, will receive a chip card, on which all the relevant information will be saved. Furthermore, this chip card will enable all other online functions, such as online shopping, if desired.

Information on the electronic residence permit can be found on the website of the Budesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge.

As it may take up to six weeks until the chip card can be picked up, it is recommended to set up an appointment at the foreigners’ registration office in order to file the application.

The following documents will have to be presented:

  • Passport (along with the student visa, if applicable)
  • Proof of finances, which will confirm that the costs for the duration of your studies will be covered
  • Proof of registration from the Citizen Registration Office (Bürgeramt)
  • Proof of admission
  • Proof of health insurance
  • 1 biometric passport photo
  • Fees: €100 for a one year residence permit

Students who are sponsored by a German foundation are exempt from paying these fees.


Due to the extensive processing time it will be difficult to present the required residence permit when enrolling at the university. Oftentimes a valid passport (along with the student visa, if applicable) will be sufficient for the process of enrollment.

Once you’ve completed the preceding steps, you are ready to enroll at the university. The process of enrollment will take place at the registrar’s office of the respective university.

The following documents are required:

  • Proof of admission
  • Passport (along with the student visa, if applicable) or, if possible, the “electronic residence permit” or
  • Identification Card (Students from European Union member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway)
  • Enrollment form (which was attached to the proof of admission)
  • Proof of health insurance or proof of exemption from taking out health insurance
  • 2 passport photos
  • €155 / €78 for Erasmus students

The amount of €155 consists of the following shares: €78 in Studierendenwerk dues, €70 in administrative charges towards the university and €7 towards the institutionalized student body. Erasmus students are exempt from paying the administrative charges and the contribution towards the institutionalized student body. The fees may also be paid via bank transfer.

If you have any further questions, the Studierendenwerk’s social counsellors will be happy to help you.

Please note: Starting with the winter term 2017/18, students from non-EU member states have to pay € 1500 in student fees to the university in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg. The universities will be happy to answer any questions regarding the student fees.