The first steps

If you decide to study in Freiburg and are accepted, there are a number of steps to complete. We have divided the first days in Freiburg into six separate steps. If you follow the plan, you cannot go wrong.

At the beginning of the semester International Tutors, provided by Student Services Freiburg, give tutorials on how to proceed with the necessary requirements for living in Freiburg. They guide students and give tips and important information about how to deal with civil servants and relevant civil offices. At the beginning of the semester all new international students get invited to a special tour of administrative Offices.

Information for all students that come from outside of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway: It is mandatory to acquire a German residence permit.


On the 1st of September 2011 Germany introduced Electronic Residence Permits (eAT).

Students that come from outside of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway need to make an appointment with the immigration office by telephone immediately upon arrival. The application process takes 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

It is easy to find a room if you are registered with one of the many study programmes. The University has developed such programmes in co-operation with many partner universities abroad and being involved in a study programme usually includes a room in one of the dormitories.


Students who are not involved in a programme have to find a room independently. In Germany it is not the case, as in other countries, that students automatically get a room.

Here are a few housing options:


Living in dormitories


People who are not involved in a programme can still apply for a room in a dormitory.  


Life in a student dormitory offers many chances to make new friends, but also has its unique rules. Normally, male and female students live together sharing a kitchen and bathroom. Residents are responsible for the common areas meaning that all residents have to clean regardless of gender. Residents are responsible for cleaning their own room.


Students Services developed a residential assistants (RA) programme. The RAs look after students and give advice and answer questions about everyday life. In every dormitory there is a culture and recreational programme in which everybody can participate.



Private accommodation


There are many private accommodation options. There are rooms in houses, which are sometimes furnished, small apartments and shared apartments for 3-5 people. The shared apartments are usually mixed gendered and the residents share chores. All types of room are offered by Student Services’ housing service.

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 have health insurance. We recommend that students apply for statutory health insurance. It is possible to be insured for 14 semesters at a discounted rate for students up until 30 years of age. If students meet these conditions, health insurers are obliged to insure students at a discounted rate.


This insurance covers GP visits (students are required to make a small contribution) and prescribed medication. Please note: Cosmetic dentistry is not covered under this insurance. The monthly rate for the insurance is € 89,37 for students up until 23 years of age and € 90,99 (Winter term 2017/18) for students up until 30 years of age as of summer 2013 and also covers hospitalisation. This monthly rate must be paid before students can matriculate. Proper Overview of German health insurance.


EU students that have a ‘European Health Insurance Card’ (EHIC) have to present this card to an insurer (AOK, Techniker Krankenkasse usw.). Students then receive a proof of insurance certificate. This certificate must be present upon registration. For students over 30, we recommend obtaining private health insurance to cover the costly hospitalisation and medical procedures of Germany. One-day hospitalisation costs on average € 200. Students with any other questions regarding health insurance can contact our social counsellor. E-Mail: sob(at)

Students have the following options:


1. Acquiring statutory health insurance: The following documents are necessary to obtain German health insurance:

  •  Passport
  •  Proof of admission
  •  Proof of current German bank account (see step 3)

2. Student who are insured in their home country and have the ‘European Health Insurance Card’ or the E128 form are not obliged to take out German health insurance.

These countries are:

EU countries, Bosnia - Herzegovina, Iceland, Israel, Croatia, Liechtenstein, Morocco, Macedonia, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia, Montenegro, Turkey and Tunisia


In this case, the following documents must be presented to any statutory health insurer: (see the addresses below)

  •  Personal Identification/Passport
  •  Proof of admission
  •  EHIC or E 128 form

The insurance company will then provide a certificate stating exclusion from statutory health insurance. This certificate must be presented upon registration.


3. Exclusion from mandatory health insurance in cases where insurance from the student’s home country covers Germany.

Students who have insurance in their home country, which also covers studying in Germany, can be excluded from German statutory health insurance. Please note: Travel insurance will not suffice.


In this case, the following documents must be presented to any statutory health insurer:

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

As of the 1st September 2011, Germany and other EU countries introduced ‘electronic residence permits’ (eAT).

Students who require a residence permit to study in Germany receive a ‘Chip Card’. This card contains all the required information and also has other online functions.

Information about the electronic residence permit can be found on the ‘Office for immigration and refugees’ website ("Bundesamts für Migration und Flüchtlinge").

As the card can take six weeks to obtain, an appointment must be made immediately upon arrival.


The following documents must be presented when applying:

  • Passport  (with student visa if you have one)
  • Proof of funding to cover study costs.
  • Proof of registration (step 2)
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Biometric Passport photo
  • €100 fee for a one-year residence permit

Students who are awarded a scholarship from a German foundation are excluded from this fee.

Due to the long processing time, it can happen that the required residence permit cannot be presented upon matriculation. In this circumstance a valid passport (eventually with a student visa) will suffice.

Once all of these steps are complete, students can matriculate. Students can register at the respective university’s registration office.  


The following documents are required:

  • Proof of admission
  • Passport (with visa if it occurs) or ‘Electronic residence permit’ or
  • Personal Identification (Only students from EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway)
    Registration form (inc. with proof of admission)
  • Proof of health insurance or confirmation of exemption
  • 2 Passport sized photos
  • € 155 / Erasmus - Exchange students €78


The € 155 can be broken down into the following: € 78 semester fee for Student Services, € 70 for university administration and 7€ fee for the students' union executive committee. Exchange student are exempt from the administration and the students' union executive committee fee. The fee can be transferred by bank.

Please take notice: Starting with the 2017/18 winter term, students of non-EU origin studying in Baden-Wuerttemberg will be required to pay tuition fees amounting to 1,500€ per semester at their institution of higher education. Please contact your school for further information.