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Information for international students and doctoral students

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12.06.2020

COVID-19 has changed our daily life. This is why we want to provide all international students and doctoral researchers with additional support and information on topics such as residence permits, financial support, contacts and social activities. 

General Information

Please find general information and current developments at the University of Bonn on our central information page:

General Information on the Coronavirus

(Specific) Information for Students

International Office

Even though the International Office is currently closed to the public, we are there for you. Please contact us via email or phone.

Office hours
Tue, Wed 10:00 am–12:30 pm, Thu 2:30–5:00
and by appointment

► Contacts

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FAQ on travel to Bonn, residence permit and visa

I want to travel to Bonn. What do I have to consider?

All persons who enter North Rhine-Westphalia traveling from a non-EU country (plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom), must undergo a quarantine of 14 days. This quarantine rule also applies if you arrived to Bonn via another EU country or another German state. Upon arrival, you must immediately and directly make your way to your accommodation and remain there for 14 days. During this time, you are not allowed to receive any visitors from persons outside of your household. In addition, you must call the local health authority immediately after your arrival and inform them.

Please contact the health authority in Bonn as follows:
Phone: +49 (0)228 7175
Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Weekends and public holidays from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Here you can find the link to the regulations of North Rhine-Westphalia (in German). In case of questions or need for assistance, please get in touch with your contact at the University of Bonn.

My student residence permit is about to expire. What shall I do?

Please apply for a renewal in good time. You can apply informally by sending an email to your local immigration office (Ausländerbehörde) including personal details and attaching required documentation. Your local immigration office will then provide you with further information via email or post the documents to you. Please ensure that your mailbox shows your name clearly.


I have applied for a renewal of my residence permit but have not received it yet. My current residence permit is about to expire. What shall I do?

If you submitted the application in good time but your case has not been decided upon yet, your stay in Germany is still considered legal. The immigration office will mail you the documents and, where applicable, also a probationary permit limited in time. Please ensure that your mailbox shows your name clearly.


My residence permit is valid and I am temporarily abroad/in my home country. I am able to and want to travel back to Germany. Will I be able to cross the border?

This decision is up to the Federal Police at the border or the airport. You must have a valid residence permit or so-called probationary permit as stipulated in Section 81 Para. 4 of the Residence Act, provide proof that Germany is your center of vial interest and that you have important reasons to enter the country. However, please note that probationary permits as stipulated in Section 81 Para. 3 of the Residence Act do not entitle you to enter Germany. Please take your passport, residence permit and, where possible, other useful documents such as your certificate of enrollment or confirmation of registration/ rental contract with you.

The University of Bonn is currently not able to make recommendations with regards to entering Germany.


My residence permit is valid and I am temporarily abroad/in my home country. What happens when my residence permit expires?

Please contact your local immigration office via email before your residence permit expires. Explain your situation and attach any documentation available as proof. The immigration office will then send you further information and (where applicable) a probationary permit (for collection at a currently operating German embassy).

If a renewal is not possible, you must reapply for a visa at a German embassy, the situation permitting.


My residence permit is valid and I am temporarily abroad/in my home country. What happens if I do not enter Germany for over six months?

Please contact your local immigration office via email before your residence permit expires. Explain your situation and attach any documents available as proof. The immigration office will then provide you with further information.


Which legal regulations apply to residence permits when taking up a side job?

Employment exceeding 120 days is only possible as an exception following approval by the immigration office and, if applicable, the employment agency (as e.g. in the case of harvest employment). Please contact your immigration office on this matter via email beforehand.

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Support and offers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Financial support for your studies

  • Finances
    If you have difficulty paying monthly bills such as rent or health insurance, please make the relevant bodies aware of your situation. This way you can avoid potential late fees. Please contact us as soon as possible, too.
  • Rental contracts
    New legislation stipulates that lessors are not able to cancel rental contracts if the inability to pay rent has been caused by the current situation. This regulation became effective April 1 and continues to be effective until at least June 30, 2020. Please bear in mind that while the payment of rent can be postponed, rent (including potential interest) must nevertheless be settled within two years. If you are unable to pay rent, please inform your lessor as soon as possible! Questions and answers on tenant protection in times of the COVID-19 pandemic: German Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection German Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (in German)
  • Student Support Fund (Hifo) offers interest-free loans
    The Student Support Fund offers interest-free loans of up to €2.500 to students of the University of Bonn struggling financially. Hifo funds are administered by the student parliament committee. To receive the relevant questionnaire and application form for starting the process, please send an email to the contact below. The chair of the committee will be pleased to help with questions on completing the application. Contact: [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.]
  • KfW student loan
    Students who are experiencing financial difficulties due to the coronavirus may apply for an interest-free interim loan of up to €650 per month. Such loans are offered by the German state-owned development bank KfW; existing KfW student loans can be adjusted and made interest-free immediately. International students may apply for the KfW student loan as of June 1, 2020, provided they are registered under a German address. The first disbursement is due by July 1, 2020. For international students, the KfW loan period is limited until March 31, 2021. Coronavirus support by the Ministry of Education and Research: KfW student loan (in German)

Working and jobbing

Working and jobbing In addition to ads in local newspapers and the websites listed below, student job offers are published on notice boards inside University buildings. You might find some interesting job offers here:


Offerings for organizing your day

If you have further tips or references, please contact Christine Müller. Contact: [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.]


Learning German

At the moment, there are no general German language courses during the semester. If you still want to advance or freshen up your German during the summer semester, you can use the interactive language learning software Rosetta Stone. This flexible self-learning solution allows you to practice according to your individual needs and pace. Students and doctoral researchers at the University of Bonn can access the learning software free of charge. Please find all relevant information on how to register and what to expect on the ULB website.

Consultation
On Fridays, 9:00–9:45 am the German as a Foreign Language section offers support with

  • General questions on learning German
  • Tips on learning German in times of corona
  • Determining your language level
  • Finding suitable German courses
  • Questions on the course offer in the winter semester 2020/21
  • Questions on how to prepare for the DSH examination
  • General questions on the DSH examination.
Questions on organizational matters and the overall offer
Sonja Hammer
Phone: +49 228 73-7708

Email: [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.]

Questions on your language level, specialist consultation
Dr. Andrea Lax-Küten
Phone: +49 228 73-5945

Email: [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.]

Further offers
You can also participate in the tandem program at the Sprachlernzentrum (SLZ) (in German). The General Students’ Committee (AStA) also offers a language learning tandem program (in German). The Goethe Institute offers information on “practicing German for free” and the Deutsche Welle (in German). 

Office hours in case of questions and problems with digital teaching

The International Office offers online consultations every Monday at 2:00 pm and Friday at 10:00 am. In these online consultations, we are happy to help with questions on Basis, eCampus, etc. If you are interested in participating, please send an email to [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.] and we will provide you with all relevant information.


AStA support

The Department for International Students aims at making the life of international students easier. We help you with questions on studies and residence permits, provide advice on solving financial problems and finding accommodation, and support you with all other matters, problems and requests. In addition to consultations (currently via Skype, email or phone), we offer the “Sprachcafé International” online on Mondays at 6:00 pm. Further news and information on our support offer and events.

Office hours:

Tuesday 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, Friday 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Skype: Internationales Referat AStA Uni Bonn

AStA also offers further services such as free computer and bike repairs, certifications, psychological counseling, support with study-related problems or conflicts with professors as well as free legal advice. AStA departments regularly organize political and cultural events, campaign for sustainability and equal treatment of students and offer an LGBTIQ* drop-in café. In addition, we provide support for students with children. You can find all stakeholders and services on the official AStA Website AStA Website headings “Service” and “Referate”.


Student Council consultation offerings

The Student Council bodies are elected each year by the members of the respective departmental student body. They represent all students of their respective department within and outside of the department. In addition, Student Council members are active in the following areas: examination copying service, parties, support with curricular organization and many more. Please find an overview of relevant Student Council contacts here (in German).

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Digital offers at the International Office

International Club

During this summer semester, International Club events are to a large extent conducted online. The program includes regular online get-togethers as well as game, quiz and country-themed evenings. If you have an idea for an event and would like to discuss it with us, please contact the team: [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.]


Sprachcafé International online

The Sprachcafé International by the General Students’ Committee (AStA) Department for International Students is offered online in cooperation with the International Club. We look forward to meeting you. When: Mondays 6:00–8:00 pm. Where: Zoom (Link to follow in the club’s Facebook group!)


International Choir

Under the direction of Martin Kirchharz, the International Choir of the University of Bonn now rehearses on Zoom. 75 singers took part in the first digital choir practice at the start of the lecture period. Rehearsals take place every Monday at 8:00 pm. In addition, we offer voice training webinars. To share the results of our efforts with you, we hope to stream a concert at the end of the semester. Contact: [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.]


PhD Café

Every Friday at 6:00 pm, our virtual PhD Café offers international doctoral students the opportunity to exchange information, discuss experiences and network. Dates, times and information on further offers aimed at doctoral students (e.g. new peer monitoring) are available at www.uni-bonn.de/studying/international-students/phd


Study Buddy Program

The International Office’s Study Buddy Program takes place digitally in the summer semester 2020. Currently 42 persons are taking part in the program. We are hoping to welcome more participants in the winter semester 2020/2021! Further details on the program and applying, [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.]


Erasmus newsletter

In order to provide our digital Erasmus students with an insight into life in Bonn and the German culture outside of university, we send a weekly newsletter containing many tips on digital events and cultural offers. If you would like to receive our newsletter, please send a short email to: [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.]

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Cultural and social activities, sports

Cultural activities

Cultural life in Bonn is currently subject to many restrictions. Nonetheless, there are numerous initiatives aiming at supporting local artists and bringing some culture flair into our living rooms.

One of these initiatives is Bonn Live (in German)— a platform with almost daily streams of musicians, DJs, cabaret artists and others performing in different locations in Bonn. The initiative has now also started organizing car concerts.

The local Erasmus Student Network (ESN) tailors its offers to international students. This does not only include Erasmus students but all international students who need support, tips or simply someone to talk to. ESN is continuing to organize different (online) events. You'll find the ESN on Facebook as well.

WDR is also offering a new platform for creative artists. In the “Kulturambulanz” (in German) section of its website, the broadcasting station provides access to theater, music and readings.

The very popular Haus der Geschichte museum in Bonn houses a permanent exhibition on German history since 1945. In Bonn, former capital of West Germany, history is everywhere. The museum’s website offers some contents in the form of online projects and audio guides — in German and English.

Digital cultural offers (Süddeutsche Zeitung) (in German)

Digital cultural offers in Bonn (City of Bonn) (in German)

Beethoven 2020, virtual (in German)

City Library Bonn, virtual (in German)


Social activities

Student groups at the University of Bonn (in German)

Volunteer Agency of the City of Bonn (in German)

Volunteer Work City of Bonn (in German)

Corona Neighborhood Assistance Bonn (in German)

Spontacts, activities in Bonn (in German)

Tips for all kinds of events and interesting information for students in Bonn are offered by Bonns Campus Radio BonnFM. While the offer is in German only, the station’s social media posts should be fairly comprehensible. 


Sports

University Sports at the University of Bonn is providing digital sports offers. Athletes at our University are offered live courses on Instagram (@hochschulsport_unibonn), CyberMoves (in German, login: [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.], password: Training) and other live courses via Zoom. Click here and give it a try!

You can also find the weekly program on the Uni-Sport Bonn website (in German). Please find the link for free registration in the University Sports bio.

All you need is a bottle of water, a mat, a towel and some space. Stay healthy and active!

Further local digital sports offers for home workout:

Baskets@home: Sport und Spaß mit Bonni und Olaf! (in German)

Schwimm- und Sportfreunde Bonn (SSF Bonn e.V.) (in German)

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