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Before Studying

Informationstag für internationale Studierende 2

Orientation session for new international students




I. Before your arrival 

Application Process

General information about studying are available on our portal "Studying at the University of Bonn" - with detailed information about the offered courses/degrees and the application & admission process as well as the appropriate contact persons. Please note: the detailed information for undergraduate studies are in the most cases available in German, because the courses are taught in German. For information about our German language courses and language requirement see links below.

The Central Student AdvisorService provides information on questions concerning the offered study courses, possible combinations of subjects or study related contents.

Responsible for the application and admission process in an undergraduate degree program (Bachelor, state examination, teacher training) is the Registrar´s Office (Studentensekretariat - see here: contact persons for Applicants with a foreign higher education entrance qualification).

  • Application Deadline for first-circle courses: July 15 for the winter semester and January 15 for the summer semester (see also other Dates & Deadlines).

For an application and admission in a higher semester, your academic achievements must be recognized first! Contactable for the recognition is the faculty/academic department (except: Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry - see below) with responsibility of the desired course of study. For this matter, or all questions related specifically to your program of study, the departmental advisors are the right contact persons. Responsible for recognition of academic achievements - explicit for State examination degree courses - with subject Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry is the "Bezirksregierung" (regional government) in Düsseldorf.

To apply for Master studies at Bonn University, special admission requirements and deadlines have to be considered! Responsible for the application and admission process is the executing faculty/department of the course - for further information see master degree courses.

The University of Bonn offers furthermore International Degree Programs (in most cases Master- or Ph.D.-programs and 2 Bachelor programs), which are specially geared to international applicants. These programs are partially or completely taught in English and provide special counseling and support for international students. Again, special admission requirements and deadlines need to be considered. For questions concerning the application and registration process, please contact the respective program coordinator / academic department.

For information on applying for PhD. studies please visit our  "Bonn Graduate Center - Portal for Doctoral and Postdoctoral Researchers" See also our offer concerning social support for international PhD students "Pro-Motion".

International students have to prove their German language skills in most courses of studies. Please, inform yourself on time about the language requirements in order to be accepted to your program. The following websites provide further information:

Please, also note the English language skills for certain courses, particularly those for the international study programs!


General information for applicants from the People´s Republic of China

 Since November 26, 2001, the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms University of Bonn accepts only applications from the People's Republic of China if, in addition to the reports, the completed entrance application also includes the original certificate of the academic inspection authority of the Cultural Department of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Beijing.

The original certificate can also be replaced by a copy that has been authenticated by the German Embassy; certificates authenticated by other sources will not be accepted! Furthermore, the University of Bonn will accept no applications via third parties. This means that you have to fill out the application yourself, enter your address and sign the form. Entrance applications that do not fulfil the requirements above will not be processed and will be rejected.

This rule also applies to Chinese university applicants who have a degree from their home country and would like to do their Ph.D. in Bonn.

This rule does not apply:

  • to applicants who have completed a German "Studienkolleg"
  • to applicants who have successfully finished their first semester at a German university

You can contact the newly founded academic inspection authority in Beijing via:

Chaoyang District
Dongsanhuan Beilu 8
Landmark tower 2, Office 0311
100004 Beijing
Telephone: +86/10/65907141 
Fax: +86/10/65907140 - The Embassy also provides further useful information.

For further information see "special cases" on the page Applicants from non-EU/EEC countries


Studying with Handicap

The University of Bonn offers prospective students and students with disabilities and/or chronic diseases, a central point of contact for clarification of issues that are associated with the study, or serve to resolve personal problems - which need a coordination within the university administration and/or in the relevant department/ faculty. For questions, please contact Ms. Marion Becker, postal address: 53012 Bonn, Regina-Pacis-Weg 3, 53113 Bonn, Tel .: +49 (02) 228 73 0228 7306, Fax: +49 (0) 228 73 0228 6835, email:


Applicants from non-EU/EEC countries

Entry, Visa, Residence Permit

Citizens of EU/EEA States do not need a visa for entering Germany or studying in Germany, due to their freedom of movement, just a valid travel document such as a passport is required.

Citizens from Australia, Israel, Japan, USA, Canada, New Zeeland, Honduras, Monaco, San Marino, Andorra, South Korea and Switzerland may also enter without a visa. If you are here to study for more than three months, however, you have to apply for a residence permit at the Ausländeramt (foreigners’ registration office) der Stadt Bonn. If you come from Honduras, San Marino, Andorra or Monaco, you may only enter without a visa if you are not planning to look for a gainful employment in Germany.

The list of countries that require or do not require entry permit to Germany can be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt).

For the citizens of all other countries, a visa is required for entry and studying, as long as your stay will be longer than 90 days. In order to be able to enter the country, please apply for a national student visa at the appropriate German Consulate in your country. Do not enter the country on a Schengen or tourist visa! A tourist visa cannot be converted into a visa or a residence permit for education and training purposes.


Please inform yourself about the entry conditions and the visa application process on time and bear in mind that the visa is valid from the date of issue – not the date of entry!


If you have been admitted to study here, you must apply for a national student visa which is generally issued for a duration of three months. Within that time period, and after you have registered at the University of Bonn, you must apply for a residence permit at the Ausländeramt (foreigners’ registration office) der Stadt Bonn.

If you have not yet been admitted to study here, you have to apply for an applicant visa.

In order to apply for a German residence permit for studying purposes you need the following documents:

  • passport
  • confirmation of your health insurance status
  • financial status (bank statement, scholarship, working contract) (this stauts should prove that the student has enough financial support for the first year. The required amount is 8.640 Euro/year or 720 Euro/month - [information concerning a blocked account, see below - opening a bank account].
  • confirmation of course achivements (if necessary)
  • approval document of the university, confirmation that approval will be expected, enrollment confirmation of the university document

There might be variation in the needed documents depending on the home country of students. Therefore, please contact the German embassy in your home country, to find at Germany´s Federal Foreign Office.

A good overview on potential residence permits pursuant to the German Residence Act is presented by the German Rector´s Conference , the Voice of the Universities.

You will find also detailled "Information on Legal Requirements for the Entry and Residence of Foreign Students, Academics and Scientists" offered by the German Academic Exchange Service (source: DAAD, 2012).

After your arrival in Germany and your move-in to a dorm/appartment you have to register at the Einwohnermeldeamt (registration office) of Bonn (see below registration Einwohnermeldeamt). You will receive a registration confirmation which is necessary in order to open a bank account and to apply for an appointment at the foreigners' registration office (Ausländerbehörde).


Financing / Scholarship

In order to apply for a visa but at latest in order to apply for a residence permit non-EU students have to prove their financial status (per year 8640 Eur). This financial status should prove that the student has enough financial support for the first year after arrival. Please, contact and ask the German embassy in your home country in advance, how much money and in which form you have to prove it.  EU-students have to show their sufficient financial status, but are not obliged to prove it.

Students who have family members or acquaintances who live in Germany can name them as a sponsor if he/she is willing to take over the costs of the student.

You should keep in mind the following costs during your studies in Germany:

  • Living expenses (rent, food, clothes, books…/ ca. 700-800 Euro monthly). See further Information for international Students concerning monthly costs of living (source: Deutsches Studentenwerk).

  • social contribution each semester - about 285,11 €/Semester (e. g. for summer semester 2017) - this fee includes, among other things, the costs of a student card for regional public traffic, access to student canteens, libraries...).  

Several foundations like the DAAD (The German Adademic Exchange Service) offer sholarships and grants. Commonly, the application for a scholarship might already be done in the home country. Therefore, please inform yourself early enough about the application deadline (some foundations only decide 1-2 times a year who is accepted as a scholarship holder). The DAAD offers a comprehensive list of several foundations: Additionally, the International Office offers an overview of several foundations: Scholarship-Foundations overview.

For international graduates and non-graduates: Please note, there are different conditions for graduates and non-graduates. Sometimes an application for a scholarship is only possible after being accepted at university.

If the residence permit accepts, students are allowed to work in Germany. You will find the necessary information concerning working permissions for foreign students of non-EU countries here (


Finding a room / dorm

Finding a payable room is one challenge for new students in Bonn, especially for international students without German language skills. The Studierendenwerk Bonn - an independent public institution - offers rooms in student's residences. Due to an increasing number of students the rooms are fully booked quite quickly! In Bonn we have sometimes a housing shortage for cheap accommodations (e.g. at start of the winter semester), therefore it is important to search as soon as possible for an accommodation.

You find detailed information about the equipment and the location of the residence halls and the rental fee (between 195 and 564 Euro) on the website of the Studierendenwerk Bonn or in the wider range here. The rent includes all arising expenses and is depending on the living facility, size of the room, offered furniture, location and transport connection. 

Disabled and ill students might be privileged after submitting an application.

It is possible to apply for several dorms and name your ranking order. As soon as the Studierendenwerk confirms a room or an apartment they will send you the rental contract or you have to go to their office in order to sign it. For students of "International degree programs" rooms might be reserved. Please contact your program coordinator concerning this possibility.

The furniture and facilities differ from dorm to dorm. Some apartments include an own bathroom, other rooms have a shared bathroom and a shared kitchen. Additionally to single apartments, the Studierendenwerk also offers shared flats and apartments for families and single parents. Every dorm offers washing machines and sometimes laundry dryer. Moreover, a telephone and internet connection can be found in the rooms, usually as well as a TV connection. Duvet covers, towels and kitchen utensils are not offered in general but can be rent or bought for an extra charge. Please, inform yourself about the equipment in your dorm on time. General hints and an illustrated dictionary about life in a student dorm can be found here (

You will find the necessary information about the dorms and the application procedure on the web page of the Studerendenwerk Bonn - Please note: the University of Bonn and the Studierendenwerk Bonn are two separated and independent institutions, for questions please contact the mentioned address below!

Studierendenwerk Bonn AöR
Abt. Studentisches Wohnen
Nassestraße 11
53113 Bonn
phone: 0228/ 73 7163
opening hours: Mon, Tue, Thu 9:00 - 12:00, Thu. also 2:00 - 4:00 pm.

Overview of  student residence halls (in German) / Frequently-asked-questions / online application (Onlineformular).

If you are not successful in attaining a room from the Studierendenwerk Bonn, you have to look for a room on the private market. You will find several addresses on our website "Accomodation in Bonn" - here you will find websites of additional residence halls of private or church-related organizations and search databases on private market and addresses from housing mediator. Please note: Some housing mediator agencies take a commission fee. 

If you are looking for a private offer after arrival, you can also use the daily papers "General-Anzeiger" or "Bonner Rundschau" and the papers "Schnüss" or "Annonce", with offerings for apartments/shared flat or the like. 

For rental agreements on private housing market - general advices and important instructions regarding contracts"All you need to know before signing a rental agreement on private market" - see external link Just Landed.


 II. After your arrival / Your first days in Bonn 

The University of Bonn offer a Welcome Service - for international Master students and doctoral candidates without German language proficiencies - for the first steps at the University of Bonn, as component of our Help Desk. Within the first few days/weeks after arrival we will assist you - on request - at necessary administrative procedures.

Moving in a dorm / appartment

After receving a confirmation of the Studierendenwerk, please clarify the procedure of signing the contract (you can either sign the contract and send it from your home country or sign it after your arrival at Studierendenwerk: Abt. Studentisches Wohnen, Nassestraße 11) and the payment of the first month´s rent and the security deposit (appr. 2 monthly rents).  

Every dorm is connected to the local transportation system. The dorms also offer a room for your bicylce. Usually, the parking area is restricted.

Most of the dorms have rooms for common activities, which can be used by every occupant (e.g. for parties and activities in the evening where you can meet other fellow students).

Additionally to the facility manager, most dorms have foreigner's tutors, who help you with questions concerning your dorm, but also general questions on living in Bonn. The foreigner's tutors are also Bonn University students who support international students voluntary. The Studierendenwerk will give you the name of your foreigner's tutor. Please, contact your foreigner's tutor or the house keeper on time in order to get the key of your room!

If you cannot get an accommodation in a dorm from the Studierendenwerk Bonn, there are additional private student halls (among other forms also churchly dormitories). You can directly apply for a room on their website. Here is an overview of several offeror (see point 4):

City of Bonn - Registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt)

In general: it is statutory to register at the registration office of the city ("Bürgeramt") within two weeks following your move-in date. Furthermore, if you leave the country, you have to de-register.

Registering is necessary: 

  • at the latest two weeks following your move-in date, into an accommodation with a valid address (with access for personal postal services and face-to-face availability; usually - addresses of hotels, hostels or the like will not be accepted)
  • also when you change your residence within the same town, you have to update your registration with your new address
  • if you move to another city and after your registration there, a cancellation of your old address will happen automatically.
  • Is only required when you leave Germany and move to another country
  • from one week before your move abroad or until two weeks after your move (without a permant address).
When you stay in Germany for less than 3 months, you do not have to register or de-register!

If you want to register or de-register at the city of Bonn after the 1st of November 2015, you have to provide the “Wohnungsgeberbestätigung. This is a confirmation from your landlord or landlady, stating that you live/have lived in his/her property.

The Landlord or the Landlady has the obligation to cooperate! When you move in or out of one of the student dormitories from the “Studierendenwerk Bonn”, the property manager will fill in the “Wohnungsgeberbestätigung”. You can download the document here.

Annotation: For landlords/landladies it is forbidden by law to provide an address, if the property is not rented out or not going to be rented out to the given person. Otherwise, the landlord/landlady can be penalized with a fine of up to 50.000 €. If a landlord/landlady refrains from filling in the form, if he or she provides false data and if he or she provides the data too late, the landlord/lady can be penalized with a fine of up to 1000 €.

After you moved into your dorm or other living facilities in Bonn you have to register at the:

Bürgeramt Bonn
Berliner Platz 2 
53111 Bonn
Phone: +49 (0) 2 28) 77 66 77
Office hours: Mo. and Thu. 8 a.m. - 6 pm  
Tue., We. and Fr.: 8 a.m. -  1 p.m.

Flyer: Citizens Service Center

Usually you need an appointment for registering, you find the Link for an online-request here. In order to register you need the following documents:

- passport or ID

- a living address valid in Bonn

- the "Wohnungsgeberbescheinigung"

After your registration you will receive the following documents:
Meldebescheinigung -  you will need this in order to open a bank account and in order to apply for an appointment at the foreigner's office (Ausländerbehörde)

Vouchers - free entrance or discount for museum and theater in Bonn


Health insurance

Students in Germany are obliged to have a health insurance. In order to enroll at university you have to prove your health insurance status.

For students of EU-countries and EWR-countries (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway) it might be possible to accept their health insurance from their home country if Germany has a social security treaty with these countries. Please, contact the health insurance company of your home country in order to be sure that your health insurance status will be accepted in Germany. If you are having a European health insurance status, this should be accepted in Germany as well.

If this is the case, a German public health insurance company will confirm the insurance from your home country. This confirmation is necessary in order to enroll at the University of Bonn.

If you do not have a valid health insurance you have to choose a German health insurance company in order to insure. As long as you are not 30 years old and did not pass the 14th semester you can decide between a public health insurance and a private health insurance. The fee of the public health insurance is about 84 €/month and NOT depending on your financial status.

You will find an overview of health insurance companies on this website:

Centrally located you will find the following health insurance companies which also offer a special service for students:

TK (Techniker Krankenkasse) - Contact person: Herr Lukas Baumann, Welschnonnenstraße 5, 53111 Bonn, Phone: 040-46 06 51 09-152, E-Mail:,

AOK - Studentenservice Bonn, Heisterbacherhofstraße 2, 53111 Bonn, Phone: 0228- 511 2450,

Barmer GEK - Welschnonnenstraße 2, 53111 Bonn, Phone: 0800 333 0060 or from abroad+49 202 568 3306 (English speaking service),

Students who are older than 30 years or who already reached their 14th semester have to take out a private health insurance in order to enroll at university. Usually, a private health insurance is more expensive than public health insurance because it is depending on your age and your state of health. Therefore, we recommend you to compare the fee of private health insurance companies. You should also contact public health insurance and ask if a voluntary health insurance might be possible. Please note that it is not possible to change from a private health insurance to a public one!

Scholarship holders have special conditions. Please, contact your scholarship donor before you are leaving your home country. Scholarship holders from EU and EWR-countries can be insured by a public health insurance company.

The obligatory student fee which will be paid after the enrollment includes an accident insurance which might occur on the way between your apartment and university and at the university campus. Additionally, it is recommended to take out a liability insurance, if the insurance of your home country is not valid in Germany.


Opening a bank account

After your arrival in Bonn you should open a German bank account in order to pay the rent and the student fee.

Opening a German bank account is also recommended because most of the fees (rent, student fee, health insurance fee) are paid via bank transfer and not cash. You can also set up a money transfer order for paying the rent, health insurance and electricity bills. These money transfer orders are active until they are changed or cancelled. Please, inform your bank company directly, if you disagree with an amount which has been charged.

Generally, opening a bank account is free of charge for students. Nevertheless, please ask the bank company in advance.

It is possible to open a bank account directly after the registration at the Einwohnermeldeamt. For opening a bank account you need the following documents:

• passport or ID card

• Meldebescheinigung / confirmation of registration at registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt Stadt Bonn)

• student ID or enrollment confirmation. 

Blocked account: many international students from Non-EU countries need to open a blocked account as proof (at embassies or foreigners authorities) of their financial resources/per year. It's called blocked account because the money you transfer to it, is blocked till the day you've arrived in Germany, and usually over the year only one-twelfth per month of the required amount is available. Please find further information at the Homepage of the Deutsche Bank - Blocked account for foreign students from non EU countries


Enrollment at the Registrar's Office of Bonn University

Once an admission was granted, You have to register for your study program at the ‘Studentensekretariat’ (Registrar´s Office) of Bonn University. You will find the applicable deadlines in your admission letter (see alternatively "Einschreibefristen" - in German). Please note, you have to state - in the given time frame - whether you would like to accept the place at university! Otherwise, the admission may expire after a specified deadline and will probably be given to another applicant. You can find more detailed information on this in your admission letter. PhD students can register at any time and are not subject to deadlines. 

Usually, You must register in person at the Studentensekretariat. The advantage to this is that any outstanding issues can be answered directly.

A registration application is required for registering - you get the form on-site or it can be found on the`Studentensekretariat´website (in German - see "Einschreibung"). Here, you will also find a list of all documents you have to bring with you. For support in this matter, please visit the Info-point, on the left hand side of the entrance of the`Studentensekretariat´. Please, note in particular the explanations regarding health insurance!
In addition to these standard documents, PhD students need to provide a confirmation from the faculty, that they are admitted (the "Promotionsbescheinigung").
When registering, you will receive a form for bank wire transfer, stating the due amount for the social contribution ("Sozialbeitrag" a fee per semester - for summer semester 2017: 285,11 EUR/Semester - inter alia for your student ID card, a student ticket for public transport as well as certificates proving your registration at the University of Bonn, these can also be used to open a bank account or the like). Since it can take one to two weeks from the date of this transfer, that these documents be sent to your current address, you should immediately transfer the required amount. Please note that when registering at the mid/end of the semester, the full social contribution must be paid! 
About one to two weeks after the bank wire transfer, you will receive the "Semesterbogen" in the mail, which includes:
  • your student ID which is also your ticket for the entire Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Sieg (regional public transit system); 
  • several registration certificates;
  • the wire transfer form for the registration confirmation for the following  semester; as well as
  • a "Studiendokumentation" (study documentation).

The "Studiendokumentation" comprises all important information on your studies to this point, as well as a course overview in which you can note down the classes you have registered for this semester. By mailing the "Semesterbogen", the registration process will be completed. Now you are a proper student, you can use the semester ticket for regional public transfer when the semester starts (WS: October 1st, SS April 1st).

The address of Studentensekretariat is:

Poppelsdorfer Allee 49
53115 Bonn
Fax: 737421 und 731740

Contact (see: Applicants with a foreign higher education entrance qualification)

Office hours:

Mon, Tue, Thu 9 a.m. - 12 a.m.
Thu 2 - 4 p.m.
Please note the additional hours during the registration period!


Residence permit - Foreigners' Office (Ausländeramt)

All foreign students from non-EU countries who stay in Germany for more than 3 months for the purpose of studying must apply for a valid residence permit. You will receive this permit from the Ausländeramt of the City of Bonn after you have registered at the Einwohnermeldeamt and at the University.

Students from EU and EEA countries are equivalent to German citizens and do not need to apply for a residence permit. 

In order to apply for the residence permit, you will need the following:

-  Application for a residence permit

-  Valid passport

-  A biometric passport photo

-  A visa, if necessary

-  The registration certificate from the University

-  The registration certificate from the registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt)

-  Proof of financial funding for your studies

-  Proof of sufficient health insurance coverage

-  A fee between 60-120 €.

The residence permit for the purpose of studying is granted for a limited period of time and must be extended by the Ausländeramt. It is valid for at least one year and usually lasts no longer than two years.

Address of the Ausländeramt of the City of Bonn

Oxfordstraße 19

53111 Bonn

Phone: +49 - (0)228 - 77 60 00

Appointments can be made by phone Mon and Tue 14.00 -16.00h, Wed 8.00-16.00h, or via an online form.

Further information from the City of Bonn, with online forms information on residence permit and contacts or the like in German!


E-mail address - Computer center of Bonn University (Hochschulrechenzentrum)

All students of Bonn University will automatically receive an email address in the following format: You can also get your emails via Webmail at the following address:

Your inbox has 100 MB of storage and is equipped with spam- and virus protection. You will need this email address to use the e-Campus teaching and learning platform. Please, note that the University of Bonn will send all official notifications regarding your studies to your Bonn University email address, which is why you should check your mail regularly.

·         PC workstations

On the first floor of the HRZ, there are public computer workstations (ÖCAPs) for use by students. The conditions for use are specified in user rules (Benutzungsordnung). Internet access is via Bonnet at 100 Mbit/s, and user applications include OpenOffice, MSOffice, SPSS, Citavi, etc. Due to the connection via file service, files can be accessed at different stations (including at home) via the Internet. Each user currently has an allotment of 100 MB of storage on the central file server for his/her personal data; they are backed up daily by the HRZ. Data exchange with the PC at home is possible via CD, file service or USB stick 2.0.

University Computer Center (Hochschulrechenzentrum - HRZ)

The HRZ has additional hardware equipment that can be used by University students and employees.

This includes:

-   54 PC workstations (LINUX and Windows PC’s) with a fast Internet connection and the most frequently used applications;

-   A multi-functional device for printing and copying;

-   Plotter for color printing on standard paper or on photo paper up to DIN A0+ format;

-   Roll laminator for laminating posters;

-   A large format scanner for digitizing and copying originals up to DIN A0+ format;

-   A CD copying and printing station.


The CIP-Pools

The most institutes at the University of Bonn offer rooms with computer workstations, provided free of charge for students and other members of the University for accessing the Internet. 

In order to be able to work on a CIP-Pool computer, you will need a valid University ID, to apply for at the University Computer Center. In some cases, you must also apply for a code card, that is required to get access to some of these rooms.

The faculties/academic departments provide additional details such as user policies and office hours.


Please, visit the following link if you are interested in more information on the University Computer Center: German / English 

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