• © Universität Bielefeld

Costs & financial support for international students

Dr. David Seaman

Financial support

For international students there are several possibilities to finance their studies at Bielefeld University. Besides scholarships and side jobs there are several loans and grants you can apply for as an international student.

Scholarships and grants

A scholarship is a financial grant for students by an institution. Scholarships are usually tied to certain requirements and are given according to need and achievement in the course of study.

Bielefeld University is not able to give out any scholarships for the financing of students' studies. The University also does not take responsibility for any student whose financing has been interrupted for whatever reason. However, there are several, but limited, possibilities for receiving financial support for a certain group of people and for a short time period.

Jobs

Basically, with your residence permit (stamp in your passport) you receive a work permit for 120 work days per year. This allows you to work 120 full days (8 hours per day) or 240 half days (up to 4 hours per day). This condition must be noted expressly in the passport by the authorities.

Please take as well notice of the regulations on work permits.

Costs during the stay in Bielefeld

Since winter semester 2011/12 Bielefeld University does not charge tution fees. Therefore, the only costs that arise during your stay abroad are the living costs and a fee of 290,30 € which has to be paid each semester. The fee is used on services offered by the Studentenwerk [Association for Student Affairs] and for the use of public transport.

Semester fee

Since Bielefeld University does not charge tuition fees, every student only has to pay a semester fee of 290,30€ per semester (Winter Term 2018/19). The semester fee includes the contribution to the semester ticket for free public transport in the city and area of Bielefeld, and on regional trains and buses in North-Rhine Westphalia for the whole semester, i.e. six months.

More information is provided by the Student Union (AStA).

Living costs

Costs for studying in Germany are relatively high due to the living expenses. A research study has shown that you can expect the following average costs:

  • Rent in a room in Studentenwerk's student halls of residence or a private student hall, in a room or flat comes to approx. 280 Euro per month.
  • The expected costs for student health insurance and other medical fees are about 80 Euro per month.
  • Depending on your lifestyle, you might spend about 150 Euro on food each month.
  • Altogether, monthly costs for food, clothes, leisure activities, semester fees, travel expenses, telephone bills, and the other mentioned expenses add up to approx. 850 Euro.

Keep in mind that these data are based on a nationwide average. There are several ways of cutting expenses in Bielefeld. For example, it is possible to rent a room in a student residence for about 200 Euro, and a meal at the student canteen (Mensa) costs only about 2.60 Euro (the Mensa opening hours are Monday-Friday, 11.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m.). Due to the demands of the course of study it is very difficult for international students to work during the lecture period. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary for you to plan your financial budget before arriving in Germany.

Further information on the average living costs in Germany can be found on the websites of the "Deutsches Studentenwerk" or of the DAAD.