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  • International

    Upon Arrival

    © Universität Bielefeld

Upon Arrival

International Offie

0521 106 6975
© Universität Bielefeld

The International Office at Bielefeld University is the first place to go to if you have questions or if you need help. But even if you do not need any support, it is definitely worthwhile to stop by in order to get information on the leisure program and all the events that are organized for international students.

About 2 days after you have registered, you can apply for a residence permit at the Foreigners Registration Office in the "Rathaus".

Please take the following documents with you:

  • The letter of admission from Bielefeld University
  • Proof of sufficient financial resources
    You need to prove that you will have an amount of around 720€ per month at your disposal. You can use a confirmation of your bank or a document in which your parents declare to finance your life in Germany. If somebody who lives in Germany will finance your studies, this person must prove that he/she has the means to do so.
  • Evidence of the education in your home country (certificates)
  • Your passport (and visa documents)

Register at the city's registration office:

You have to register as a citizen of Bielefeld as soon as you have an address in Bielefeld. Registration takes place in the "Rathaus" and you need to bring your rental contract and your passport. Please find the address above.

Foreigner Registration Office

Bürgerberatung / Abteilung Ausländerangelegenheiten

Niederwall 23, 33602 Bielefeld

You will need a German bank account in order to pay for your health insurance, your semester fee and the rent. All the large banks (e.g. Deutsche Bank, Citibank Sparkasse, Commerzbank, Dresdner Bank, Postbank) have branches in the town centre. The Sparkasse and the Postbank even run branches in the university hall. Bank accounts to students are often free of charge or offered at very favourable rates. Inform yourself online to find out which bank offers the best option for you.

What you usually need to open an account:

  • Passport + visa documents
  • Your letter of admission or your student ticket (if you have already received it)
  • Your address in Germany

It is mandatory to have a health insurance policy in order to be enrolled at Bielefeld University and you should check whether the health insurance in your home country is sufficient.

  • Students from EU countries (EEC + EEA)
    If you have a statutory health insurance in your home country, you only need to present your European Health Insurance Card at a German health insurance agency. A form will be issued which confirms that your insurance is sufficient to be enrolled.
  • ​Students from countries who have entered a social security agreement with Germany (e.g. Switzerland, Turkey)
    If you have a statutory health insurance in your home country, please inquire at your health insurance provider to get form E-111, AT 11, ATN11 or BH6. This form can be presented at a German health insurance agency and a form will be issued which confirms that your insurance is sufficient to be enrolled.
  • Students who have a private health insurance
    You need to provide a written confirmation of your health insurance provider (either in German or English) that
    • you have a health insurance
    •  it is valid in Germany
    •  it provides you with sufficient insurance coverage.
    •  a regular travel health insurance cannot be accepted!

You have to take this written confirmation to one of the statutory health insurance providers in Germany. They will then issue a written exemption from compulsory insurance (called a "Befreiung") and you will need to show this to enroll at the university. If you have a private health insurance, you will have to pay for any necessary health treatment yourself and then claim the money back from the health insurance provider in your home country.

Please note that your health insurance might only reimburse the costs according to common treatment rates in your home country. In that case, if the treatment is more expensive in Germany, you will have to pay the difference yourself.

  • For students who need an insurance in Germany
    You can get a statutory or a private health insurance. If you are younger than 30 and/or if you have not studied for longer than 14 semesters (7 years), a statutory health insurance for students will cost around 80 € at all health insurance companies. Private health insurance is usually more expensive and you have to pay costs in advance, which can be very expensive.

Please note: As soon as you have taken out private health insurance in Germany, you will not be allowed to change to a statutory health insurance.

  • For students who are 30 years or older, students who are beyond the 14th semester (7 years) and for PhD students
    You are no longer entitled to a reduced student insurance rate from the statutory health insurance companies, so you should compare various companies and then decide which insurance company is best for you. 
    For more information please click here.

Congratulations - you have been admitted to a study programme at Bielefeld University. Your next step is enrolment. Enrolment takes place in the "Studierendensekretariat" (Student Office) in room C0-152, C0-156.

What ou need to bring:

  • Application for enrolment (Antrag auf Immatrikulation) - You can get the "Antrag auf Immatrikulation" at the Student Office in (C0-152, C0-156), we can help you to complete the enrolment.
  • Proof of health insurance with a statutory health insurance scheme or proof of exemption from compulsory health insurance
  • A passport photo
  • Your passport (and visa)

After a few days, you will get a letter with your student ID-number and bank details, so you can pay the "social fee". Once you have transferred the money, you can download your semester certificate in the university’s application and status portal. The semester ticket for public transport can be downloaded and printed in the NRW ticket shop after the enrollment.. You can then get your student ID card at the info point in the main hall. Just bring the semester certificate and your passport.  

If you have any questions, please report here.

There are two very important introduction events for you where you get detailed information on your studies.

  • The introduction event programme offered by the International Office can be found  here. To register for the introduction event organized by the International Office, please send an e-mail to
  • Dates of the introduction events at the respective faculties are announced on the website of the Student Advising and Counselling Service (ZSB).
  • Please note that some of the faculties offer their orientation events already some days before the lecture period starts. For some subjects preparatory classes are offered. They usually take place in the semester break.

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