Tips for Entering the Country
Most foreign students need a valid visa for entering Germany. Detailed information about the regulations can be found on the website of the Deutscher Akademischer Ausdauschdienst (DAAD) under Entry and Residence.
Immediately after your arrival, you must apply for a residence permit. The DAAD has worked out a detailed information sheet that answers questions concerning visa and residence permission:
Information on the Statutory Frameworks applicable to Entry and Residence by Foreign Students, Academics and Researchers [PDF].
Proof of Financial Resources
Most international students who come to Germany are not on a scholarship. The German embassies and foreign offices require a certification that you possess adequate financial resources to support yourself while in residence in Germany. They will ask you for a so-called Finanzierungsnachweis (financial guarantee). The German authorities have determined a minimum amount that must be at your disposal each month. This amount is currently set at 670 Euro per month, or a total of 8.040 Euro for the first year of your studies. Sometimes, however, the stipulated amount can be higher.
Detailed information on this topic can be found in the section »International Students« of the Deutsches Studentenwerk (DSW):
Bringing Your Family
Foreign Students may have their next of kin, i.e. their spouse and children, join them in Germany, provided that the student is matriculated at a university and can prove that his or her own livelihood, as well as that of their family, is secured without drawing on governmental resources.
Further Information is provided by the Ausländerbehörde der Stadt Osnabrück (Office of Foreign Affairs).
Please note that you must provide a valid proof of health insurance to enter the country. Germany has a social security agreement with some countries, e.g. with members of the European Union and the European Economic Area. This means that you can remain insured in your home country and do not need any additional health insurance in Germany. Make sure to inquire with your health insurance in your home country if there is a social security agreement with Germany, and which costs are covered . For students from countries that have no social security agreement with Germany, it is recommended that they get private health insurance for the first week of their stay. Upon arrival in Germany, you can then arrange coverage through a German health insurance.
Obtaining a residence permit is necessary in order to matriculate at a university or to register for a language course. But before you are granted the residence permit, you must certify that you have health insurance.
Important Information on health insurance can be found in the section »International Students« on the website of the Deutsches Studentenwerk (DSW), under Health insurance. You can also find tips on how to get health insurance on our homepage under “Arrival and First Steps.”
Checklist: Do you have everything with you?
The following list will help you to pack all necessary papers and documents.
- Flight tickets, train tickets, bus tickets
- Birth Certificate
- Passport, valid for the entire duration of your course of study (extensions can only be obtained in your
country of origin!)
- Visa (if needed. See Visa section on this website )
- International Certificate of Vaccination /vaccination record (have you had all the necessary vaccinations ?)
- Emergency documents, if applicable (blood group, life-threatening allergies...)
- International driving licence, or German translation of your driving licence (if available) For more information on driving licences, see the website of the
Bundesverkehrsministerium (Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs), under “Gültigkeit ausländischer Fahrerlaubnisse.”
- International Student ID (ISIC) (if available)
- Youth Hostel ID (if available)
- Several passport photographs
- Transcripts from your secondary school (certifying that you have a degree that allows you to study at the university level ), and, if applicable, transcripts from
your home university with notarized translations. You can get documents notarized at your nearest German embassy.
- Foreign (German) language certifications (see Admission and Language Requirements)
- Letter of admission or your application confirmation, issued by the German university you will be attending
- Financial guarantee (see Financial Guarantee)
- Certification of your public or private health insurance (see our section on “Health Insurance”)
Money and Credit Cards
- Cash (Euros). Make sure to exchange enough foreign currency into Euros to get you through the first few days. You will need it to pay for public transport,
food, a few nights in a hotel or youth hostel, or basic supplies for your room or apartment.
- Credit card (remember to find out the cancellation code for abroad, in case the card is lost or stolen)
Additional things to bring
- address book
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