General Information

General Information for International Students

Semester ticket and semester service fee

The semester "fee" is not a course fee but a mandatory contribution paid by every student of Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences for social purposes: Studierendenwerk (student services organisation), the student union and the semester ticket ("NRW-Ticket") which allows free public transport (trams, buses, local trains) in and around Bielefeld as well as all over North-Rhine Westphalia and the City of Osnabrück in Lower Saxony. Currently it is approx. 280,00 Euro per semester.


Before you can take up any studies in Germany, you may need an appropriate visa, i.e. a resident permit visa for study purposes. Please check before your arrival on the official websites of the German embassy or a German consulate in your home country if any visa is needed. Or check the homepage of the Federal Foreign Office.


Health insurance
There are two types of health insurance in Germany: private and statutory.
As a student, you are obliged to take out insurance of either type. If you choose a private health insurance, the coverage must at least comply with that of the statutory health insurance. At present, the statutory health insurance costs is approx. 80 Euro per month.
Some countries have an agreement with Germany that gives you health insurance coverage in Germany via your home national health system. In this case you must submit an insurance certificate from your home country to one of the local outlets of a German health insurance.
You cannot enrol at a university without producing proof of health insurance!

Other insurances
It is advisable to take out third party insurance covering damages you might cause while living in Germany.
If you drive your own car during your stay, car insurance is mandatory.

Living costs

We cannot quote a fixed amount of money required for daily life as a student in Bielefeld as this depends on your living standards, your accommodation, your private expenses and the courses you take. However, statistics based on the experience of International students in the past years may give you an outline of expected monthly living costs.
The costs mentioned below are estimated and cannot be taken as binding. The accommodation costs refer to the price for a room in a dormitory / student hostel in Bielefeld.

Monthy living costs:

  • accomodation costs (incl. heating and electricity): 200-400 €
  • groceries: 200 €
  • health incurance (statutory) : 70 – 80 €
  • public transport (included in the semester service fee)
  • books, course materials:  30 – 50 €
  • semester service fee : 40 – 50 € (per semester 280,00 €)
  • broadcasting fees (TV, radio, computer): 17.50 €
  • miscellaneous: 70 – 80 €


  • a meal in the canteen on Campus (Mensa/Cafeteria): 2 – 4 €
  • 1 L Milk: 0.75 €
  • 1 kg Rice: 1.40 €
  • 1 kg Apple: 2 €
  • 0,5 L Beer (in a pub/restaurant): 3 €
  • 1 kg  Bread: 3 €
  • 1 Glas Nutella (450 g): 2.30 €
  • 1 cinema ticket (student reduction): 6 – 10 €
  • 1 theatre ticket (student reduction): 7 – 25 €
  • 1 second-hand bicycle: 30 – 200 €
  • 1 pair of shoes: 30 – 100 €
  • 1 T-Shirt: 10 – 50 €

If you need to earn money during your stay, please keep in mind that the vacations will be the only time in the year when you have sufficient time to do so. Before taking up a job, please make sure that you comply with all the legal requirements.

Residence permit

Foreigners who do not need a visa but intend to stay for longer than three months might have to apply for a residence permit at the local registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt) within the first few days of their stay.

Registration with the local registration office

Like all residents in Germany foreign students and trainees have to register with the Residents' Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt) in the town or region where you have taken up residency.
Registration must take place within the first ten days of your stay in Germany. To register you will need your passport, your rent contract and your visa (if applicable). Upon registration you will receive a residence confirmation slip.
Please do not forget to inform the Registration Office of any change of address and of your departure when leaving Germany for good.

Feel free to ask our International Office for help.