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 Welfare), 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 from 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 costs of the statutory health insurance amount 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 inform you about a fixed amount of money that is needed for your daily life during your studies since it depends on your living standards, your accommodation, your private expenses and the courses of study. However, there are statistics, based on the experience made with International students in the past years, that 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 (Public) : 70 – 80 €
  • Public Transportation (included in the semester service fee)
  • Books, Course Materials:  30 – 50 €
  • Semester Service Fee : 40 – 50 € (per semester 280,00 €)
  • Public Broadcasting Fee: 17,50 €
  • Misceallenous: 70 – 80 €


  • one meal in the students's restaurant (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 used 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 take 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 office for foreign affairs within the first few days of their stay.

Registration with the local council

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.