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How to prepare your stay in Freiburg - Information for admitted students

Admission and enrolment step by step

This website explains step by step, what you need to do once you have been admitted to one of our Master's degree programs. For information about the application procedure, please go to the website of your chosen study program.

Before coming to Germany:

Step 1: Open a blocked account
Step 2: Book your student visa appointment
Step 3: Apply for student housing in Freiburg
Step 4: Transfer tuition fees
Step 5: Make your travel arrangements

After arriving in Germany:

Step 6: Register at residents’ registration office in Freiburg
Step 7: Apply for appointment at the foreigners' office
Step 8: Open a German current bank account
Step 9: Get health insurance coverage
Step 10: Enrolling at University of Freiburg
Step 11: Orientation week

 

Step 1: Open a blocked account

If you don't have a scholarship the German embassy will ask you to open a blocked account in order to prove you have the financial resources to cover your living expenses in Germany. It is recommended to start the procedures as soon as you get your admission letter. Until that time, you should have made up your mind about which provider you will choose to open your blocked account so you won’t lose time deciding. For more information please read the following website: https://www.studying-in-germany.org/opening-deutsche-blocked-account-foreign-students/

 

Step 2: Book your student visa appointment

If you come from the EU, the UK, or Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Switzerland or the United States you can enter Germany without a visa and then apply for the residence permit after your arrival. Please note, students from Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino may only enter without a visa if they do not intend to work in Germany during or after their studies.

Students of other nationalities must have a student visa. Visa procedures and processing times may differ from country to country. You should therefore first of all check the website of your local German consulate or embassy to find out about the visa procedure and about the documentation to be submitted. You will find a list of all German embassies and consulates here.

In many countries, there are long waiting periods for an appointment at the German embassy or consulate. If the embassy allows you to fix an appointment without presenting a soft copy of a university admission letter, it is recommended to do so as soon as possible. If not, you’ll have to wait until the letter of acceptance
is available for download in the application portal (approximately 2-3 weeks after the meeting of the admissions committee). The letter of acceptance has a verification code and is valid without a signature or a stamp.

 

Step 3: Apply for student housing

Accommodation is a critical topic in Freiburg. There are always more students looking for accommodation than rooms available.

There are various ways to find an accommodation, and it is recommended to pursue several of them at the same time, in order to increase your chances:

Option no. 1: Apply for a program room via the International Office

The International Office receives a specific number of rooms and single apartments from SWFR* which they will allocate to the incoming international students for the duration of one semester - the so-called program rooms.

Your program coordinator will send a list to the International Office naming all international applicants who have been admitted to one of the Masters degree programs of the Faculty of Engineering. The International Office's housing team will contact each new student and ask them to register themselves in the Mobility Portal (sometimes these emails end up in your spam folder. So please make sure to check your spam folder every now and again!).

In the Mobility Portal you can apply for a single room or a single apartment. Single rooms are located in different dormitories all over the city of Freiburg. The ones closest to our campus are:

  • Campus I, II and III (from 341 Euro) (directly on the campus of the Faculty of Engineering)
  • Falkenbergerstrasse (from 279 Euro)
  • Studentensiedlung Seepark (from 270 Euro)
  • Ulrich-Zasius-Haus (from 250 Euro)
  • Händelstrasse (from 296 old building / from 344 Euro new building)
  • Stühlinger (from 271 Euro)
  • Lehener Strasse (from 356 Euro)
  • Berliner Allee (from 300 Euro)

All prices given include monthly rent and utilities (water, heating, electricity).

In these dormitories several residents share a bathroom and kitchen. The prices of the rooms vary depending on the age of the building, room size and number of persons sharing bathroom and kitchen. For example, in Ulrich-Zasius-Haus there are two bathrooms (one for male residents, one for female residents) and one kitchen for all people living on the same floor (16 persons), whereas in the new dormitories there are usually small mixed groups of 4-6 residents sharing bathroom and kitchen. For more information, you can check out the SWFR website.

If you like to have more privacy, you should apply for a single apartment (for one person only!). Most of them are located in the Campus I, II and III dormitories, directly on the campus of the Faculty of Engineering. You just have to walk 5 minutes to get to the lecture halls. Each of these apartments has a private bathroom and kitchen. The monthly rent amounts to 430 Euro. There are also a few single apartments in “Studentensiedlung am Seepark” (from 278 Euro), “Stühlinger” (from 342 Euro), “Lehener Strasse” (from 431 Euro) and “Händelstrasse” (from 316 Euro in the old building, from 425 Euro in the new building), but they are very few and difficult to obtain.

* SWFR is an institution that - in cooperation with the university - manages most of the student residences in Freiburg.

Option no. 2: Apply directly with SWFR:

In addition, you can apply for accommodation directly on the SWFR website. There, you will compete with more other students, because it is not only for new students, but if you obtain a room, you will most probably get a contract for more than one semester.

Option no. 3: Apply for a Service Package

A very comfortable solution for housing is the so-called service package, because it does not only include a room in one of the SWFR dormitories but also personal counselling by a tutor, the student services fee (which you would have to pay anyways when matriculating at the university), International Club membership, a voucher for one of the excursions offered by SWFR, a welcome package and (if  you ask for it) health insurance coverage. The only disadvantage is that you have to pay the whole amount (approx. 2,453 Euro without health insurance or 3,178 Euro incl. health insurance) at once before coming to Freiburg. The advantage of this option is that you do not have to compete for a room with too many other students. The deadline for booking this service package is July 31st (for the winter term) and January 31st (for the summer term). However, the sooner you apply, the better, because there is a limited number of service packages. For more information, check out the SWFR website.

Option no. 4: Non-profit students residences (other than the ones from SWFR):

There are some non-profit students residences that are run by the church or by welfare organizations.

Händel-Wohnheim
Alban-Stolz-Haus
Thomas-Morus-Burse
AWO Studentenwohnheim
Albertusburse

Option no. 5: Profit students residences:

Goethe Institute Guest House
Klausmann Real Estate
Campo Novo Student Residence
The Fizz Freiburg-Zähringen

Option no. 6: Apply for offers from the free housing market

In Germany, most students live in shared flats or in a private accommodation shared with a landlord/landlady (homestay). Offers can be found for example on the following websites:

International Office's Housing Database
SWFR Free Housing Intermediation Service

Of course, there are many other websites and social media channels where you can find private housing offers. Just be careful not to fall for any scams. It's never a good sign when someone asks you to transfer money before having viewed the room and signed a contract.

Option no. 7: Housing for Help

A special form of homestay is the Housing for Help program offered by SWFR. People who have an extra room (seniors, families or other interested parties) offer a room to a student willing to help out around the apartment. The rooms have a normal rental contract with a reduction in rent in return for chores done by the student.

Step 4: Transfer tuition fees

We recommend to pay the tuition fees by wire transfer:

  • to the account of the Financial Transactions Office at Baden-Württembergische Bank Stuttgart,

    Bank name: Baden-Wuerttembergische Bank Stuttgart
    Bank address: Kleiner Schlossplatz 11, 70173 Stuttgart, Germany
    IBAN: DE71 6005 0101 7438 5087 68
    BIC-/SWIFT-Code: SOLADEST600

    As a payment reference for the bank transfer please enter the following data only: BEW, your application number AND your first name and surname (for example: BEW628475JaneDoe). Please note that your bank might charge international transfer fees which have to be covered by you.
  • If you are subject to tuition fees for international students (non-EU) the total amount to be transferred for the first semester is 1680 Euro. If you are not subject to tuition fees for international students (EU nationals), the total amount is 180 Euro.


The fees have to be paid at latest on the last day of the matriculation period. For the coming summer semester this is the 4th of October, 2024. A confirmation of receipt is not automatically given and not needed for matriculation. If you need a confirmation of receipt for other purposes, please send an email to . (Please do not contact IAS earlier than three weeks after making the transfer, because the university finance department needs approximately two weeks to process your payment.)

If you should not be able to come to Freiburg, you need to cancel your enrolment prior to the beginning of the lecture period (i.e. before 14th of October 2024) to be able to get a refund.

Please note that during the first few days in Germany you will have to pay your first rent, a refundable deposit for the room, health insurance, etc. Therefore we recommend to bring a multi-currency card or travel card or at least € 1000 in cash for these initial expenses.

Step 5: Make your travel arrangements

Do not forget to book your flight on time! The perfect time to arrive in Freiburg is two weeks prior to the beginning of the lectures (i.e. 1st of October, 2024). This will allow you to settle down and complete the administrative things to be taken care of.

Frankfurt am Main International Airport is about 2 hours by train from Freiburg (national train ICE) and therefore the best airport to arrive at. Another nearby airport of international size but smaller is Zürich in Switzerland. The closest European airport nearby is Basel-Mulhouse. However, since these two airports are not in Germany, you have to make sure that your visa allows you to enter Europe via these airports.

From Frankfurt Airport there are hourly train connections to Freiburg. When arriving at Frankfurt Airport, follow the signs “Bahnhöfe” and then “Fernbahnhof”. Please make sure to buy a ticket before getting on the train! You can purchase it either online, at one of the ticket machines in the hall above the platforms, or in the ticket office, which you will find in the hall above the platforms. The rail journey from Frankfurt to Freiburg takes 2 hours and the cost for a one way ticket is approx. EUR 40 - 60. The earlier you book, the cheaper it is. For details and tickets see www.bahn.de.

Alternatively, you can take a private long distance bus from Frankfurt Airport to Freiburg. With the Flixbus the trip from Frankfurt Airport to Freiburg only costs approx. EUR 10 - 20. For more information, please check out: https://www.flixbus.com.

From Freiburg train station you can take a taxi, tram, or bus to your accommodation. If you want to find out how to get from Freiburg central station to your accommodation by public transport, you can also use www.bahn.de

If you would like to be picked up from the train station and assisted during your first days in Freiburg, you can join the SWFR buddy program

Once you have made your travel arrangements, please inform the program co-ordinator and SWFR (or your landlord) about your date of arrival.

Step 6: Register at residents' registration office

As soon as possible after your arrival in Freiburg (within 14 days) you must register yourself at the residents’ registration office (Bürgeramt), Fehrenbachallee 12, Freiburg, tram stop “Rathaus im Stühlinger”. Opening hours: Mon and Fri 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Tue, Wed, Thu 7.30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. You need to make an appointment by phone or book it online (for how to see SWFR website) before going to Bürgeramt (phone: ++49 761 2010 or ++49 761 2015631).

The following documents must be presented:

  • "Wohnungsgeberbestätigung" (will be given to you by SWFR or landlord when moving in)
  • Passport (if necessary) or Personal Identification (EU)


The white confirmation note obtained from the residents' registration office must be presented to the immigration office (see step 8). The blue carbon copy must be presented to SWFR or to your landlord and the bank.

Please note that you have to inform the residents' registration office about any changes in your residential address throughout your stay in Germany (even if you just move from one room to another in the same students residence).

Step 7: Apply for appointment at the foreigners' office

If you are a non EU-national, you will enter Germany with a 3 (or 6) months student visa. This has to be converted into a one year residence permit after your arrival. Since the procedure can take 8-10 weeks, you should contact Freiburg foreigners' office (Ausländerbehörde) immediately after your arrival (or, at latest, 10 weeks before its expiry) to ask for an appointment.

You just have to send an email to asking for an appointment for a student residence permit. The email should include soft copies of your passport (incl. visa and entry stamp), resident registration (see step 6), as well as the following information:

Name/Family name(s) or surname(s):
Vorname / First name(s):
Geburtsdatum / Date of birth:
Nationalität / Nationality:

  • filled application form for a residence permit, incl. privacy policy
  • certificate of enrolment  (= Studienbescheinigung, see step 10)
  • proof of health insurance (see step 9)
  • proof of sufficient financial resources (e.g. blocked account, scholarship, etc.)

 

After that, you will get an email from the foreigners office with the date of your interview. During the interview you will have to present the following documents:

  • passport (incl. student visa and entry stamp)
  • certificate of enrolment  (= Studienbescheinigung, see step 10)
  • proof of registration as a resident (see step 6)
  • proof of health insurance (see step 9)
  • proof of sufficient financial resources (e.g. blocked account, scholarship, etc.)
  • 1 biometric passport photo
  • 100 Euro fee for a one-year residence permit

 

The foreigners' office is located in Berliner Allee 1, tram stop "Bissierstrasse".

Kindly note: Students from the European Union do not have to register at the foreigners’ office. For them, it is sufficient to register at the resident registration office (step 6).

Step 8: Open a German current bank account

If you have opened a blocked account with Fintiba, Coracle or Expatrio, you just have to open a normal current account (in German: Girokonto) at any bank after your arrival in Germany, and the provider of your blocked account will transfer your money in monthly instalments to that current account. For recommendations which bank to choose, see https://www.expatrio.com/current-account.

If you didn't have to open a blocked account to get your visa, you still need to open a current account, because most institutions in Germany (e.g. health insurance, SWFR, landlord) will ask you to make your monthly payments by direct debit. The documents needed to open a bank account are: passport, proof of resident registration (see step 6), a German phone number. Some banks will also ask you for your German tax ID which you will receive by post approx. 2 weeks after the resident registration as well as for a certificate of enrolment. These can usually be submitted at a later stage.

In some cases it can take up to two weeks to open a bank account (even longer if you are staying in a non-permanent accommodation such as a hostel, Airbnb or holiday home). You should therefore bring a multi-currency or travel card with enough credit to cover for your expenses of the first 2-4 weeks.

Step 9: Get health insurance coverage

All students in Germany are required to have health insurance. A travel insurance is not sufficient for enrolment. We differentiate between statutory (=public) health insurance and private insurance companies.

If you are under 30 years of age it is recommended to take up a statutory health insurance. As a student you are eligible for statutory health insurance at the lowest current monthly rate which amounts to approx. EUR 130.- (incl. the compulsory nursing care insurance). This health insurance scheme covers the costs of treatment by a doctor (including necessary dental treatment), hospital treatment and many other preventive measures. You do not have to pay for any treatment in advance because the insurance company settles directly with the doctor, dentist or hospital.

To register with a statutory health insurance company, you usually need your passport, your bank account number and the admission letter from the university. You will receive further papers and a chip card from the health insurance company by post. The chip card serves as your membership card and must be presented at each doctor’s visit.

Addresses of some statutory health insurance agencies in the city centre of Freiburg:

- Techniker Krankenkasse (TK): Bertoldstrasse 48, 79098 Freiburg
- Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse (AOK): Sedanstraße 4, 79098 Freiburg (next to the university's Student Service Center)
- Barmer Ersatzkasse, Heinrich-von-Stephan-Str. 5, 79100 Freiburg

For a price comparison go to: https://www.coracle.de/public-health-insurance

AOK  and TK even offer the possibility to apply for health insurance before coming to Germany. This can be an advantage if the German embassy asks you for health insurance coverage in order to get the visa.

Some of the agencies who offer blocked accounts do also offer to make a health insurance contract for you. This is okay as long as they make a contract with a statutory health insurance company (e.g. Expatrio offers TK insurance, Fintiba offers DAK).

If you are older than 29, you are in general not eligible for statutory health insurance. You have to be insured with a private health insurance. A comprehensive private health insurance is offered by the VELA or Mawista.

EU students having a ‘European Health Insurance Card’ (EHIC) don't have to make a contract with any German health insurance. They just have to present the EHIC card to one of the German statutory health insurances (AOK, TK etc.). The insurance will then give them a "proof of insurance certificate", which they will have to present to the university upon enrolment.

There are a lot of private and cheap health insurances offered online, but most of them don’t offer full coverage. Usually, you have to pay the doctor’s invoice first and get reimbursed by the insurance a lot later. Sometimes the insurance company goes bankrupt before being able to reimburse you. We therefore only recommend the two above mentioned private insurances and only if you are older than 29.

You can find more information about this topic on the DAAD website.

 

Step 10: Enrolment at the university (matriculation)

Enrolment will usually be done after your arrival in Freiburg. You can do that either in person or by post. To enrol you need to present/send certified or original hard copies of the following documents to the Student Service Center – International Admissions and Services (IAS), Sedanstr. 6, 79098 Freiburg. Enrolment has to be done at latest on 4th of October, 2024. If you believe that you will not be able to arrive in Freiburg before 4th of October, you can also send your documents by post/courier service from your home country.

  • the completed application form for enrolment
  • the letter of acceptance (admission letter)
  • all documents listed in the letter of acceptance
  • evidence that semester fees have been paid (see step 4)
  • proof of German health insurance


Which IAS team member is in charge of your enrolment depends on the first letter of your surname:

Surnames starting with A - F: Ms Anke Stohl, anke.stohl@zv.uni-freiburg.de
Surnames starting with G - M: Ms Nytja Veser, nytja.veser@zv.uni-freiburg.de
Surnames starting with N - Z: Ms Ula Sereikaite, ula.sereikaite@zv.uni-freiburg.de

More information about enrolment can be found here.

Step 11: Orientation week

The orientation week with several talks and activities for new Master students will take place from 7th - 11th of October, 2024. For information about the orientation week and other topics for new students, please check out our website for new students.