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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 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 citizens’ office in Freiburg
Step 7: Apply for appointment at the foreigners' office
Step 8: Activate your bank account
Step 9: Get health insurance coverage
Step 10: Enrolling at University of Freiburg

 

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. There are mainly two banks offering this kind of account: Deutsche Bank and Fintiba. The processes and scenarios are very well explained on this website which contains also lots of hints for you:

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 or Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea 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: http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/DE/Laenderinformationen/03-WebseitenAV/Uebersicht_node.html

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 you receive a soft copy of the admission letter (usually 3-4 weeks after the meeting of the admissions committee).

In some countries the soft copy of the admission letter is good enough for visa application, because it has a verification code. Other countries or embassies however require the hard copy of the admission letter which will be dispatched via regular mail 4-5 weeks after the meeting of the admissions committee. It will take a few days or weeks to reach you, depending on where you live.

Most of you will receive, along with the hard copy of the admission letter, an approval letter (“Sichtvermerk”) from the Freiburg Foreigners’ Office (“Ausländerbehörde”). This letter usually reduces the visa procedure to 1-3 weeks. Please make sure to submit it to the consulate when applying for your visa. (Note: Nationals from Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, China, Eritrea, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Nigeria, Somalia, Syria, Togo, and the USA do not get a “Sichtvermerk”. If you are older than 30, are currently residing in Germany or have been to Germany before, or have a DAAD scholarship, you will not get a “Sichtvermerk” either).

 

Step 3: Apply for student housing

Accommodation is a critical topic in Freiburg. There are always more students looking for accommodation than rooms available. To make sure that all Non-EU students coming to Freiburg for the first time will get a room in the first semester, 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. (SWFR is an institution that – apart from offering all kinds of student services - manages most of the student residences and cafeterias in Freiburg).

Your program coordinator will send a list to the International Office naming all non-EU nationals 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 Online 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 Online 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 (330 Euro*) (directly on the campus of the Faculty of Engineering)
  • Falkenbergerstrasse (from 242 Euro*)
  • Studentensiedlung (212 - 340 Euro*)
  • Ulrich-Zasius-Haus (192 - 225 Euro*)
  • Händelstrasse (205 - 251 Euro*)
  • Stühlinger (215 - 300 Euro*)
  • Lehener Strasse
  • Berliner Allee (270 Euro*)

* 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 (male and female) 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 3 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 380-390 Euro. There are also a few single apartments in “Studentensiedlung am Seepark” (280 Euro), “Stühlinger” (288 Euro), “Lehener Strasse” (356 Euro) and “Händelstrasse” (283 or 360 Euro), but they are very few and difficult to obtain.

EU-nationals can apply for the same dormitories via the SWFR website. Since it is not guaranteed to obtain a room, it is recommended to also apply for private housing (homestay or shared flats). Offers can be found on the following websites:

https://www.swfr.de/en/residence/housing-services/housing-service/
https://www.wohnungsdatenbank.uni-freiburg.de/
https://www.wg-gesucht.de

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 of 75 € (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. 2,231 Euro without health insurance or 2,777 Euro incl. health insurance) at once before coming to Freiburg. The deadline for booking this service package is July 31st (for the winter term) and January 31st (for the summer term). For more information, check out the SWFR website.

 

Step 4: Transfer tuition fees

Due to the Corona crisis, tuition fees can currently only be paid by wire transfer:

  • by bank transfer to the account of the Financial Transactions Office at Baden-Württembergische Bank Stuttgart, IBAN DE71 6005 0101 7438 508768, BIC SOLADEST600. As a payment reference for the bank transfer please enter the following data only: BEW, your application number AND your surname (for example: BEW628475Baker). Please note that your bank might charge you international transfer fees which have to be covered by you.


The fees have to be paid at latest on the last day of the matriculation period. For the coming winter semester this is 22 October. A confirmation of receipt is not automatically given. If you want to have a confirmation of receipt, please send an email to international@service.uni-freiburg.de. But please do not send it earlier than three weeks after you made the transfer, because (according to our experience)  that's how long it takes the university finance department to receive, book and allocate the money.

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 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. 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 (Basel-Mulhouse).

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 70. 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. 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 Freiburg citizens' office

As soon as possible after your arrival in Freiburg (within 7 days) you must register yourself at the citizens’ 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.

The following documents must be presented:

  • "Wohnungsgeberbescheinigung" (will be given to you by SWFR or landlord when moving in)
  • Passport (if necessary) or Personal Identification (EU)
  • 1 passport sized photo (EU citizens require 2)
  • A white registration form (available at the citizens' office)


The white confirmation note obtained from the Citizen Registration Office must be presented to the immigration office (see step 7). The blue carbon copy must be presented to SWFR or to your landlord and the bank.

Please note that you have to inform the citizens' office about any changes in your residential address (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 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 to ask for an appointment.

You just have to send an email to Auslaenderbehoerde@stadt.freiburg.de in which you ask for an appointment for a student residence permit. The email should include a soft copy of your passport as well as the following information:

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

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 with student visa
  • certificate of enrolment  (= Studienbescheinigung)
  • proof of citizen registration (see step 6)
  • proof of health insurance,
  • proof of sufficient financial resources; e.g. blocked account, savings book, proof of 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 citizens' office.

Step 8: Activate your bank account

If you have opened a blocked account with Fintiba, you just have to open a normal current account at any bank after your arrival in Germany, and Fintiba will transfer your money in monthly instalments to that current account.

If you have opened a blocked account with Deutsche Bank, you have to activate it after your arrival in Germany using the form for account activation from the website.

If you don't need a blocked account, because you have a scholarship, you can just open a current account at any bank. The documents needed are: passport, admission letter, proof of citizen registration (see step 6).

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. € 91.-. 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 this directly with the doctor, dentist or hospital.

To register with a public 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 public health insurance agencies in the city centre of Freiburg:

- Techniker Krankenkasse (TK): Bertoldstrasse 48, 79098 Freiburg
- Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse (AOK): Fahnenbergplatz 6, 79098 Freiburg
- Barmer Ersatzkasse, Heinrich-von-Stephan-Str. 5, 79100 Freiburg

AOK even offers 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.

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 Deutsche Studentenwerk or Mawista.

EU students that have a ‘European Health Insurance Card’ (EHIC) have to present this card to an insurer (AOK, Techniker Krankenkasse usw.). Students then receive a proof of insurance certificate. This certificate must be present upon enrolment at the university.

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 Union or Mawista insurance 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)

For international students, the department in charge of enrolment is the International Admissions and Services (IAS) department.

Please note that due to Corona restrictions a personal enrolment is currently not possible. We will gladly accept your documents by regular mail. Please enclose a sufficiently stamped return envelope with the documents
For students who cannot enter Germany due to Corona restrictions, off-campus enrolment can be arranged. Please contact the staff at the IAS via international@service.uni-freiburg.de and apply for off-campus enrolment.

To matriculate, you will need

  • the completed application form for enrolment
  • the notification of admission
  • all documents listed in the letter of admission and
  • payment of the semester fee.


The proof of German health insurance and the residence permit (Visa) must be presented as soon as you have entered Germany.

More information can be found here.

Step 11: Orientation week

For information about the orientation week and other topics for new students, please check out our website for new students.