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International Students

Organising, Living and Financing

Accommodation / Cost of Living

Cost of living and studying

It is rather difficult to give general information about the cost of living in Germany. But you will find some helpful ideas on the webpages of the DAAD.This page is available in German as well as in English.

Student fees

You do not have to pay any study fees at the Fachhochschule Südwestfalen but you will be charged the so called " Semesterbeitrag" which is an enrolement fee.


Prices for accommodation vary a lot. Rooms in the students resident hall in Hagen can be obtained for 180 Euros per months, but prices on the private sector are a lot higher.

Usually foreign students in Hagen, Iserlohn or Soest can get a room in the students residence halls. Since the number of international students at the Fachhochschule Südwestfalen is increasing, these halls are often fully booked.

Insurance Policies

Health Insurance (Krankenversicherung)

Health Insurance for Exchange Students
Some countries health insurance schemes are recognised in Germany, so you may continue being insured in your own country. This will be cleared with the International Office when you arrive.

Health Insurance for international Fulltime Students
All students in Germany are required to have a statutory health insurance cover until the age of 30. If you meet these conditions, it has the positive consequence that the statutory health insurance funds must insure you at favourable student rates. The student rates for statutory health insurance currently amounts to approx. 110 EUR per month. You must pay your premiums to the health insurance fund before registering at your higher education institution.

A number of "Ersatzkassen" offer comparable statutory health cover.

Some countries health insurance schemes are recognised in Germany, so you may continue being insured in your own country. The decision rests with the insurance in the place where you are studying.

If you are older than 30 years of age on the date of arrival in Germany, you are strongly advised to insure yourself with a private health insurance company, since medical fees and hospital expenses are very high in Germany. In addition, you must prove that you have health insurance cover when you apply for a visa and/or matriculate or re-register at a higher education institution.

Accident Insurance (Unfallversicherung)

All students are insured against accidents at, on their way to and from their university by the statutory accident insurance scheme.

Liability Insurance (Haftpflichtversicherung)

We recommend that you insure yourself with a private liability insurance company.


Maternity Protection for Students

The new German Maternity Protection Act became applicable on January 1, 2018. For the first time, the scope of the act also covers students. Pregnant students and studying mothers have the right for a six-week protection period before the birth as well as an at least eight-week protection period that follow the birth.

Information about Maternity Protection

The Family Support Centre of the South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences will be the first institution to contact in case of questions concerning the maternity protection.

In order to familiarise oneself with the regulations in detail, we provide you the Legal Text on Maternity Protection in German.

Furthermore, we want to emphasize the Guide on Maternity Protection (in German) of the competent Federal Ministry.

Maternity Protection Measures

It can be possible that during your studies there might be a health risk for you or your unborn child in some courses. After the notification of a pregnancy, there is to be created a risk assessment independent from your degree programme in order to recognise possible risks and to apply appropriate safeguards. The risk assessment is automatically carried out by a specialist for work safety acting in agreement with the responsible faculty. In some cases it may be possible that you will be contacted in this respect.

Notification of Pregnancy

You are free to inform the university about your pregnancy or about being a mother. Although it is based on a voluntary nature, pregnant students and studying mothers are recommended to report their pregnancy or birth. If you want to make use of this possibility, please contact the Student Service Office responsible on your campus. For your personal benefit there will be informed and consulted other parties. The responsible faculties, in particular, are going to apply within their competencies appropriate safeguards, and if necessary, decide on applications concerning the examinations. Apart from that, the Maternity Protection Act is connected to an obligation to inform the regulatory authority (District Government of Arnsberg) by the university.

In order to benefit from the maternity protection period, you will be automatically de-registered from the examinations you have registered for within the protection period.

Notification of Pregnancy

Visa and Entry Regulations

Entry Regulations / Visa

Foreign students wishing to enter the Federal Republic of Germany require a residence permit visa for study purposes / student visa (Aufenthaltserlaubnis in der Form des Sichtvermerks) issued by a diplomatic representation of the Federal Republic of Germany (embassy or consulate) in the student's country of origin and entered into the passport.

This regulation does not apply to study applicants and students from EU countries and from countries with which Germany has agreed on different regulations (e.g. Australia, Iceland, Israel, Canada, Switzerland, United States).

You are urgently warned against entering the country as a tourist. A tourist visa cannot be retrospectively converted into a visa or residence permit for educational purposes.

On the web site of The Federal Foreign Office you find all essential information on german entry regulations.

Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt)

Your visa application has to be directed to the German embassy or consulate in your country.

List of adresses of the German missions abroad

Residence Regulations

After having entered Germany you will need a residence permit. Within a week of your arrival you have to report to the residents’ registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt) in the town in which you are living, where you will apply for a residence permit. To do so, you will need your passport, your health insurance certificate, your lease, a confirmation of enrolment and proof that your stay in Germany is financially covered.

Approximately two weeks after registration at the Residents´Registration Office your data will be provided to the Aliens´ Registrations Authority (Ausländerbehörde), so then you can apply for the residence permit. You can find a list of the adequate authorities in the four locations of the Fachhochschule Südwestfalen on the right side. The International Office will help exchange students with this.

Work permit

Your residence permit allows you to work for a certain amount of time. You will find the number of days in your residence permit, usually these are 120 full days per year.