Before your arrival in Giessen or Friedberg, we would like to give you some important advice.

How much is the cost of living?

Keep in mind that you can expect the following expenses during your stay:


One-time costs:

  • Tuition fees (including public transport in and around Giessen and Friedberg) in the 2016-17 autumn semester: €219.77
  • Room deposit €250.00

Monthly living expenses

  • Rent for a room in a hall of residence
    for a 4-month stay = €261 per month, for a 10-month stay = €231 per month
  • Health insurance €90.00
  • Food - approx. €160.00
  • Lunch in the university cafeteria - approx. € 60.00
  • Miscellaneous expenses (books, computer, leisure activities) - at least €130.00

For a 10-month stay with health insurance this means you will need a total of at least €670.00.

The DAAD also provides details of the cost of living in Germany at their website.

Do I need health insurance?

Every student in Germany must have health insurance. Monthly insurance premiums are uniform and defined by law for all insurance providers. Students must currently pay €72.82 for health insurance and €16.87 for nursing care insurance.
This means that health insurance costs total approximately €90.00 per month.

The period for mandatory student health insurance is seven years (ending on completion of 14 semesters) or the student's 30th birthday at the latest. Under special circumstances student rates can be extended to a higher age. Those who are no longer required to carry insurance may take out private insurance. This, however, will involve significantly higher premiums.
Students from EU countries that have signed a national insurance agreement are exempted from mandatory health insurance if they are insured in their home country. These students must have their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

Do I need a VISA or residence permit?

The following students do not require a visa to enter Germany. They only have to present a valid travel document (usually a passport):

  • Citizens of countries belonging to the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway);
  • Citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Switzerland and the USA;
  • Citizens of Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco, San Marino – provided that these students do not engage in gainful employment in Germany before and after their study period.

All students from countries other than those mentioned above require a visa to enter Germany.

Please apply for

  • either a student applicant visa (valid for three months, can be changed to a residence permit for study purposes after registration with the university)
  • or a national visa for a stay longer than three months

Please do not apply for a so-called "Schengen" visa. This type of visa allows only a three-month stay in Germany and is intended for visitors, business people and tourists. It is not possible to extend a Schengen visa. Once the visa has expired, you are required to leave the country. Another disadvantage of a Schengen visa is that it cannot be changed to another type of visa, which means you could not convert the visa to a student applicant visa or a national visa.

The embassies and consulates-general of the Federal Republic of Germany are responsible for issuing visas. Before you travel, make sure you have obtained the proper information on visa procedures at the internet page of your embassy or consulate and that you have all documents required to apply for a visa.
Here is a list of German embassies and consulates 

Where do I apply for a visa?

To apply for a visa at the German embassy in your home country, the following documents must be submitted:  

  • Requirements for acceptance to a degree course (letter of acceptance or an official invitation from the university)
  • Written confirmation of the costs required to finance the cost of living

The Immigration Office in Giessen or Friedberg will issue the required residence permit (Aufenthaltsbewilligung) after your arrival in Germany.