Planning your arrival

Once you have received the admission notice from Goethe University, there are still a number of things to take care of before you set out on your journey to Germany!

The web pages of the International Office offer Bachelor and Master students a wealth of detailed information and to-do lists. You can also find these to-do lists and a flyer listing first points of contact in the download box.

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What do you have to do before coming here?

1. Visa:

Before coming to Germany, you must apply for a student visa with the German embassy or another diplomatic mission in your home country (this is not required for students from EU or EAA countries). Please check the embassy’s website to see what documentation is required for the visa (passport, proof of financial resources, admission notice etc.) – do this in good time!

Proof of financial resources: This is to show that you will be able to finance your studies. At a minimum, this means complete funding of your living expenses for the first year. As a rule, you have to show proof of income or assets currently amounting to € 8,820 for the first year, i.e. € 735 per month. Higher amounts may be required.

As a rule, proof of financial resources is possible by way of:

  • evidence of sufficient income or assets of the student’s parents
  • a German resident gives the immigration office a guarantee that she/he will cover your costs
  • a deposit of € 8,820 is paid into a blocked account
    >> you can open a blocked account e.g. with Deutsche Bank or Fintiba
  • you provide a bank guarantee
  • you provide proof of a scholarship

Note: Please make sure to get the relevant information from your German embassy or diplomatic mission so you know how to prove sufficient financial resources.

Further useful information regarding proof of financial resources can be found on "Studieren in Deutschland" - Study-in.de

Getting a visa can often take several months. Therefore it is important to apply early for a “student applicant visa”, which will allow you to come to Germany in time to begin your studies. Since it is possible that your admissions notice is issued only shortly before the semester begins, it is a good idea to ask the university for a confirmation of application and use this to obtain a student applicant visa, which you can change to a “residence permit for the purpose of studying“ once you are in Germany.

If you are a national of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea, the United States of America, Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco or San Marino, you can also obtain the necessary residence permit for the purpose of studying after your entry into Germany from the relevant immigration authority.

You can get further information regarding your entry into Germany and visa here "Studieren in Deutschland" - Study-in.de and from the Federal Foreign Office.

>> Detailed information about residence permits

2. Admission

The admissions notice, which you will receive by mail, contains important information about semester fees and what documents you have to bring for your Immatrikulation (enrolment as a student). You can register in writing or in person, and you will need a current passport picture. It is crucial that you keep the immatriculation deadline! If you miss this, the admissions notice becomes invalid. You will also have to pay the student fees (please look here for the current amount). Please also note that you have to re-register every semester.

The web pages of Goethe University Frankfurt offer information about fees and about deadlines for re-registration.

Once you have received your admissions notice, you can begin to research details about your study programme and its requirements, and to plan your first semester. You can find further tips here.

3. Buddy Programme

The Buddy Programme is run by the International Office. The idea is that for one semester, you will be supported by an experienced student who will help you navigate life in Frankfurt and at the university. Your buddy will do his or her best to help you with questions regarding your studies, finding accommodation, administrative formalities and leisure activities! This is also an opportunity for you to meet people and quickly improve your German skills. You can find information about the Buddy Programme here.

>> Registration for international students

4. Accommodation

Finding an affordable flat in Frankfurt is a real challenge. This page offers tips and important information to help you with this. You want to know even more? Then check out our flyer on accommodation.

Getting here

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By train:

To Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof, the main station: You will most likely arrive at the main station, the Hauptbahnhof. From here you can continue by public transport (the subway or “U-Bahn“, tram, bus).

>> Train timetables

Time tables, prices and tickets for local public transport in the Frankfurt region can be accessed here.

>> Further information on travel & transport

By airplane:

Frankfurt Airport

There are two train stations at Frankfurt Airport: Frankfurt Flughafen Fernbahnhof (for long-distance trains - ICE and Intercity trains) and Frankfurt Flughafen Regionalbahnhof (for regional trains - RE, RB and S-Bahn). It takes 10-20 minutes to Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof from either of these; however, tickets for trains leaving from the regional station are cheaper.

Sometimes it might be cheaper to fly to other airports around Frankfurt, were taxes for airlines are lower: e.g. Düsseldorf, Köln-Bonn or Stuttgart are only a moderate trip via train away.

Frankfurt Hahn Airport

From Frankfurt Hahn, it is a two-hour bus trip to Frankfurt (Main) main station or Frankfurt Airport. Frankfurt Hahn Airport especially serves low budget airlines. Be careful not to mistake it with Frankfurt Airport.

>> Bus Hahn-Frankfurt

To get to Goethe University Frankfurt am Main:

Your Goethe Card entitles you to free travel within Frankfurt (and throughout Hessen) on all public transport (RE, RB, S-Bahn, U-Bahn, Tram, Bus) operated by the regional transport association, the “Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund“ (RMV).

Once you get here

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1. Registering your residence

Once you have found a room or a flat in Germany, you must register within two weeks with the registration office – the Einwohnermeldeamt or Bürgeramt – of the town where you live. For this registration, you will need, as a rule: a passport or ID and a confirmation from your landlord that you have moved in (the so-called Wohnungsgeberbestätigung). This confirmation can be also obtained from a hostel or hotel in case you haven’t found a flat or a room yet. Once you have registered, you will receive a Meldebescheinigung (confirmation of registry), which you will need e.g. for opening a bank account. More information is available on the website of the registration office: Bürgeramt Frankfurt.

Information about the Wohnungsgeberbestätigung is available here.

You can also make an appointment online in order to avoid long waiting times.

2. Opening a bank account

We recommend you open a current account with a German bank in order to arrange regular payments (rent, insurances etc.), shop online, get cash and pay with an EC card (debit card). You can open an account either online or in a branch. You will need a form of ID and your confirmation of registry (Meldebescheinigung). You can access information about the different types of banks in German on the website of the German Central Bank.

>> Open a current account

3. Get health insurance

As a rule, all students who are enrolled at a German university or who are doing a compulsory internship must be covered by health insurance (including nursing care insurance), starting with the beginning of the semester (1st October or 1st April of a given year). You must provide proof of coverage upon enrolment.

As a rule, students from EU and EEA countries are sufficiently covered if they maintain their home country health insurance, as long as these meet EU regulations. Foreign insurers do not always cover all cost of medical treatment. It is best to check details and questions with your health insurance before you come to Germany.

If you plan to get health insurance in Germany, you will need: passport or ID card, confirmation of registry (Meldebescheinigung), confirmation of enrolment or your admissions notice, a German bank account and a passport picture.

>> Health insurance for international students

>> Flyer - Insurance and health

4. Immatrikulation / enrolment:

You will need the following documents for your enrolment at Goethe University:

  • your admissions notice (or a copy thereof)
  • a certified copy of the DHS certificate (obligatory proficiency examination) or an equivalent certificate as proof of language proficiency
  • passport
  • a confirmation of coverage by your health insurance (or proof that you are exempt from the obligation to be insured)
  • application for the Goethe Card
  • passport picture

You will then receive a book of study records and a confirmation of your enrolment. After about 1-2 weeks you can pick up your Goethe Card from the Studien Service Center Service Point.

If you have any further questions, check in with the Goethe University’s Studien Service Center.

5. Apply for a residence permit with the Immigration Office

Citizens from non-EU/EEA countries must, after registering their residence with the Bürgeramt, also register with the Immigration Office. This is where you have to apply for a residence permit before expiry of your entry visa. However, your data has to be transmitted from the registration office to the Immigration Office, so wait for at least 7 days before going there. For your application you will need your confirmation of enrolment, the registration confirmation from the Bürgeramt, proof of financial resources and proof of health insurance.

>> Immigration Office Frankfurt

>> Information on residence permit