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General Information from the University
For international students
Please note that due to the rapidly changing nature of the situation, we cannot guarantee that the information provided here is up-to-date and correct. Please always consult the pages of the relevant institutions. Only the information published there is binding. If you miss important concerns of international students here, please write to email@example.com.
- Information on Covid-19 in Germany
- Travel regulations
- Visa/ residence permit
- Important information for first year students
- General conditions of study and teaching in the SoSe 2020
- Financial aid for students in need
- Housing support
- Emergency child care
- Psychosocial care
- Validation, RMV-Ticket, HRZ Account
- Registration of your residence with the municipality
Information on Covid-19 in Germany
Competences briefly explained:
On March 22nd, 2020, the German government decided on measures for extended restrictions of social contacts in order to slow down the spread of the coronavirus and to keep the health care system efficient. The Federal Ministry of Health ("BMG") is responsible for decisions and their implementation in the field of healthcare. In Hesse, the Hessian Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration and the local health authorities are responsible. The Federal Centre for Health Education ("BzgA") provides information on the coronavirus specifically for citizens. The Robert Koch Institute ("RKI") provides a professional assessment of the situation and advises the Federal Government and the specialist public. The Federal Ministry of the Interior ("BMI") and the Federal Police are responsible for entry regulations, border controls etc. The Federal Foreign Office provides advice on travel, safety and health for other countries and looks after German citizens abroad.
Please be sure to check with quality-assured information sources! On the pages mentioned above, information is usually also available in other languages.
Please be sure to follow the guidelines and recommendations of the responsible authorities. If necessary, special local measures may also have to be observed!
- Information by the Robert Koch Institute (public health institute)
- Information in various languages by the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration
- Information in various languages by the Office for Multicultural Affairs in Frankfurt and the the Hessian Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration
- FAQ by the Federal Government of Germany
- Information from the Federal Minisitry of the Interior
As of April 27th, 2020, citizens in Hessen are required to use a mouth and nose covering. Update June 15th
Measures to restrict social contacts: Binding since 22.03.2020 under threat of fines! The Hessian federal government is relaxing the coronavirus-based lockdown measures. You should keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters to others, there are exceptions for a group up to 10 people etc.
- If you have spent time in a risk area within 14 days prior to your arrival (entry), you must notify your corresponding public health office (-> search here) as well as observe a 2-week quarantine. This means that you must return to your residence immediately after arrival in the most direct way and remain there for 14 days. You are not allowed to leave your lodgings during this time, not even to go grocery shopping, and you are not allowed to receive visitors who are not part of your housing community (your flatmates). In case of symptoms of illness, you must contact the public health office responsible for you immediately. Please note that non-compliance with these duties can be sanctioned by the authorities.
- At your own risk: The final decision about your entry is at the discretion of the border police at your point of entry. We cannot guarantee your entry and you are taking the decision to return at your own risk.
- Please do not enter if you are sick or were in contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case.
- Please note that the Federal Foreign Offices’ travel regulations and travel warning for single countries can change on short notice (on entry visa or quarantine regulations).
- For students currently in the EU, in countries associated with Schengen or the UK and Northern Ireland, the travel ban has been lifted.
- Current news from the Federal Foreign Office (in German only)
For students in third countries, the Robert-Koch Institut (RKI) regularly lists the classified risk countries.
- Please make sure to take note of the information provided by the authorities on their respective websites:
For further information regarding quarantine, dining and other Covid-19 regulations offered by the European Commission visit Re-open EU.
- FAQ Ministry of the Interior and Justice, part on travel restrictions/ border controles
- FAQ Federal Border Police (in German only)
- Risk areas Europe (in German only)
- Risk areas world (in German only)
- Quarantine provisions for international travellers decreed by the Hessian Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration
- Frankfurt airport
- Information for travelles from the Robert Koch Institute
Students from third countries with a long-term national visa for the purpose of studying who are staying in Germany
Students with a long-term national visa for the purpose of studying from third countries who are staying in Germany
- Please contact the embassy of your home country in Germany and register with the crisis prevention instruments available there, if necessary.
- There are currently no restrictions on leaving the country, but there is a travel warning four countries outside of the EU/Schengen-Area from the Federal Foreign Office. Some countries have imposed entry bans or special controls. Please remember that you may not be able to return to Germany.
Application/extension of a residence permit
Important: Please take note of the current regulations of Goethe University!
If you are applying for a visa for the first time, there may be delays and changes in the procedure due to embassy closures. Please be sure to check with your embassy whether you need to submit any additional documents (e.g. proof of digital study, late start of lectures, etc.) or if deadlines have been changed.
If you have initially entered Germany without a visa (only for specific countries), but need to apply for a residence permit within 90 days, please submit a corresponding application to the Immigration Office in your place of residence using the channels provided by this office.
Please refer to the website of the Immigration Office responsible for you to find out how you can currently apply for or extend a residence permit. In spite of the situation, please make sure that you submit your application for a granting/extension of your residence permit in due time!
Immigration Office Frankfurt: FAQ Coronavirus (for English version, please scroll down)
Send your application for issuance/extension electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will then receive appointment before your residence permit expires. Please note that you can only enter and leave the country from the German side with a fictional certificate according to § 81 (4) AufenthG. Please also clarify with your country of destination whether it accepts the fictional certificate as a travel document. Hotline: 069 212 -42485/ -46486/ -31538 (Mon-Thu 8-16, Fr 8-12), email@example.com.
The ABH FFM is open again but only by appointment. Entry is only permitted if you have an appointment, provide proof of it and wear a mouth-nose cover. Please come to the entrance (Rebstöcker Str. 4) 10 minutes before the appointment. You can make an appointment by e-mail, stating your first name, surname, date of birth, residential address, and request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Immigration Office Offenbach: Personal appointments again since June 2nd. For an appointment, please send an email to: email@example.com
If you have secured your livelihood through gainful employment in the past and this is demonstrably not possible at present due to the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic, or if your parents have financed your livelihood and there are income restrictions on them due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the Immigration Office may temporarily suspend this requirement for the extension of your residence permit. The extension of the scope of employment beyond 120 full / 240 half days is to be facilitated, but you must still obtain the approval of the Aliens Department in advance.
If you are abroad, cannot return to Germany and your residence permit expires, you can submit an informal application for an extension by e-mail. To do so, you must send a complete scan of your passport and your flight ticket(s) with which you travelled abroad, as well as the nearest German mission abroad. If your stay can be extended, you will receive a fictional certificate by post from the German mission abroad.
If, due to the coronavirus pandemic, restrictions in the teaching activities of the universities lead to an extension of the study period, these are to be considered as circumstances for which the student is not responsible in the individual case examination with regard to the 10-year period of study.
Important information for first year students
+++ NOTE - COVID-19 conditional changes/exceptions!
Health insurance: international students from third countries who have enrolled but are currently not living in Germany and are attending digital (online) courses, are exempt from the obligation to have health insurance. Please note, that if you return to Germany within the semester and participate in seminars, you are obliged to have health insurance. According to § 186 Abs. 7 Satz 1 SGB, as soon as you enter Germany for the semester, this holds retroactively from the start of the semester/day of enrollment.
If you are not in Germany while enrolling, you still need a confirmation letter regarding your health insurance. A statutory health insurance can issue this letter if you send in an approval from the university and a short statement that you are currently residing outside of Germany.
- If you are considering withdrawing from your studies at the Goethe University due to the current situation, you can withdraw your enrolment until 31.10.2020.
- After enrolment you will receive a student card (GoetheCard) and a student account for the IT services of the university from the Hochschulrechenzentrum (University Computer Centre) (HRZ Account). You will need the account in order to gain access to central university services - e.g. to register for lectures and examinations. The account is usually sent by post to an address in Germany. If this is not possible for you, please write directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For lectures and exams you normally have to register within certain deadlines via the QIS-LSF system, but there are also different registration procedures and deadlines in individual departments/ study programmes/ examination offices. Due to the current situation, further exceptions may apply despite the expiry of the deadlines. Please inquire carefully both on the page Study Conditions for the SoSe 2020 and at your faculty/ study programme/ examination office. Instructions for the registration for lectures and exams in QIS-LSF can be found here and here. HRZ Services for students
- First read carefully your study and examination regulations, the study plan and the module handbook for your degree programme and plan your studies and your current semester before you register for courses. The student advisory service at your department will be happy to help you with this
- The President of the Goethe University welcomes you as a new student. Click here for the video for first year students.
- The contents of the International Office's orientation event especially for international students, which cannot take place as a attendance event due to the current situation, can be found here. Further orientation events of the departments
- The International Office runs a buddy programme in which you will be assigned an experienced student who will be happy to help you with orientation and acclimatization in Germany and during your studies at the Goethe University. The program is offered digitally/ virtually/ online in SoSe 2020. Please register as a new student by the end of April: www.uni-frankfurt.de/buddy.
- The Kompass Programme gives you access to important information for international students (study techniques, job & career, social & intercultural issues, e.g. right of residence, health insurance, etc.) in digital formats. These will start in May 2020.
General conditions of study and teaching
(last updated July 1st, 2020)
Please make sure you keep up to date on current developments on the page (only in German) General conditions of study and teaching in the SoSe 2020. Here you will find answers to questions such as lecture times, semester count, semesters on leave of absence, online teaching, examinations, deadlines for study sections, etc. and from there you will be directed to the central services of the university and its corona pages (e.g. library). In addition, please consult your faculties/departments/examination offices for specific information that applies to you.
+++ NOTE - COVID-19 conditional changes/exceptions! +++
Students that are abroad due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic travel restrictions and cannot attend the examination, can withdraw their exam registration. Please contact your lecturer if and under which circumstances a comparable assignment is possible. The departments should presume less bureaucratic.
Goethe University is planning both digital and classroom-based seminars for this upcoming winter semester 2020/21 - in accordance with the current safety and hygiene measures. winter semester 2020/21
The lecture period will start later than initially planned.
The winter semester lecture period 2020/2021:
Monday, 2. November 2020 – Sunday, 21. February 2021
Financial aid for students
Since 01.04.2020 (until 30.06.2020) there is a claim for protection against dismissal and deferment of payment for contracts securing the existence of the basic supply. Link BMJV Please contact your landlord, electricity and telephone provider etc. proactively and ask for a deferment of payment. Please note, however, that this is a deferral, you will have to pay the money at a later date.
Students that have verifiable proof that they face pandemic-related financial hardship, that need immediate help and cannot receive other financial assistance (e.g. BAföG) can apply for the “Interim financial aid” (Überbrückungshilfe) funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (from June 16th onwards). International students from EU- and non-EU countries can also apply for the financial aid (up to 500 Euro) for the months of June, July and August 2020 (a new application for each month). Interim financial aid/Überbrückungshilfe
- FAQs Interim financial aid/Überbrückungshilfe
- The KfW Group is making interest-free loans of up to EUR 650/month available to international students from July onwards. Further information here: Press release and KfW page on the student loan (only inf German)
- The Studentenwerk Frankfurt provides information about the possibility of a loan free of interest or support from an emergency fund. You will also find an overview of various contact points in financial emergencies.
- Goethe University's Job Center offers an overview of alternative student jobs in quarantine.
- The FAQ of the Deutsches Studentenwerk (German student services) informs about many financial aspects in the crisis for students.
- The Frankfurter Verein zur Förderung ausländischer Studierender in Not e.V. also helps international students that face financial hardship.
- BAföG (only available in German):
- Postponement of the start of lectures does not affect BAföG entitlement
- If examinations are postponed to times after the standard period of study, the submission date for the performance record may also be postponed accordingly
- If certain required proofs cannot be obtained (e.g. due to closure of the university), this does not prevent BAföG funding
- If your parents are currently earning less, e.g. due to short-time work, your chances of receiving BAföG or higher BAföG support are greater
- The Protestant Student Community/"Evangelische Studierendengemeinschaft" (ESG) offers financial support for international students in need. For this purpose, a request for advice must be made first (only available in German).
- General information about support possibilities regarding housing in Frankfurt:
- Termination protection for tenants during Coronavirus pandemic:
- no termination for rent debts from 1st April to 30th June 2020 based on loss of income due to the Coronavirus pandemic
- Rent debts must be paid by 30 June 2022
- More information: https://www.bmjv.de/DE/Themen/FokusThemen/Corona/Miete/Corona_Miete_node.html
- The Housing Office of the City of Frankfurt informs tenants about protection against dismissal during the Coronavirus pandemic: https://frankfurt.de/themen/planen-bauen-und-wohnen/wohnen/mietrechtliche-beratung/mietschulden-waehrend-der-corona-krise
- Advice via telephone concerning housing in Frankfurt:
- The Office for Housing of the City of Frankfurt offers free advice via telephone concerning housing in Frankfurt: +49 69 212 34711 / Tue + Fri: 8:30 - 12:00
- More information: https://frankfurt.de/themen/planen-bauen-und-wohnen/wohnen/mietrechtliche-beratung/mietrechtliche-beratung
Emergency child care
Single parent students are admitted to emergency care with current regulations. All information, including how to apply for an emergency care place, can be found here (in German).
For this purpose, the childcare provider usually requires proof from the employer / the university that you belong to one of these groups.
Applying for an emergency childcare place
The Goethe University acts as a confirming body for single parents.
Please download the application form from the website of the Hessian State Parliament of Social Affairs (link below) and send it completed to email@example.com.
The student secretariat will then confirm by signature and stamp that you are registered with us and return the form to you. With the completed form you can apply for emergency care.
Important: This option is ONLY available to single-parent students.
Note: In the facilities of BVZ GmbH, the student card and the completed form is sufficient as proof for students.
The current application form (02.06.2020)
On the website of the Hessian State Parliament of Social Affairs and Integration (in German) you will always find the most current information on this topic.
Validation, RMV-Ticket, HRZ Account
To avoid having to travel to the campus to validate your Goethe Card, you can print out your own RMV ticket for the Hessian transport services, valid until the end of April, on your PC at home. To do this, you call up the address of the Goethe Card service ("Kartenservice", unfortunately not available in English) and log in with your HRZ account. The menu item 'RMV-Bescheinigung anzeigen' will then appear in the selection menu. Press "Starten" and a new window will appear. Again, press 'RMV-Bescheinigung anzeigen' on the right and the download will start. This provides you with a personalised form that you can print out yourself.