Heidelberg University, Germany
Every semester, the International Relations Office organizes “Orientation Days” for new international students. The Orientation Days take place in the week before lectures start and consist of a number of events and presentations covering a wide range of academic and social issues. Experienced Heidelberg students guide new students through the various departments and facilities such as libraries, computer center, sports facilities, student cafeterias etc.
In addition, the institutional and departmental coordinators of the EuroScholars Program will provide counseling and guidance tailored to meet the specific needs of program participants.
Program participants will be housed in modern, high-standard student residences. They will share an apartment (2-4 single bedrooms, shared bathrooms and kitchen) with German and international students. There are also rooms with a small kitchen, bathroom and shower for one single person available. All rooms are furnished and have a size of 12-15 m². Accommodation is available in the city center (“old town”), where the departments of the humanities and social sciences are located, as well as on the campus for the natural and life sciences (approx. 10 minutes biking to the “old town”). The rooms on the campus for the natural and life sciences provide internet access; students living in the residences in the “old town” can access internet at the University library, at the departments or at the “InfoCafé International”. The rent as well as the contribution to the Student Services (“Studierndenwerk”) are included in the program fee.
Costs of Living
Participants should budget €200-250 depending on personal preferences. Public transportation costs (“Semesterticket”) are around € 30 per month.
Health insurance in Germany is available from public and private insurance companies. Public health insurance for students costs about € 85 per month and includes visits to the doctor and dentist, prescription medicine (excluding a small basic charge), hospital treatment (excluding a small basic charge) and some therapeutic treatments. Premiums and the extent of cover are fairly uniform amongst public insurance companies (gesetzliche Krankenkassen). To get an idea of what student health insurance involves, take a look at the AOK web site and go to “Foreign Students” and then click on “General Benefits”. Please note that students aged 30 or above do not qualify for this kind of health insurance but have to purchase private insurance which usually is more expensive.
Visa and Residence Permit
In order to study in Germany, international students (with the exception of citizens of EU-member states) need a valid residence permit (“Aufenthaltsbewilligung zu Studienzwecken”).
Citizens of the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and EFTA-Countries may apply for their residence permit after arriving in Germany.
Students will need to bring their passport, a statement of financial support (bank statement, parental letter, confirmation of scholarship or the like), and proof of health insurance in order to apply for their residence permit.
There’s a broad spectrum of student activities which help to facilitate integration into the student community. Depending on their interests, students engage in (international) student organizations, join the university orchestra or one of the choirs, theatre groups, debate clubs or work for the student newspaper “Ruprecht”. Religious student organizations also offer programs for international students.
The International Relations Office offers a variety of activities and counselling services to help students get accustomed to life in Heidelberg. Once a week, the video club shows German films, language tutorials and the “tandem program” (language partner program) offer linguistic support and the many reasonably-priced excursions on weekends to well-known places in Germany are a great opportunity to discover different regions in Germany and to meet other international students. An overview of Services and Events offered by the International Relations Office is available online.
Student ID Card
Upon registration, students get a student ID card which entitles them to use student facilities like the libraries or the student restaurants and cafes. In addition, many places offer discounts for students (e.g. theatres, museums, cinemas or travel agencies and the Deutsche Bahn etc.).
Once they have registered, students receive a PIN with which they can receive an e-mail account and access the internet through the university’s computer centre (Universitaetsrechenzentrum).
Find out more about Germany's oldest university library and the largest scientific library of Baden-Württemberg online.
The “Zentrum für Studienberatung und Weiterbildung” offers general counselling on study programs, seminars to develop key competences or to overcome learning difficulties and also includes a career service. Information on departmental study coordinators is available on the web-sites of the respective departments. At the International Relations Office, your program coordinator will be happy to provide more information and advice. Psychological counselling is offered by the Studierendenwerk Heidelberg. In addition, the student-run “nightline” offers telephone counselling to any questions or problems students might have.
Sports and Recreational Facilities
All students are encouraged to take part in the activities organized by the university’s sport center. They can chose from a broad variety of 95 different sports courses. Detailed descriptions, dates and deadlines are provided on the website.