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International Students

Drei Studierende Personen vor dem Gebäude in Soest.

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 female studentsMaternity protection

Starting on 1 January 2018, the new Maternity Protection Act came into force. For the first time, female students are also included in the scope of application and protection of this law. Pregnant women and mothers who are studying are entitled to a six-week protection period before the delivery and a minimum eight-week protection period after birth.

The most important aspects of the Maternity Protection Act for students

The Family Support Centre of the South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences is your first contact regarding questions about maternity protection.
We provide you with the legal text of the Maternity Protection Act so that you can be familiarised with the regulations in detail (only in German language).
In addition, we would like to refer to a guide on maternity protection from the responsible Federal Ministry.


According to § 1 para. 2 no. 8, the law applies to female students if the university stipulates the place, time and course of the education as compulsory or if they complete an internship that is compulsory as part of their university education.

Maternity protection measures

It cannot be completely excluded that there could be health hazards for you or your unborn child in the course of your studies during some lectures. After you have notified us of your pregnancy (voluntary), a so-called risk assessment must be carried out, irrespective of the course of study, so that any hazards can be identified and appropriate protective measures can be taken. This is automatically carried out by an occupational safety specialist in consultation with the responsible faculty. In individual cases, you may be contacted in this regard.

Notification about a pregnancy / birth

It is up to you whether you want to notify the university about your pregnancy or the fact that you are a mother. Although it is voluntary, pregnant women and mothers are encouraged to report their pregnancy or birth to the university in their own interest. If you wish to make use of this option, please contact the Student Service Office of your campus.

The employees will inform other parties involved and consult them on your behalf. In particular, the relevant faculty will take the necessary protective measures within the scope of their responsibility and, if necessary, also decide upon applications on the part of the examiners. In addition, the Maternity Protection Act requires the university to notify the responsible supervisory authority (District Government of Arnsberg).
If you make use of the maternity leave period, you will automatically be deregistered from the examinations for which you have registered within the maternity leave period.

Notification of birth

If you would like to take advantage of the maternity protection period after birth of your child, please fill out the form for notification of birth (German only) and send it to the Student Services Office of your campus.

Forms (only in German language available)
Form Notification about pregnancy (PDF)
Form Notification of birth (PDF)

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.