Preparing to leave
While you are in your home country there are some things which can or should be started or prepared now.
We suggest you begin the following tasks well in advance:
- Getting a visa for Germany
- Proof of Finances
- Organising health insurance
- Applying for a room in the students residence (Studentenwohnheim)
- Brushing up on your German
Get a visa
If you are a not a citizen of a member country of the European Union you will most likely be entering Germany on the basis of a student visa, which is granted to you by the German Embassy in your home country. A student visa allows entry and stay for a period of three months. Check the website of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs at www.auswaertiges-amt.de for regulations on immigration and residency for your home country.
Following your arrival in Germany make sure to register as soon as possible to be granted a residence permit (see below).
Proof of Finances
When you apply for a visa at a German diplomatic mission (High Commission, Consulate), you need to prove that your finances allow you to live in Germany.
There are two possibilities regarding the proof of finances:
- The Letter of Committment (Verpflichtungserklärung): Here a person commits himself/herself (e.g. parents or relatives), to sponsor your stay in Germany for a certain period of time or for the entire period of study. This form is available at the German consulate or high commission.
- The Blocked Account (Sperrkonto): This is a bank account with a bank in Germany or in your homeland where you have deposited money amounting to at least one year's living costs here. From this account you are not allowed to draw more than 853 EUR per month.
With certain financial institutions (e.g. the Deutsche Bank) you can open a blocked account in Germany from your homeland. In this case, you do not need to transfer your money at a later time to Germany therefore saving on bank charges.
Please contact the Deutsche Bank and ask for assistance.
Organising health insurance
To study in Germany you need health insurance.
Please find out more with this link.
Applying for a room at the Studentenwohnheim (Student residence)
As mentioned before we recommend applying for a room in a dormitory. There are many dormitories in Bonn, 24 train minutes away from Rheinbach. There is also one dormitory in Rheinbach, however only 30 apartments are available.
Also note that there is a limitation of international students at the dorms which is at 40%. This limit is unfortunately nearly always reached. If you do not find a room there, you may have to find something on your own.
For more information on accommodation please follow this link.
Try to get a better knowledge of the language
The Biology study programmes are in English and most young Germans speak more or less fluent English, however, having a certain knowledge of German is essential to get along outside the university. Free German language courses will be offered to you during the first semester but it is best to try to learn some phrases while you are still at home. A basic knowledge of German will come in very handy as soon as you have left the airplane and find yourself navigating immigration or the public transport system.
The Forensic study programme however is bilingual and you will need more than just a basic knowledge of German and English. Non-native speakers will have to pass a test in German language proficiency before matriculation (i.e. TestDaF). Please inquire with the the International Office and the Language Centre to find out about additional language support. Please be aware that lectures will be held either in German or in English and that your language capabilities need to support you through them.