FAQ - Preparation: Visa and Finances
Depending on your country of origin, you have to apply for a visa before you enter Germany
• EU citizens do not need a visa (freedom of movement applies)
• Non-EU citizens can apply for their visa for the purpose of studying in Germany at a German diplomatic representation (embassy/consulate general) in their home country, after they have received a study admission or an admission to an entrance examination at the “Studienkolleg”. For that they will need the original letter of admission amongst other things. Please take into account that the review of your request can take several months!
• Exception: Citizens from Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea or the US can enter without a visa.
• More information:
- You will have to make sure that you can finance your studies in Germany before your arrival. Getting a residence permit requires you to prove that you do have the necessary funds for living in Germany (as stated in § 5 Abs. 1 Nr. 1 AufenthG).
- You have to guarantee that you have at least 8.820€ (from 01.01.2020 it will be 10.236€) at your disposal per year. The amount is based on the maximum of the student loan “BAföG”, which is 735 € per month, from next Semester 2019/20 it will be 853€.
- There are different possibilities to prove, that your situation is financially sound:
- Using a so called blocked account, where you will have to deposit 8.820€/10.236€ is the most common option. You are allowed to withdraw a maximum of 735€/853€ monthly from this account. Attention: In order to extend your visa you will need to prove that your living expenses are again covered after one year. Meaning that you will have to have the same amount of money (8.820€/10.236€) – as the year before – on a blocked account.
- You can also deposit a security of 8.820€/10.236€ at a German bank.
- A person living in Germany can give a formal obligation/commitment according to § 68 AufenthG.
- A person living in a non-EU country can give a formal obligation/commitment according to § 68 AufenthG. The formal obligation will have to be approved by a German embassy or consulate. This option is not always successful, due to various reasons.
- If you have secured a scholarship that is equal to or more than 735€/853€ per month.
- If you are from a Non-EU country, your work permit is restricted. It is also not intended for you to finance your study through work. You can only earn some additional funds with the work permit. In addition, before receiving the residence permit you are only allowed to work, if your visa explicitly allows the employment (according to §16 of the residence law)
- You should make sure that you can finance your studies before coming to Germany, as you will regularly have to show that you have the funds required to do so.
- You will normally not be able to get government aid, unless special circumstances apply.
- Information regarding financing your studies (jobs, scholarships,…) can be found here: Linksammlung
- Additionally, you can get advice from our social councilors or the Service Point from our finance department.
- Darmstadt is a popular place to study and live. Therefore, the prices for accommodation are higher than in other cities of comparable size. For a room you will pay around 350-450 €, expenses not included, per month. Expenses can be around 50€.
- We recommend looking at accommodation outside of Darmstadt city. You will get a semester ticket, which will allow you to travel with a range of buses and trains in Hesse, for free.
In some way that is up to you. In addition to rent (350-450 €) you should budget about 525 – 540 € per month. In total both sums will add up to 875 – 990 € per month. The semester fee that you have to pay every half year is included in that amount, as well as a fee for public TV and broadcasting stations. If you can get cheaper accommodation the total might be lower (also depending on your lifestyle). However, if you calculate with 875 – 990 € you will not have financial issues.
- In Darmstadt you have to expect monthly expenses between 875 and 990 €. This sum is comprised by the following items:
- Rent (includes additional charges): 350-550 €
- Food: 160 €
- Clothing: 70 €
- Mobile phone / communication: 35-50 €
- Leisure time: 60 €
- Health Insurance: approx. 85 €
- Materials (for your studies): 50 €
- If applicable TV and radio fees: 20 €
Of course the expenses can be significantly higher or lower, depending on your lifestyle and circumstances. The expenses for living are much reduced if you have the possibility to live with your parents/relatives. It could also be that your expenses are higher due to expensive learning materials or the need to participate in excursions.
In addition, you have to take the tuition fees into account. They are not significant compared to universities in other countries, still you will have to pay around 270 € each semester. They are benefits included and you will easily get your moneys worth. The fees are comprised of:
- Ticket for public transport: 123.39€
- Fees for the Studierendenwerk: 80.00 €
- Fee for the body of students: 12.15 € (TU) or 12.11 € (h_da)
- Call-a-bike: 1.50 €
- Handling fee: 50.00 €
- Cooperation AStA and Staatstheater Darmstadt: 0.75 € (only TU)
- "Härtefonds": 0.20 € (only TU)
Extract from the fee for public TV and broadcasting stations: “Diversity and quality for everyone – this is the task of the offers of the public broadcast on the radio, TV and internet, which are free to receive. The fee finances the program of the public broadcast based on solidarity. The aim in doing so is to guarantee an equity as large as possible. In that case, solidarity means that all citizens, companies, institutions and facilities of the common welfare contribute in order that everyone can benefit.”
The amount of the fee for public TV and broadcasting stations is calculated per flat and is 17,50 € per month.
IMPORTANT: You will also have to pay the fee if you do not own a TV.
If you do not have a bank account with a bank active in Germany or a German bank that should be at the top of your list. Since many fees and wages will only be transferred electronically. You can bring cash with you for the first 1-2 months, in order to pay deposits or similar things directly. Wiring money from other countries might take time and often requires fees.