FAQ for international students
Do you offer German language courses?
hsg Bochum does not offer German language courses.
However, if you are a participant in our International Study Programme (ISP), a two hour German language course is included in the programme.
If you are a registered student at hsg Bochum, you can also take language courses during studying for free, although there is a set registration period each year. You may find more information here.
For non-registered students you may take up private lessons that are not covered by our university. For example lessons by the AStA, the German as a Foreign Language Department (DaF) of the Ruhr-University, which also offers the courses during studying, or the Volkshochschule. The courses of the AStA and DaF are very intensive (20h a week) and on a high level, while the Volkshochschule-courses tend to be lower level and 2h a week.
How can I get a visa?
Please check with your local German embassy on which visa to get and what documents to hand in. If you need any document from hsg Bochum, please feel free to contact us.
I am doing an internship that was organized via hsg Bochum. Will I be a registered student?
Students doing an internship without also visiting courses in our university cannot be registered as students. If you are taking part in our International Study Programme or visiting regular courses at hsg Bochum, you will be registered as a student.
How can I find accommodation?
- If you are staying for a semester at hsg Bochum, we will help you apply for student dormitories. Most exchange students are able to get a room, however they are very limited due to the large number of students in Bochum. You may find further information here: https://www.akafoe.de/en/accommodation/online-application/
- If you are in Bochum or another city for an internship organized by hsg Bochum, or could not or didn’t want to get a room in one of the dormitories, you can look on the free housing market:
- First, think about whether you want to live in a shared apartment (“Wohngemeinschaft, WG”), or single apartment. “Zwischenmiete”, a sublet, may be your best option for both
- Online platforms are your best bet. The website „Immobilienportale“ lists the most important online platforms. You can filter according to WG, Zwischenmiete or regular flat. There are also Facebook groups for finding “Zwischenmiete”-flats. The General Students’ Committee of our neighbouring university Ruhr-University Bochum also has an online platform: https://asta-bochum.de/b%C3%B6rsen/wohnungsb%C3%B6rse/9
Please note that almost all flats that are not “Zwischenmiete” come unfurnished with no kitchen. You may find list of useful words and abbreviation here: http://international.rub.de/mam/content/intoff/list_of_abbreviations.pdf
What kind of Insurance do I need in Germany?
- Health Insurance: Ask your local health insurance if you have a European Health Insurance Card. All EU-citizens that have statutory health insurance also have this card. This enables you to receive the same benefits as at home. This extends to citizens of: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Morocco, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia, Tunisia and Turkey. Before enrolling in the university, you will also have to hand in a letter from one of the statutory health insurance companies.
- Citizens of all other states have to make sure to have appropriate health insurance that covers at least 10.000€ and the same aspects as German statutory health insurance would. As private comprehensive insurances are very expensive, many providers offer special tariffs for international researchers or students who are only staying for the duration of a shorter visit, but also cover less. It is very important to note that most costs incurred for illness predating the stay in Germany will not be covered. Provided that you respect import regulations, it may, therefore, be wise to bring any necessary medicines with you from home. Insurances also tend to exclude pregnancy, dental treatment and mental health disorders. You may find a list of private (comprehensive) insurances here: https://www.pkv.de/verband/mitglieder/
- Liability Insurance on and off the job: It is highly recommended you get appropriate liability insurance, and an additional one if you’re doing an internship. Sometimes this is covered by your home university. Best ask your local student advisor if you have to get privately insured or not!
I arrived in the city. Do I have to register as a citizen?
If you’re staying for more than 3 months you have to register at the local registration office (“Bürgerbüro”) within 2 weeks of moving in. It is easiest to make the appointment online as soon as you sign the contract. Bring with you
- The “Wohnungsgeberbestätigung”, a form your landlord signs to confirm you moving in
- Your ID or passport
- The “Anmeldeformular” or “registration form” that is available online. If you need help filling it in, please feel free to contact us.
I need to open a German bank account. What do I do?
Opening a bank account in Germany is only possible after you registered at the registration office. You can then take the “Meldebestätigung”, the confirmation of registration that you will receive, and your ID to a bank and open a “Girokonto”, a current account.
Some banks will not open accounts for non-German citizens. You can always try “Sparkasse” or online banks like “Comdirect”. For the “Sparkasse” you will need to go to the bank directly, for “Comdirect” the procedure is described here: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/comdirect-opening-current-account/
There are always many options available. Please do check terms an conditions before you sign anything.
What is my best option for public transport?
- As a registered student you can use the “Studententicket” or “NRW Ticket” in the whole public transport system (excluding fast trains “IC” and “ICE”) of North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW). The price is included in the registration fee.
- If you are not a registered student, you can buy the “Ticket1000” for different distance band. For more information visit the website (German only) or the service centre after your arrival.
- If you are not staying in Bochum, e.g. because of an internship in another city, just type “public transport + [city name]” into your preferred search engine or visit the local station – there is always information and personnel available to help you find the right fit for you.
What can I do apart from studying/doing my internship?
The AKAFÖ has a wide range of cultural events, mostly in Bochum. You may find more information as well as a calendar of upcoming events on their website.
For some of the offers you have to be a registered student, but not for all of them. Also, they have different offers for internationals in Bochum: AKAFÖ International.
Can I use your student cafeteria?
As a registered student you can use the cafeteria at hsg Bochum paying student prices.
Even if you are not registered, you can use the cafeteria, but you will have to pay regular price.
Depending on what you eat it is still much more affordable than any restaurants in the vicinity. “Sprinter” tends to be the most affordable option. Salads and “Nudeltheke”, the noodle-and-sauce option, are priced by weight.You may find the up-to-date lunch offers here (German only).