Upon Arrival


Once you arrive in Offenburg, you may enroll at the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences. Exchange students should register with Ms Rottenecker at the International Office, and Master's students should register with Ms Willmann at the registrar's office of the Graduate School.

At the time of enrollment, exchange students must first pay the following semester fees at the cashier's office (room A106, in Offenburg). As from the winter semester 2013/14, the fees are as follows:

  • € 46,00-  for exchange students from partner universities

Please keep in mind, the office accepts CASH ONLY.

Once enrolled, you will receive your registration certificate and your student ID. Your student ID is called the OSKAR (link in German) and it offers many advantages, such as the ability to purchase lunch in the campus cafeteria or the ability to utilize printing services on campus. Also, you will receive an account and email address from Hochschule Offenburg.

Opening a Bank Account

One of the things you have to do after your arrival is open a bank account, because health insurance and rent can only be paid by bank transfer.

In order to open a bank account, bring your passport and your registration certificate from your enrollment in order to receive a free student account. Bringing cash will allow the account to be opened immediately, whereas a transfer from your home country could take 3-4 weeks.

There are three ways of conducting monetary transactions:

  • Transfer- used to move money from one account to the other; form can be filled out by hand at the bank or online
  • Standing Order- used for recurring payments of a specific amount (e.g. rent); the bank automatically debits your account on an agreed date
  • Direct Debit- used for recurring payments of varied amounts (e.g. phone bill); the recipient is given a direct debit authorization in order to deduct the respective amount from your account

In Germany most transactions are conducted with cash, especially when paying a small sum of money. Credit cards are relatively common, but not often used for everyday purchases.  Instead, people pay more often with debit cards. When you set up a German bank account, you will receive a debit card that you can use at the ATM of your bank free of charge or while you are shopping.

Health and Liability Insurance

Health Insurance

Those who want to study in Germany are required to have health insurance. Therefore, in order to enroll at the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences, you need a verification of health insurance, i.e. a confirmation that you are covered by a German statutory health insurance company. For more information about the German health care system in 10 different languages please check here.

In general, statutory health insurance companies offer cheap rates for students, at approximately € 80,00 per month.

International students from EU countries, who have public health insurance in their home country, can also be recognized for insurance coverage in Germany. The students must bring their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

Here you can download information about student health insurances.

Liability Insurance

All students of our univeristy are insured regarding costs of liability damages caused by activities which are an integral part of the study program, occurring on university property or during events arranged in accordance with the study program requirements, including games and excursions. Cover is also provided during participation in approved work experience programs as part of the requirements for completion of studies.

Damages declaration forms and further details to the student liability insurance can be found on the web site of the Studentenwerk Freiburg.

Personal liability insurance covers you in cases of damage to a third party or their property. In Germany, you are legally responsible for any damages caused to others by your person, and that means not only material damages, but also e.g. health effects. Therefore, personal liability insurance is one of the most important insurances one should hold when travelling or living in Germany.

For students of the Graduate School we subscribe a personal liability insurance which is financed by the Service Contribution. Students who do not pay the Service Contribution we highly recommend to subscribe such an insurance with € 24,00 per year with us!

Registration in Germany

There is a personal registration law in Germany, which requires everyone to register with the appropriate local government office. Due to this law, international students must report to their local foreign nationals office within one week of their arrival in order to register themselves. For students requiring a residence permit, your visa will be changed to a residence permit for the purpose of study at the same office. EU-Citizens don't need a residence permit but are also obliged to register at the registration office in order to obtain a freedmom of movement permit (Freizügigkeitsbescheinigung). 

In order to register, please bring the following documents with you on the day of registration:  

  • passport 
  • passport photo
  • registration certificate from Offenburg University of Applied Sciences
  • proof of financial support
  • rental contract
  • proof of existing health insurance

For students living in Offenburg, you must register with the Office for Non-German Citizens (AusländerBüro), which has a website in German only. For students living in other communities of the Ortenau region, including Gengenbach, you must register at the Immigration Office of the "Landratsamt" (District Office).

The opening hours are as follows:

Office for Non-German Citizens (AusländerBuro): Monday-Friday 8:00-12:00, Thursday 13:00-18:00

Immigration Office of the Landratsamt: Monday-Wednesday, Friday 8:00-12:00, Thursday 13:00-18:00

eAT (Electronic Residence Permit)

In the past, a residence permit or ‘title’ was issued in the form of an adhesive label placed on/in an ID card/passport. Since September 2011 electronic residence permits (eAT) for non-EU nationals are now issued as a separate “document” in credit-card format. 

The electronic residence permit is equipped with a contact-free chip inside the card on which biometric features (photograph and two fingerprints), ancillary conditions (special requirements), and personal data are saved. Additional provisions (special conditions) relating to the residence permit are no longer printed on a label and stuck into the passport. Instead they are stored on the eAT chip and printed on a supplementary sheet that is issued along with the eAT.

Important: an eAT is valid only as long as the holder is in possession of a valid passport or alternative travel document relating to the eAT. Please be sure that you always have a valid passport or other travel document. Also, travel is permitted in other Schengen area countries only after issuance of the eAT.

eAT costs:

  • up to one year: € 100,00
  • more than one year: € 110,00
  • extension for more than three months: € 80.00

How and where to get the eAT:

  • Pick up the application form from the Ausländerbüro
  • Fill out, sign, and return the application form to the Ausländerbüro where you will receive a checklist
  • Take the checklist and other required documentation to the Bürgerbüro
  • You will receive an email invitation/appointment for fingerprint scanning
  • You will receive an email notification when your eAT is ready to be picked-up

Additional information:

The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has published the booklet “All you need to know about the electronic residence permit (eAT)” which is also available in other languages.

Orientation Events

In the beginning of the semester there will be several orientation events held for international and exchange students. At these events, students will  get to know the campus, professors and lecturers and other students. Additionally, there will be an open forum for students to ask questions about their studies.

For all new students there will be an "Introduction Day" held the day before the beginning of classes, where students will be greeted by the rector. For Master's students, there will be orientation days at a specified location, for example in the Black Forest or at Lake Constance.

You will be notified about specific dates and locations before your arrival.