Jena - a paradise for students

Living in Jena

Living, working, free time –​ information for international students on life in Jena
Jena - a paradise for students
Image: Christoph Worsch (University of Jena)
  • Accommodation

    index.php?site=unijena&id=63217&lang=en#E3housingWe recommend that all international students apply for a room in a dormitory parallel to applying for studies.

    The student services organizationExternal link Studierendenwerk Thüringen manages 21 halls of residence in Jena with a total of 3,000 places. There are a few individual apartments, however, most students stay in single rooms in shared flats with between one and eight other students, who share a kitchen and a bathroom.

    The rent (approx. €200–350 per month) is fixed for a period of 6 months. This means that you have to pay higher monthly rent for a shorter period of use. The Studierendenwerk requires a deposit of €300 after concluding the tenancy agreement.

    The application deadlines for international students are 15 January and 15 July for the following semester. However, as there are only a few rooms available, apply as soon as possible. Please do not forget to confirm your application and to accept the offer of a room by e-mail.

    The monthly rent is due on the 3rd working day of the respective month. Students must submit a SEPA direct debit mandate (German or SEPA-compliant European account). International students without such an account have to transfer the first rent and deposit in advance, from the 2nd rent on a SEPA direct debit mandate is required. Cash payment on site is not offered. Please see the general regulations.External link

    Private rooms, flats, shared flats
    It is difficult to find a private room in Jena from abroad. We advise looking in neighbouring towns and cities, too (Weimar, Erfurt, Kahla, Gera, Apolda). It is best to do so using the Internet. There are many information boards in the university buildings displaying available rooms and flats. Please take note of our advice pdf, 464 kb · de on looking for accommodation and life in Jena in general.

    → Episiode 3 of our Podcast "Uni Jena international" also tackles this topic. 

  • Costs of and financing of studies

    There are no tuition fees at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. You just pay a small fee for courses in the language centre and sports centre, which are not on the curriculum.

    All students have to pay a semester fee for the administration of the student body and the Studierendenwerk (approximately €255). This semester fee covers the use of local public transport in Jena and in Central Thuringia, and local trains throughout Thuringia for the entire semester. Students also pay far less for food in the canteen and cafeteria when they use their student ID.

    Money is mainly needed for accommodation, food, health insurance, books, clothing, and personal things. We recommend you a budget of €750-900 per month for everything.

    • €0 tuition fees
    • €45 semester fee with semester ticket (monthly)
    • €300 rent (can be higher)
    • €220 food
    • €30 clothing, shoes
    • €50 books, copies
    • €120 health insurance
    • €50 telephone, Internet, TV and radio licence fee
    • €50 free time (individual)

    Please take note of our advice on financing your studies, e.g. by working.

  • Working

    There are various job opportunities in Jena. You should have at least good command of German if you want to have a choice among them. Jobs in which you do not need (much) German are rare, opten physically demanding, not very well paid and usually you have to commute to Erfurt/Gera for them.

    When looking for a job, please observe the requirements of the German Immigration Law: non-EU citizens whose main reason for staying in Germany is studying can only work for 140 days (up to 8 hrs/day) or 280 half-days (up to 4 hrs/day) per year without a special work permit. This does not apply if you work as a student assistant (“studentische Hilfskraft”) or graduate assistant (“wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft”). Free-lance/Fee-paid work is considered self-employment and must therefore be permitted by the local Immigration Office beforehand.

    Accept a work offer only if you have an employment contract and your employer is also paying social security contributions for you. Those working illegally may be liable to prosecution.

    Get advice and more information about your job search at the Career Point!

  • Visa and residence permit

    Travelling to Germany without a visa

    EU citizens and citizens of Australia, Brazil, Canada, El Salvador, Honduras, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, San Marino, South Korea, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the USA. Please also note the information below (After arriving in Germany).

    Travelling to Germany only with a visa

    Citizens of all countries other than those stated above have to apply for an entry visa for study purposes from the embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in their current country of residence before leaving. Submit the proof of admission you have received from the University with the visa application approximately two months before the beginning of the study programme. Do not travel to Germany with a tourist visa, a Schengen visa or a residence permit from another EU member state because these cannot be converted into student visas in Jena.

    Special registration process for guest students/students of double-degree master’s programmes who

    1. are not an EU citizen and you study at a partner university within the EU, and
    2. have a student residence permit from one of the EU members which is valid longer than the planned guest stay in Germany (max. 360 days),

    please refer to our informationpdf, 101 kb · de and fill in the registration formpdf, 510 kb · de as well as the proof of financial means.pdf, 260 kb · de

    After arriving in Germany

    All students have to register with their local residents’ registration office.

    All non-EU citizens also have to register with the Immigration Office of their place of residence if their residence permits are not valid for long enough. Students from non-EU countries then have to apply for an electronic residence permit for study purposes (fee is approximately €110). Print a student certificate of enrolment from Friedolin after enrolling. All foreign students have to be able to prove how they are about to finance their stay in Germany. Proof of financing must be provided to the immigration office if necessary (this also applies for EU citizens). This proof should be issued and signed by your funding institution, your home university or your parents (or other private sponsors).

    Please take note of the advice given by the German embassy in your country of residenceExternal link and the Jena Immigration OfficeExternal link.

    Those wishing to work as well as study also have to follow the rules regarding the right of residence. Find out more information here.

  • Health insurance and other types of insurance

    Health insurance

    Students should have a valid health insurance for the duration of their studies.

    Please see our information for

    Please note that the International Office of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena does not accept any foreign, private travel insurance or emergency cover as student insurance. Although these are often necessary to apply for a visa in your home country and are also useful for your arrival and departure, they are not sufficient forms of full, proper health insurance. If you have any questions, please contact the International StudentsExternal link department of the International Office.

    Further information about the German health care systempdf, 3 mb · de

    Other types of insurance

    The semester fee includes a premium for accident insurance. In all university buildings, on the way to and from the University, at University’s events, and during sports and leisure activities related to the University students are therefore covered by insurance. We strongly recommend taking out a private liability insurance for your personal life after arriving which will cover costs of damages to other persons's belongings.

  • Finding a doctor, studying with a disability or chronical illness

    Call 112 if life is in danger. The hotline 116117 helps in non-emergency situations. The Emergency RoomExternal link is located in the Hospital Lobeda.

    If it is not an emergency, search for a family doctor ("Allgemeinmedizin", "Praktischer Arzt", („Hausarzt“) close to where you live. You may find specialists (eyes, nose-throat-ears, gynecologist, dentist etc.) also at link

    Here you can find a list of English-speaking doctorspdf, 523 kb · de in Jena. And here is a German-English health dictionaryExternal link.  The WebseiteExternal link allows to research local doctors and filter their language competencies (Weitere Suchkriterien --> Fremdsprachenkenntnisse).

    Further information about the German health care systempdf, 3 mb · de, also available in the multilingual guide "Health for allExternal link."

    Students with a disability or chronical illness may find further informationExternal link. If you need special treatment, make sure that your health insurance will cover the costs. Bring your special pharmaceutical drugs with you. Register at a special doctor soon after arrival to talk about treatment and prescriptions.

    The University offers workshops at its Student Health ManagementExternal link and a Mental Health First Aid. Students of Psychology lend an ear on their Campus Couch de.

  • Radio/TV licence fee (“Rundfunkbeitrag”)

    Everyone has to pay a monthly fee for German public radio and television. You even have to pay the fee if you do not own a radio or television or if you never listen to a public radio or watch a German television. There are only a few exceptions, e.g. those who receive a grant under the German Federal Training Assistance Act (Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz, BaföG).

    Those living in a shared flat (including in halls of residence) can split the fee with their flatmates. Register as soon as you arrive in Germany. You can find more information on registering under licence feeExternal link.

  • Intercultural Café, workshops, international campus life, free time

    The International Office invites you to the Intercultural Café and workshops which give you the opportunity to network and get some tips. Find out more about free time events and opportunities here .

  • Eat & Meet

    The Mensa is a place where you can not only get healthy, cheap food, but also meet people quickly and easily. In the Abbe-MensaExternal link at Ernst-Abbe-Platz 8 (campus), you can of course sit down at any table, but: at the EAT & MEET tables everyone is open to talking to others!

    Learn more
  • Support for international students

    It is very important to the Friedrich Schiller University Jena to provide good advice and support to its international students. Your academic success is important to us! You will find knowledgeable people to turn in the faculties and institutes, as well as in the administration department, who are always willing to help, also regarding social aspects. Immediately after your arrival and during your course, too, we offer you support, for example within the mentoring programme. If you experience difficulties, you can always turn to the International Office or to our ombudspersons.

    Learn more
  • Transportation

    With the semester ticketExternal link (on their thoska), students can use local public transport in the VMTExternal link area and regional trains in Thuringia for the entire semester. You will receive your thoska after completing your enrolment.

    Students can obtain the Deutschlandticket (subscription for public transport throughout Germany; no long-distance trains, cabs or private companies) from the subscription portal of the Jena public transport systemExternal link by crediting the semester ticket. Interested students must submit their application by the 10th of the previous month at the latest. The ticket is issued as a smartphone ticket.

    Jena's local public transport JeNahExternal link offers bus and tram lines to all parts of the city. With the semester ticket, students can use these free of charge. The bus schedules can also be found in the DB NavigatorExternal link.

    There are several long-distance bus providers. It's cheaper than taking the train, but you have to expect traffic jams and delays on the routes (Autobahn).

    Trains of Deutsche Bahn and its partner companies (in Thuringia: Erfurter Bahn, Abellio) take their passengers to all parts of Germany. The network is very large and most places can be reached with only a few changes. However, one should always expect delays. You can search for travel options and book tickets in the DB NavigatorExternal link. Buying a Bahncard is recommended if you travel a lot and wish to save 25% or 50%. The Deutschlandticket or Sparpreis tickets are the cheapest, but have a train obligation, Flexprice tickets offer reductions and flexibility. Groups travel cheaper with group tickets (Thuringia ticket, Schönes Wochenende ticket). In Jena, there are three major stations: Westbahnhof (East-West connections), Paradiesbahnhof (North-South connections), and Göschwitz (all connections) and a few smaller stations on these routes. There are luggage lockers at Paradiesbahnhof.

    Taking a cab is expensive. In Jena, you can usually get around quickly by JeNah, by bike or on foot. If you do need a cab, dial +49 3641 458888.

    In Jena there are several stations of the car sharing service Teilauto. One can choose between different rates depending on the frequency of use. Sixt, Europcar and Avis operate throughout Germany. Before booking a car, international students should check whether their driver's license is valid in Germany.

    New and used bikes or rental bikes are available e.g. at the bike shops Kemter, Kirscht, Bike&Snow, Bike Point. Cheap bikes can be had from second hand stores in Sophienstraße or Karl-Liebknecht-Straße. There are (still) few bike paths in Jena, watch our for the red marks, sometimes riding on the sidewalk is allowed. Wearing a helmet is recommended! In the dark, front and back lights are obligatory. It is not allowed to drive after drinking alcohol.

  • Vacation: offers in Youth Hostels

    The Studierendenwerk Thüringen has a cooperation with the German Youth Hostel Association. Students with a valid Thoska can use the following offers:

    Leisure and recreation:

    • Free membership - Trial membership
    • 10% discount on the current house prices for bed and breakfast (no discount for children's prices, here the current children's house prices apply)
    • 1 free towel for use / per person / stay

    All offers are valid for a minimum stay of 2 nights with a booking of at least 5 days before the start of the stay.

    Conferences and seminars (groups):

    • no fees on room rental for conferences
    • Extension of break supplies in or in front of the day room with seasonal fruit and table water with lemon
    • Team-building programmes via the youth hostels (minimum number of participants: 10) according to the prices of the programme partner
    • 10% discount on current house prices for bed and breakfast
    • 1 free towel for use / per person / stay

    These offers are valid for a minimum stay of 2 nights with a booking of at least 14 days before the start of the stay. In case of cancellation of stay, the cancellation fee is 100% of the external programme provider.

    The following youth hostels are available to students with a valid thoska:

    • Youth Hostel Bad Sulza
    • Youth Hostel "Froschmühle" Eisenberg
    • Eisenach Youth Hostel
    • Youth Hostel Erfurt
    • Youth Hostel "Urwald-Life-Camp" Lauterbach
    • Youth Hostel "Wasserburg" Heldrungen
    • Youth Hostel Ilmenau
    • Youth Hostel "Am Hausteich" Plothen
    • Tambach-Dietharz Youth Hostel
    • Youth Hostel "Am Ettersberg" Weimar
    • Youth Hostel "Maxim Gorki" Weimar
    • Altenburg-Windischleuba Castle Youth Hostel

    Do you want to take advantage of this offer?

    Please contact our information centres to obtain further information and the booking code required to take advantage of the discounts. To book conferences and seminars, students should contact Ms Denise Wolf, Management Assistant, by e-mail (

    All information on these offers can also be found in German and English on the Studierendenwerk websiteExternal link.


Your contact person for questions on living in Jena is Dr Britta Salheiser, Team International Students of the International Office.

  • Phones at the Campus in Jena
    Image: Christoph Worsch (University of Jena)
    My Mobile TutorExternal link With the App "My Mobile Tutor" you have all the information you need about the university and the city, Friedolin, the canteen menu, the bus timetable and the events calendar in one app. In German and English. Free of charge.