2. Do I need a VISA for Germany? How do I obtain it?
EU citizens do not need a visa. They do NOT have to register with the Immigration Office but must register their German address at the local city registration office. EU countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain. Equally treated are citizens of Island, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.
A student residence permit is needed by all others, i.e. citizens of Australia, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Canada, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, South Korea, United Kingdom, USA. They may enter Germany without a visa (as if they were tourists), but need to register with the local Immigration Office within 90 days after arriving in the EU and apply for a student residence permit, because they are not tourists but students.
An entrance visa and student residence permit is needed by all citizens of all other countries. After receiving an admission letter from the university, they need to apply for a student visa at the German embassy in their country of residence. On NO ACCOUNT should they enter Germany on a Tourist or Schengen Visa, because it cannot be changed into a student visa here. After arrival, they have to apply for an extension of their student visa (unless it is already valid for the entire length of their intended stay).
More information provides the Foreign OfficeExternal link.
All non-EU citizens:
- Non-EU citizens whose entry visa is shorter than the planned stay must apply for a residence title for the purpose of studying at the latest 2 months before the expiry of the entry visa.
- Non-EU citizens who were able to enter without a visa apply for a residence title for the purpose of studying no later than 6 weeks after entry.
- You may print student certificates (valid without stamp and signature) for the Immigration Office from FriedolinExternal link.
- Applying for a residence permit at the Immigration Office is possible only 2-3 working days after registering your address at the City Resident's Registration Office.
- If you live in Jena, send your documents for applying for a residence title to the Aliens' Registration Office of the City of Jena. Further informationExternal link. If your appointment for collecting your residence permit is after your visa/old permit becmoes invalid and before your leave Jena, request an earlier appointment by email.
- If you do not live in Jena, ask your registration office (Bürgerservice/Einwohnermeldeamt) where your Aliens' Registration Office is located and how to register there.
When you apply for your visa, you will have to provide a proof of sufficient financial means (see COSTS below) and a valid health/travel insurance. You can choose this travel insurance freely. Please note that, regarding (your) health insurance, other rules may apply to the enrolment (see below).
Changing to Jena from another German university: it may be that your current visa is valid for the studies at your old university only (see the green paper in addition to your visa card). In this case, you must apply for a new student visa after enrolling in Jena. Start your enrolment as early as possible, then you will receive your student certificate very soon.
Note: A Fiktionsbescheinigung (limited ersatz visa) is not velid for re-entering Germany (e.g. after going abroad for the holidays).
Special registration process for students of double-degree master’s programmes who:
- are not an EU citizen and you study at a partner university within the EU, and
- 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),
3. How do I find a ROOM in Jena?
You should look for a room/flat during the application process and not just in Jena, but also in nearby cities (e.g. Weimar or Erfurt). Discover the various wayspdf, 464 kb · de you can find a flat in Jena.
We recommend that all students apply for a room in a dormitory parallel to applying for studies. The student services organization Studierendenwerk Thüringen manages 21 halls of residence in JenaExternal link 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[pdf 268KB] on looking for accommodation and life in Jena in general.
Note the workshops about accommodation search offered during the Welcome Days.
4. Which HEALTH INSURANCE should I choose?
Your insurance must be valid for the entire duration of your stay at the University.
Students of under 30 years of age
A German public health insurance is standard for students under the age of 30. In Jena, there are:
- AOKExternal link: Ludwig-Weimar-Gasse 4, 07743 Jena (websiteExternal link, email)
- BARMERExternal link: Holzmarkt 1, 07743 Jena (websiteExternal link, E-Mail)
- TKExternal link: Steinweg 24; 07743 Jena (email)
- DAKExternal link: Löbderstraße 7; 07743 Jena (website, External linkemail)
- When registering with the health insurance company, please mention the "sender number" H0000923 of the University of Jena.
- The health insurance company will register your status "M10.1" electronically with the university. You do not have to hand in any documents to the University.
However, if you have got a statutory EU health insurance (EHIC) or a private insurance (for example provided by your scholarship such as DAAD), you may apply for exemption from the obligation to buy a statutory health insurance. Contac the insurances mentioned above. Send them by email, post or hand in a photocopy of the following items:
- passport/id card,
- admission letter,
- European Halth Insurance card or substitute certificate or private health insurance contract,
- your complete German adress (you may use the form of step 2 above).
- When registering with the health insurance company, please mention the "sender number" H0000923 of the University of Jena.
- The health insurance company will register your status "M10.2" electronically with the university. You do not have to hand in any documents to the University.
Note: Please make sure that you have sufficient insurance coverage. The university does not cover any costs in case of illness.
Students over the age of 30...
... should also have a health insurance (and must show a proof when applying for a residence permit). You can only be voluntary members of the public health insurance system. The alternative is a German private insurance such as Care StudentExternal link, Educare24, External linkYoung Travel ProfiExternal link (Hanse-Merkur/Advigon), Mawista Student, External linkVela optimalExternal link or Travel Secure YoungExternal link (Würzburger). Make sure you choose the health plan which also covers rehabilitation, pregnancy and psychotherapy. Some also offer combinations with Travel, liability and accident insurances.
If you need to apply for a German visa, please note the information about health/travel insurance of the German embassy in your country.
In addition, we recommend you to purchase a liability insurance to cover any damage you might cause unintentionally (e.g. fire damage, water damage, other damage of private property.
5. How much does it COST to study and how much money do I need to live in Jena?
There are no tuition fees. The only things subject to a fee are sports and language courses that you may voluntarily take alongside your studies. You pay a semester fee every semester, which especially includes your semester ticket. You should budget around EUR 850-950/month for rent, food, health insurance, study materials, and personal things. Bring at least EUR 1,000 cash for your first month and a credit card. Applying for a student visa or residence permit, students should be able to prove sufficient financial means of EUR 11,208 (last updated: 2023) for the first year in a blocked accountExternal link.
Please note our further information on financing your studies.
6. How do I get to Jena? How should I plan my ARRIVAL?
The airports in Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Dresden, and Leipzig are not far away from Jena. From there you can take the trainExternal link or coach. Jena has a large network of buses and trams, and taxis operate at night.
The University does not offer a shuttle service or collection.
7. Is there a MENTOR who can help me after my arrival?
Yes. The University of Jena offers all new international students a free mentoring service for the time after their arrival. The International Office also offers students a subject-related mentoring programme throughout their studies. However, you will have to register before you arrive de.
8. What else should I consider in PREPARATION for my studies?
9. Can I bring my familiy with me?
If you want to take your spouse or children with you, you need to:
- provide sufficient financial means.
- find a flat having sufficient living space for your family.
- make sure your spouse has basic German skills.
Regarding your children, you should also apply for a place in one of the local day-care services (“Kita”) or schools before your arrival. Please contact the Family Office of the University, they will be glad to help you.
Children under the age of 1: If you do not have any person to take care of the child, we recommend you not to take them with you or postpone your studies for another year.
For further information on immigration of family members, please refer to the government’s official websiteExternal link.
2. I have failed an exam. My STUDIES ARE TOO DIFFICULT. What should I do?
You can re-sit the exam a second time. You have to quickly apply for re-sits at the Examinations Office. However, it might be better to change subjects. Please go to the Central Academic Advisory Service de or consult a subject-specific academic advisor de in your study programme (Studienfachberatung). The International Office can offer you advice on questions concerning foreign students right of residence.
3. I have FAILED THE RE-SIT. What now?
It might be worth making an application for mitigating circumstancesExternal link to re-sit the examination a third time. If you fail on your third attempt, you should make an application to change subjectsExternal link. Please go to the Central Academic Advisory ServiceExternal link or consult a subject-specific academic advisorExternal link in your faculty. The International Office can offer you advice on questions concerning foreign students right of residence, as a change of subject is not always approved. You must submit your application in person by 15 January or 15 July at the Student Service Centre. You should always agree a change of subject with the Immigration OfficeExternal link beforehand and then register any changes there (with your certificate of study; Studienbescheinigung).
4. Can I TAKE A SEMESTER OFF if I fall ill or pregnant, if I have to raise my child, if I would like to do an internship or semester abroad or if I have to do military service?
Will you be absent for at least 6 weeks during lecture periods? If so, you should take a formal leave of absence. Fill out a request for leave of absenceExternal link and submit it in person by 15 February or 15 August at the Student Service Centre.
Non-EU citizens: please inform the Immigration OfficeExternal link via e-mail. If you leave Germany for over 6 months, your student visa will become invalid; you should therefore apply for a re-entry certificate beforehand at the Immigration Office.
Please note that you cannot be granted a leave of absence if you just want to work or improve your German. Participants of the DSH course do not have a regular student status and therefore cannot apply for a leave of absence.
5. My visa (residence permit) is about to expire, or my studies are lasting longer than planned. How can I EXTEND MY VISA?
- If your studies are lasting longer than expected, ask the Examinations OfficeExternal link for advice. Ask about the maximum possible duration of your study programme.
- For a confirmation of the duration of your studies, download the form Certificate of Student Status for the Immigration Office in the portal FRIEDOLIN (menu: Certificates of Student Satatus: on top of the table with all your normal semester certificates). Take it to your Examinations Office and then the Student Service Centre for signatures. Please do this at least one week before your appointment at the Immigration Office.
- If you live in Jena, send your certificate of study (Studienbescheinigung) to the Immigration Office by emailExternal link, in order to have your residence permit extended. (If you live somewhere else, please ask the respective Immigration Office). You can find more information on the German Residence Act hereExternal link. Please also read the information on electronic residence permitsExternal link.
Please inform the Immigration Office via e-mail if you leave Germany for over 6 months, because your student visa will become invalid; you should therefore apply for a re-entry certificate beforehand at the Immigration Office. A Fiktionsbescheinigung is not valid for re-entering Germany.
6. Is there a WRITING CENTRE to help me with term papers and presentations?
Our writing guidance de is available to everyone free of charge. Feel free to ask your fellow German students whether you can study together.
7. My studies are lasting longer due to my work or childcare. What can I do?
Non-EU citizens with a student visa should declare a change to part-time studies or a leave of absence to the Immigration Office.
8. I have moved house. Where do I have to register my NEW ADDRESS?
Ask your landlord to confirm your move in writing (Vermieterbescheinigung). Once you have moved house, you must register your new address within 14 days at the following places: the registration office at your place of residence (Einwohnermeldeamt/Bürgerservice), the Student Service Center, your bank, and your health insurance provider. You do not have to inform the Immigration Office.
If you move away from Jena to another place in Germany (e.g. for an internship or after graduation), you must register your new address at the registration office there.
If you are going to leave Germany for some time (e.g. to study abroad or take a semester off), you must declare this to the registration office (one week before your departure). You will only have to notify the Immigration Office if your residence permit is set to expire during your stay abroad or you are going to be abroad for over 6 months; you will then need a re-entry certificate. You should contact the Immigration Office at least 3 weeks before your departure.
If you are going to leave Germany for good, you must de-register at your citys registration office around one week before your departure.
9. How can I find an INTERNSHIP?
You usually have to look for internships yourself. HereExternal link you can find some databases with internship offers. You can also find internships in JenaExternal link. Make the most of the information and application tips offered by the German Employment AgencyExternal link, the Careers Service, and the Career Point.
10. How can I find a JOB?
Jobs are advertised on forums, at the German Employment AgencyExternal link, and on the INFOtake by the External linkStudierendenwerk Thüringen. However, it is hard to find a job in Jena. A good command of German is an advantage. EU citizens do not require a work permit; everyone else may only work for a maximum of 120 days a year without a work permit (8 hours a day); student assistant jobs are not included in the 120 days. Your stay in Germany is for study purposes; you are therefore limited to the number of days you can work. You can find more information on finding a job in the Living in Jena section.
11. I do not have enough money and find myself in a FINANCIAL EMERGENCY.
If non-EU citizens with a temporary residence permit apply for financial support de (social welfare, housing benefits) from the German state, this may pose a risk to their visa (proof of financing).
Please read the information on financing your studies.
12. What can I do if I feel alone and LONELY?
Speak to other students. Do not be scared! Approach them yourself. Feel free to ask your fellow German students whether they would like to go for a coffee or another drink with you. Take part in the intercultural events offered by the International RoomExternal link (Int.Ro) and its groups, the International CentreExternal link, and the student mentorsExternal link at halls of residence. The Universitys sports centre is another good platform. You can quickly find contacts and news on upcoming events on the Universitys Facebook pageExternal link.
13. I DO NOT FEEL WELL or do not think I will manage my studies.
14. My STUDIES ARE NEARLY OVER. What should I keep in mind?
Congratulations! Fill out your termination of enrolment applicationExternal link, get the required signatures on the second page, and hand in the form at the Student Service Centre (University Main Building). If possible, you should do this before 15 February/15 August. You will then receive a document to confirm the termination of your enrolment. Your thoska card will remain valid until you terminate your enrolment.
ATTENTION! If you hold a residence permit for your studies, this will automatically become invalid on the day you terminate your enrolment.
You may also speak to the Examinations Office to arrange the termination of your enrolment before your last examination or the submission of your final paper. You must terminate your enrolment upon receipt of your degree certificate at the latest. Your studies shall be officially completed once you have taken your final examination; the applicable date will appear on your degree certificate. This will be the date used to determine the term of residence permits requested for job searchesExternal link (18 months max.).
Here you can find the most important information in a leafletpdf, 111 kb · de.
1. I have had an ACCIDENT or suffered DAMAGE (e.g. fire, water).
If the accident should happen at the university or on your way from your flat to the university, please report it to the student services organization Studierendenwerk immediately: Social Matters departmentExternal link. The costs will be covered by the insurance partially. If you cause any damage to third parties’ property (e.g. fire damage, water damage, carelessness), you should report this to your own insurance provider.
3. What is the RUNDFUNKBEITRAG? Do I have to pay it?
Every household has to pay the broadcasting licence fee, known as the Rundfunkbeitrag (previously GEZ), even if there is no television, radio or Internet. The good news is that people living in a shared flat can divide the fee amongst the occupants. Watching television and listening to the radio are good ways to learn German. There are really great broadcasters and even CampusradioExternal link and CampusTVExternal link. You can find more information on the licence fee hereExternal link.
4. I need a DOCTOR. Does s/he speak ENGLISH?
Call 112 if life is in danger. The hotline 116117 helps in non life threatening 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 etc.) also at https://arztsuche.116117.de/pages/arztsuche.xhtmlExternal link
The WebseiteExternal link allows to research local doctors and filter their language competencies (Weitere Suchkriterien --> Fremdsprachenkenntnisse).
5. How do I use my European Health Insurance Card?
If you have a European Health Insurance CardExternal link (EHIC), emergency and basic medical treatment will be covered. You should ask your health insurance provider at home about cost coverage or reimbursement before undergoing other treatment. Before treatment, you will have to fill in a patient’s declaration formpdf, 304 kb · de, which is available in many languages.
The replacement certificates from Bosnia-Herzegovina (BH 6), Serbia/ Montenegro (JU 6), Northern Macedonia (JU 6), Turkey (A/T 11), Tunisia (A/TN 11), Switzerland are also recognised.
6. I HAVE got trouble or problems with CONTRACTS, e.g. my accommodation, mobile phone, or job.
7. I am looking for my RELGIOUS COMMUNITY.
Here you can find an overviewpdf, 52 kb · de [PDF 47 KB] of the religious communities in Jena.
If your question does not appear or is not answered above, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org