brochures of the IO give important information to international students

FAQ - Guest studies

Answers to questions frequently asked by guest students
brochures of the IO give important information to international students
Image: C. Worsch

A: Before your guest studies

1. Who can take part in guest studies and how do you apply? Expand entry

Please see the information on nomination and application for guest studies. Please note the application deadlines.

2. Do I need a VISA for Germany? How do I obtain it? Expand entry

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 is provided by the Foreign Office.

All non-EU citizens: After the enrolment, yet not later than two months before the expiry date of your entry visa, you should make an appointment to apply for a residence permit for your studies. You can receive more information from the Jena Immigration Office. If you live in Jena, make your appointment here. If your entry visa is valid for the full length of your planned stay, you do not have to make an appointment.

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).

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 guest students 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),

Please refer to our information [pdf, 122 kb] de and fill in the registration form [pdf, 26 kb] de as well as the proof of financial means. [docx, 15 kb] de

3. How do I find a ROOM in Jena? Expand entry

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 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.

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 268KB] on looking for accommodation and life in Jena in general.

4. Which HEALTH INSURANCE should I choose? Expand entry

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:

  • AOK: Ludwig-Weimar-Gasse 4, 07743 Jena (website, email)
  • BARMER: Holzmarkt 1, 07743 Jena (website, E-Mail)
  • TK: Steinweg 24; 07743 Jena (email)
  • DAK: Löbderstraße 7; 07743 Jena (website, email)
  • 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 Student, Educare24, Young Travel Profi (Hanse-Merkur/Advigon), Mawista Student, Vela optimal or Travel Secure Young (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.

Further information

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? Expand entry

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 or EC debit card. Applying for a student visa or residence permit, students should be able to prove sufficient financial means of EUR 10,332 in a blocked account for the first year (last update: 2022).

Please note our further information on financing your studies.

6. How do I get to Jena? How should I plan my ARRIVAL? Expand entry

The airports in Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Dresden, and Leipzig are not far away from Jena. From there you can take the train 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? Expand entry

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? Expand entry

Find out more about your study programme by reading the course catalogue (possible without registration) and attending Orientation Days. Please read the information about Courses and Credits.

You should definitely also read the information for international students de on starting your studies.

B: During your studies

1. Where can I get ADVICE if I have any questions or problems with my studies or life? Expand entry

Please read about the counselling and services offered by the International Office, as well as the general advice on offer at the University and at the Studierendenwerk Thüringen.

2. I have failed an exam. My STUDIES ARE TOO DIFFICULT. What should I do? Expand entry

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 or consult a subject-specific academic advisor in your faculty. The International Office can offer you advice on questions concerning foreign students right of residence.

3. Can I TAKE A SEMESTER OFF because I am ill or pregnant, working, want to learn German or need to look after my child? Expand entry

Guest students cannot take a leave of absence. Please come to the International Office for advice.

4. My visa (residence permit) is about to expire, or my studies are lasting longer than planned. How can I EXTEND MY VISA? Expand entry
  1. Book an appointment at the Immigration Office of your place of residence (e.g. Jena) at least 2 months before your residence permit is set to expire.
  2. If your studies are lasting longer than expected, ask the Examinations Office for advice. Ask about the maximum possible duration of your study programme.
  3. Take your certificate of study (Studienbescheinigung) to the Immigration Office, in order to have your residence permit extended. You can find more information on the German Residence Act here. Please also read the information on electronic residence permits.
5. Is there a WRITING CENTRE to help me with term papers and presentations? Expand entry

Our writing guidance de is available to everyone free of charge. Feel free to ask your fellow German students whether you can study together.

6. I have moved house. Where do I have to register my NEW ADDRESS? Expand entry

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 International Office, 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.

7. How can I find an INTERNSHIP? Expand entry

You usually have to look for internships yourself. Here you can find some databases with internship offers. You can also find internships in Jena here>>. Make the most of the information and application tips offered by the German Employment Agency, the Careers Centre, and the Career & Welcome Point de.

8. How can I find a JOB? Expand entry

Jobs are advertised on forums, at the German Employment Agency, and on the  INFOtake by the Studierendenwerk 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.

9. I do not have enough money and find myself in a FINANCIAL EMERGENCY. Expand entry

Please seek advice from the International Office or Studierendenwerk. You might be able to apply for financial support at the International Office.

If non-EU citizens with a temporary residence permit apply for financial support (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.

10. What can I do if I feel alone and LONELY? Expand entry

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 Room (Int.Ro) and its groups, the International Centre, and the student mentors 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 page.

11. I DO NOT FEEL WELL or do not think I will manage my studies. Expand entry

Please make use of the free and confidential advice offered through the International Office, the academic advisory service, and the Studierendenwerk psycho-social counselling

The Mental Health First Aid helps you cope with difficult situations.

12. My STUDIES ARE NEARLY OVER. What should I keep in mind? Expand entry

Fill out your termination of enrolment application [pdf, 95 kb] de, 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 on the last day of your stay in Jena. 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.

We hope that you liked Jena. If you want to return, refer to the information about the application.

C: Life in Jena/Germany

1. I have had an ACCIDENT or suffered DAMAGE (e.g. fire, water). Expand entry

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 department. 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.

2. I have LOST important items. Where is the lost property office? Expand entry

Ask at the Student Service Centre, the International Office, or the Lost Property Office of the City of Jena.  

3. What is the RUNDFUNKBEITRAG? Do I have to pay it? Expand entry

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 Campusradio and CampusTV. You can find more information on the licence fee here

4. Where can I find an ENGLISH-SPEAKING DOCTOR? Expand entry

Here you can find a list of English-speaking doctors [pdf, 523 kb] de in Jena. And here is a German-English health dictionary

The hotline 116117 helps in emergencies. Its Webseite allows to resaerch local doctors and filter their language competencies (Weitere Suchkriterien --> Fremdsprachenkenntnisse).

5. How do I use my European Health Insurance Card? Expand entry

If you have a European Health Insurance Card (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 form [pdf, 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. Expand entry

Please take advantage of the free legal advice service for students. 

The customers' advisory service (Verbraucherzentrale) offers counselling.

And there a law students giving advice: paralegal.

7. I am looking for my RELGIOUS COMMUNITY. Expand entry

Here you can find an overview [pdf, 52 kb] de of the religious communities in Jena.


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