On the following pages, you will find information on visa proceedures, descriptions of how to get to Bonn and information on other important formalities that you will have to take care of during the first couple of days.
EU citizens and citizens from the following countries do not need a visa to enter Germany:
Australia, Canada, Honduras, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the United States.
However, after entering Germany, you will have to apply for a residence permit at the local "Auslaenderbehörde" (Immigration Office) if you are staying for more than three months.
Students from all other countries must apply for a visa for study purposes via the German diplomatic representation in their home country. You must not under any circumstances travel to Germany on a tourist visa. For further information on requirements for entering Germany, check the websites of the German embassy or consulate in your home country. You can find a list of German missions abroad here.
For further information on visa and residence permits, see the DAAD-leaflet "DAAD-Merkblatt zum Aufenthaltsrecht für ausländische Studierende und Studienbewerber".
All students who are going to stay in Bonn longer than three months need to register with the local Immigration Office ("Ausländerbehörde") in order to obtain a residence permit (Category D). You need the following documents:
- your ID/ passport
- two passport-size pictures
- a copy of your registration with the "Bürgeramt" (residents' registration office)
- a proof of registration at the University of Bonn (i.e. your student ID)
- a proof of health insurance (provided by the International Office)
- a letter from the International Office (provided by the International Office)
- documents to prove financial security while studying in Bonn (That could entail, for example, any grants you receive or a confirmation of support from your parents. As a rule about 500 Euro per month is required as proof of stability.)
- an administrative fee of 100 Euro
- If you have already obtained a valid residence permit for the whole duration of your stay before entering Germany, you do not need to register with the local Aliens' Office. However, you still need to register at the Residents' Registration Office / "Bürgeramt" (see above).
Please arrange your travel plans so that you arrive in Bonn on the day given in the "Academic Calendar" as the official arrival day for program students. Dorm rooms will not be available prior to that day. The tutors in the dorms are also only available for helping newly arrived students with moving into their dorm rooms on that day.
Should you, nevertheless, decide to arrive before the given arrival date, you may want to stay at the Youth Hostel or at one of the hotels in Bonn. Make sure you book in advance since hotels and youth hostels are sometimes fully booked due to conferences or other events in the area.
Jugendgästehaus Venusberg (Youth Hostel) Haager Weg 42 53127 Bonn
Tel.: +49-228-28997-0 and +49-228-28997-14
For information and addresses of hotels you can contact the Tourist Information:
Tourist Information Windeckstr. 2 / am Münsterplatz 53111 Bonn
How to get to Bonn
From the Frankfurt Airport
The best way to get to Bonn from the Frankfurt Airport is the train. Depending on the train and the connection you select, the journey takes about one hour and fifteen minutes to a little over two hours. A one-way ticket costs between 35 € and 80 € (April 2009). For more information on times, prices and reservations, see the websites of the Deutsche Bahn. Tickets can be purchased from the Deutsche Bahn information and ticket sales counters in the airport station. You can pay with a credit card or with cash (Euro).
From the Dusseldorf Airport
Your best option from the Dusseldorf airport is also the train. It leaves approximatly every 20 minutes, and it takes about an hour to get to Bonn Hauptbahnhof. Prices range between 18 € and 25 € (April 2009) for a one-way ticket. For more information, times, prices and reservation see the websites of the Deutsche Bahn. Tickets can be purchased from the Deutsche Bahn information and ticket sales counters in the airport station. You can pay with a credit card or with cash (Euro).
From the Cologne/Bonn Airport
From the Cologne/Bonn airport, you should take the shuttle bus (No. 670) that runs between the airport and Bonn Hauptbahnhof. There is no direct train service. Shuttle buses depart every 30 minutes from the bus terminal outside the airport. The ride to Bonn takes about 35 minutes. A ticket costs about 5 Euro. Tickets can be purchased from a ticket vending machine at the bus terminal. It accepts cash only, so be sure to have some money handy.
Directions to the International Office
After your arrival on the given arrival day, you should go directly to the International Office. There you will receive further information before we take you to your dorm by bus.
You can walk to the International Office from the train station. The walk takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
When you leave the station at the main entrance, turn right and walk parallel to the train tracks until you reach the end of the bus terminal. Behind the bus terminal and to your right you, will find a pedestrian underpass that leads directly into Poppelsdorfer Allee. Walk straight along Poppelsdorfer Allee until you reach Argelanderstraße - a narrow street - on your left. The house on the corner is the International Office (Poppelsdorfer Allee 53).
Students will be housed in one of several student dorms, which are located in different areas of town. All dorms are easily accessible either by foot or by public transportation. All rooms are single rooms. Some are equipped with a kitchenette and a private bathroom while others have shared facilities.
More information about the different dorms is available on the web pages of the Studentenwerk Bonn(student services).
Information for Junior Year Program Students (JYP):
- We will ask you to sign the lease for your dorm room on arrival day. We will transfer your rent to the Studentenwerk. There is no security deposit for your room, but please make note that we will retain your transcript until the Studentenwerk confirms that your room has been in good order and no costs have been incurred.
Information for Exchange Students:
- have to pay their rent directly in Bonn. You, therefore, need to contact the Studentenwerk within the first few days of your arrival. You will have to pay the first month's rent, which ranges from 200 to 350 Euro, plus a deposit of two months' rent, within the first few days you are in Bonn. This first payment can be made only in cash. From the second month on, you should pay your rent through bank transfer. Therefore, you should open a bank account at a local bank as soon as possible after your arrival. Due to the difficulty and expense of withdrawing large amounts of money with a Master or Visa card, we advise you to bring traveler's checks.
If you need further information please contact:
Studentenwerk Bonn AöR Studentisches Wohnen Nassestraße 11 53113 Bonn
Since most transactions are paid through bank transfers, we recommend that students open a bank account at a local bank or Sparkasse. This is especially important for those students who receive a monthly food stipend from the International Office. Although you will receive the first month's stipend in cash upon your arrival, from the second month on we will transfer the money into your bank account.
In order to open a bank account you need:
- Your passport
- The registration from the "Bürgeramt"
- Your preliminary student ID
Students usually do not need to pay any account fees. Do not forget to close the account before you go home at the end of your studies.
In Germany, all students must have health insurance. Enrollment at the university is only possible with a valid health insurance certificate.
Information for Junior Year Program Students (JYP):
- Health insurance is already included in your program fee. In your information folder, you will find a registration form for one of the local public health insurance companies. Please sign this form, and hand it back to us.
Information for Exchange Students:
- You yourself are responsible for paying your health insurance. We recommend that you acquire health insurance immediately after your arrival in Bonn. The fee is approximately 80 Euro per month. A representative of one of the local public health insurance companies will be present at our office on arrival day to answer your questions.
You will be enrolled at the university by the International Office. We therefore ask you to sign the registration form ("Einschreibeformular") in your information folder, and hand it back to us. Once you are enrolled, you will receive a provisional study certificate. Your student card and "Semesterticket" will be mailed directly to your address in Bonn by the enrollment office.
Additional information for Exchange Students:
- You will also receive a bank transfer form to enable you to pay the social fee. At the University of Bonn, all students have to pay a so-called social fee of approx. 250 Euro per semester. This contribution is neither a registration nor a student fee. It contains, among other things, a travel ticket for all public means of transportation in Bonn and the surrounding area ("Semesterticket" or "Studi-Ticket").
Students enrolled at the University of Bonn can use the public transportation system in the Bonn/Cologne region for free. Your student ID serves as a "Semester-Ticket" for busses, subways and some trains (S-Bahn, Regionalexpress, Regionalbahn). You may also use other trains (D-Zug, InterRegio), but you have to pay a surcharge for them. For more detailed information about which trains you can use, please ask the staff at the Deutsche Bahn. The following map shows the area in which you can use the public transportation system with your student ID:
Registration with the Residents' Registration Office in Bonn
If you are going to stay in Bonn longer than three months, you need to register with the local Residents' Registration Office ("Bürgeramt") within a week of moving into your new accommodation. To register, you will need a registration form. A form is included in your information folder, but you can also obtain it in your student hall or from the "Bürgeramt" free of charge.
Please fill in the form, and take it to the "Bürgeramt". You will also have to present your ID or passport there.
Before you leave Bonn at the end of your studies, you also have to give notice of departure at the Residents' Registration Office.
Buergeramt im Stadthaus Berliner Platz 53111 Bonn
Tel.: 0228/ 77-1 (operator)
Monday and Thursday 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
- For Bad Godesberg, register at the Town Hall in Kurfürstenallee 2 (same opening hours as above).
- For Bonn-Beuel, register at the Town Hall in Friedrich-Breuer-Str. 65
You can also download our Pre-Departure Handbook in English.