General frequently asked questions
How much money do I need per month as a student?
Germany is not very expensive compared to other European countries. The costs for food, housing, clothing and cultural offerings are only slightly above the EU average.
You should estimate approximate monthly expenses of 930 €. This is just a guideline - you might also get by with less, especially because small cities like Neu-Ulm are usually cheaper than cities like Munich or Stuttgart. :
- 380 to 600 € rent, monthly
- 500 € deposit for the public student residence, once
- 20 € for German licence fee, monthly
- 350 € for food, teaching materials and transportation, monthly
- 125 € for the German public Health Insurance, monthly
- 94 € administration fee, at the start of each semester
- 100 € for the electronic residence permit, once you apply for visa extension
There are often special rates for students, e.g. for the cinema or the semesterticket to get around Neu-Ulm and Ulm. And there are no tuition fees for international students in the state of Bavaria (only an administration fee - see above (amount varies between universities)).
Please consider, that there is no guarantee that you will find a job to support yourself during your stay. The German language is often a prerequisite to get a job. You should therefore be aware of the fact that you will have to live off your own personal funds, support by your family or scholarhship resources only.
Please note: In order to apply for a visa, you usually have to prove financial means for the entire stay (in advance!) and open a so-called blocked account (depending on the requirements of the responsible embassy). In Germany people often pay with cash.
Do I need a visa for Germany?
For an exchange semester in Germany, foreign students (except EU citizens and citizens of certain countries - see overview (opens in a new window) of visa requirements) require a valid residence permit for study purposes. They must apply for their visa before entering Germany.
We will provide you with detailed information about this after admission to your semester abroad via Mobility-Online. Since it can take up to twelve weeks to process a visa application, you should submit your application immediately after admission.
Please note that, as a rule, you will have to prove financial means for the entire semester when applying for a visa. Therefore, please consider in advance whether you can afford a semester abroad in Germany.
Can I get a scholarship from the HNU for my semester abroad?
No, we do not provide scholarships for exchange students. Please ask your home university for scholarship opportunities.
May I work in Germany?
Without a work permit, international students from non-EU countries may work a maximum of 120 full days or 240 half days (4 hours per day) per year. This also applies to internships. Students from the EU have free access to the job market and are practically on equal terms with German students. All students are allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours per week during the lecture period in order not to lose their health insurance coverage and to earn a maximum of 520 € per month in order not to pay additional taxes. The minimum wage mounts is 12 euros per hour since 1.10.2022.
Students may work a maximum of 19 hours per week in study-related activities at the university. The term for such work is "student assistant".
Your visa may contain further information about your work permit. If you have any questions regarding your work permit, please contact the foreigners' registration office or the Federal Employement Agency in Neu-Ulm or Ulm, depending on where you live.
Where can I find a side job, student assistant job or internship?
Please note that the International Office does not arrange jobs or internships for foreign students. If you need help correcting your application documents in German, you can contact the Career Service.
First, you should consider what kind of job you are looking for: are you looking for a simple part-time job? Or would you like to gain professional experience as a working student ("Werkstudent" in German) in a company or work as a student assistant?
- You can also find simple part-time jobs, for example, via notices in cafés, supermarkets, etc. or regional search engines, e.g. Minijob Anzeiger or jobmeineStadt. Ask your friends for experiences.
- For jobs as a student assistant, it is best to ask your professors directly or network on LinkedIn. You can also find current job postings on the homepage in Moodle.
- Working student jobs ("Werkstudent") offer you very good opportunities to gain professional experience. There are numerous job offers in the region (Ulm, Stuttgart, Munich) available in English. The HNU's job platform and the website "Make it in Germany" offer you a differentiated job search. The website Jobs in English shows you jobs for English speaking professionals in Germany.
- The Welcome Center Ulm/Oberschwaben has contacts to companies in the region and mediates e.g. via a company fair. If you are looking for jobs relevant to your studies or a job to start your career, you will find support on their website. The Welcome Center also offers seminars and advice on how to apply for and find a job.
- Volunteer experience can also give you an advantage when applying for a job in Germany. You will also work on your personality, expand your network and improve your language skills.
Job exchanges on the internet
How can I open a German bank account?
We strongly recommend to every exchange student (especially students from outside Europe) to open a bank account in Germany because it makes your daily life much easier. If you want to open a bank account, you can indicate this in Mobility-Online after your admission to the HNU. If you decide to open a German bank account, we will forward all necessary information as well as a copy of your passport to our local bank Sparkasse for the opening process. You will then receive the contract from us for signature during the orientation weeks for exchange students.
Is my health insurance valid in Germany?
All students in Germany must have a health insurance either from a private or public health insurance company. Without valid health insurance you cannot be enrolled at any university in Germany.
If you are an exchange student from a EU country, you can in most cases keep your existing insurance and will only need your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) as an insurance proof.
If you are an exchange student from a Non-EU country, you can either have a foreign private health insurance, which covers all costs in case of illness and accident medical treatments, or take out a German health insurance. Travel insurances are usually not valid for studying at a German university (!).
We will inform you in detail about questions regarding health insurace via Mobility-Online after your admission to the HNU.
How do I find a room?
You can indicate priorities and preferences about the room during the application process in Mobility-Online. The student residences are located close to the HNU and are among the best and most affordable accommodation options for exchange students. However, the rooms are in high demand and the available rooms for exchange students are limited. Therefore, we cannot guarantee a room. We will inform you in time (approx. 2-3 months before arrival) when there are too few rooms available. In this case your flexibility and initiative are required to find a place to live by yourself. We will support you with information and links to (private) offers.
Where can I get tips on everyday life, leisure and means of transport?
In our welcome brochure (opens in a new window) for international students you will find various helpful information that can help you get started in Germany and in Neu-Ulm/Ulm. Chapters 7, 8 and 9 are relevant for the topics everyday life, leisure time and transport.
Who can I talk to if I have mental health issues or private problems?
Life holds many challenges in store for us, which we cannot always cope with ourselves. Do you need help yourself or are you worried about someone close to you? In these moments and phases of life, the Mental Health first Aid network (opens in a new window) is there for you.
Welcome brochure for international students
In our welcome brochure (opens in a new window) for international students you will find various helpful information that help you get started in Germany and in Neu-Ulm/Ulm.