Contact the Welcome Centre! As soon as you know that you will be staying at Bielefeld University please contact the Welcome Centre.
Check your passport! To enter Germany you will need a valid passport or an equivalent identity document (a driver's licence is not sufficient). Please note that this passport must be valid at least until the end of your stay in Germany, and if you want to extend your stay, correspondingly longer. Please make sure that you always use the same spelling of your names.
Check entry regulations and apply for visa! If you are a citizen of a non-EU/EEA country, you and any accompanying family members will probably need a valid visa in order to enter Germany. You can apply for a visa at the German Embassy in your home country or a German consulate representing the area in which you are registered or usually live. To know more about visa regulations, please click here.
Arrange for health insurance and other insurances! You should get into contact with a health insurance company before entering Germany to be sure that any problems can be clarified in good time and that the insurance cover is valid from your very first day in Germany. If not possible, then please buy travel health insurance for at least the first month of your stay. You can also contact the Welcome Centre about this. To know more about health insurance, please click here.
Plan ahead for housing! You can contact the Welcome Centre for our assistance in finding accommodation or you can look on your own. For more information and important links, click here.
Bring the right clothes! Please consider the climate in Bielefeld when deciding what kind of clothes to bring with you. Bielefeld has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. However, you also have to be prepared for cold and rain even in the summer. We recommend bringing some warm clothing with you from home.
Learning German is easy and fun! If at all possible, it is a good idea to start acquiring some basic knowledge of German before coming to Germany. You will see your everyday life will be much easier and much more fun when you are able to communicate with locals. Also, we recommend that you bring a dictionary or phrasebook in your own language with you, as well as a travel or cultural guide produced in your own country. German courses are available at Bielefeld University. To learn more about these courses and the PunktUm Language Programm click here.
- several passport photographs (35 mm horizontal x 45 mm vertical, with no white margin) for all the different passes and identification cards you will need while staying in Germany (passport photographs can also be taken at photo booths located in the city hall or the university)
- several officially authenticated copies of important documents (doctoral degree, marriage and birth certificates of family members and insurance certificates, preferably with certified German translations
- your international vaccination certificate
- your international driving license
- your children's latest school reports
Please note that all electrical connections in Germany are 220-240 Volt, 50-Hertz a/c mains with European standard plugs. Check whether you need adaptors and transformers for any electronic devices you bring with you. These may be easier to find in your home country than in Germany.