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Living in Bielefeld 

Looking for suitable and reasonably priced accommodation is not easy - especially from another country - and tends to be more successful when you are not pressed for time. Therefore, it is advisable to start looking as soon as possible and before you come to Germany. If necessary, it might be a good idea to send for your family only after you have found what you want.

If you prefer to look for permanent accommodation after your arrival to Bielefeld, there are various ways of looking once you get here.

Please bear in mind that it is generally more difficult to find a furnished apartment than an unfurnished one, German apartments are generally rented out unfurnished. Even one-person studio apartments are normally unfurnished, except when the actual tenant is "subletting" for a limited time period. However, there are several private providers and real estate agencies that offer short-term rentals of fully equipped private rooms or flats. However, you may have to pay the agent a service fee, which can be the equivalent of 2 months' rent for this service.

Bielefeld University offers its international visitors three attractive accommodation options: apartments at the International Meeting Centre (IBZ), the Center for Interdisciplinary Research, and the University Apartments, all located on campus. However, the capacity of these university guesthouses is limited. So please get in touch with the respective contact persons as early as possible. In addition, there are special prices for university guests at several hotels and the youth hostels (see below). There is little chance in getting a flat/room in student residences for doctoral candidates (only for a very short time, if at all).

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Contact Person at Bielefeld University

Contact IBZ:
Studentenwerk
Mrs. Karin Widera

Telephone: +49 - 521 - 1639810
Monday to Thursday 8:00 to 14:00
Friday 8:00 to 13:00
Email: wohnen@owl-hsg.de

Good and comfortable accommodation is available at the Internationales Begegnungszentrum der Wissenschaft IBZ (International guest house) at Bielefeld University. This is a converted farmhouse right next door to the university. It has good public transport links to the city center and other parts of Bielefeld.

The 21 apartments at the IBZ are for international visiting scholars at Bielefeld University and their families. The apartments have one, two or four rooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom, and they are fully furnished. They are also all equipped with a television and telephone and Internet connections. Towels and bedding are provided. Coin-operated washing machines and dryers are available. A very well equipped central kitchen is also available.

Apartments at the IBZ are very much in demand. Therefore, ask about available apartments before you travel to Germany, and book as soon as possible.

Contact:
Mrs. Karin Widera
Telefon ++49 521 1639810
mobil ++49 173 7442344
Monday to Thursday 8:00 to 16:00
Friday 8:00 to 13:00
email: wohnen@owl-hsg.de

Uni Apartments are tastefully furnished modern studios (47qm) in a quiet location directly on the Bielefeld University campus. They can be rented on a day-to-day basis like hotel rooms or permanently for longer stays. They are equipped with bathrooms and a balcony or terrace, and a weekly housekeeping service is available (cleaning, towels, and bedding). Blocks of two studios share a fully equipped and spacious kitchen with daily housekeeping. All studios and apartments are equipped with telephone and Ethernet (Internet access).

Joanna Kulbrock
Center for Interdisciplinary Research (Room 219)
Telephone: +49 - 521 - 106 2791
Fax: +49-521-106-152791
E-Mail: zif-lodging@uni-bielefeld.de

Thirty apartments are attached to the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (Zentrum für Interdisziplinäre Forschung, ZiF). They are all fully furnished and have well equipped kitchens. The ZiF provides towels and bedding, and there are washing machines that can be used privately for a small fee.

For the ZiF as well, it is advisable to ask early whether an apartment is available.


If the university guest houses were already full, or you prefer a differnet type of accomodation you can find out more about looking for accommodation here.
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Hotels in Bielefeld

Until you find accommodation, you can stay in a hotel or a less expensive guesthouse for young persons. Bielefeld University has negotiated special conditions with the following hotels (please ask the university to make reservations for you):

Altstadt Hotel
Ritterstr. 15
33602 Bielefeld
Telephone: +49 - 521 - 967250
Fax: +49 - 521 - 9672522
E-Mail: info@altstadt-hotel-bielefeld.de

Arcadia Hotel Bielefeld
Niederwall 31-35
33602 Bielefeld
Telephone: +49 - 521- 52530
Fax: +49 - 521 - 5253444
E-Mail: info.bielefeld@ahmm.de

B&B Hotel Bielefeld
Europa Platz 2
33613 Bielefeld
Telephone: +49 - 521- 304330
Fax: +49 - 521 - 30433444
E-Mail: bielefeld@hotelbb.com

Brenner Hotel Diekmann
Otto-Brenner-Straße 133-135
33607 Bielefeld
Telephone: +49 - 521 - 29990
Fax: +49 - 521 - 2999220
E-Mail: reception@brenner-hote.de

Comfort Garni Hotel Stadt Bremen
Bahnhofstr. 32
33602 Bielefeld
Telephone: +49 - 521 - 521980
Fax: +49 - 521 - 52198113
E-Mail: hotel@comfort-garni.de

Gerry Weber Landhotel
Osnabrücker Str. 52
33790 Halle/Westfalen
Telephone: +49 - 5201 - 9712300
Fax: +49 - 5201 - 9712301
E-Mail: landhotel@gerryweber-world.de

Gerry Weber Sportpark Hotel
Roger-Federer-Allee 6
33790 Halle
Telephone: +49 - 5201 - 8990
Fax: +49 - 5201 - 899440
E-Mail: infohotel@gerryweber-world.de

Hotel Bielefelder Hof
Am Bahnhof 3
33602 Bielefeld
Telephone: +49 - 521 - 52820
Fax: +49 - 521 - 5282100
E-Mail: info@bielefelder-hof.de

Hotel Mercure
Waldhof 15
33602 Bielefeld
Telephone: +49 - 521 - 52800
Fax: +49 - 521 - 5280113
E-Mail: bielefeld@nordic-hotels.com

Hotel Weitblick
Heidsieker Heide 114
33739 Bielefeld
Telephone: +49 - 5206 - 6040
Fax: +49 - 5206 - 9690378
E-Mail: info@hotel-weitblick-bielefeld.de

For further hotels, go here.


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Youth Hostel

The Jugendgästehaus (guesthouse for young persons) is run by the German Youth Hostel Association (Deutsche Jugendherbergswerk). Single rooms can also be booked for several nights. To find out about availability and prices, please contact (and ask for the special price as a university guest):

JBB Jugendgästehaus und Bildungszentrum Bielefeld
Hermann-Kleinewächter-Straße 1
33602 Bielefeld
Telephone: +49 - 521 - 522050
Fax: +49 - 521 - 52205110
E-Mail: jgh-bielefeld@djh-wl.de

Theodor-Hürth-Haus Jugendheimstatt e.V
Theodor-Hürth-Str. 1
33604 Bielefeld
Telephone: +49 - 521 - 295562
Fax: +49 - 521 - 295563
E-Mail: theohaus.bielefeld@web.de

Kolpinghaus Bielefeld
August-Bebel-Straße 7a
33602 Bielefeld
Telephone: +49 - 521 - 60363
Fax: +49 - 521 - 172103
E-Mail: info@kolpinghaus-bielefeld.de


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Help

You should also ask the contact person at your guest institute in Bielefeld whether they could help you find accommodation. Perhaps they know people privately who could at least give you somewhere to stay when you first come to Bielefeld.

And, of course, you can also place your own advertisement on these sites.

An inspection of the so-called Mietspiegel (residential rental index) will help you to find out how much rent you will probably need to pay depending on the part of city, the facilities, and the age of the house. You can obtain the Mietspiegel for Bielefeld in the Residents' Advice Center (Bürgerberatung) located in the Neue Rathaus or you can download it from the Internet.

Landlords frequently ask for a deposit (Kaution) varying from one to a maximum of 6 months' basic rent (the so-called "Kaltmiete" without extra charges for utilities and services). This is to cover any potential damage you may cause to the property. However, the landlord has to pay this back with interest at the end of the rental agreement after deducting any costs for repairs and renovation. This should all be specified very clearly in your lease or rental contract (Mietvertrag).

Most advertisements give only the rent excluding utility charges (Kaltmiete). When looking at the apartment, always ask about the utility charges (the Nebenkosten). Tenants pay their electricity and gas bills directly to the public utility company (Stadtwerke). Every apartment should have its own electricity and/or gas meters.

You can find detailed information on how to look for accommodation and what you need to pay attention to when signing a lease (Mietvertrag) on the Internet pages of the Humboldt Foundation. If you are having difficulties with your landlord, you can obtain advice and support - for a fee - and information pamphlets on renting, rental contracts, and so forth from the following addresses:

Mieterbund Ostwestfalen-Lippe e.V.
Marktstraße 5
33602 Bielefeld
Telephone: 0521 - 56055 - 0
Fax: 0521 - 56055 - 11
E-Mail: verein@mieterbund-owl.de

Opening times and consultation times:
Monday and Thursday: 9:00 to 13:00
and 14:00 to 18:00
Tuesday: 9:00 to 13:00
and 14:00 to 17:00
Wednesday: by appointment
Friday: 9:00 to 13:00

Please note: Consultations during the morning hours only by appointment.

Verbraucherzentrale NRW
Beratungsstelle Bielefeld
Herforder Straße 33 (am Willy-Brandt-Platz)
33602 Bielefeld

Telephone: 0521 - 66936
Fax: 0521 - 60266
E-Mail: bielefeld@vz-nrw.de


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Typical Abbreviations in Housing Advertisements

AbbreviationWhat it Means
2-Zi-Whg 2 Zimmerwohnung = 2 -room apartment
3 ZKB 3 Zimmer mit Küche und Bad = 3 rooms plus kitchen and bathroom
450 Euro + NK 450 Euro Kaltmiete + Nebenkosten = 450 Euro basic rent plus utility charges
DG, EG, OG Dachgeschoss, Erdgeschoss, Obergeschoss = top floor (attic), ground floor, upper floor
Du Dusche = shower
kalt, KM Kaltmiete = basic rent (without utility charges)
KB Küche, Bad = kitchen, bathroom
MM Monatsmiete = monthly rent
RH Reihenhaus = terraced house
TG Tiefgarage = underground garage
warm, WM Warmmiete = complete rent including all utility charges

// Ways of Seeking Accommodation Privately

  • Most rooms and apartments to let are advertised in the weekend editions of the two local newspapers in Bielefeld, the "Neue Westfälische" and "Westfalen-Blatt".
  • You can find notices advertising free rooms in shared accommodation or from private landlords on the notice boards (called "Schwarze Bretter") of each individual faculty at the university or outside the Mensa dining hall
  • You can commission an estate agency (Maklerbüro) to find an apartment for you. However, you will have to pay them the equivalent of 2 months' rent for this service. If you decide to use a Maklerbüro, make sure that it is a member of a professional association (the Ring Deutscher Makler, RDM)

You can also look for accommodation on the internet under, for example:

->Studentenwerk Bielefeld

->wg-gesucht.de

->Studenten-wg.de

->FLATmix Bielefeld
(Kreuzstr. 1, 33602 Bielefeld, telephone: +49 (0)521-52 333 333 Fax: +49 (0)521-52 176 95)

Contact:

welcome@uni-bielefeld.de

Service Desk
Monday til Friday:
10.30-11.30
Room: C5-133

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