Organisation of the stay
Anyone staying in Bielefeld for more than 90 days is obliged to register at Bielefeld City Hall. As soon as you have an address in Germany, you must register your residence at your place of residence within 14 days. The registration takes place at the town hall at the citizens' advice bureau.
You must make an appointment online in advance.
These documents are required for registration:
If you are employed as a staff member at Bielefeld University, you will need a certificate of good conduct from the police for the purpose of employment. You can also apply for this at the Citizens' Advice Bureau. You will need 13€ and the address of the Human Resources Department of Bielefeld University.
After registration you will receive a confirmation of registration. If you are registering in Germany for the first time, you will receive your personal tax identification number by post in about 10 days. Please make sure that your name is on the letterbox.
After arriving in Bielefeld, you must - if you are staying in Germany for longer than 90 days - register your residence in the city:
Step 1 - Registration of your residence at the registration office, in Bielefeld this is the Bürgerberatung Bielefeld.
Good to know:
Step 2 - Register for your broadcasting fee
Step 3 -Apply for residence (initial application/extension)(Ausländerbehörde Bielefeld)
List of documents:
As a rule, the following documents are required with the initial application for residence:
The Foreigners' Registration Office checks
The following documents must also be submitted for each purpose of residence:
Researchers (staff, people without employment contract)
**You must be able to prove to the Aliens' Registration Office that you have sufficient means to live in Germany. For students, this is the current Bafög rate. For all other staff, people, this is calculated from the current AlgII. The means can be proven with one or more proofs from this list: Scholarship and/or employment contract + employer's certificate + salary statement for the last 3 months and/or blocked account and/or salary at the home university and/or unemployment benefit and/or declaration of commitment.
Take all the documents you have with you to the appointment at the Foreigners' Registration Office.
If you stay in Germany for longer than 90 days, you must register for the broadcasting fee. As a rule, you will automatically receive a letter by post 10 days after registration. If you do not receive this letter. Register for the broadcasting fee.
If you are staying in Germany for a longer period of time and do not have a European account with an IBAN number, you should consider opening a German current account in order to be able to pay your semester fee, health insurance, rent, etc., make transfers and receive payments. There are many banks in Germany where you can open a so-called current account . Some banks offer free or discounted current accounts for students.
Please compare which bank is best for you, e.g. in terms of: Costs, online banking, ATMs, communication/language, credit card offer, transaction fee to home country.
A selection of sample banks
These documents are usually required to open an account:
You need health insurance to enrol at Bielefeld University. The university receives the proof directly from your health insurance during the enrolment process.
The following options are available for health insurance:
With this certificate, you go to a German health insurance company. They will issue you with a certificate exempting you from compulsory insurance. With this, they can enrol.
They pay for their treatment themselves and later apply for reimbursement from their insurance company in their home country. If their private insurance does not cover certain academic achievements, you will have to pay for them yourself. The costs can be very high.
Please note: If you take out private health insurance, you will not be able to switch to a statutory health insurance later (within your studies in Germany).
At Bielefeld University, students, employees and visiting academics can obtain a multifunctional, electronically readable ID card in cheque card format with the UniCard. The card is used as a student ID, as a service ID for employees and as an ID for external users of the library and can be used for card-linked electronic services on campus.
Es gibt zwei unterschiedliche Angebote für die Orientierung zum Studienbeginn für Sie:
Wir empfehlen Ihnen die Teilnahme an beiden Programmen. Dort lernen Sie andere Studierende kennen und erhalten Informationen für einen erfolgreichen Studienstart. Vorab können Sie sich gerne schon hier informieren.
Zu Beginn jedes Semesters gibt es eine Begrüßung der Erstsemesterstuiderenden durch den Rektor der Universität Bielefeld, die in der Regel am ersten Montag in der Vorlesungszeit stattfindet. Mitarbeiter*innen werden ebenfalls zu einer Begrüßung eingeladen, über die separat informiert wird. Nutzen Sie die Gelegenheit, die Universität kennenzulernen.
At Bielefeld University there is the German Language Centre PunktUm. Courses are offered here at levels A1 to C2. There is a four-week intensive language course in March and September (free of charge for cooperation students) and a semester-long course during the Summer and Winter semesters. Enrolled students, doctoral students and staff can use the semester courses free of charge. Family members or visiting academics can participate for a fee. Registration for the courses takes place via the electronic course catalogue ( ekvv).
In addition, PunktUm offers workshops on German as a language of science, e.g. writing seminar papers and theses, and individual coaching in the area of teaching.
Refugee students and Researchers have the opportunity to apply for a German language course at Bielefeld University.
In addition to Bielefeld University, there are other providers offering German courses in Bielefeld. For accompanying family members from third countries, there is the possibility or Obligation, under certain conditions, to participate in an integration course offered by the Bamf. The integration courses are sponsored by the Bamf and are divided into a German language course and a part of information on politics/history/culture. At the end of the course, in addition to the German test (level B1), there is a test on Life in Germany. If you pass both parts, you will receive a certificate.
If you are interested in learning another language during your stay, you can use the services of the Fachsprachenzentrum [Language Centre] at Bielefeld University. The Fachsprachenzentrum [Language Centre] offers a variety of languages and workshops for students, doctoral candidates and staff.