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  • Erasmus+ and other cooperation programmes

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Students in Cooperation Programmes

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Information Sheet for Erasmus+/Cooperation Programmes:

Would you like to study at Bielefeld University within the framework of a cooperation programme such as Erasmus+ or another university partnership worldwide? Then you will find important information on these pages and in the factsheet (see download area).

Admission for a cooperation programme

A simplified admission procedure is provided for cooperation students. Partner universities nominate students within a cooperation programme. If you are not sure whether Bielefeld University is a partner of your home university or if you already know that a cooperation programme exists and you would like to apply for a place, please contact the International Office of your home university. If you are offered a place at Bielefeld University, you will be officially nominated as a participant by your home university.

After the end of the nomination period, you will receive an email from the International Office Bielefeld (IO) asking you to register in the Mobility Online Portal of Bielefeld University. The online portal will describe the further procedure and you can register for the accommodation service and the intensive German course.

Upon Arrival

The enrolment takes place at the beginning of the orientation programme offered for Erasmus+/cooperation students every term. For enrolment students need to present a valid health insurance.

About a week after registration you will receive a datasheet, the socalled "Leporello" with certificates of admission ("Immatrikulationsbescheinigungen") and your personal email-password. With an "Immatrikulationsbescheinigung" you can apply for your matriculation card ("Studentenausweis") at the "Zentrale Leihstelle". The Studentenausweis is also for use of the library and the "Semesterticket" for public transport. You will also need it to obtain an International Students Identity Card (ISIC), and apart from this, it is also valid for a number of reductions f.ex. for cinema and theatre tickets.

Please note: Exchange/Cooperation students who decide to prolong their stay and take the final exams at Bielefeld University are obliged to re-apply as degree students and then have to provide TestDaF or pass the DSH.

A new country, a new city, a new university and hardly any familiar faces... The International Office organises an orientation programme to make it easier to start living and studying in Bielefeld, accompanying the intensive German language course before the start of lectures. Events are also offered in the first weeks of the lecture period. The orientation programme is designed to help newly arrived students settle in and offers the opportunity to get to know other students.

Further information

A new country, a new city, a new university, and hardly any familiar faces... Going abroad can be a challenge. In order to facilitate the beginning of your study stay we have organized an orientation programme with an intensive German language course. It takes part before the lecture period begins, helps to settle in more easily, and gives opportunity to get to know fellow international students. This is - amongst other events - part of the programme:

  • Enrolment at Bielefeld University
  • Intensive German language course
  • Information on the university, the library, and the study system
  • A guided city tour and various trips to places in and outside of Bielefeld
  • Get-togethers and meetings with international students and student mentors

It is possible to receive 4 - 5 credit points for the intensive language course, if students take part regularly and sit the final exam.

Please note:
It is very much recommended that you take part in the orientation programme with intensive German language course as it is the best start for your study period in Bielefeld and offers ample opportunity to get to know fellow students. It also guarantees an early and speedy issuing of your student card, including the combined access to the internet and electronic information system of Bielefeld University and of the Semester-Ticket for free public transport in Bielefeld and the surroundings.

It is mandatory to have a health insurance policy in order to be enrolled at Bielefeld University and you should check whether the health insurance in your home country is sufficient.

  • Students from EU countries (EEC] + EEA)
    If you have a statutory health insurance in your home country, you only need to present your European Health Insurance Card at a German health insurance agency. A form will be issued which confirms that your insurance is sufficient to be enrolled.
  • Students from countries who have entered a social security agreement with Germany (e.g. Switzerland, Turkey)
    If you have a statutory health insurance in your home country, please inquire at your health insurance provider to get form E-111, AT 11, ATN11 or BH6. This form can be presented at a German health insurance agency and a form will be issued which confirms that your insurance is sufficient to be enrolled.
  • Students who habe a private health insurance
    You need to provide a written confirmation of your health insurance provider (either in German or English) that
    • (a) you have a health insurance
    • (b) it is valid in Germany
    • (c) it provides you with sufficient insurance coverage.
    • A common travel health insurance will not be accepted!

You have to take this written confirmation to one of the statutory health insurance providers in Germany. They will then issue a written exemption from compulsory insurance (called a "Befreiung") and you will need to show this to enroll at the university. If you have a private health insurance, you will have to pay for any necessary health treatment yourself and then claim the money back from the health insurance provider in your home country.

Please note that your health insurance might only reimburse the costs according to common treatment rates in your home country. In that case, if the treatment is more expensive in Germany, you will have to pay the difference yourself.

  • For students who need an insurance in Germany
    You can get a statutory or a private health insurance. If you are younger than 30 and/or if you have not studied for longer than 14 semesters (7 years), a statutory health insurance for students will cost around 80 ? at all health insurance companies. Private health insurance is usually more expensive and you have to pay costs in advance, which can be very expensive.
    Please note: As soon as you have taken out private health insurance in Germany, you will not be allowed to change to a statutory health insurance.
  • For students who are 30 years or older, students who are beyond the 14th semester (7 years) and for PhD students
    You are no longer entitled to a reduced student insurance rate from the statutory health insurance companies, so you should compare various companies and then decide which insurance company is best for you.



Register at the city's registration office

  • You have to register as a citizen of Bielefeld as soon as you have an address in Bielefeld. Registration takes place in the "Rathaus" and you need to bring your rental contract and your passport. Please find the address below.
  • If you have a mentor, it might be a good idea to ask him/her whether they can accompany you to the "Rathaus".

Residence permit (only for students who require a visa)

  • About 2 days after you have registered, you can apply for a residence permit at the Foreigners? Registration Office in the "Rathaus"
  • Please take the following documents with you:
    • The letter of admission from Bielefeld University
    • Proof of sufficient financial resources
      You need to prove that you will have an amount of around 659€ per month at your disposal. You can use a confirmation of your bank or a document in which your parents declare to finance your life in Germany. If somebody who lives in Germany will finance your studies, this person must prove that he/she has the means to do so.
  • Evidence of the education in your home country (certificates)
  • Your passport (and visa documents)
Foreigners`Registration Office

Foreigners`Registration Office

Bürgerberatung / Abetilung Ausländerangelegenheiten

Niederwall 23, 33602 Bielefeld
0521 51 0

Current bank account ("Girokonto")

A current account is the most convenient way of dealing with money transactions:

  • Your salary or scholarship will be paid into it.

  • You can set up a standing order ("Dauerauftrag") for regular payments with fixed sums (such as your rent), so that the money is paid automatically on specific dates.

  • You can transfer money to other bank accounts by filling out a form ("Überweisungsformular").

  • You can give somebody else a direct debit authorization ("Einzugsermächtigung") which will allow them to book sums of money from your current account. This procedure, which is called "Lastschriftverfahren," is useful if you have to make regular payments of varying sums to utility providers like a telephone or electricity company. You sign an "Einzugsermächtigung" allowing the company to bill you directly.

Although banks hardly differ in the services they provide, their fees vary considerably, so it is worthwhile comparing several banks before making your choice.
A list with a selection of banks can be obtained at the Welcome Centre.

To open a bank account, you have to present your passport and your address. You will then receive a debit card ("EC-Karte") and a secret PIN number that you should memorize as you will need it when you use your card. The card can then be used to withdraw cash from your bank's cash dispensers. Please note that you will have to pay a fee if you withdraw money from cash dispensers of other banks.

Banks are generally open Mondays to Fridays from 8:30 to 16:00. Access to cash dispensers is usually 24 hours a day.


Most banks offer so-called "Homebanking," "Online-Banking," or "Telebanking". These services can be very convenient if you work late hours because you can manage your accounts and transactions online or by telephone. Just ask your bank for more information.

Shopping with a debit card

Most shops and petrol stations accept debit and credit cards but amounts under 10 Euros are usually paid in cash.

German courses for non-degree students

Every semester during the lecture period Bielefeld University offers German language courses for cooperation students. These courses are not suitable for absolute beginners. In addition, intensive German language courses combined with an orientation programme are offered before the semester starts in September/October resp. March.

Summer Courses

Bielefeld University offers German summer courses in August.

In addition, many German higher education institutions offer summer language courses. You can find them on the DAAD website.


Academic Recognition

When the student has successfully completed the study programme previously agreed between the home and the host institutions and returns to the home institution, credit transfer will take place. Credit Points (ECTS/LP) were introduced to facilitate academic recognition. Credits are a value allocated to course units to describe the student workload required to complete them. They reflect the quantity of work each course requires in relation to the total quantity of work required to complete a full year of academic study. 60 credits represent the workload of a year of study, 30 credits for the workload of a semester. Erasmus+ & Cooperation students may take less ECTS/LP according to their German language ability and their arrangements with the home university.

The Transcript of Records lists all courses the student has attended and is the basis for credit transfer to the home university. Cooperation students usually receive the transcript through their academic (Erasmus+) coordinator in the department. So, it is important that students contact their academic coordinators before they leave Bielefeld University in order to clarify how and when the transcript will be issued.

Grading scale  


Sehr gut 1,0; 1,3 very good
Gut 1,7; 2,0; 2,3 good
Befriedigend 2,7; 3,0; 3,3 satisfactory
Ausreichend 3,7; 4,0 sufficient
Nicht bestanden / ungenügend 5,0 fail
Bestanden / Passend (ohne Note/not gradede) completed or passed (not graded)

Accommodation in Bielefeld

It is not always easy to find somewhere to live in Bielefeld. This is why the International Office at Bielefeld University provides a service to help Erasmus+ and cooperation students find rooms in student halls of residence, through private landlords or in shared flats.

If you want to make use of this service, you must indicate this in the online portal for cooperation students. We will send you the link to the online portal after your home university has nominated you at the International Office of Bielefeld University.  

Further information

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