Travelling to, arriving in and living in Göttingen
You did it! You have been admitted and you have successfully been enrolled at the University of Göttingen. And now you are going to travel to Göttingen and begin your first steps toward your degree. Or perhaps you have already spent some time here and want to know what the University and the city have to offer you beyond your studies. Here and on these pages we have put together some information for you. Please feel free to contact us by phone or email if you have any additional questions.
Göttingen, a city of 134,000 inhabitants of which over 28,000 are students, has a young and lively character which thrives against the backdrop of the historical old town and half-timbered architecture hearkening back to the city’s roots in the Middle Ages.
- Traveling to Göttingen
- GISEL - Online-Guide for international students
- Göttingen at a glance
- Welcome to Göttingen - Brochure (in German only)
All new arrivals to Göttingen must register in person at the Residents’ Registration Office (Einwohnermeldamt) within 14 days of arrival. This is required by law. You will need an appointment for this, which you can make online on the City of Göttingen website.
To register, you will need a valid form of identification such as your passport and confirmation of accommodation Wohnungsgeberbestätigung. If you are living in a student residence hall run by Studentenwerk Göttingen, this document will be given to you by the residence hall administration. For all other types of rental accommodation, you will receive this document from the person renting the room to you. This may be a housing management representative, the landlord/landlady (the lessor), the main tenant, or, if applicable, a person authorised by the lessor.
Please keep your registration certificate in a safe place with other important documents as you will need it to apply for your residence permit or to open a German bank account, among other things.
If you later move houses, even if it is still within Göttingen, you must notify the city of Göttingen within 14 days.
International students from EU/EEA countries need neither a visa nor a residence permit to stay in Göttingen for their studies.
International students from non-EU/EEA countries must submit an application for a residence permit before expiration of their visa, and no later than 90 days after entry. This is regardless of whether they entered Göttingen with or without a visa. The application is submitted to the Immigration Office (Ausländersbehörde).
In Germany you will need a bank account for all financial matters. For example, if you work while you are studying (in Germany, it is called “jobben”), your salary will be transferred to your bank account – you will not be paid directly in cash.
With your bank account, you will receive an EC card which you can use to withdraw cash from ATMs. You can also transfer funds or use SEPA direct debit. This means that you can set up regular payments such as your rent or internet service and mobile phone charges to be automatically debited from your account each month. You can also use your EC card to pay in shops. You can use credit cards in most shops in Germany, but they are less common than paying with an EC card.
To open a bank account, you will need a valid form of identification such as a passport along with your registration certificate from the city.
Along with health insurance, there are two other important types of insurance in Germany that we recommend: private liability insurance and household insurance. Both protect you in situations that can occur frequently and can quickly result in large financial losses.
There are many offers to help you with the start of your studies. The Introductory Week provides you with an overview of the platforms you need to organise your studies, familiarise you with the University and the city of Göttingen. The Incoming Office will show you around the campus and your faculty and even introduce you to some leisure activities. Registration is required for some offers. This can be done online.
Students who would like to be met at the train station when they arrive in Göttingen and accompanied by a fellow student to their flat in Göttingen can register for our Buddy Service.
Students who would like support and assistance during the orientation phase at the University of Göttingen can register for the “Study Buddy Programme”.
The first steps are always the most daunting – even at a University. On the following pages you will learn a lot about getting yourself organised as a student.
Living in GöttingenFinances
Financial stability is an essential part of your stay. When you apply for a visa (and later your residence permit), you must prove that you have enough funds to pay for your stay in Germany and your studies, at least for the first 12 months of your stay. Typically, this means that you deposit a sum of currently €10,236 and as of 01 January 2023 €11,208 into a blocked account (Sperrkonto). Although this account belongs to you, you will only be able to access it once a month to withdraw a fixed amount and the account cannot be used for any other purpose. As a baseline for cost of living in Göttingen, you should budget at least 750 to 850 euros a month.
For many students in Germany, it is normal to work part-time while studying. International students are also allowed to work in Germany. However, the labour laws in Germany limit the number of hours that international students are allowed to work. According to the rule, you must devote the majority of your time to your studies. With the following link we have compiled the most important basic information on working in Germany as a student:
Usually, there is no tuition charged to international students to study in Germany; there is only a standard semester fee. However, as a result, there are fewer scholarships available in Germany, and none that are offered by the universities directly. Moreover, students can typically only apply for these scholarships after they have already begun their studies. Nevertheless, it can be worthwhile to find out about possible scholarships as soon as possible.
The most important is to stay healthy, because that is fundamental for everything! Should you nevertheless need medical help, you will find helpful information here:
- Health insurance coverage for international students
(bachelor's/state examination, master's and doctoral students)
- Medical care and emergencies
- Information on the health system
- Information on doctors in Niedersachsen
If during your study you experience writers block, personal crisis, depressive moods or similar emerge, act before this situation manifests itself chronically! The sooner you seek advice and help, the greater the chance that you will soon feel better again:
You will soon discover that almost everyone in Göttingen has a bicycle. As this is the cheapest, most comfortable, as well as environmentally friendly means of transportation, it is certainly a worthwhile investment. You can get almost anywhere in Göttingen in less than 15 minutes by bicycle.
Good language skills open up opportunities for you to get to know the country and its people, to successfully design your studies and to build up professional networks. On the other hand a lack of language skills may lead to considerable problems and delays in studies.
In order to create a good balance to your studies, it is important to pursue your other interests. You will find a wide range of leisure activities at the University and in Göttingen itself:
- Foyer International
- International Communities
- InDiGU - Integration & Diversity at Göttingen University
- Events for students
- University Sports Centre Göttingen
- Erasmus Choir 2017
- Erasmus Choir 2018
- Caritas-Centre for voluntary activities in Göttingen
- Accommodation and living in Göttingen
- DEGIS in Göttingen - Community for international students
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND ANTI-DISCRIMINATION
OTHER ADVICE AND INFORMATION CENTRES
- Advisory and information services for international students
- Legal Advice for International Students
- International Students Council - ISC
- Advisory and information services for students
GOOD SCIENTIFIC PRACTICE, PROBLEMS WITH SUPERVISION
Good scientific practice is the basis for scientific knowledge. For this reason, the University has established a code of good scientific practice, which you as doctoral students and (prospective) scientists* have committed yourself to adhere to. The graduate schools regularly offer courses on good scientific practice and advise on questions of good scientific practice and scientific misconduct or if you have problems with your supervisor.
The Graduate Schools can advise you regarding questions outside your field of study, financing options, questions concerning the mentoring relationship - and in some cases also with the application for acceptance as a doctoral candidate. They are your first point of contact in all matters relating to doctoral studies and will be happy to help you.
- GAUSS (Georg-August University School of Science)
- GFA (Agricultural and Forestry Sciences)
- GGG (Göttingen School of Social Sciences)
- GSGG (Graduate School of Humanities)
OTHER ADVISORY INSTITUTIONS
After completing your studies in Germany and you are a non-EU/EEA citizen, you can remain in the country up to 18 months as a university graduate to find a job that matches your qualifications.
Leaving GöttingenLeaving Göttingen
Have you successfully completed your studies and are getting ready to leave Germany?
Before you leave, there are a number of things to be taken care of. Our checklist is intended to help you prepare: