Before you arrive
For your start at the University of Münster, we have compiled some useful information and tips in two brochures (as downloads, see below) and on the following websites.
Information brochure for language course beginners – Before you arrive
Information brochure for international first-year students – Before you arrive "Getting started – Information for international first-year-students - Before you arrive – summer semester 2020"
A good education costs money, and so does a university degree. A basic principle is that all students are themselves responsible for financing their studies. At the University of Münster, currently no tuition fees are charged. However, students must pay the so-called "semester fee" of currently EUR 295 and cover all costs of living (approx. EUR 850 per month). It is also possible to get financial assistance. International students from Switzerland and EU countries may under certain circumstances receive financial support – a student grant – on the basis of the so-called BAföG Act (Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz). Stateless applicants, members of certain groups of refugees, people entitled to asylum and spouses of German nationals are (under certain circumstances) also eligible for such grants. Moreover, some German institutions award scholarships to students with excellent academic achievement.
Further information on costs and financing
Depending on your home country, you may require a visa to enter Germany. International students need a visa for study purposes (language course applicants may apply for a visa for study preparatory purposes). Please note - a tourist visa is not sufficient! To obtain an entry visa, you will need to present a letter of admission to your degree programme (or the preparatory German language course) and proof of financial resources (currently about € 10,200 for the first year). Please apply for a visa well in advance at the German embassy in your home country. The visa application process might take several months. German embassies can provide more information on visa-related matters.
German embassies and consulates
In order to enrol at the University of Münster, you have to show that you hold adequate health insurance coverage. Students from EU/EEA countries can meet this requirement by taking along their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from their home country. If you encounter acute health problems during your stay, your EHIC entitles you to seek treatment from any doctor in Germany. If you wish to receive regular medical check-ups in Germany, make sure to ask your insurance provider in your home country to issue you the Form E 106 or S1. Once you have arrived, submit the form to your German statutory health insurance provider. Also note that if you intend to work part-time during your studies in Germany, you must be covered by a German health insurer.
Students from non-European countries are generally required to obtain health insurance cover from a German statutory health insurance provider. Health insurance for students usually costs around 90 euros per month with a German statutory provider. For more information, please see our current semester flyer available in the section "Beginning your studies" and the DAAD pages regarding health insurance.
You can find general information about the health care system in Germany in the Health Care Dictionary published by the German Studierendenwerk [de].
You can apply online for a place in a hall of residence run by the Students Support Services (Studierendenwerk). The Students Support Services website provides further information on the interior details, locations and costs of rooms and single apartments in individual halls. You should apply early in advance for a room in the student halls since there currently are long waiting lists. Accomodation (rooms, single apartments or rooms in shared flats) is also available in the private sector.
Students Support Services
The Münster/Osnabrück airport is only 30 km away from the centre of Münster. A shuttle bus connects the airport with the city’s main railway station. The Münster/Osnabrück airport can be reached from numerous international airports.
The Münster/Osnabrück airport
Shuttle buses from the airport to the city centre
If you are arriving by train, you will find bus stops right in front of the main railway station. From there buses go to all parts of the city. Bus timetables can be obtained from Münster Public Services (Stadtwerke Münster).
Deutsche Bahn (German Railway): timetables and fares
Münster Public Services: bus timetables
Soon after you arrive in Münster, you should start several tasks to ensure you get off to a smooth start. You can find a checklist of all relevant tasks in our information flyers below:
Information flyer for
DSH-language course participants
International first-year students – After your arrival in Münster
"After Your Arrival" - Information for international first-year students after arriving in Münster summer semester 2020
All international students in Germany are required to have their own bank account. This is the only way that regular payments such as rent, students fees etc. can be transferred (or debited) on time. In order to open a bank account, you must prove that you have a fixed place of residence in Germany (see "Registration of residence" below). Furthermore, you must present your passport or identity card, as well as your notification of admission from the University. Numerous banks in Münster offer students checking accounts free of charge. Many bank branches are located in the centre of town.
All residents in Germany must register their place of residence at the Citizens Office (Bürgerbüro) in their respective district. This is a legal requirement in Germany. You should register within two weeks of moving into your new address. Please bring the following documents with you:
- identity card or passport
- registration form (can be downloaded from the Citizens Office website)
- residence certificate (Wohnungsgeberbestätigung), a form filled in by your landlord
Your entry visa is only a provisional permit for entering the country and is usually valid for 30 days. International students who require an official entry visa must apply for a residence permit as soon as possible at the Foreigners' Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde) after arriving in Germany. The authorities will ask to you to present the following documents:
- residence permit application
- proof of health insurance cover
- passport photo
- certificate of enrolment (or notification of admission) at the University of Münster
- proof of financial resources
Please note that the electronic residence permit comes with a fee of about 110 euros. Please bring this amount in cash with you to the Foreigners' Registration Office. For more information, visit the Foreigners' Registration Office website.
It can happen so easily – you weren't paying attention, and suddenly the book or camera you borrowed is damaged. If you have no liability insurance, you have to pay for the damage yourself – and that can be expensive. It’s best to protect yourself by taking out liability insurance which covers all damage done to other people or their property through carelessness. Each insurance company will offer a different price for different coverage, so it’s worth comparing. When you take out insurance, make sure that the cover provided does not run for longer than you plan to stay in Germany.
All households in Germany are required to pay public broadcasting fees which now also include online media. Students can apply for exemption from this fee under certain conditions. More information on German public broadcasting fees.
Your Student ID card often entitles you to receive discounts. This can apply to subscriptions to newspapers and magazines, theatre, cinema and concert tickets and exhibitions, tours and other cultural and sport activities. So if you’re not sure, always ask – it’ll probably be worth it!
You can’t get by without a bicycle in Münster – it’s the number-one mode of transportation in the city. In Münster there are commercial suppliers who lend bicycles at favourable conditions. Of course you can also buy a bicycle. Many bike shops sell good-quality used bicycles which are, naturally, cheaper than new ones. Reasonably priced bicycles are also offered for sale in the small ads in the weekly journal “nadann”.
Visit the "nadann" website
The University Sports programme offers courses in over 100 different types of sport every semester – from volleyball, badminton, swimming and yoga to exotic sports such as capoeira and underwater rugby.
Münster University Sports (HSP)
The University also has a lot to offer culturally. There are numerous choirs, orchestras and ensembles, theatre groups, cultural associations and a campus radio station. Exhibitions, concerts and readings also take place regularly. Information on student life and the various clubs and associations at the University can be found at Living in Münster.
There are special employment regulations that apply to international students. You can only work a limited number of hours parallel to your studies, depending on which country you come from. Students from non-EU/EEA countries are currently allowed to work 120 full or 240 half days per year. A "full day" is considered a day, during which you work more than four hours. Language course participants may only work during the semester breaks.
Regardless of how much you earn per month, you must have tax number (income tax card) which can be requested from the local finance office at no charge. You must also have a social insurance number which your health insurance company can provide you with.
Finance office - Münster Innenstadt
Finance office - Münster Außenstadt
Foreigners' Registration Office
Beginning your studies
Map and A-Z of institutions and facilities
Student fees and social service contributions
Semester travel ticket
Internet and email
Photocopies and scans
Semesters and examinations
“The academic quarter“
Costs and financing
The University of Münster is not located around a central campus, but rather its facilities, offices and lecture halls are spread across the city. The online map of the University will help you to find your way around. The A-Z showing all the University’s institutions and facilities also provides useful contact data.
Map of the University of Münster
Every student currently pays a service charge of around € 295 per semester. This includes, among other things, the cost of the "semester ticket" which entitles students to free travel on local public transport within North Rhine-Westphalia for that semester.
Student services contribution: how much?
Students at the University of Münster receive a semester ticket which allows them to use all city buses in Münster and regional buses and trains in North Rhine-Westphalia free of charge. Major cities in the region such as Osnabrück, Dortmund, Bielefeld and Enschede (Netherlands) are within easy reach of Münster. The semester ticket is only valid in conjunction with an official form of identification, such as an identity card or passport.
Information on where the semester ticket is valid
All students who wish to continue studying at the University of Münster must re-register for the next semester. To ensure that you maintain your enrolment status, you must pay the student fees and service contribution within a certain period of time, the so-called "re-registration period". You will be automatically notified by email of the beginning of the re-registration period.
Information on re-registration
Various institutions at the University (e.g. the International Centre "Die Brücke", the Rectorate and the departmental student bodies) organise orientation events at the beginning of each semester – mostly in the week before the lecture period begins. In addition to answering your questions about the organisation of content of your studies, the events are a great opportunity meet other new students like yourself. The dates of these orientation events are announced shortly beforehand on the websites of the Student Advice and Counselling Centre (ZSB).
Overview of the central orientation events
Orientation events offered at the International Centre "Die Brücke"
After you have enrolled at the University of Münster, you have access to a large number of libraries. You can find a list of the institute and departmental libraries on the website of the University Library (ULB).
List of all institute and departmental libraries
University Library (ULB) website
The online course catalogue provides a complete list of all courses and lectures offered during the current semester.
Students are required to register online for examinations in most new bachelor's and master's degree programmes via the University's QISPOS portal.
Please note the registration deadlines in each case.
Information on examinations
After enrolment each student receives a personal email address and access to the University’s intranet from the Centre for Information Processing (ZIV). The ZIV also offers students a virus scanner and a firewall which can be downloaded free of charge.
Information for new students
There are photocopiers and scanners at many places around the University, in particular in the libraries. Each photocopy (A4) costs 4 cents and is paid using a chip card in the same way you pay for meals at the student dining halls, canteens and bistros (see “Student dining”). The student canteen card (Mensa Card) costs ten euros and is directly credited with five euros.
There are dining halls, bistros and cafés all over the city, operated by the Student Support Services. Meals are reasonably priced and can be paid using the Mensa Card, which can be purchased at the check-out of the dining halls, e.g at Lake Aa and Am Ring. The Mensa Card can be topped up again and again at specially marked terminals. The Mensa Card costs ten euros and is directly credited with five euros.
Students Support Services dining halls and bistros
The academic year in Germany is divided into two semesters. The winter semester officially begins on 1 October, and examinations in the winter semester take place in the first two weeks of February. The summer semester officially starts on 1 April, and examinations in the summer semester take place at the end of July.
Lecture periods and semester breaks
At the University of Münster, all classes (seminars, lectures etc.) begin a quarter of an hour later than indicated in the course catalogue. This is called 'cum tempore' (c.t.). If a lecture or seminar is marked 'sine tempore' (s.t.), this means that it starts exactly at the time indicated.
A good education costs money, and so does a university degree. A basic principle is that all students are responsible for financing their studies on their own. The University of Münster does not charge tuition fees. However, students must pay the so-called "semester fee" (€ 295) and cover all costs of living. Financial aid is available to those who need it. International students from Switzerland and EU countries may be eligible for financial support under certain circumstances, e.g. in the form of a BAföG student grant. Stateless applicants, members of certain groups of refugees, people entitled to asylum and spouses of German nationals are (under certain circumstances) also eligible for such grants. Moreover, some German institutions award scholarships to students with excellent academic achievement.
In substantiated cases, the General Students' Committee (AStA) awards emergency funding to international students who find themselves in acute financial distress. Applications for financial aid can be made to the Foreign Students Representative Body (ASV) or at the AStA Social Advice Centre. After a discussion with the applicant, the application is forwarded to the awards committee of the student parliament for its decision. During examination periods, AStA also grants interest-free loans to students who have no other way of financing their studies. As a rule, the loan is granted in the final six months before completion of studies. The maximum amount granted is 3,480 euros paid out in six instalments of 580 euros.
The AStA at the University of Münster