Depending on where you come from, you may need a visa to enter Germany. International students require a "visa for study purposes", commonly called a "student visa". You cannot study in Germany on a tourist visa! When you apply for a visa, the important thing is that you present evidence that you have enough money at your disposal to finance your stay. German embassies can provide more information on matters relating to visas.
German embassies and consulates
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
Train and bus
If you arrive by train you’ll find bus-stops right in front of the main railway station. From there buses will take you to all parts of the city. Bus timetables can be obtained from the Stadtwerke Münster (Münster Public Services).
Timetables and ticket prices of the Deutsche Bahn (German Railway)
Bus timetables of the Stadtwerke Münster [de]
Flats and rooms in Münster are in high demand which means you should start looking for accommodation early. Exchange students can find further information and helpful advice on accommodation here.
The University of Münster hosts a "Welcome Week" for all exchange students at the beginning of the semester. Our "Buddy Programme" is ideal for helping new arrivals gain orientation in Münster. Regular events and recreational activities offer new students a chance to meet fellow German and international students.
Every student enrolled at a German university must open a bank account in Germany. This is the only way that regular payments such as rent, students fees etc. can be remitted on time. To open a bank account, all you need is a permanent address in Germany, a passport or ID card, and notification of admission from the University.
In order to enrol at the University of Münster, you must present proof that you have adequate health insurance coverage. Students from EU and EEA member states must bring their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with them when they enrol to ensure that their health insurance is recognised in Germany. Students from non-EU countries are required to take out a health insurance policy in Germany regardless of whether they are already insured at home. Student health insurance policies cost around 350 euros per semester (six months).
All residents in Germany are required by law to register their place of residence with the German authorities. You can do this in Münster at your local Citizens Office (Bürgerbüro). You must register within one week of moving into your new address. When you go to the Citizens Office to register, make sure to bring the following documents with you:
- Identity card or passport
- Registration form (can be downloaded from the Citizens Office website)
- Verification of your new address, e.g. your rental agreement
If you have any questions, feel free to contact the International Office at the University of Münster.
Citizens Office (Bürgerbüro) of the city of Münster
Visit the International Office
Your entry visa is only temporarily valid – normally for only 30 days. Therefore, exchange students should apply for a residence permit as soon as possible at the Foreigner's Registration Office in Münster. You will need to provide the following documents:
- Confirmation of health insurance coverage
- Passport photo
- Certificate of enrolment from the University of Münster
- Proof of financial resources
All it takes is a moment’s carelessness 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 give you a different quotation, 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.
By showing your student ID card, you can often receive discounts and concessions, e.g. on subscriptions to newspapers and magazines, theatre, cinema and concert tickets and exhibitions, tours and admission fees to other cultural and sporting activities. So if you’re not sure whether you're eligible for a discount, always ask – you have nothing to lose!
You can’t get by without a bicycle in Münster – it's the most popular means of transport in the city. Many bike shops sell high-quality used bikes at a relatively low price. You can also find reasonably priced bicycles for sale in the small ads section in the weekly journal “nadann”.
'nadann' website [de]
City of Münster bicycle auction
The University Sports department 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.
University Sports Programme of the University of Münster
The University also offers a broad range of cultural events and activities, such as student choirs, orchestras and ensembles, theatre groups, cultural associations and a campus radio station. Exhibitions, concerts and readings also take place regularly. For more information on student life and the various clubs and associations at the University click here.
Beginning your studies
Vor der Abreise - Getting Started!
The University of Münster does not have a central campus like other universities. Its institutes and facilities are spread across the city. Our online map of the University will help you find your way around. In the A-Z directory, we have included useful contact data.
Map of the University of Münster
The University of Münster no longer charges tuition fees. However, every student is required to pay approx. €295 per semester. This fee covers the cost of the so-called "semester ticket" which entitles students to use local public transport for free within North Rhine-Westphalia for that semester.
Current semester fees
Students at the University of Münster receive a "semester ticket" which is valid for all city buses in Münster, as well regional train and bus lines in North-Rhine Westphalia. With your semester ticket, you can quickly reach several cities nearby, such as Osnabrück, Dortmund, Bielefeld and Enschede (Netherlands). The semester ticket is only valid in conjunction with an official form of identification such as an identity card or a passport.
Students who wish to continue their studies at the University of Münster are required to re-register at the beginning of every new semester. This involves paying the semester fees within the re-registration period. You will be automatically notified by email or post of the dates of the upcoming re-registration period.
Information on re-registration
After you have enrolled at the University of Münster, you will have access to numerous libraries. Visit the University Library website for a full list of institute and departmental libraries.
List of all institute and departmental libraries
University Library website
The online course catalogue provides a complete list of all lectures, seminars and courses offered at the University each semester.
For most of the new bachelor's and master's degree programmes, students must register for examinations via the University's QISPOS portal. Please make sure to register by the respective deadlines.
Information on examinations
After you have officially enrolled, you will receive your own personal email address and access to the University’s intranet from the Centre of Information Processing (ZIV). The ZIV offers all students a virus scanner and a firewall which can be downloaded free of charge.
Information from the ZIV for first-semester students [de]
There are photocopiers and scanners all around the University, and especially in the libraries. Each photocopy costs 3.8 cents which you can pay via chip card. You can also use this card (called the "Mensa Card") to pay for meals in the dining halls and bistros (see “Student dining”). The Mensa Card costs ten euros and is directly credited with five euros.
The Studierendenwerk (Student Support Services) operates numerous dining halls, bistros and cafés all over the city. The meals are reasonably priced and paid using the "Mensa Card" which you can obtain at the check-out at the Mensa am Lake Aa and Mensa am Ring. The Mensa Card costs ten euros and is directly credited with five euros, and can be topped up as needed at special terminals.
Dining halls and bistros operated by the Studierendenwerk
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.
Calendar of semester breaks and holidays
One of the interesting features of academic life at the University of Münster is something called "the Academic Quarter". This means that courses (seminars, lectures etc.) actually begin a quarter-hour later than indicated in the course catalogue. This is called 'cum tempore' (c.t.). However, if you notice a seminar marked "s.t." (sine tempore), it means the course starts exactly at that time.
Before moving away from Münster, you have to deregister with the Münster Citizens Office [de].
Before leaving the University of Münster, you have to officially deregister with the Student Admissions Office.
You can download a template ToR form here.
Near the end of your visit, the University of Münster will issue you a Transcript of Records (ToR) listing the courses you completed and your final grades. The ToR is issued either in your faculty or the International Office.
At the end of each semester, your professors will hand out certificates (Scheine) confirming that you passed their courses. You should add these courses to your ToR form (EU or worldwide). At the end of your stay, bring the form to the International Office along with all of the original certificates to obtain your final Transcript of Records.