Important Pre-Departure Information

The International Office at the HTWG Konstanz works hard to ensure that you have an easy start in Konstanz. Therefore, we have listed some essential pre-departure information for you below.

  • Visa Overview

    General Information

    Although the International Office tries its best to provide up-to-date information on immigration issues at its website, we strongly recommend that you always check current visa requirements with the German Embassy / Consulate in your home country / country of residence since they are the only institutions that can give you legally binding information.

    General visa rules:

    • EU citizens: no visa required
    • Non-EU citizens: a ''(Nationales) Visum für den längerfristigen Aufenthalt / (National) visa for longer stays“ is required

     

    Exceptions:

    Citizens of Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, (South) Korea, New Zealand and the USA have two options:

    • Option 1 (strongly recommended!): apply for ''(Nationales) Visum für den längerfristigen Aufenthalt / (National) visa for longer stays“
    • Option 2: You are allowed to enter Germany without a visa but, in this case, you have to apply for an electronic residence permit in Konstanz upon your arrival.

     


    Visa Details

    Please apply for a „(Nationales) Visum für den längerfristigen Aufenthalt / (National) visa for longer stays“ according to „Art. 18 Abs. 2 Schengener Durchführungsabkommen“

    General information about the national visa for longer stays:

    With this type of visa, you can stay in Germany for a period of time between 3 and 12 months. Although it is called “national visa”, this type of visa allows you to freely move within the Schengen Area up to three months in any six-month period. The issuing authority for the visa is the mission responsible for the area in which you have your ordinary residence. The fee for this visa is 75 €. When you enter Germany with this visa, you will NOT be required to apply for an electronic residence permit (see other visa types below) in Konstanz.

    Other visa types:

    Please also note that you should in no case apply for other visa types such as “Schengen visa”, “tourist visa” or “visa for study purposes”, etc. With a Schengen or tourist visa you are not allowed to study in Germany and the “visa for study purposes” is only valid for three months. After that, you would have to apply for an electronic residence permit. This would mean additional costs (visa fees + at least 100 € for the electronic residence permit), several personal visits to the Konstanz Immigration Authorities and a lot of paperwork. The whole application process for the electronic residence permit takes about three months.

    Should you have difficulties with the application for your visa for longer stays, please contact HTWG Konstanz's International Office immediately and do not apply for any other visa types!

    How and when to apply:

    Please apply for your visa at a German Embassy/Consulate immediately after receiving your acceptance letter from the HTWG Konstanz. The total processing time for a visa can take up to two months after the complete documentation has been submitted!

    Proof of Finance:

    When applying for the visa, you must provide proof of finance for the whole duration of your stay in Germany. This financial proof will be checked by both the German Embassy/Consulate and by the Konstanz Immigration Authorities. Konstanz Immigration Authorities are sometimes stricter regarding the financial proof than the Embassies/Consulates. Therefore, please only hand in proof of finance for your visa application that meets the requirements from Konstanz Immigration Authorities. "Proof of Financial Resources" below lists detailed Information about the (only!) four accepted forms of financial proof.

    Visa-supporting documents:

    All students who need a visa to enter Germany receive the following documents for the visa application from the International Office at the HTWG Konstanz:

    • Formal invitation letter
    • Admission to the HTWG Konstanz
    • A statement exempting you from the prerequisite German language certificate, if necessary.

    Should you need proof of health insurance coverage by a German statutory health insurance company for the visa application, please see the link "Health Insurance" (below).


    Electronic Residence Permit

    Students from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, (South) Korea, New Zealand or the USA that have entered Germany without a „(Nationales) Visum für den längerfristigen Aufenthalt / (National) visa for longer stays“ must apply for an electronic residence permit at the beginning of their stay in Konstanz. With this residence permit, you can extend your stay in Germany until the end of your exchange period at the HTWG Konstanz.

    The electronic residence permit (eAT – elektronischer Aufenthaltstitel) was introduced EU-wide on September 1st, 2011. It features an online ID function that allows the holder to communicate online with public agencies and administrations and to do business on the internet. You can find further information about the functions of the electronic residence permit here. Unfortunately, several personal visits to the Konstanz Immigration Authorities and a lot of paperwork are needed for the application and the whole process takes about three months. The International Office at the HTWG Konstanz will provide you with support throughout the bureaucratic process that you might encounter.

    In order to receive the electronic residence Permit, you must also provide a proof of finance of 853€ per month for the whole duration of your stay in Germany. It is therefore crucial that you bring an authorized proof of finance to Konstanz (see Proof of Financial Resources below).

  • Proof of Financial Resources

    No matter whether you apply for a visa or an electronic residence permit, your proof of finance must be approved by the Konstanz Immigration Authorities. In order to avoid a denial of your financial proof and thus a delay in your visa-application process, please only hand in a financial proof that meets the requirements of Konstanz Immigration Authorities (even if the requirements from the Embassy/Consulate are less strict!).

    Konstanz Immigration Authorities will accept one of the four forms of proof of financial resources:

    • Financial guarantee from a parent
    • Formal obligation
    • Blocked account (we recommend fintiba (which you can open already online) or once you're here in Germany we can help you open a Deutsche Bank blocked account)
    • Scholarship confirmation

     

     

    Proof of Financial Resources - overview of options and documents

  • Health Insurance

    All exchange students must – just like all local HTWG Konstanz students – be insured under a German health insurance plan.

    Exchange students under the age of thirty benefit from German statutory health insurances with reduced premiums of about 90 € per month. All students above this age must obtain a private health insurance. There are different health insurance companies in Konstanz, all having the same premiums. Students are free to choose any of them. The HTWG Konstanz has positive experiences with AOK Health Insurance which has an office close to the campus. One of AOK´s special services is that they send you an insurance membership certificate to your home country if that is needed for your visa application. No documents or advance payments are necessary; you can take care of everything once you sign up for the membership after your arrival in Konstanz. Please contact the International Office for their contact details.

    All insurances are active for a complete semester (six months for the Spring Semester and another six months for the Fall Semester). Only exception: If you can't attend the orientation program in September, for instance, and therefore arrive in Konstanz at the beginning of October, you will only be charged for your insurance period from October until the end of the semester in February.  

    Please make sure you have a Traveler’s or International Health Insurance coverage until you sign up for the student health insurance in Konstanz during the orientation program/ the beginning of the semester. On no account should you spend time in Germany without health insurance coverage since doctors’ fees and medical costs can be extremely high!

  • Medication

    When entering Germany, you are allowed to bring medications in quantities that meet normal personal needs. In case of long-term illnesses, please check the German laws involving bringing the necessary medication with you. In some cases, the required prescription might also be available in Germany. The German law prohibits sending medication by mail. When medications are confiscated by the German custom authorities, the process of getting back the property can be a harrowing one fraught with bureaucratic delays.

     

  • Arrival

    The closest international airport is in Zurich, Switzerland which is about 60 kilometers from Konstanz. The SBB Travel Center is located below the Airport Center in the Check-in 3 area. There are hourly trains directly from Zurich Airport to Konstanz. A ticket in second class costs approximately 30 Swiss Francs.

    From Stuttgart Airport (Germany), you must take the S-Bahn (underground subway) to the main train station in Stuttgart. A train leaves from the main station at least every two hours to Konstanz and you will have to change trains in Singen. The train ride is about two and a half hours and tickets costs approximately 45 €.

    From Frankfurt Airport (Germany), you can catch a train to Konstanz at the bottom level of the airport departing every two hours to Konstanz. The train ride takes five to six hours and the ticket costs around 80 €.

    For more information about the German train system, schedules and prices, visit www.bahn.de. In order to arrive at Konstanz Main Station, please choose “Konstanz” or "Konstanz Bahnhof" from the available destination list.

  • Housing

    Once you apply for a room in one of the student dormitories in Konstanz, the International Office reserves a single room for you in one of the dormitories. Since HTWG Konstanz does not own the student dormitories, your landlord Seezeit will contact you directly as soon as all rooms are assigned.

    The cost of housing for your study term at HTWG in Konstanz ranges from 260 – 350 € per month depending on your residence hall. You will also be required to pay a 500 € security deposit, which will be reimbursed to you upon your departure, as long as no damage has been done to the room. The security deposit (500 Euro) and the administrative fee (50 Euro) have to be paid before your arrival in Konstanz! Kitchen facilities are available in the dorms for students. The HTWG Konstanz and the University of Konstanz also have cafeterias where meals are available at reasonable prices.

  • Money

    You will be able to use your MasterCard and Visa debit card at most ATMs (Geldautomat) in Germany. You should inform your bank before you leave that you will be spending some time in Germany/Europe, so they will not freeze your account. It is also important to realize that many smaller shops and grocery stores in Germany do not accept credit cards, so it is wise to always carry enough cash with you to cover your purchases. Traveler’s checks can only be cashed at major banks in Germany and are not accepted in stores and restaurants.

    Because room rent, health insurance rates and many other expenses can only be debited directly from a German bank account, it is essential that you open a bank account here in Konstanz (free of charge). The International Office will assist you with the formalities during the Orientation Program.

  • Orientation Program

    The International Office offers an Orientation Program in March and September for all incoming international exchange students. During this program we will provide you with valuable information concerning your stay in Konstanz and introduce you to our institution, the city, and its surroundings. This orientation program is intended to help you to settle in smoothly. The dates are available in our Academic Calendar. The detailed orientation program is available here