Your application to study at HsKA was successful, and you have received your confirmation letter inviting you to join. There are some steps which you need to take next:
- When you are still at home, in order to come to Karlsruhe: Arranging your stay in Germany
- Once you arrive in Karlsruhe, so that you can start to study: Organizing your life at Karlsruhe
When you finish your studies at HsKA you also need to organize a few things.
Arranging your stay in Germany
After receiving your offer of admission ("Zulassung") from the HsKA, you will have to take the following steps:
Get information about entry to and residence in Germany.
- Students from EU member states: no visum required. Once you are in Karlsruhe, you need to register at Bürgerbüro (local authorities).
- Students from the following states: Andorra, Canada, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, and the USA: no visum required. Once you are in Karlsruhe, you need to contact the Aliens' Office for a residence permit.
- Students from Non-EU countries: Apply for a visa FOR STUDY PURPOSES at the German embassy or consulate in your country or the area where you live. A visa will, in most cases, be valid for only three months after your arrival in Germany and will have to be extended once you are in Karlsruhe.
Are you unsure if you need a visa? On the Federal Foreign Office website (Auswärtiges Amt), you will find the comprehensive and updated list of countries with visa requirements and also a first overview of the procedure. Then use the list of German embassies worldwide to contact the embassy in your country for details, such as specific requirements, the procedure which you need to observe, the necessary forms, and other information. Get the information as quickly as possible, because the visa process can take several weeks!
You cannot get a student visa after you have entered Germany without visa, also a tourist visa cannot be converted into a student visa or residence permit for study purposes. Therefore, we must urgently warn you against entering Germany as a tourist, or without visa! Because without student visa or residence permit for study purposes, you cannot be registered as a student but have to return to your home country to submit the student visa application.
Remember that it can be time-consuming to obtain the documents which are required for the visa process: e.g. a valid passport, proof of adequate funds, a health certificate by a doctor (these requirements can vary with each country, therefore check the embassy website to know which documents you need).
Check with a health insurance provider in your country if your health insurance is valid for studying in Germany also, or if you can apply for a special health insurance which is accepted in Germany. Alternatively, you can apply for health insurance upon arrival in Karlsruhe (cost: approx. 80 Euros a month). This is very important! Without health insurance, you cannot be registered as a student.
Arrange your trip to Germany
Most airlines do not allow passengers to take more than two checked suitcases and one carry-on bag onto the airplane. Therefore, although you may be coming for a year or longer, you will have to pack lightly. Make sure you book your ticket well in advance of your trip. Good sources for plane tickets at student prices are Travel Cuts or STA Travel.
Prepare your life at Karlsruhe
You will find an overview about everyday matters such as accommodation or food at Student Life. Exchange students or students in international programs will receive a special information package in due course.
After arriving in Karlsruhe, you should:
1) Visit the International Office at HsKA
Ms Lea Scholz is your contact person upon arrival.
You will receive a package with valuable information and documents, such as maps of Karlsruhe, your residence contract (if arranged with Ms Scholz), your acceptance letter (Zulassungsbescheid) from Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, registration form, and more.
Please carry your Admission Letter (original) always, to present to the different authorities.
2) Open a bank account
You will need a "Girokonto" (checking account, as opposed to a "Sparkonto" savings account) to transfer the study fees. Also, it is used to refund your hall of residence deposit once you leave, or to credit your salary if you have a small job, and a possible tax rebate.
A list of banks has been provided to you in your file. You should always compare rates – a Girokonto should be free of charge. Ask for special student rates.
You will have to wait for a few weeks to receive your bank card, but if you have to use your account in the meantime (withdraw or deposit money), you can talk to the bank officers at the counter.
Remember: If your account is overdraft, you will get a certain amount of credit by the bank but you are required to pay interest for this loaned money.
When you leave Karlsruhe, it is a good idea to keep your bank account open for your entire stay in Germany and close it from your home country, in case you will receive late refunds. Take the appropriate forms for closing your account with you. Please inform your bank of your valid address after leaving Karlsruhe.
3) Get health insurance
This is important, because students who have no valid health insurance coverage are de-registered ("exmatrikulieren") by law and cannot continue their studies or sit exams.
Health insurance agreements exist with all EU member states and most of the other European countries. Social security arrangements exist with some countries, e.g. Turkey or Tunisia. Students who are insured at their home country and who present one of the following certificates: E 111, E 106, E 109, E 120, E 121 and E 122, are exempted from the obligatory German student health insurance. Students from other countries, check with your health insurance company, before coming to Karlsruhe, if your health insurance is valid and accepted in Germany. You will have to bring a letter clearly stating that you are covered (your name, your parents' names if applicable, dates of coverage, and any other relevant information has to be mentioned in the letter).
- If you have one of these certificates, or if you are already insured via a scholarship, please make sure that you bring it with you. It must be valid for the whole period of your stay. You need to present the certificate at a health insurance company to obtain an exemption certificate to show at HsKA, in order to register as a student. Ask for at least two original copies of this exemption, as you might have to hand them in at different institutions (some do not accept photocopies).
- If you have no valid health insurance and are not older than 30 years, you can join the German Student Health Insurance. The fee amounts to about 80 € per month. Insurance is offered by AOK, TK and other Gesetzliche Krankenkassen.
- Students older than 30 years: you will have to arrange for coverage through AOK or a private insurance company (e.g. Union Versicherungsdienst GmbH, Hanse-Merkur Reise-Krankenversicherung, Victoria Krankenversicherung AG, Inter Krankenversicherung). This coverage will probably be a bit more expensive than the student rate.
Please get information directly at the health insurance companies about available rates and application procedure.
When you need medical treatment, you present your insurance card to your doctor. Insurance pays costs for medical and dental treatment, prescription medication, medical adjuvants and aids, stays in hospital, treatment by therapists, rehabilitation measures. Sometimes the patient must pay a contribution towards these costs. Check with insurance and doctor to make sure that the treatment is paid by the insurance.
4) Register as a resident
Check the list given to you for the address of the city office.
All residents of Germany have to register their address. Students from EU/EFTA countries apply for a "Freizügigkeitsbescheinigung" (certificate of free movement). Non-european students need to get their visa extended into a residence permit. Once the visa has been extended, you have to show your passport at the Studentensekretariat (Student Registry).
Please get an appointment at the city's Ausländerbehörde or Bürgerbüro (Aliens Office), this can be done online.
You will have to register ("anmelden") withing your first week in Germany. Take all of your documents with you as informed by the Aliens' Office, including visa, passport, rental contract, Zulassung (admission letter), and registration form.
Please inform the Bürgerbüro if you move during your stay in Karlsruhe.
5) Register at the university ("Immatrikulieren")
- have paid the study fees (payslip for the transfer is included in the admission package)
- have a certificate of health insurance coverage or exemption
- have a valid residence permit.
In order to register as a student, you will have to fill out the "Antrag auf Zulassung". For the exchange students, the course of study is "EZ: Eingeschränkte Zulassung". You will also need one photograph (passport-size) and have to hand in all documents listed on the Zulassung.
Submit your completeyl filled-in immatriculation form, the passport photo and the certificate of health insurance coverage / exemption to the Studentische Abteilung (Student Registry) on the ground floor.
You will receive the Campus Card (student ID card) once you have submitted all your documents and once the fees have been received. You will be informed by us as soon as the Campus Card is available to be collected. By using the student ID number printed on the Card, and your birth date, you will be able to use the online system to print out the Immatrikulationsbescheinigung (proof of enrolment), and other documents.
6) Move in to Student hall of residence
If you have chosen to reserve a room in a hall of residence managed by the Studentenwerk (Student Services):
Collect your contract at:
Abteilung Studentisches Wohnen
Ms Wroblewski / Ms Knobl
Office hours: Mon to Fr 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Thur also 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Important: Take the following with you:
- Approx. 750 Euros cash as the deposit for your room and your first month's rent
- Your bank details (for the rents of the following months)
- Two passport photos (if not yet sent along with the hostel form before)
If you have paid 280 Euros to HsKA before your arrival in Karlsruhe:
Give the details of your German bank account and show your signed room contract to Ms Scholz. This reservation deposit will be transferred back to you, less a deduction of 30 Euros for administrative fee.
You successfully applied one or two semesters ago and had a good and successful time - as we trust - studying at HsKA. Before you will leave to go home again please take the following steps:
Fill in the "Antrag auf Exmatrikulation" (de-registration form) available at Downloads or at the Student Registry in building R.
Please also remember to:
- check out at the Academic Library. You will get a receipt that there are no books outstanding.
- submit the filled-in de-registration form at the Student Registry.
- give notice of departure at the Bürgerbüro (Aliens' Office).
- close your bank account once all outstanding credit, e.g. returned deposit, has been received.
- fix a meeting with the hall of residence caretaker or your landlord to return the accommodation and the key. If you made a deposit you need to arrange for it to be returned. The deposit is returned to its full amount only if the accommodation is returned in good condition.
- inform the Student Registry of your current home address.