Study in Germany –

Diversity and heritage at the heart of Europe.

Study in Germany

Germany has long been celebrated for its level of excellence in the fields of science, technology, and engineering - but what else makes it special? Lying at the heart of Europe, Germany is a culturally diverse country that is both cosmopolitan and tolerant, and ranked as one of the safest places in the world, offering a high quality of living.  Large numbers of international companies continue to base their headquarters in the country, while many major cities are home to thriving start-up scenes. Access to destinations across Europe is quick and easy thanks to the many international airports, thus making Germany one of the most popular European destinations for people around the world looking to study, live, and work. Germany also offers a wealth of leisure and sporting activities such as hiking, canoeing, and football. Fans of German motorsport can visit world famous car manufacturers such as Porsche or BMW, and lovers of the arts can take advantage of Germany’s rich history as the birthplace of infamous artists, painters, and composers.

Germany is renowned for its diverse landscapes, from beautiful woodlands to snow-topped peaks! Germany borders nine neighboring European countries, with its regions dissected by the Danube, Main, and Rhine river valleys. It’s central and southern regions are home to thick forests and mountains such as the famous Black Forest and the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest summit, at the Austrian border. Traveling north, the landscape flattens as it reaches the North Sea.

Germany is a democratic, federal parliamentary republic. Federal legislative power is divided between the elected Bundestag (German parliament) and the appointed Bundesrat (the representative body of Germany’s regional states). Germany itself is divided into 16 federal states, each with many of its own individual regulations and rules.

Germany has a temperate yet wet climate, where extreme fluctuations are unusual. Rain falls throughout the year and winters and generally mild, and summers moderately hot, depending on the region.

Germany has the largest national economy in Europe and is a leading exporter of machinery, vehicles, chemicals, and electrical equipment. The country enjoys low unemployment rates and benefits from a highly skilled labor force. In fact, 54 of the ranked 'Forbes Global 2000' world's largest companies are headquartered in Germany including Volkswagen Group, Allianz, Daimler, and Siemens.

The main language is German, however throughout the country you may find different regional accents and dialects.

Germany observes one time zone: Central European Time (CET) and Central European Summer Time (CEST) when Daylight Saving Time (DST) is in force.

Pre-departure & arrival at WHU

Everything you need to know –
Essentials for living and studying in Germany.

All set to study at WHU but not sure which visa you need? Would like some background on German culture before you arrive? We have put together some helpful information to get you started.

Visa:

Visa matters should be taken care of as early as possible to start your first semester at WHU without any problems. As you must apply for the visa from your home country (or country of residence), we suggest starting this process at least two to three months before your departure - visas are never issued in Germany!

Please contact your local German Consulate or visit their website to find out if you need a visa before entering Germany/Europe. You can find a current overview on the website of the Federal Foreign Office

The visa will usually be issued for three months, regardless of the actual length of your stay.  Once you have entered Germany with a visa, you must apply for a residence permit covering the entirety of your stay.

If you have to apply for a visa, please make sure to apply for a student/national visa, as a tourist visa is not valid for entering Germany to study. Tourist visas cannot be exchanged for a student visa afterwards.

Chinese/Vietnamese/Mongolian Applicants:

In addition to a student visa, students from China, Vietnam, and Mongolia are also required to apply for an APS certificate. This must be done before applying for the student/national visa. More information can be found on the APS website. (APS China; APS Vietnam; APS Mongolia)

This process can take many weeks to complete, so it is recommended to begin this an additional two to three months before the visa application (therefore a total of at least 4-6 months before departure).

Residence Permit:

All Non-EU citizens staying in Germany for more than three months must officially obtain a residence permit after entering Germany. You will need to apply for your student residence permit at the local foreigner’s office in Koblenz/Düsseldorf after your arrival. To save time, it is recommended to gather the required documents before you leave your home country.

The following documents for the Residence Permit application are required:

  • One biometric passport-sized photo
  • Valid passport photocopy (just the page with the photo and personal data – in case you have a visa also a photocopy of your visa page)
  • Photocopy of WHU Acceptance Letter
  • Photocopy (or print out) of recently-dated proof of sufficient funds (at least €720 per month) in English or German (bank statement, account statement, certificate of scholarship and/or parental guarantee including your parents' bank statement)
  • Photocopy of proof of valid travel health insurance in English or German

All non-EU citizens who do not need a visa to enter Germany should apply for the residence permit only after arrival in Germany. If you apply for your residence permit in your home country/country of residence, you will have to apply again at the local foreign office in Koblenz/Düsseldorf, which will result in additional costs and delays.

After Graduation:

International graduates who complete university level education in Germany and are seeking gainful employment post-graduation are eligible for a jobseeker’s visa. Thus, they are able to stay in Germany for up to 18 months to seek employment relating to their qualifications.

It is important to have valid health insurance or coverage, during your time in Germany. Please be aware that travel insurance obtained for the visa application is only valid for arrival and is not sufficient for longer stays.

European citizens who are traveling or living within the European Union are eligible to receive a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from their health insurance company in their home country. The EHIC simplifies the procedure when receiving medical assistance during a stay in an EU Member State and is sufficient as proof of insurance.

Non-EU citizens without an EHIC need to provide a confirmation letter written in English or German from their insurance provider. This confirmation letter must include the following aspects: period, region, emergency coverage and coverage for all medical expenses, as well as your name (i.e., the name of a parent or another family member is not sufficient). If any of these five points are not mentioned in your proof of health insurance, the authorities will not accept it.

A list of European countries with which Germany has a social insurance benefits agreement can be found here.

If you do not have health insurance or if the aspects mentioned above are not or cannot be included in the confirmation letter from your home insurance company, you will be required to purchase additional health insurance.

MBA Students:

International MBA students can also find insurance with online health insurance companies such as www.mawista.com, in particular the Mawista Science Health Insurance. This health insurance (monthly cost is around €45) is valid worldwide (meaning you will also be covered during the International Modules) except in your home country. You can apply for this in your home country before you arrive.

The official currency used in Germany is the Euro (€). MasterCard, Visa, and American Express are usually accepted but you may find in some restaurants or shops that only cash is accepted. ATMs are easily accessible throughout Germany, so you should have no problem accessing your home credit or debit account.

Banking

To open an account you need:

  • Passport
  • A document with your home address (the best will be any of the documents you received from WHU showing your home address)
  • Proof of legal residence (you get this by registering at the town hall) – with an address in Vallendar or Düsseldorf
  • E-mail-account

 

Budget

An important aspect to consider when living in Germany is how much it will all cost. We estimate basic living expenses to be €800 to €1200 per month in Vallendar, depending on your personal budget, and considerably higher in bigger cities such as Düsseldorf. This will likely vary depending on the choice of accommodation, where you shop, and social activities.

For example, per month we estimate:

  • Accommodation: €400-€650 (€600-€700 in Düsseldorf)
  • Mobile Phone: €30
  • Food: €200
  • Laundry: €20
  • Local transportation to Koblenz: €70 (monthly bus ticket) / Düsseldorf MBA students have access to a free NRW Semesterticket, allowing students to use any public bus, train, tram, or subway within the region of North Rhine Westphalia.
  • Health Insurance: mandatory for medical expenses and emergencies (approx.€50-€80 if acquired in Germany)
  • Miscellaneous (leisure activities): €300+

While the following items may seem obvious, it is actually surprising what gets left behind! We have created a helpful list to help you when packing for your studies in Germany:

Essentials:

  • Letter of Acceptance
  • Proof of Health Insurance
  • Passport (or equivalent)
  • Originals and copies of all travel documents
  • Local currency (Euro)

Other:

  • Mobile phone
  • Laptop / Tablet
  • Chargers
  • Earphones
  • Adapter for power sockets (can be ordered easily online but we recommend purchasing these before arrival)
  • Clothing for all weather conditions (not only do we have hot summers but also snow in winter!)
  • Sports clothing / swimwear
  • Umbrella
  • Medication (if necessary) / toiletries
  • Business casual and formal clothing for presentations and company visits
  • Sunglasses
  • Backpack
Don't forget!

It may also be a good idea to scan and print copies of your passport and other important documents, should you lose your passport, or if you need copies for various things such as setting up a bank account or a new mobile phone contract.

Click here for directions to Campus Vallendar and click here for directions to Campus Düsseldorf.

For all new arrivals at WHU, integration is key for a smooth transition into life on campus as a Bachelor, Master, MBA, or exchange student from a partner university. WHU strives to make the process as effortless as possible, offering a range of events and activities designed to offer important information while helping you network with your peers.

In the first few weeks after arrival, Bachelor and Master students take part in various activities designed to support integration, such as presentations, student initiatives, language placement tests, campus tours, and in-depth introductions to the program structure. There are also a number of fun social events such as city tours, BBQ’S, boat trips, and even teambuilding on high ropes – all designed to help you make friends and bond with your new classmates! MBA students also receive important information during their first ‘Welcome and Orientation Meeting’.

MyWHU, the university intranet, is also available to students prior to arrival and contains weekly updates leading up to the start of studies. MyWHU is a valuable resource containing website links, telephone numbers, FAQs, and much more, helping to keep students connected and well-informed.

Exchange Students:

Exchanges students (known as “Tauschies”) participate in a wide variety of activities during their ‘Welcome Week’, helping them get to know more about not only the German culture, but also about the cultures of the other exchange students. The WHU integration team in Vallendar organizes BBQs, speed dating, a pub crawl through Koblenz, and the Koblenz Rally that starts with a boat trip from Vallendar to Koblenz and sets small challenges for students to solve in teams. Exchange students are sure to enjoy lots of fun and sociable activities during the first few days at WHU and beyond!

Population: 82 million

Capital city: Berlin

Religion: Germany is a diverse country and home to a multiple variety of faiths. However, a large percentage recognize themselves as Christian, with the state of Rheinland-Pfalz home to the greatest number of religious-related public holidays.

Food: Germany is much more than bratwurst and beer! Germans take pride in baking a wide variety of breads, often enjoying bread, cheeses, and cold meats for breakfast. Currywurst is a popular street food snack that originated in Berlin in 1949, and is a mixture of ketchup and curry powder and served over grilled pork sausage. Perhaps lesser known is Spätzle, a German form of pasta that is simple yet delicious and often served as a side to meat dishes.

Architecture: Steeped in history, Germany was once part of the great Roman Empire, and has also been heavily influenced by its role in both the First and Second World Wars. This can be seen in a vast number of towns and cities with interesting historical buildings and ruins.  Amphitheaters remain as testament to the ancient Roman civilization, and Germany also boasts a number of Gothic cathedrals such as Cologne Cathedral. Numerous medieval castles can also be found throughout the German countryside and close to both campuses, such as Burg Eltz which is just a 30-minute drive from Campus Vallendar.

The Arts: One of the most well-known examples of classic German art is the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.  However, Germany houses hundreds of museums and art galleries, with its history in the visual arts as varied as its architectural monuments. Germany prides itself on being the birthplace of classical composers such as Beethoven and Bach, and infamous poets and writers such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who it is believed to have slept in one of the rooms at WHU during one of his visits to the region.

Sport: Perhaps one of the most well-known aspects of German culture is its deep and enduring love for sport! The Bundesliga, the German football championship, attracts some of the biggest attendance numbers for any professional sports leagues in the world. Germans are great fans of the outdoors, with many enjoying a hike at the weekend, or swimming in a lake or outdoor pool.

Celebrations: Perhaps one of the most famous and exciting events of the year for the people of Vallendar, Düsseldorf, and the NRW region, is Carnival. Starting officially on the 11th of November, the celebrations get into full swing the week before Shrove Tuesday with a string of performances and comedic acts, with the main spectacle taking place on the Monday or "Rosenmontag". This features parades, floats, marching bands, and dancing. Cologne is renowned for its huge Karneval celebrations, and it is common to see many people in a variety of costumes out on the streets partying!

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Student services

Student wellbeing – A helping hand on and off campus.

WHU is focused on helping new arrivals feel welcome and integrated into their new life at the school and in Germany as a whole. To facilitate this, each student is offered individual guidance and assistance on a regular basis, whether through a student 'buddy' or professional counseling services.

The WHU buddy program provides new exchange students and Bachelor students with a link to current full-time students.

By assigning each a student buddy, new arrivals receive a point of contact for day-to-day queries and someone who is familiar with culture, attitude, and expectations to help them to integrate into WHU life. Student buddies who are part of the program often invite the new students to dinners at their houses, helping them meet new people.

Incoming MBA students are paired with those from the previous intake, and contact details are shared before arrival in order to facilitate conversation and a point of contact from day one.

WHU aims to help all students that require further assistance, with on-site student counselling at Campus Vallendar. Designed to be a safe and confidential environment, students have access to professional counsellors to talk about or express any concerns they may have, whether academic or personal.

WHU supports the mental and emotional wellbeing of all students, from dealing with home sickness, understanding lectures, or managing a workload.

Integration in Vallendar

Caring for the community –
Bringing the international population of WHU closer to home.

With a large mix of nationalities and cultures on campus, integration is key to success of the WHU community. The school focuses on international integration through the following initiatives:

Integration@Vallendar: together, the City of Vallendar and WHU’s International Relations Office (IRO) organize a series of theme nights to bring together those who live, work, and study in Vallendar. Facilitating friendly dialogue through numerous dinners, quizzes, and craft activities, the goal is to further integration of international students into the WHU community and the City of Vallendar. The IRO also organizes an International Dinner at Campus Düsseldorf for MBA exchange students.

VIP (Vallendar Integration Program): familiarizing exchange students with German culture and other WHU students, student initiative VIP organizes several cultural and networking events, and offers social support to exchange students in their new environment. VIP organizes cultural events during the semesters with visits to Oktoberfest in Munich or the many Christmas markets, and the ‘Tauschie’ running dinner that takes place once a semester, allowing exchange students the chance to meet new people while enjoying homemade local food.









Ambassadors

Our Study Abroad Ambassadors –
Their experiences, in their words.

Found all the information you need but would still like to speak to someone with first-hand experience? Our Study Abroad Ambassadors can answer your questions and queries after spending time themselves at WHU as exchange students.

Learn more about our ambassadors

Student life at WHU is much more than just studying!

WHU students not only study hard, they play hard too! Student life on campus is an exciting place to be, as students participate in a wide variety of extracurricular activities. Whether it is sport, participating in a theater production, playing the piano, debating, helping the local community, or starting a business, WHU offers something for everyone. 

Student Life

Exchange programs at WHU

Take part in an Exchange Program and experience Germany’s top business school.

Spending a semester abroad is a unique and once in a lifetime experience. A semester abroad with WHU not only benefits exchange students academically and personally, but also opens them to the wider WHU network and friendships that often last for life!  Your study program decides which campus your will be based at during your exchange: Campus Vallendar or Campus Düsseldorf. Courses run in parallel with the program studied at your home university. WHU welcomes around 120 exchange students per semester from more than 200 partner universities worldwide.

LEARN MORE

Exchange programs at WHU

Take part in an Exchange Program and experience Germany’s top business school.

Spending a semester abroad is a unique and once in a lifetime experience. A semester abroad with WHU not only benefits exchange students academically and personally, but also opens them to the wider WHU network and friendships that often last for life!  Your study program decides which campus your will be based at during your exchange: Campus Vallendar or Campus Düsseldorf. Courses run in parallel with the program studied at your home university. WHU welcomes around 120 exchange students per semester from more than 200 partner universities worldwide.

LEARN MORE

Further information

Need more info? –
Download useful material here.

Want more information to read at a later date? You can find some helpful downloads here including the international student handbook, fact sheets, and relevant presentations.