Pre-departure & Arrival @ WHU

Welcome Week

The International Relations Office is dedicated to helping you integrate and feel confident from the first day on. We are your first point of contact before your exchange starts, upon your arrival in Germany and during your time at WHU. For any concern or question do not hesitate to contact us.

Our welcome week will help you to get familiar with us, Germany, WHU students and the others exchange students:

  • Our Welcome Meeting and Information Sessions will provide you with information about living and studying (residence permit, choice of courses…).
  • Our Welcome Reception will give you the opportunity to present yourself (and a local speciality from your country!) and to meet the students and staff.
  • Our Regional Tour will show you the beauty of our region.

The WHU student initiative "V.I.P" supports the International Office by organizing trips and events – during the welcome week as well as throughout the term. They are for example organizing a Tauschie-Rallye in Koblenz, a teambuilding, a barbecue (depending on the season) and a pub crawl.

Health insurance

The German health care system has the reputation of being one of the best in the world. There is an extensive network of hospitals and doctors covering even the remotest areas of Germany.

Medical facilities are equipped with the latest technology and the national health insurance system provides nearly full coverage for most medical treatments and medicines. Almost everybody in Germany has access to this system, irrespective of income or social status.

The downside is that medical costs are high. Health care costs – for doctors, hospital stays and even medicines – are among the most expensive in the world. Any type of health care in state or private hospitals in Germany has to be paid by you or your health insurance!

When living in Germany, it is therefore extremely important to have an adequate health insurance, as a serious illness may otherwise cause huge medical expenses for you. You are obliged to prove that you have sufficient medical coverage.

Upon their arrival at WHU, all exchange students have to provide proof of health insurance. The following aspects have to be covered by your health insurance and included in the confirmation:

  • The period of time: coverage of the entire stay in Germany
  • The region: Germany has to be covered
  • Emergencies have to be covered
  • All medical expenses have to be covered

Please note that health insurance with full coverage for sickness, emergencies and all medical expenses is absolutely mandatory for all exchange students in Germany.

Those of you who need to apply for a student visa, might be required to already show proof of your health insurance when applying for a visa. Please check the health insurance requirements for your student visa application or contact your local embassy.

There is an agreement for European Union citizens which guarantees free medical treatment in Germany. This means, European citizens who are travelling or living within the European Union receive a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from their home health insurance company, which simplifies the procedure when receiving medical assistance during their stay in a EU Member State. The European Health Insurance Card replaces forms E111, E111B, E128 and E119.

Non-EU citizens need sufficient health insurance as well. If you have a health insurance for your time in Germany from a company in your home country, you need to bring a confirmation letter written in English or German from your insurance provider. This confirmation letter must include all the aspects mentioned above (time period, region, emergency coverage and coverage for all medical expenses) as well as your own name (i.e. the name of a parent or another family member is not sufficient). If any of these 5 aspects is not mentioned in your proof of health insurance, the authorities will not accept this proof. 

In case you do not have health insurance or if the above-mentioned aspects are not or cannot be included in the confirmation letter from your home insurance company, you have to purchase (additional) health insurance. The International Relations Office will assist you in this matter and can be contacted with health insurance related matters also before your arrival.




Photo of Franziska  Römhild

Franziska Römhild

Exchange Coordinator Europe Program Coordinator European Programs



Please take care of visa matters as early as possible in order to be able to start your term abroad without any problems. As you have to apply for the visa from your home country (or country of residence), we suggest to start this process at least about two months prior to your departure from your home country (or country of residence). Please always contact your local German Consulate or visit their website to find out if you need a visa prior to your trip to Germany/Europe.

EU citizens and some other nationalities (currently for example students from Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, Republic of Korea, New Zealand and the USA) do not need a visa prior to entering Germany. So, just pack your suitcase, book a flight and come to Germany!

Those who do need a visa (currently for example students from China, India, Thailand and Turkey) must apply in their home country as visas are never issued in Germany! For your student visa application you will need the letter of acceptance (“Immatrikulationsbescheinigung”) from WHU, which you will receive after your application has been processed, as well as some other documents (please ask at your local German Consulate for more information or check the mentioned website). The visa will normally be issued for a period of three months, regardless of the time you will be staying in Germany. Once you entered Germany with a visa, you will apply for a residence permit covering the entire time of your stay.

If you have to apply for a visa, please make sure to apply for a student visa, as tourist visas cannot be changed into student visas afterwards and a tourist visa is not valid for entering Germany in order to study.

Residence Permit

All Non-EU citizens staying in Germany for more than 3 months must officially obtain a residence permit after entering Germany. You will need to apply for your student residence permit at the local alien office (Ausländerbehörde) in Koblenz after your arrival. The International Relations Office will assist you in this matter and will inform you in detail about the process during the orientation days. In order to save time, we kindly ask you and strongly suggest that you gather the required documents before you leave your home country. This will save you a lot of time and problems. Prior to booking your flight, please contact the IRO for information regarding the duration of your residence permit.

You need to gather the following documents for your Residence Permit:

  1. One biometric, passport-sized photo
  2. Valid passport photocopy (just the page with the photo and personal date - in case you have a visa also a photocopy of your visa page)
  3. Photocopy of WHU Acceptance Letter ("Immatrikulationsbescheinigung")
  4. Photocopy (or print out) of recently-dated proof of sufficient funds (at least 670 Euros per month) in English or in German (bank statement, account statement, certificate of scholarship and/or parent’s certificate including parents’ bank statement)
  5. Photocopy of proof of valid health insurance in English or German (mandatory data needed: confirmation letter specifying coverage for sickness, emergencies and all medical expenses, insurance period (whole time you will spend in Germany/Europe), region or country of coverage, your name).

Please gather these documents before leaving your home country.

We recommend all Non-EU citizens who do not need a visa to enter Germany to apply for your residence permit only after your arrival in Germany. If you already apply for your residence permit in your home country / country of residence, you will have to apply again at our local alien office in Koblenz, which will result in additional costs.

Internships in Germany

Some exchange students want to do an internship after attending WHU. For all non-EU citizens it is important that the internship is legally permitted.

Option 1 (spring semester only):
Students staying at WHU during the spring semester can do a full-time internship of up to 120 days within their residence permit (applied via WHU). The spring semester officially runs from early-January to end-August but classes already finish early-May giving you time to do an internship or travel afterwards until the end of August. No extra paperwork is required.


Option 2 (spring and fall semester):
Students joining WHU during the fall or spring semester have the opportunity to work up to 240 days part-time within the residence permit they applied through WHU. No extra paperwork is required. 

Option 3:
Students joining us in either semester have the opportunity to do an internship which is required for their studies and relates to their field of study as student employment. You have to inform the foreign office about the extension of your stay. In some cases the German Federal Employment Agency (ZAV) has to be involved.


Option 4:
In all other cases you have to apply for a work permit. Be sure to apply for your work permit as soon as you get the acceptance of the company! The application process may take up to six weeks.

For additional information about the necessary steps, please contact the International Relations Office.



Working / doing an internship is normally not allowed within the scope of a visa – so in case you have a visa that already covers your whole stay in Germany AND you would like to work / do an internship during that period of time, you will probably have to apply for a residence permit (or work permit – please see different options above) in addition to the visa. Please contact the IRO (International Relations Office) at WHU if this is the case for you, as we can give you an update about the most recent options.

For additional information about the necessary steps, please contact the International Relations Office. More information on this topic will also be included in your welcome package which you receive upon arrival at WHU.

Information as of 06/2016


Photo of Carina  Humpert

Carina Humpert

Exchange Coordinator Canada, Latin America, Africa, Asia (except China & Singapore)



Since 2002 the official currency used in Germany is Euro (€)


Credit Cards

MasterCard, Visa and America Express are usually accepted at major hotels, however, they are often not accepted at the restaurants, supermarkets or other stores. ATMs are ubiquitous throughout Germany and you should have no problem accessing your home credit or debit account.

Transferring money

In Germany the common way to transfer money are transfers ("Überweisung"), standing orders ("Dauerauftrag") and direct debits ("Lastschrift"). It is very uncommon to write out a check to pay for your rent for example.


Usually, in order to open an account you need:

- Passport
- Any document with your home address (the best will be any of the letters 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

Everything will be completed in the German language. If you are an exchange student in Vallendar, you can bring the necessary documents to the branch of Sparkasse bank in Vallendar and we will arrange an appointment. 


Before leaving, you have to close the bank account. Just go to the bank a few days before your departure and tell them that you will be leaving. You must not have any account movements four days prior to closing the account (which means that you should not use your bank account card).


Incoming students

For European Exchange Students:

WHU has an ERASMUS University Charta awarded by the European Commission. Our ERASMUS Code is D KOBLENZ03. If your home university is also a university with an ERASMUS ECHE Charta, you might be eligible to apply for ERASMUS+ funding. Please contact your home university coordinator in this regard. 

For European Exchange Students:

WHU has an ERASMUS University Charta awarded by the European Commission. Our ERASMUS Code is D KOBLENZ03. If your home university is also a university with an ERASMUS ECHE Charta, you might be eligible to apply for ERASMUS+ funding. Please contact your home university coordinator in this regard. 

For Overseas Students:

Currently, we do not offer any scholarships for incoming students, but we would like to ask you to contact the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) where you can find further information on scholarship possibilities.

Get to DAAD

Outgoing students

ERASMUS + 2014 - 2020



WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management participates in the European Union’s ERASMUS+ program.

  •       Every Higher Education Institution (HEI), which participates or would like to participate in the Erasmus+ Program, needs to be in possession of a valid Erasmus Charta (ECHE).

  •       The ECHE is granted by the European Commission. It proves that a HEI meets all requirements in order to be able to participate successfully in the ERASMUS+ Program. According to the prerequisites set by the European Commission, both ECHE and European Policy Statement (EPS) have to be published on the website of the HEI. 



    §     Liability clause

    This project has been financed with support from the European Commission. The author is responsible for the content of this publication. The Commission is not liable for the use of the content.

    Further information about the ERASMUS+ mobility programs can be requested from

    Deutschen Akademischen Austauschdienst

    Nationale Agentur für EU-Hochschulzusammenarbeit

    Kennedyallee 50

    53115 Bonn

    Tel.: +49(0)228/882-8877

    Fax: +49(0)228/882-555




    -> More detailed information on the website of the European Commission


Photo of Maike  Reutler

Maike Reutler

Assistant International Relations European Programs Coordinator Scholarship Coordinator




Cost of living

With respect to the cost of living, Germany lies within the EU average and is therefore not excessively expensive.

We estimate that your living costs will be between 800 € and 1200 € per month. Your budget will mostly depend on your accomodation and how you manage your free time (e.g. travelling, eating out, opera, concerts, using sports facilities, visiting museums and clubs).

Here is an example of an average exchange student’s monthly budget:

  • Accommodation: between 335 € and 600 €
  • Mobile Phone: 30 €
  • Food: 200 € per month
  • Phone card: 15 €
  • Laundry: 20 €
  • Copies: 20€
  • Local transportation to Koblenz: 70 € (monthly bus ticket)
  • Health Insurance: mandatory for medical expenses and emergencies (approx. 80 € if acquired in Germany)
  • Miscellaneous (leisure activities): 300 €

Checklist what to bring

Here are some general ideas on what to bring for your stay at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Mangement.

  • Letter of Acceptance from WHU
  • Proof of Health Insurance
  • Passport or other identification document
  • Plane tickets and flight information
  • Originals and copies from all travel documents
  • Local Currency (Euros)
  • Camera
  • Laptop
  • Adapter (In Germany two round pin plugs are used and the voltage is 230V/50 Hz)
  • Cloths for warmth and cold
  • Umbrella
  • Medication (if needed)
  • Business casual cloths for class presentations and company visits
  • Extra pair of glasses or contact lenses
  • Tourist guide
  • Addresses and photos of family and friends
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Sunglasses
  • Backpack
  • MP3 Player

Study Abroad Ambassadors

Looking for hands-on advice from former exchange students or WHU students? Ask our Study Abroad Ambassadors!