Pre-departure and arrival –
Confident from day one.
Please find below useful information to prepare you for your study abroad experience. Once you arrive, we will provide you with further information about living and studying at WHU. We will also help you get familiar with the university, its surroundings, Germany, and your fellow students.
The WHU student initiative VIP (Vallendar Integration Program) supports the International Office by organizing trips and events during the welcome week, as well as throughout the semester. Among others, VIP organizes various teambuilding activities, barbecues, and pub crawls.
Please take care of visa matters as early as possible to start your semester abroad 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 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 can 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 visa, as a tourist visa is not valid for entering Germany to study. Tourist visas cannot be changed into student visas afterwards!
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 foreign office 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 orientation. To save time, we kindly ask you to gather the required documents before you leave your home country. Before booking your flight, please contact the IRO for information regarding the duration of your residence permit.
You need to bring the following documents for your Residence Permit application:
- 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 €670 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 health insurance in English or German
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 foreign office in Koblenz, which will result in additional costs.
Internships in Germany
Exchange students can 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 (when the permit is obtained via WHU). The spring semester officially runs from early January to end August but classes already finish in 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 can work up to 240 days part-time within the residence permit (when obtained via WHU). No extra paperwork is required.
Students joining us in either semester can do an internship that is required for their studies and relates to their field of study. This is considered student employment. You have to inform the foreign office if this will involve an extension of your stay. In some cases, the German Federal Employment Agency (ZAV) must be involved.
In all other cases you must apply for a work permit. Be sure to apply for your work permit as soon as you get confirmation from the company you will work for! The application process may take up to six weeks.
Working / doing an internship is normally not allowed within the scope of a visa – if 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 your exchange coordinator 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.
As an exchange student, you will have access to our Career Center and its events. Take the chance and get connected!
Contact: Carina Humpert
The German health care system prides itself on 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 offers nearly all medical treatments and prescriptions. When living in Germany, you are obliged to prove that you have sufficient medical coverage.
Therefore, upon arrival at WHU, all exchange students must provide proof of valid health insurance. The following aspects must be covered by your health insurance and be mentioned explicitly in your insurance documents:
- The period: Your entire stay in Germany has to be covered
- 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 mandatory for all exchange students in Germany.
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 a EU Member State and is sufficient as proof of insurance.
Non-EU citizens without an EHIC need to bring a confirmation letter written in English or German from their insurance provider. This confirmation letter must include all aspects mentioned above (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 aspects are not mentioned in your proof of health insurance, the authorities will not accept it.
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 have to purchase (additional) health insurance. The International Relations Office will assist you in this matter.
Contact: Susanne Huttenlocher
The official currency used in Germany is Euro (€)
MasterCard, Visa and American Express are usually accepted at major hotels. However, they are often not accepted at restaurants, supermarkets, or other stores. ATMs are easily accessible throughout Germany, and you should have no problem accessing your home credit or debit account.
In Germany, the common way to transfer money is bank transfers ("Überweisung"), standing orders ("Dauerauftrag") and direct debits ("Lastschrift"). It is very uncommon to write out a check to pay for your rent.
Usually, to open an account you need:
- Any 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
The procedure at the bank will be conducted in German. 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 Germany, 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 before closing the account (which means that you should not use your bank account card).
Concerning the cost of living, Germany lies within the EU average and is therefore not excessively expensive.
We estimate that your living expenses will be between €800 and €1200 per month. Your budget will mostly depend on your accommodation and how you manage your free time (e.g., traveling, eating out, concerts, using sports facilities, visiting museums and clubs).
Here is an example of an average exchange student's monthly budget:
- Accommodation: between €400 and €650
- Mobile Phone: €30
- Food: €200
- Laundry: €20
- Local transportation to Koblenz: €70 (monthly bus ticket)
- Health Insurance: mandatory for medical expenses and emergencies (approx. €50 if acquired in Germany)
- Miscellaneous (leisure activities): €300
For European exchange students:
WHU has been awarded an ERASMUS University Charta 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 coordinator at your home university.
For non-European exchange students:
We currently do not offer any scholarships for incoming students from oversea partner universities, but we encourage you to contact the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) where you will find further information on scholarship possibilities.
ERASMUS + 2014 - 2021
WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management has been awarded the ECHE Charta and is part of the ERASMUS+ network
- 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.
- ERASMUS University Charta
- ERASMUS Policy Statement (EPS)
- ERASMUS Student Charter
§ 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
Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst
Nationale Agentur für EU-Hochschulzusammenarbeit
More detailed information on the website of the European Commission
What to bring:
Please find below a list of things that you need to bring with you for your semester abroad at WHU.
- Letter of Acceptance
- Proof of Health Insurance
- Passport (or equivalent)
- Originals and copies of all travel documents
- Local currency (Euro)
- Cell Phone
- Adapter (In Germany two round pin plugs are used, and the voltage is 230V/50 Hz)
- Charger for all electronic equipment
- Weather-appropriate clothing (for warmer days but also for winter)
- Medication (if needed)
- Business casual clothes for class presentations and company visits
- Extra pair of glasses or contact lenses