You are here: Home Studies Prospective students

Prospective international students

This website explains important steps you need to do as a prospective international student, as soon as you have been admitted to the University.

Step 1: Open blocked account

International students need a so-called "blocked account" ("Sperrkonto") at a German Bank in order to prove their financial ability to cover all costs related to living and studying in Germany.

The processes and scenarios are very well explained by this website which contains also lots of hints for you:

You need to start as early as possible with the process of opening the blocked account as it can take weeks or months! It is also an essential requirement to apply for your student visa (depending on which country your are from).

Further information on how to open a blocked account and what documents are needed can be found e.g. at Deutsche Bank (direct link).

Note: In some cases applications to open a blocked account are rejected. In order to avoid that (losing valuable time) do not forget to attach your Bank statement containing the last 3 months (current bank account from which you want to transfer the amount to the Deutsche Bank blocked account). Note also that Deutsche Bank only accepts originals (not copies).

See also: Checklist for opening a bank account/blocked account for foreign students


Step 2: Book your student visa appointment

If you come from EU or EFTA countries, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea or the United States you can enter Germany without a visa. If you stay in the country for more than three months, you can apply in Germany for the residence permit you will then need. The same applies for students from Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino. They may enter without a visa if they do not intend to subsequently work in Germany.

Students of other nationalities must have a student visa. The visa must be obtained from the German embassy in the student's home country.

Student visa processing times differ from country to country and from embassy to embassy. They can be 4 weeks or 3 month or even longer. Depending on which country you are from, the procedures and deadlines differ! So please make sure you are well informed early on.

Please keep in mind that you may book your visa appointment as early as possible, e.g. already during the admission process. Booking an appointment only after you received all the necessary documents, e.g. the formal admission letter might be too late, as the appointments are normally taken weeks ahead.

The official admission letter of the University of Freiburg will be issued in June and you will receive a scanned copy via e-mail immediately. In some countries the scanned copy is good enough for visa application. Other countries or Embassies however require the hardcopy of the admission letter which will be dispatched via regular mail immediately, too. It will take a few days or weeks to reach you, depending on where you live. This means you should book an appointment at the Embassy for either July or August.

Best is to check out the websites of the responsible authorities in advance (a few mentioned here):


More information about student visas for Germany (required documents, processes, deadlines, general hints): 

IMPORTANT: Do not in any case enter Germany with a tourist visa! For more detailed information, please click here.


Step 3: Apply for student housing opportunities in Freiburg

information to follow soon


Step 4: Book your flight

Do not forget to book your flight on time! The perfect time to arrive in Freiburg is around the first of October. This will allow you to settle down prior to the orientation week and the actual lecture start. Of course, you are welcome to arrive earlier if you can! Arriving earlier is particularly useful for finding a room as from October on all international students will eagerly be looking for a room and the "competition" is high. In September, the situation might not be so tense.

Frankfurt am Main International Airport is about 2 hours by train from Freiburg (national train ICE) and therefore the best airport to arrive at. Another nearby airport of international size but smaller is Zürich in Switzerland. The closest European airport nearby is Basel (Basel-Mulhouse).


Step 5: Get health insurance

In Germany every individual or family must have health insurance. You will already need a proof of your health insurance to apply for your student visa.


Step 6: Register at citizens’ office in Freiburg

As soon as possible after your arrival in Freiburg (within 7 days) you must register yourself at the citizens’ office (Bürgeramt) and make an appointment to extend your 3-month student visa.

Please note that you cannot register yourself at the citizens’ office until you have found accommodation.


Step 7: Enrolling at University of Freiburg

The last step you need to take before being a student at the University, is to enrol (also called "matriculate") at the University and get your "Matrikelnummer" (matriculation number).

By that time, you will have received your admission letter from the University long ago including detailed information about registration. In this letter it is stated during which period you can register and which documents you need to bring. In any case you must register before the semester begins. Usually the deadline is around mid of October, sometimes end of October.

International, non-EU students need to bring the following documents for registration:

  • Admission letter
  • Passport/ID
  • Student visa
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Receipt of payment of the registration fee (€ 155). Important: You can pay the semester fee only when you are in Freiburg, and not before. You can pay the semester fee by cash at the "Unikasse" or by bank transfer.
  • Filled in and signed registration form
  • 1 passport photo
  • If any other documents are mentioned in your admission letter, such as a certificate from a student orientation test or a language certificate, please don’t forget to bring them with you!


Additional information for international students regarding enrolment can be found here.

Information on semester dates and teaching periods can be found here.

Further information for internationals

Another guide of the University with information about visa, money, safety, jobs etc. for international students can be found here. In addition, the IAS can help with general questions of international students.