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A book reading in auditorium G Show image information
Demonstration during a lecture in the “Audimax” Show image information
Studying in the O building Show image information
The foyer with the Service Center Show image information

A book reading in auditorium G

Photo: Paderborn University, Adelheid Rutenburges

Demonstration during a lecture in the “Audimax”

Photo: Paderborn University, Adelheid Rutenburges

Studying in the O building

Photo: Paderborn University, Adelheid Rutenburges

The foyer with the Service Center

Finances and Insurances

Health Insurance

Students at German universities are required by law to be members of a statutory health insurance fund. This is checked during enrolment. The university must be informed immediately of any changes in insurance status!

Statutory health insurance

In principle, every resident in Germany under the age of 30 is subject to compulsory insurance in a statutory health insurance fund. In Germany, there is not only one large state health insurance company, but a large number of statutory health insurance companies (e.g. TK, AOK, Barmer etc.) which are organised as public corporations and compete with each other. Health insurance can be freely chosen. Any statutory health insurance is accepted for the enrolment at Paderborn University. The Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) has a service office on campus in the ME building. You can apply for a membership mostly online via their webpages.

Starting studies after the age of 30

Students who are over 30 years old when they start their studies are unfortunately no longer covered by the statutory health insurance. Only membership in a private health insurance is possible. In this case, please have a statutory health insurance company certify that you are not subject to compulsory health insurance and submit the certificate to the university.

Continuing your studies after the age of 30

Until you reach the age of 30, you are obliged to take out statutory health insurance. As a student you can also take benefit from a reduced membership contribution. After the age of 30, the special students membership is unfortunately no longer possible. However, the statutory insurance can be continued voluntarily with a higher contribution. If you do not wish to remain a member of a statutory health insurance fund, you must have the statutory health insurance fund certify that you are no longer subject to compulsory health insurance and submit this certificate to the university. Even if you are from the age of 30 no longer subject to compulsory health insurance and free to choose your health insurance, we strongly recommend to stay with a statutory option or at least to take out private health insurance with cover that is based on the benefits provided by statutory health insurance. In addition, you should note that the Foreigners’ Registration Office for the granting and extension of a residence permit usually requires proof of health insurance.


Exceptions from the statutory health insurance obligation (e.g. EHIC)

If you have sufficient private health insurance, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or if there is a social security agreement between your country of origin and the Federal Republic of Germany, you do not have to take out statutory health insurance. However, you must apply for a certificate confirming that you are not subject to compulsory insurance with a statutory health insurance fund. When applying, you usually have to present your passport and an appropriate proof of your alternative insurance cover (private insurance contract, EHIC or form of the respective social security agree ment). The respective statutory health insurance company will then check whether an exemption from compulsory health insurance is possible. If the insurance cover is sufficient, you will receive the "not (legally) insured certificate" issued to you, which you must then submit to the university for enrolment. The submission of further documents ( e.g. the insurance contract) is not necessary for enrolment at the university, as the verification of the respective insurance is the responsibility of the statutory health insurance companies.

Information on choosing a private health insurance

There are many insurance companies on the market that offer products for international students and language students. With a little internet research, you should be able to quickly find an appropriate provider. It is generally not recommended to choose the cheapest offer. If you want to have coverage that is at least close to the coverage of a statutory health insurance, you should definitely choose a premium option, which usually costs around 60-80 euros per month. When choosing, you should bear in mind that many insurance policies exclude benefits for illnesses that were already present before you entered Germany. In addition, the maximum insurance term is usually limited, which may mean that you have to look for a new insurance policy if you have not completed your studies by then. In such a case, your only option is to apply for a regular private health insurance policy, which Germans can also choose as an alternative to statutory health insurance under certain conditions. There is no entitlement to membership in a private health insurance scheme. In particular, if you have pre-existing conditions, it is likely that your admission will not be accepted. If you decide to take out private health insurance, you must submit the insurance contract to a statutory health insurance fund for examination. If you have sufficient private insurance cover, you can be exempted from the statutory insurance obligation. Please note that you will then not be able to switch back to a statutory health insurance fund for the whole duration of your studies!

Changing health insurance

At the beginning of your studies, you have to choose between private and statutory health insurance. It is only possible to change between these two systems during your studies in a few exceptional cases (e.g. if you get married, etc.). If you have opted for statutory health insurance, you can only change to another statutory health insurance during your studies. The only possibility for leaving is after you have reached the age of 30. If you have opted for a private health insurance company, there is usually no possibility of changing to a statutory health insurance company. Membership in a statutory health insurance is only possible again after the end of studies.

Distance studies due to corona-pandemic regulations

Students are still subject to compulsory membership in a statutory health insurance fund, but if they have started their studies from their home country due to the Corona pandemic, they have a good chance of being reimbursed for the health insurance contribution for this period. We would therefore strongly recommend that you apply for reimbursement from your health insurance company once you have arrived in Germany.

Please note, however, that the decision on whether or not to waive the fees ultimately depends on the respective statutory health insurance fund. Moreover, it is always a case-by-case decision! If you have any further questions on this topic, please contact your insurance company directly. 


Information for German course participants

As a full time German course participant you are unfortunately not entitled to membership of a statutory health insurance. You must find a private health insurance company that will accept you.

If you start your studies after the German course, you have the chance to be admitted to a statutory health insurance. You must apply for admission to a statutory health insurance fund before you start your specialised studies, as it is no longer possible during your studies. There is no 2nd chance! We recommend that you seek advice from a statutory health insurance fund in this regard.



Blocked Bank Account

Students from outside of the European Union need very often to open a blocked bank account, on which they have to transfer their whole expenses for their first year in Germany and from which they can withdraw each month only a respective amount of money. In case that you need to open a blocked account according to the visa regulations for your home country, you can find further information and links to blocked account providers on the page of the Federal Foreign Office.

Opening a bank account in Germany

Due to banking regulations, students can only activate a German bank account after their registration at the residents administration office is done. This requires a "Wohnungsgeberbescheinigung" (landlord's letting certificate) which your landlord has to issue. As it can take some time, until you have found a permanent place to stay, we recommend the students to open a multi currency account which provides you with SEPA banking details for sending and receiving money in Europe. This will help you also to transfer your semester contribution to the university and receiving refund of the fees incase that you need to cancel your plans.

The “Sparkasse Paderborn” offers a cash machine as well as a printer for statements of account in the Mensa building of the university. This enables you to carry out your money transactions on campus. You can find branches of "Sparkasse" and "Volksbank" in direct sourrounding of the university campus.

Estimate of Expenses

There are no tuition fees at Paderborn University! Our University (like many other Higher Education Institutions in Germany) receives considerable financing from the government. The semester contribution of 310€ mainly covers the cost for the semester ticket which allows you to use different means of public transportation for free! Find out about the area of validity here. Moreover your student ID card provides a wide range of concessions: for bank accounts, sometimes telecommunication companies, but also for cinema and theatre tickets. Enjoy subsidized meals at our dining halls that start from 1,70€.

The following information shall give you a broad idea of the expenses of living and studying in Paderborn.

The regular costs of living (per month) for students range approximately within the following frame:


260 Euro - 360 Euro

Health insurance

ca. 96 Euro


ca. 200 Euro


min. 80 Euro

Semester Fees

ca. 310 Euro per semester


50 Euro - 100 Euro


800 - 950 Euro

When you first arrive in Paderborn, please make sure that you have enough cash to avoid any financial problems. During the first week, you will have to paythe first month’s rent (€ 260 - € 360) and a deposit (normally about 1-2 monthly rents). Additional costs are the semester ticket for public transport (~ € 310) and possibly the contribution to the health insurance (€ 96; DSH course students will also have to pay the course fees of 550 Euro (as of July 2017) before the course starts.


Liability Insurance

Who causes a damage in Germany is obligated to the compensation! Consider that the damage sums could be higher than in your home country. Please check your insurance cover in case of a damage in Germany! The costs for a liability insurance in Germany for an individual starts already at about 25 Euro per year.


Financial support

Information about scholarships and grants can be obtained at the German Embassies, branches of the Goethe Institute and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).  The DAAD offers a variety of scholarship programs for international students, academics and scientists from all countries.

You can search the DAAD's online database at

Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD)
Kennedyallee 50
53275 Bonn

If your application for a scholarship requires an informal confirmation by the International Office that you fulfill the requirements for the degree program of your choice, please submit your inquiry in time: Processing takes ca. 4 weeks. To process your inquiry, we need a copy of your previous degree and a complete transcript of records of all study years.

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