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Photo: International Office - Gebäude I, 4. Etage

Preparing for your stay

What are the requirements to apply for an exchange semester at Paderborn University?

An exchange is possible only for students from our partner universities. Your home university's outgoing coordinator must nominate you for one or two semesters abroad at the Paderborn University in due time. After we have accepted the nomination, we will send you a link that you can use to apply online within the communicated application deadline.

German and English language skills on level B1 minimum are recommended. If you have to achieve a certain number of credits, you should make sure in advance that our range of courses enables you to do so.

We regret that we unfortunately cannot accept any free movers.

Can I spend an exchange semester or year in Paderborn without knowing any German?

Yes, you can attend in courses taught in English. However, kindly inform yourself beforehand if there are enough English taught courses available for the subject of your choice.

What do I have to do after arriving in Paderborn?
  • After moving into your accommodation, please contact the residents' registration office by email and make an appointment to register. It is possible that the appointment will take place later than the required 14 days due to the pandemic, but if you have reported immediately after your arrival, this is not your fault and you do not have to worry.
  • If you came to Germany with a study visa, make an appointment with the immigration office to apply for your residence permit.
  • If you have any questions about your dormitory room, please contact the caretaker of the Vogeliusweg dormitory, Mr Schrameyer.
  • If your home country is a corona risk area as defined by the RKI, please observe the regulations on mandatory quarantine. You are also required to report to the health department. We have sent the relevant information to all new exchange students for the winter semester 2020/21 by email.
  • Send us prove of your health insurance. If you do not have a European health insurance card, please contact one of the statutory German health insurance companies. They will tell you whether your existing health insurance is sufficient. If not, you can get health insurance there.
  • We regret that, due to the pandemic, you cannot visit us in the International Office at the moment. We are currently closed to external visitors. Therefore, please submit the required documents (copy of ID, proof of health insurance) by email. It would be helpful if you included your last name and first name in the subject line of the email. You can also reach us by phone in case of questions
  • If you mail me a document in which you need me to confirm your arrival date, kindly name the day of arrival in the same e-mail to avoid queries from my side.
  • The payment information for the semester ticket can be found on the Checklist in your arrival mail. We will send you your semester documents and your welcome folder by post this semester. You can receive the semester ticket around the end of September, provided the semester fee has been paid and health insurance has been proven. Exchange students who have already entered the country can also receive a pre-course ticket in September and use the local public transport buses (but not the trains). The prerequisite for the pre-course ticket is also that the semester fee for the winter semester has been paid and that health insurance has been proven.

We wish you a pleasant stay in Paderborn!

Do I have to set up a bank account in Paderborn?

We strongly recommend it, especially one of the numerous student bank accounts that impose no or only very few fees. But you are not obligated to establish a bank account; you must only be sure that your rent, the semester ticket, and eventually the language course and your health insurance can be paid. If you come from a European country, you can also transfer the money online from your account in your home country under specification of the IBAN and Swift codes.

I am third country national and already have a student residence permit for another EU country. Do I need to apply for a visa for my exchange semester in Paderborn?

Students from third countries, who already hold a residence permit as students in another EU state, do not need to apply for a visa at the embassy. However, they still need permission to study one or two semesters in Germany. To obtain it, third country nationals need to contact the host university, who will forward the inquiry to the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

 The procedure requires various steps, which should be started no later than 4-6 weeks before entering Germany:

Please prepare the following documents and mail them as PDF to the International Office (Frau Schrade). The International Office will send a notification with all documents to the Federal Office (BAMF). Please name the documents exactly as explained below.

  • completed digital BAMF notification form
  • a valid residence title issued by the first EU State (issued for study purposes and in accordance with the REST Directive),
  • a recognised, valid passport/replacement passport (copy only),
  • proof that you are taking part in a programme organised by the EU or other multilateral mobility programme (admission letter should be sufficient)
  • proof that you can financially support yourself
  • proof that you have health insurance

All documents, with the exception of the passport and the residence title, must be submitted in German language. Where applicable, the BAMF can accept easily comprehensible documents in a foreign language, but decides whether the documents submitted meet the requirements.

Please name the documents exactly as follows:

  • Last name_notification form
  • Last name_residence title
  • Last name_passport
  • Last name_admission letter
  •  Last name_ financial proof
  • Last name_ health insurance


Courses and Education

Are German courses offered for exchange students? How can I register for them?

Two optional German courses are offered for exchange students: the Pre-semester Crash Course (holiday course) before the semester starts and the Semester-Afternoon Course during the semester. Both courses are free of charge.

Pre-semester Crash Course German:

When applying for the exchange programme, you will be asked to inform us whether you wish to take part in the crash course before the start of the semester. However, you must still register for the crash course using an online form. You will be informed about the one-week registration period by the Incoming Team of the International Office by email in due time.

The crash course is scheduled for 4 weeks in March and September, with a total of 80 teaching units taking place 4 days a week. Upon successful completion you will receive 5 ECTS.

Semester-Afternoon Course German:

Participants of the crash course can register directly in the crash course for the semester course. Otherwise, registration is also done by using an online form. There is also a one-week registration period, about which you will be informed by the Incoming Team of the International Office by email in due time.

There will be a total of 120 teaching units. Upon successful completion you will receive 8 ECTS.

Further information, including placement tests, can be found here.

Is there a free German course during the semester with two hours per week?

The course is arranged if there are enough students (at least 6 to 8) on a learning level that want to take part in the course and find a common free afternoon appointment (but not Mondays through Thursdays from 16:00 to 18:00, because the semester afternoon courses run then).

Is it possible to only take part in the German course and not any departmental courses?

Yes, you also receive ECTS credits for attending the German language courses for exchange students.

How many ECTS do I have to earn?

The normal ECTS point count amounts to 30 ECTS for a semester for a German student. However, it is very difficult for exchange students to achieve this point count and many partner universities request a decidedly lower number. You should clarify this with your home university before your arrival. The University of Paderborn does not impose a minimum requirement on finished courses or ECTS.

When must I have my Learning Agreement signed?

That depends on your home university. Paderborn University has no deadline.

The only exception are students who come to the University of Paderborn within the programme Erasmus+ Mobility with Partner Countries / International Credit Mobility. You have to submit the Learning Agreement by certain deadlines. More information you will receive automatically by the responsible Erasmus+ ICM coordinator.

Where do I find information about the courses?

Under Study you can find more information.

When do I have to sign up for courses?

There are two course registration periods at Paderborn University.

It is usually not necessary to register for courses BEFORE your exchange started. Exception: Students of Business Administration and Economics are given the opportunity to register for some courses approximately six weeks before the beginning of the semester. You will receive information from the Faculty in due time.

Registration for courses is done via the campus management system PAUL. IMT access is required for this. You will receive this access within the welcome folder at the beginning of your stay at the Paderborn University.

All exchange students who are in their second semester at the University of Paderborn should register via PAUL already in the first course registration phase, since you already have IMT access.

You can find the registration phases and possibly deviating regulations here.

As an exception to the above mentioned regulations, registration for German courses which are offered especially for exchange students is not done via PAUL. You can find further information here.

The Incoming Team of the International Office will inform about the respective registration deadlines by email.

If you have any problems or questions, please contact either the internationalization officers of the faculties or Ms. Struzek.

How do I register for exams?

The registration for exams is done in PAUL.

You will receive information on this at the welcome events of your faculties. If there is no welcome event for your faculty, you can ask Ms. Struzek. 

Exception: For all courses of the Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, registration for the module automatically leads to registration for the examination (implicit registration for the examination). A further registration for an examination is not necessary, but it may be necessary to deregister.

Information on the registration periods for examinations can be obtained here.

The Incoming Team of the International Office will inform about the respective registration deadlines by email. If you have any problems or questions, please contact either the internationalization officers of the faculties or Ms. Struzek.

When will exams be held?

Exams typically take place after the end of the lecture period. Their dates will be set by the faculty, usually during the the lecture period and are not known beforehand. Usually, they are held within the first weeks after the lecture period has ended. We recommend to calculate at least 2-3 weeks for this. However, please note that we cannot give any guarantee, as it is the faculty's decision.

How do I find the rooms in the university?

The letter stands for the building, the first number stands for the floor, and the following numbers are the room numbers. For example, the film room H1.232: you find it in building H, on the first floor, in room 232. If the room is only a letter with one number, for example H1 or C2, it is a lecture hall on the ground floor of the respective building (here, H or C).

How do I receive my transcript?

Since both, courses and examinations, are registered in PAUL, the grades for examinations taken are also entered in PAUL by the lecturers. This can take up to 6 weeks after the end of the semester. The International Office regularly checks which grades are available. As soon as the grades for students are completely available, the Transcript of Record will be issued and sent to you by email. Should your home university require a hardcopy, it will be sent directly to the university.

In PAUL you can also see an overview about your grades at any time.

If you have questions regarding your Transcript of Records please contact Ms. Struzek.

When do I have to re-register myself for the second semester?

The new semester with the ticket begins on April 1 and on October 1. You should be re-registered by then and have received the new ticket and student ID (after you have paid for it).

How can I extend my stay from one to two semesters?

You can normally stay for a second semester within the same academic year, if both your home university and Paderborn University agree. We regret that an extension into the next acacemic year is not possible. We kindly ask for your understanding.

For an extension your university needs to confirm their approval by mail to Ms Schrade. You als need to obtain the consent of the academic coordinator in Paderborn. If both sides approve, your stay will be extended and you can re-register for the second semester. If you need to extend your visa, Ms Schrade can issue you a confirmation about your extension for the local immigration office.

Please keep in mind that your room is not automatically at your disposal for a second semester. Please contact the students services as soon as possible to extend your rental agreement. If this is not possible, you might have to look for a new room/ apartment yourself.

Other questions during the stay

Am I allowed to work?

Yes, international students are allowed to work up to 120 full days or 240 half days per calendar year. You will receive the Lohnsteuerkarte (wage tax card) from the Einwohnermeldeamt (Residence Office). As a EU-citizen, you are on equal terms with German students and are not subject to these restrictions.

Are there scholarships for international students?

Unfortunately, Paderborn University does not award scholarships outside the official programmes. However, Paderborn University tries to provide some jobs as student assistants for exchange students who have to pay high tuition fees at their home universities for the time of their stay in Paderborn.

Erasmus students from universities in Erasmus+ programme countries with a corresponding agreement usually obtain a scholarship from their home university.

Students of German Studies can also apply for a DAAD semester scholarship from their home country.

Only through the programme Erasmus+ Mobility with Partner Countries / International Credit Mobility scholarships are offered to students from the following partner universities:

Bosnia and Herzegovina (University of Sarjevo and University of Mostar), Israel (Bar-Ilan University), Cameroon (Université Yaoundé I), Cuba (Universidad de la Habana), Togo (Université de Lomé), Tunisia (Université de Carthage, Université de la Manouba, Université Ez-Zitouna and Université de Monastir) and Vietnam (Foreign Trade University).

Only a very limited number of scholarships are available. The selection of students to receive such scholarships is made by the home universities in the partner country.

Can I stay in Paderborn and graduate from here?

Within the limits of international exchange, this is not possible. At the end of your exchange stay, you must return to your home university. But we would be happy to have you apply as a regular international student and then come back to the University of Paderborn. This requires a regular application for degree students (possibly for the DSH Course beforehand) within the official application deadlines. We recommend that you contact the International Office on this behalf already during your stay in Paderborn. Detailled information about the application process is also available on our websites for degree students.


When and how will I receive my (signed) tenancy agreement?

1.      When being handed the keys from the caretaker, the key recipient (buddy or student) is also given a set of documents:

  • Tenancy agreement in duplicate
  • Internet declaration & Terms and conditions of internet use
  • SEPA form for direct debit of the rent (only for countries participating in the SEPA procedure -> see SEPA list below)
  • General terms and conditions of tenancy
  • Handover protocol for the flat

2.      The tenancy agreements, the internet declaration (and the SEPA form) should be signed by the student as soon as possible and must be put into the letterbox fo the student services (STW) in front of the building ‘Mersingweg 2’ for further processing. The box is emptied daily.

3.      After processing by the STW, students receive a countersigned tenancy agreement, the login details for the internet and their landlord’s certificate via their letterbox. -> Students should check their mailbox regularly, but be prepared to wait for some time. The caretaker only goes to the administration twice a week to collect the documents).

4.      If someone has already made an appointment with the Residents' Registration Office etc. and urgently needs their landlord’s certificate (Wohnungsgeberbescheinigung), they can contact the STW (for contacts, see info brochure) to speed things up.

SEPA participating countries - all countries at one glance

Regardless of the local currency, the order currency for SEPA orders is exclusively euros.

EU = European Union

EEA = European Economic Area

Country Code Currency Code Affiliation
Andorra AND Euro EUR  
Belgium BE Euro EUR EU / EEA
Bulgaria BG Bulgarian lev BGN EU / EEA
Denmark DK Danish Krone DKK EU / EEA
Germany DE Euro EUR EU / EEA
Estonia EE Euro EUR EU / EEA
Finland FI Euro EUR EU / EEA
France FR Euro EUR EU / EEA
Greece GR Euro EUR EU / EEA
Great Britain GB British Pound GBP EU / EEA
Ireland IE Euro EUR EU / EEA
Iceland IS Icelandic krona ISK EEA
Italy IT Euro EUR EU / EEA
Croatia HR Croatian kuna HRK EU / EEA
Latvia LV Euro EUR EU / EEA
Liechtenstein LI Swiss franc CHF EEA
Lithuania LT Euro EUR EU / EEA
Luxembourg LU Euro EUR EU / EEA
Malta MT Euro EUR EU / EEA
Monaco MC Euro EUR  
Netherlands NL Euro EUR EU / EEA
Norway NO Norwegian krone NOK EEA
Austria AT Euro EUR EU / EEA
Poland PL Polish zloty PLN EU / EEA
Portugal PT Euro EUR EU / EEA
Romania RO Romanian leu RON EU / EEA
San Marino SM Euro EUR  
Sweden SE Swedish krona SEK EU / EEA
Switzerland CH Swiss franc CHF  
Slovak Republic SK Euro EUR EU / EEA
Slovenia SI Euro EUR EU / EEA
Spain ES Euro EUR EU / EEA
Czech Republic CZ Czech koruna CZK EU / EEA
Hungary HU Hungarian forint HUF EU / EEA
Vatican city VAT Euro EUR  
Cyprus CY Euro EUR EU / EEA


Will I get my entire deposit back?

No, first of all there is always a fee of 80 € for the final cleaning. If there are no complaints from the caretakers about damages or lack of pre-cleaning when they check the room, you will get the rest of your deposit back. If the costs for additional cleaning or repairs exceed the deposit, you will receive an addition invoice.

I would like to use the washing machine in the laundry room. Where can I get the Delicard?

A laundry room with several washing machines and dryers is available for each residential complex. • Vogeliusweg: Building 23 a+b • Uhlandstraße: Building 21

You will need your own washing powder and a DeliCard to use the machines. The DeliCard is a chip card that you can also use to pay for meals in the university canteen. More information can be found on the STW website or at the following link:


Things to do before leaving Germany

Please notice the following points, which might be relevant before you leave:


  • Inform the student services and the Hausmeister of your dormitory abour your exact departure time. 
  • Cancel your German bank account, if you do not need it any longer. If you have questions regarding your blocked accout, please contact the immigration office by mail or phone (8-10 am).
  • If you took health insurance in Germany, do not forget to cancel it, possibly by mail. Insert your insurance number as e-mail subject or into the mail text.
  • Return any books to the library. Otherwise fees might arise.
  • If you need documents to be signed by the International Office, please send them by mail (as long as the International Office is closed due to the Corona pandemic.)
Can I go home at the end of December or in January, because my Trimester/Semester starts there?

Sometimes, for example in Business Administration and Economics, this is possible. You should speak with the professors for each course ahead of time, in order to arrange a potential earlier exam date.

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