Before you arrive

I imagine preparing my study abroad semester at Karlshochschule. Before coming to Karlshochschule there are certain formalities I have to consider, such as having a valid health insurance and a visa. Furthermore, it is important that I search for accommodation in Karlsruhe well in advance. On this site, I find relevant information on what I have to consider before entering Germany. The International Office advices me during my preparation.


Foreign nationals from non-EU and non-EEA states, who wish to study in Germany, usually require a residence permit.   

Applicants for study from specific countries can enter Germany without a visa. If you stay longer than 90 days, you require a residence permit for students. The residence permit can be applied for at the respective foreign office in Germany. This applies for the following countries.

Other foreign nationals must apply for a student visa at the German embassy or consulate in their home country before entering Germany. If their visa is not valid for the whole study period, they must apply for a residence permit at the respective foreign office in Germany within 90 days after arrival.

Please note: If you enter with a tourist visa, you will not be able to convert it into a student visa.

To apply for your visa, you will have to submit proof of being accepted at our University (letter of acceptance). In addition, all applications need to submit documents about their financial status. Details about the documents required can be found on the website of the respective German embassy in your home country. General information about the visa process can be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

Important: Please initiate the visa process as early as possible to ensure that your visa will be issued in time before your desired arrival.

Please be aware that requirements can be subject of change. For the latest legal binding information, please contact the German embassy or consulate in your home country.

Here you will find the Visa Navigator from the Foreign Federal Office and more information about the Schengen Visa.

Health Insurance

Valid health insurance throughout the whole semester abroad is requirement for enrollment as an exchange student.

Students from the EU, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland need to present a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) on Orientation Day. If you do not have one, make sure to request it from your national health insurance company.

Students from Turkey: Germany has a special agreement with Turkey to validate your Turkish health insurance here. To do so you need the so-called A/T11 form. Please ask your Turkish health insurance to issue you such certificate and bring it with you on Orientation Day.

Students from NON-EU countries: You have the option of purchasing German insurance as part of the orientation program, or you can purchase one already in your home country if it is comparable to a German health insurance, i.e. is comprehensive and has unlimited coverage. Please note that due to a change in German law non-European Health Insurance is no longer accepted in most cases. Important: Policies with limited coverage such as travel insurance cannot be accepted, whether the requirements for visa might be lower. For questions, please contact international(at)

If you are planning to work as a working-student (Hiwi-Job) or as a mini-jobber, you must purchase a German health insurance.

Bank Account

We recommend that especially non-EU students open a bank account in Germany during their exchange semester, simply because if you have a non-German bank account it can be problematic or carry fees and charges for every transaction and cash withdrawal. A German bank account is also required to transfer money from your visa blocked account. Furthermore, if you want to work alongside your studies, employers will require that you have a German bank account. Most of the German banks offer bank accounts, especially for students with no extra fee for setting up the account.

We recommend EU students checking in advance with their home bank if they will charge fees for transaction and cash withdrawal in Germany and seeing what options you have to use your home bank account without extra charges.


Finding accommodation in Karlsruhe is not always easy and may even be a challenge since there are quite a lot of people looking for an apartment close to the beginning of the semester. Therefore, we highly recommend that you start looking for an accommodation as soon as possible before you arrive to Karlsruhe. Karlshochschule does not assign rooms to students – you will have to find a place to live on your own. Rent differs from 300- 500€, so make sure to include this amount into your planned budget. We will provide you with links and tips how to find accommodation in a student residence, shared flat or rented apartment and will support you in your search as much as we can here.