Before you arrive

The services of the International Office are available to all Karlshochschule students, staff, faculty, professors, and of course, all foreign students who are interested in an exchange semester at the Karlshochschule. For this last group, the International Office offers a wide range of assistance and activities. It is the International Office that welcomes all new international students to the Karlshochschule at the introduction at the start of the semester, helping them to handle all those boring but essential tasks that they need to sort out whilst studying abroad. Things like registering with the authorities, signing up to health insurance, and opening a bank account.

In addition, all visiting students have KarlsBuddies to help them. They are Karlshochschule students that make sure that they quickly feel at home here, such as by picking them up from the train station when they arrive and showing them around the city later on. Another service for international students are excursions to give them the chance to get to know Germany better, like a regional outing or a cultural trip to, somewhere like Berlin.

Visa requirements

In order to study in Germany, non-EU-students need to apply for a student visa at the German embassy or consulate in their home country. Please note: If you enter with a tourist visa, you will not be able to convert it into a student or applicant visa. Citizens of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and the United States of America may obtain any residence permit that may be required after entering Germany.

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 or directly at the German embassy in your home country.

Here you will find the Visa Navigator from the Foreign Federal Office.

Health Insurance

International students in Germany need to present proof of health insurance coverage for the duration of their studies at Karlshochschule in order to be enrolled. You can purchase your health insurance either in your home country or in Germany during the orientation week. If you have your own private insurance in your home country, or are covered by your parents’ insurance, you do not need to get an additional insurance if it covers all the costs of treatment in Germany. You will need a confirmation letter from the insurance company detailing the benefits and period covered by your policy. There is a specific criteria in which applies to make a foreign health insurance acceptable to be used whilst your studies in Germany.  This letter has to be presented at one of the public health insurance funds in Karlsruhe in order to be exempted from having to take public health insurance in Germany. Please note that a travel insurance is not sufficient! EU citizens have to bring their European Health Insurance Card, students from Turkey the AT11 form. If you are not covered by a health insurance policy taken in your home country, you can be insured by the statutory health insurances in Karlsruhe, currently available at a rate of approximately € 95 per month. The health insurance covers treatment by doctors and dentists as well as hospital fees and many medical items such as prescription medication (at a reduced, fixed price) and other health services. Click here for more information on Health Insurance for international exchange students in Germany.

Bank Account

We recommend that all students open a bank account in Germany, 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.

Furthermore, if you want to work alongside your studies then employers will require that you have a German bank account. Most German banks have student accounts in which you do not need to pay a fee to open and can easily close once your studies are over, it is just important that you do not forget to close it before you leave.


In Germany, students stay in rooms in a student residence, in a flat-shared apartment or with their families. The International Office can provide assisatence for exchange and visiting students to find a room, however it is strongly recommended to start looking for accommodation as early as possible because the housing market in Karlsruhe is pretty tight. We recommend for you to start your search months before you are due to arrive as it can sometimes take a longer process than anticipated. 

During the first nights, you might not be able to move into your room. In this case, we recommend temporary accommodation in a hostel or hotel. 

Please click here for our "How to find accommodation guide" with more information and advice. 

Of course we are always an email away if you have any further questions or need support.