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Studying and living in Heidelberg

Source: © Graduate Academy of the University of Heidelberg, information brochure for international doctoral candidates:
[http://www.graduateacademy.uni-heidelberg.de/md/gradakad/downloads/information_brochure_int_en_neu_2015.pdf], p. 62–91.

What are the visa requirements in Germany?

Applicant Visa (Visum zur Studienbewerbung)

The applicant visa allows the holder to enter Germany for the “purpose of studying” as well as for the “purpose of doctoral training”. Applicants who plan to carry out their doctoral training at Heidelberg University but have not yet been accepted as a doctoral candidate can apply for this as a Doctoral Candidate at Heidelberg University”. This visa is valid for three months and gives you the opportunity to obtain information about doctoral training at the University and/or to fulfill some of the necessary prerequisites for acceptance as a doctoral candidate, for example obtaining the necessary language proficiency. It is possible to extend the visa to a maximum of 6 months. If you are accepted as a doctoral candidate during this time, you can apply for a residence permit, which is required for an extended stay in Germany.

Proof of sufficient financial resources

Before beginning your doctoral training at Heidelberg University, you must demonstrate to your German embassy or consulate or to the local foreigners’ office that you are able to finance your training. Generally, the proof of sufficient financial resources must be submitted with the original visa application but in some cases it may not be required until the application is submitted for a residence permit.

This guarantee must be undertaken at a bank in Germany or at a bank that is allowed to do business in Germany. For doctoral candidates from the European Union it is generally sufficient for the candidate to confirm in writing that he or she has access to sufficient financial resources.

What is the cost of living in Heidelberg?

As a single person living in Heidelberg in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, you must budget for approximate expenses of at least 700 Euro per month (or approximately 8,400 Euro per year). This cost of living estimate includes estimated rental costs13, utility costs (e.g. electricity and heating costs, where applicable, waste disposal services, etc.), food, fees and other necessary expenses, all at a minimum level, for your monthly expenses will depend not only on your fixed costs but also on your lifestyle. If you have a family and/ or children, your living expenses will be higher. Additional fixed costs which you must pay once per semester (twice per year) as a doctoral candidate registered at Heidelberg University are the administrative and Studentenwerk fees:

  • Studentenwerk fee: 64 Euro per semester (as of February 2009)
  • administrative fee: 40 Euro per semester (as of February 2009)

You will find additional information in German on the administrative and Studentenwerk fees at:

Is there an opportunity for housing at the university?

The search for a room or apartment in Heidelberg can be difficult, especially for a newcomer, because there is a shortage of accommodations and the accommodations that exist are generally expensive. Thus, it is important for you to know a pool of people and organizations that can help with your search. Sources include the Studentenwerk‘s residence halls and accommodations service as well as the accommodations service of the Akademisches Auslandsamt (AAA – International Office). In addition, you can look for a room or apartment on the private accommodations market. Below, you will find useful addresses and links (e.g. from daily newspapers or accommodation search engines on the Internet), organized according to short-term and long-term accommodations.

Helpful hint for doctoral candidates who do not speak German:

For doctoral candidates who do not speak German, we recommend the Studentenwerk residence halls and their private accommodations service at the InfoCafé International (ICI)11 as well as the International Office’s accommodations service as the employees there can assist you in English with your search for a room or apartment.

Short-term accommodations

Jugendherberge (youth hostel)
Tiergartenstr. 5, 69120 Heidelberg
Tel: +49 (0)6221/6511 - 90
Fax: +49 (0)6221/6511 - 928
Email: jh-heidelberg(at)t-online.de or info(at)jugendherberge-heidelberg.de
Internet: www.jugendherberge-heidelberg.de

Gästezimmer-Zentrale (private accommodations agency)
Häusserstr. 44, 69115 Heidelberg
Tel/Fax: +49 (0)6221/160363
Email:  info(at)Gaestezimmer-Zentrale.de
Rooms are rented on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Mitwohnzentrale (agency for rooms in private houses)
Rheindammstr. 46, 68163 Mannheim
Tel: +49 (0)621/19445
Fax: +49 (0)621/8282331
Email: heidelberg@homecompany.de
Internet: www.heidelberg.homecompany.de

These private rooms are let for short periods only. Please note that additional fees may be charged.

Tourist Information/Hotels
Willy-Brand-Platz 1, 69115 Heidelberg
(at the Hauptbahnhof, i.e. the main train station)
Tel: +49 (0)6221/19433
Fax: +49 (0)6221/1388111
Email: info@cvb-heidelberg.de
Internet: www.cvb-heidelberg.de

Here you can view a list of all hotels, their prices, locations and rooms.

Long-term accommodations

Residence halls operated by the Studentenwerk Heidelberg
Studentenwerk Heidelberg
(administration office) Marstallhof 1,
Ground floor, room 003,
69117 Heidelberg
Tel: +49 (0)6221/54 - 2706
Fax: +49 (0)6221/600567
Business hours: Wed.12:30 – 3:30 p.m., Fri. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.,
Email: wohnen@stw.uni-heidelberg.de
Internet: www.studentenwerk.uni-heidelberg.de    -   click on “Student housing”

Application deadline for room in a student residence hall:
February 1st for the summer semester, August 1st for the winter semester


For information on obtaining a room in a student residence hall, you are most likely to reach the employees of the Residence Hall Administration by telephone outside of their business hours.

Accommodations service of the Studentenwerk

The accommodations service of the Studentenwerk offers rooms and apartments leased out by private persons.

InfoCafé International – ICI

in the Triplex-Mensa (Triplex dining hall) (with entrances in Grabengasse and in Sandgasse)
Grabengasse 14
69117 Heidelberg
Opening hours:
Mon – Thur.10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
You can view the rooms or apartments offered by ICI online at www.studentenwerk.uni-heidelberg.de or in the display cases in the Triplex-Mensa (Triplex dining hall) or in the Zentralmensa (central dining hall) in Neuenheimer Feld.

Important information regarding the accommodations service at the ICI
You cannot receive information on rooms and apartments by telephone or by letter; you must appear at the ICI in person.

Links to search engines on the Internet

www.rnz.de (click on “Aktuelle Anzeigen lesen”)

Are there possibilities for Ph.D. students to get child care in Heidelberg?

Doctoral candidates with children have a choice of several types of child care. The Studentenwerk provides child care in day care centers and preschools and offers accommodations suitable for families as well as information about financial assistance and important contact addresses.

In addition, the City of Heidelberg offers a variety of child care options, including a number of international day care centers. Child would like to place your child in a child care facility run by the City of Heidelberg, it is advisable to take this factor into account when you are looking for accommodations.

Important information on fees for child care offered by the Studentenwerk:

Unlike the Kinderhaus of Heidelberg University, the day care centers run by the Studentenwerk offer especially low fees for doctoral candidates registered at the University.

Is the workplace suitable for disabled people?

Yes. Generally all buildings of Heidelberg University are accessible for disabled persons. There are elevators in the main buildings and parking tickets for the campus can be issued.