International students

Welcome to HFU

Whether you are doing your degree with us or are only spending a semester with us as an exchange student, all our international students are welcome. Here you will find all the important information you need!

Application - Degree-seeking students

We offer study programmes taught in German and English. Our bachelor's programmes take 7 semesters, our master's programmes take 3 semesters. All bachelor's programmes and most master's programmes are tuition-free. Non-EU citizens who come to Baden-Württemberg to take a full degree, must pay tuition fees of €1,500 per semester (in force since Winter Semester 2017/18).

More information on tuition fees for non-EU citizens and possible exemptions can be found here.

Application information for bachelor's programmes can be found here.

Application information for master's programmes can be found directly on the programme page.

Application - Exchange students

Exchange students from partner universities:
If you are an exchange student from one of our partner universities, you must first be nominated by email by your home university.
The following deadlines apply:
15th October    for an exchange semester in the summer semester
15th April          for an exchange semester in the winter semester

If you are not a student from one of our partner universities, you must first send an email with a brief application to the International Center. Please use the email address of the International Center on the campus where you would like to study.
Freemovers from outside the EU must pay tuition fees of €1,500 per semester.

Required languages:
German or English depending on the study programme: minimum level of CEF B1 (Common European Framework for Languages)

Application is carried out over the online portal of the International Center.
Application deadline for entry in the spring semester:   1st November
Application deadline for entry in the winter semester:   1st May

Choice of courses:
The normal workload is 30 ECTS per semester.
1 ECTS is the equivalent of approx. 30hrs of work per semester (lectures including pre and post preparation).
The duration of a weekly contact hour (SWS) is 45 mins.
Use the filter on this page to find English-taught study programmes.
With the exception of the Business School, as a guest student you will mostly take courses from our International Semester - a cross-faculty selection of lectures in English either on the Furtwangen or the Schwenningen campus (only in Summer Semester).
If your German proficiency is adequate, you can of course also take lectures in German.

Academic calender

The academic year at HFU has 2 semesters - a winter and a summer semester

Winter Semester:
The lectures in the winter semester normally begin on 1 October and continue until the mid-January. This is followed by a 3-week exam period which continues until mid-February. For exchange and visiting students who are taking courses from our "International Semester" programme on the Furtwangen Campus and who have to leave in December, an early exam in December can normally be organized.

Summer Semester:
The lectures in the summer semester begin mid-March and continue until the end of June. The following exam period continues until the middle to end of July.

Semester breaks:
Mid February to mid-March
End of July until the end of September

Exact dates can be found in our calender.

The two-week Orientation Programme (including intensive German course) for visiting students and students in english-taught study programmes begins 2 weeks before the start of lectures.

Practical information


The average cost of living of around €600 or €700/mth for accommodation, food and medical insurance in the Furtwangen and Schwenningen region is much lower than in large university cities. However for visa purposes students have to submit proof of a monthly income of €853 for the duration of their stay.

The following will give you some idea of living costs:

ItemAverage Cost
Student halls of residence€250-300/mth
One-room apartment€280-350/mth
Medical insurance €80/mth
Lunch in university dining hall€2.80
Glass of beer in a pub€3.00
Milk (1l)€0.70


If you wish to study in Germany you are generally required to apply for a student visa with the relevant German diplomatic representative abroad before you arrive in Germany. (This does not apply to citizens of EU and EEA states.)

The following documents are normally required when applying for a visa:

  • a valid passport
  • letter of acceptance from the German university
  • proof of adequate financial means
  • medical insurance

Details of the documents required can be found on the internet pages of the relevant German representative office in your home country. The German representative office cannot issue a visa until it has received official permission from the relevant government authorities in Germany. Some countries require a blocked bank account with a security deposit as proof of financing. A blocked account can be set up at the Deutsche Bank or over the service provider Fintiba.

Nationals of the following states can apply for the necessary study visa after arrival in Germany. In this case the Foreigner Registration Authorities ("Ausländeramt") in the area or town where you will be living are responsible for issuing the document.

  • Australia
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • South Korea
  • USA
  • Andorra
  • Brazil
  • El Salvador
  • Honduras
  • Monaco
  • San Marino

Please note:

The visa must be issued for study purposes. A tourist visa or a so-called "Schengen Visa" is not sufficient. It is not possible to alter the type of visa after arrival in Germany.


During the first week after arriving in Germany, you will have to register at the local Residence Registration Authorities ("Einwohnermeldeamt"). This could also be in the local Citizens Registration Office ("Bürgerbüro" or "Bürgeramt"). You will need to take the following documents with you:

  • Identity card or passport (with visa if required)
  • Landlord's Confirmation ("Wohnungsgeberbestätigung")
  • Completed registration form

After registering you will receive a Confirmation of Registration ("Meldebescheinigung"). You will need this document, for example to open a bank account or to apply for your Residence Permit ("Aufenthaltserlaubnis").

Entry with visa: The visa is only valid for entry to the country. You must register within a week of arrival in Germany at your local Residence Registration Authorities. They will apply for an electronic residence document  (eAT) which will then replace your entry visa with a more permanent Residence Permit.

Entry without visa: Even if you do not require a visa to enter Germany, you must register your residency in Germany upon arrival. If you stay in Germany for longer than 3 months, you must normally apply for a Residence Permit. This does not apply for citizens of the European Union, EEA countries or Switzerland.

Residence Registration Authorities:
The following are the local government authorities responsible, depending on which HFU Campus you are studying at or where you are living:

Furtwangen (= Villingen-Schwenningen region)
Residence Registration Authorities (Ausländeramt)
Schwarzwald-Baarkreis County Offices (Landratsamt)
Am Hoptbühl 2
78048 VS-Villingen

Schwenningen (= Town of Villingen-Schwenningen)
Residence Registration Authorities (Ausländeramt)
Municipal Offices (Stadtverwaltung) Villingen-Schwenningen
Marktplatz 1
78054 VS-Schwenningen

Tuttlingen (Town)
Residence Registration Department (Ausländerwesen)
Municipal Offices (Stadtverwaltung) Tuttlingen
Rathausstr. 1
78532 Tuttlingen

Tuttlingen (Region)
Residence Registration Authorities (Ausländeramt)
County Offices (Landratsamt) Tuttlingen
Bahnhofstr. 100
78532 Tuttlingen

Please note: if you wish a personal appointment, this must be made in advance.


You need valid medical insurance to be able to study in Germany. This law applies until the completion of a 14th semester or until the age of 30. Please check before application whether your medical insurance in your home country offers coverage in Germany or not. You cannot enrol at the University without valid medical insurance.

Students from EU countries: If you have a European health insurance card (EHIC), simply show this when you enrol.

Students from non-EU countries: If you do not have a European Health Insurance Card, you must insure yourself with one of the German statutory insurance companies. As long as you are under the age of 30, you are entitled to a discounted student rate of approximately €80.00/mth with one of the statutory German health insurance companies such as the TK or the AOK.

You have the choice between statutory and private medical insurance. If you are under 30 years old and do not have a European medical insurance card (EHIC), the normal choice is the statutory medical insurance in Germany.

During the orientation programme for exchange students the Techniker Krankenkasse medical insurance company will talk about the services they offer and can give personal consultations.

Find out more about the German statutory medical insurance system here.

Private medical insurance from your home country can only be accepted if it offers adequate coverage for the entire duration of your study in Germany. You can apply to have this insurance recognized by a German statutory health insurance company. If your health insurance meets the coverage requirements you will receive an exemption letter which is required for enrolment. For the remainder of your study period, it is then no longer possible to change to one of the statutory medical insurance companies.

Visa: It is possible to apply for German medical insurance before you arrive in Germany. Simply contact one of the insurance companies. They will send a confirmation as proof of German medical insurance coverage which can then be used to apply for the student visa.

Scholarship holders, such as DAAD, are likely to have medical insurance for the duration of the stay in Germany through a group insurance policy. This will be stated in your scholarship documents. Please bring the relevant proof of coverage with you when you enrol. Further information can be found here:

Mature students over 30 are generally no longer able to take advantage of the discounted rates offered by the statutory health insurance companies and have to take out private insurance.

Insurance for the period between arrival in Germany and semester begin: We urgently recommend that you take out private insurance (e.g. travel insurance) for this period of time.


In Germany you are liable by law for damages you cause, for example damage to your landlord's property. This can result in very high costs, therefore private liability insurance is extremely important.

We strongly urge you to take out liability insurance.

For activities carried out in connection with your study and which take place on university property, you are covered by your student services fee to Student Services Freiburg. This insurance coverage is also valid for internship semesters necessary as part of your degree.


All university students in Baden-Württemberg are insured by law against accidents which occur on the grounds of the university or on the way to and from the university. Accidents which occur in your free time outside the university grounds are covered by the student services fee paid to Student Services Freiburg. This coverage also covers holiday travel, internships and activities undertaken in connection with thesis work at foreign universities and research institutions.

Further information can be found under:

Excursions and events

During the semester the International Center organizes a series of excursions and events. The excursions are primarily organized for visiting students, however international and German students are welcome if there are enough places available.

Day trips

  • Freiburg - City tour
  • Constance - City tour
  • Heidelberg - City tour and castle visit
  • Stuttgart - A night at the opera
  • Stuttgart - Mercedes Benz Museum and Hohenzollern Castle
  • Straßburg - Visit to the Christmas Market (winter semester only)
  • Black Forest - Tour of the farmhouse museum (Vogtsbauernhöfe) (summer semester only)

3 Day Trip to Berlin and Potsdam

  • City tour
  • Palace of Sanssouci
  • Visit to the parliament building (Reichstag)
  • Visit to the Berlin Wall museum

Typical Activities in the region

  • Hiking trip up the Furtwangen mountain "The Brend"
  • Cross-country ski tour from the Brend to the Martinskapelle
  • Cuckoo clock workshop in the German Clock Museum

Click here for the current programme and for Information regarding registration and payment.

International Festival
International students present their native countries with culinary specialities, dance and music. The International Festival takes place on the Furtwangen Campus in the winter semester in the auditorium and in the summer semester outside in the Robert-Gerwig Square in Furtwangen in cooperation with the town of Furtwangen. In summer an International Festival is also organized on the Schwenningen Campus by the HFU Business School.

Scholarships and funding programmes

DAAD Stibet Programme
(only matriculated students may apply)
Deadline 1 March and 1 September

The STIBET combined scholarship and support programme funded by the Federal Foreign Office aims to improve the support of foreign students and doctoral candidates and provides scholarships for this purpose. The following scholarships are possible:

  • Graduation scholarship (planned graduation within a year)
  • Scholarships for those who have shown active involvement (in international context of the University)

More information on the programme and the application form can be found here:

Emergency financial assistance for students
(Only matriculated students may apply)

Further scholarship providers can be found here (in German), on the DAAD website and on FELIX - General Academic Counselling pages (Zentralen Studienberatung). (in German)

DAAD Prize for foreign students

The DAAD prize is awarded annually by Furtwangen University for outstanding performance by a foreign student. These students have gained excellent academic results and have shown outstanding social or intercultural involvement. Prize money of €1000 is awarded.

It is not possible to apply for this prize. Selection is made solely on the basis of recommendation by, and in consultation with, the university executive and the International Center. The prize-giving ceremony takes place during the First Semester Welcome in October.