Whether you need a visa or residence permit for your studies in Germany, depends on your nationality. For further information please consult the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.
Citizens of an EU-/EEU-country and Switzerland
If you are a citizen of a EU-/EEU-country (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein) or Switzerland, you can enter Germany for university studies at any time. During your stay, you do not need any residence permit. Within one week after your arrival, you simply register with the local municipal registration office with your German address.
Citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Brazil
You can enter Germany for your studies without any visa. With your valid passport at hand, you travel to Germany as a tourist and apply for a residence permit for study purposes within the first three months (maximum duration of tourist status) of your stay in Germany. You will not only need the residence permit for academic studies as a proof of your legal status in Germany, but also for enrolling at the university.
You should apply for the residence permit right after your arrival so that you can get enrolled as soon as possible. First, you register with the municipal registration office within the first week after arrival. In a second step, you apply for the residence permit at the local immigration office.
Attention: Please check before departure which financial proof you would like to use (see below).
Alternative: Long-term visa
Those of you who intend to study 1-2 semesters, e. g. as an exchange student, can apply for a long-term visa with reference to Art. 18, 2 SDÜ at the Germany representative office. It can be issued for a maximum of 1 year. Please ask the staff of the German Embassy/Consulate explicitly for this possibility since it is the least bureaucratic option for you.
Citizens of all other Non-EU-states
For entering Germany, citizens of all other non-EU-states require a visa for study purposes (no tourist visa!). Please apply for your visa in time (at least 8 weeks before your departure) at the German Embassy/Consulate located closest to your last place of residence.
All non-EU-students need a valid residence permit for the length of their study stay at a German university which entitles them to study. After entering Germany, the visa will be changed to a residence permit for study purposes. In order to get the residence permit, you have to apply to the local immigration authorities before your visa expires:
- Step 1: You register with the municipality within one week after your arrival.
- Step 2: You apply for the residence permit for study purposes with the local immigration authority. Important documents are: Proof of financial means + German health insurance.
Generally, this will be a residence permit issued by the local immigration office (Ausländerbehörde) in the relevant university town initially for a maximum of 2 years. The residence permit can only be issued up to 3 months before the passport becomes null and void.
Alternative: Long-term visa
See subsection of "Citizens of the USA, Canada, ..."
Non-EU-students: Financial Proof
Non-EU-students will have to give proof of financial resources of a minimum of 670 Euro per month for the duration of their studies when applying for a study permit. Please bring along the original of this proof when you travel to Germany.
The DAAD provides detailed information about visa application.
- Health Insurance
All international students - just like German students - must prove that they have a Health Insurance Policy or ID. It is a prerequisite to be enrolled at a German university and to get a residence permit (for Non-EU-students).
Choose a Health Insurance Company
There are basically 3 options:
Public (statutory) German Health Insurance Companies
If you are under 30 years of age, you can insure yourself with a statutory German Health Insurance provider for around 80 Euros per month. This means that you have the same conditions as German students, i.e. after presenting the chip card you have received, the treatment costs will be settled directly between the physician and health insurance provider. Please bear in mind that such an insurance is only valid from the start of the semester (September 1st or March 1st). Therefore you have to take care of your insurance cover before the start of the semester, for instance via a travel medical insurance.
Two of the possible public organizations are “Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse (AOK)” and “Techniker Krankenkasse (TK)”. All public insurance organizations offer reliable and good services. AOK has an office close to the campus: Paul-Ehrlich-Straße 1-3 (Medical Health Center, Medizinisches Gesundheitszentrum), 2nd floor.
After registering, your insurance organization will send your insurance ID card by post. It may take a few days to reach you. Before you receive the card, you can get a registration certificate from the insurance organization to prove your membership. Since it takes a few days to issue the ID card, please ask for confirmation of health insurance since you need a proof of health insurance for registration at the university and for application for the residence permit.
Private Health Insurance Companies
Over 30 years of age, students must join a private health insurance. Please be prepared that this means that the treatment and subsequent costs must initially be paid by the patient and the relevant receipt presented to the health insurance provider.
Private health insurance companies offer different contracts. Since the cheapest contract (approx. 50 Euros) does not cover all medical services, only basic service and emergency coverage, we strongly recommend an “all-inclusive contract” with the very best service (costs at least 150 Euros/month).
Students from EU/EEA countries and from Switzerland
With some countries, such as members of the European Union and the European Economic Area, Germany has a social security agreement. As long as you have public health insurance at home you can get this insurance coverage approved by a public health insurance company in Germany. But make sure you clarify at home which documents you will need to take with you! For students this is usually a European health insurance card (EHIC).
Registration at the Health Insurance Company
For your registration at the health insurance company you need:
- Your bank account details
- Your passport
- Your address
Documents for enrollment
German public/statutory Health Insurance
Please ask for the special health insurance certificate for enrollment at the university, because a proof of membership (e. g. insurance card, letter of confirmation) is not sufficient for enrollment.
Foreign Health Insurance or Private German Health Insurance: Recognition necessary
To enroll at the Technische Hochschule Lübeck, students need to show a proof that they are properly insured. If you have chosen a private health insurance company or a foreign health insurance, your insurance coverage has to be approved by a public health insurance company in Germany (e. g. AOK, TK). Please contact one of these companies after arrival.
For the purpose of your registration/enrollment at university you will need confirmation that you are exempt from taking out public health insurance ("Befreiung von der Versicherungspflicht").
- Liability Insurance
By German law, damages on persons and objects caused by uncautious behaviour have to be compensated accordingly by the person responsible for the damage. Basically, there is no cap on compensation claims. Compensation can be expected e. g.
- for replacement of belongings and medical rehabilitation in traffic accidents,
- for damages on rented accommodation,
- if only the glasses of your room mate fall on the floor and get broken.
If somebody acts uncautiously and is not insured, compensation has to be covered by personal means, even after returning back home.
In order to avoid these financial risks, most Germans hold voluntary liability insurances. In case of damage, the insurance checks on the liability responsibilities and covers compensation claims. There are insurances that cost only 20-25 Euros for 6 months.
Please note that the Technische Hochschule Lübeck does not offer any campus liability insurance for students and is not liable for any compensation claims against students. All students are responsible to provide their own insurance coverage.
Since unforseen accidents do happen and international students usually study with tight budgets, the International Office strongly recommends to take out a liability insurance for your stay after your arrival in Germany. We will be glad to assist you.
There are several possibilities of living in Lübeck. Either you can choose to live in a dormitory, or in a shared flat or you decide to find a flat/ room by yourself.
The Studentenwerk Schleswig-Holstein offers rooms in several dormitories. They are located on the campus as well as in the city centre. Prices per room and month vary between 150 and 300 €. You may apply for a room early. These student dormitories are the cheapest ones around, and you would get a chance to easily meet colleagues/ friends. You may find this very useful during the course of your academic program as there are various group tasks to be performed.
Please note: A room in a dorm has to be paid for the whole semester. That means for the winter term from September 1st to February 28th, during the summer term from March 1st to August 31st.
The room deposit is 250 €, it has to be paid in advance. You will get the deposit back when you vacate your room.
- How to get here
From Hamburg Airport to Lübeck
Take S-Bahn 1 to Hamburg Hauptbahnhof / Hbf (Central Train Station), runs every 10 minutes (duration of trip about 25 minutes).
From Hamburg Hauptbahnhof to Lübeck Hauptbahnhof take regional train (RE or RB), runs at least hourly (duration of trip 40 minutes).
It is possible to buy a ticket from Hamburg Airport to Lübeck Hauptbahnhof or Lübeck St. Jürgen. Use one of the ticket machines at the S-Bahn station. Ask for assistance. Ticket is about € 15.
Note: ZOB (Central Bus Station) or Hauptbahnhof / Hbf (Central Train Station) are located next to each other about 1km west of the old town.
If you plan on coming directly to the campus there is sometimes a convenient train connection from Lübeck Central Station to Lübeck St. Juergen which you may take instead of the bus (see below)
From Lübeck ZOB or Lübeck Hauptbahnhof to TH Lübeck
From ZOB (Central Bus Station) or from several bus stops downtown:
- Bus 1 direction "Hochschulstadtteil"
- Bus 9 direction "Universitätsklinikum / Grillenweg"
- Bus 32 direction "Stephensonstrasse"
Busses run every 10 minutes (duration of trip about 20 minutes). Get off at “Fachhochschule”. Single ticket € 2,40, with student ID of TH Lübeck free.
From Lübeck Hauptbahnhof platform 2, train direction Szczecin Glowny (Poland), runs hourly, usually connecting with the train from Hamburg. Get off at Lübeck St. Jürgen, 5 minutes walk to Fachhochschule.
- Airport Lübeck - Blankensee: small airport with some international flights
- Baltic Sea ferry lines to Travemünde (harbour, part of Lübeck):. Busses and trains to downtown Lübeck about 40 minutes.
- By car: The TH Lübeck campus is located in the south of the city next to the "Universitätsklinikum" (clinics of the university) and the so called "Hochschulstadtteil". Follow B 207 direction Ratzeburg, Lauenburg, Flughafen Blankensee and look for signs for "Fachhochschule", Mönkhofer Weg.
- Costs and Fees
For the master program Environmental Engineering, the tuition fee is 12.000 € in total for 3 semesters.
For online programs, media fees are due.
Apart from that, currently no tuition fees are charged by Technische Hochschule Lübeck. Students just pay the semester fee twice a year (semester fee is 121 €) and one time registration fee 50 €.
The following list shows living costs per month that can be expected. Please note that these hints are based upon last years’ experiences. These expenses vary, depending on your personal needs.
Total living costs in Lübeck per month: approx. 660 €
- Cost for a room per month: approx. 150-300 €
- Health insurance per month: approx 70 € (Note: For students over the age of 30 health insurance might be more expensive)
- Semester fees: 121 € (once every semester, public transport for free)
- Cafeteria lunch: 1.30 - 4.50 €
- Telecommunication (fixed line connection and mobile) 50 €
- Others (clothes, books, stationary, recreation etc.): 100 €
- Public transportation in Lübeck: free of charge with student ID from TH Lübeck