For Incoming Students

Before Your Arrival

After your application for an IS:link semester abroad at the University of Duisburg-Essen has been accepted, you need to prepare your stay at Essen. You will receive an official letter from the International Office of the University Duisburg-Essen shortly after the application deadline (01.07. for winter term, 05.01 for summer term). This letter covers all necessary information for your preparation of the semester abroad, mainly concerning enrolment, accommodation, health insurance and an introductory German course for incoming students, as well as additional information about the university. If you have any questions regarding your enrolment, you may contact Marion Kowalski from the International Office.
Enclosed to this letter you will find another application form, which, in any case, you have to fill in and send back in order to enrol at the University of Duisburg-Essen. This application form does not affect your admittance, it is solely necessary for enrolment!
Furthermore, we strongly recommend you to sign up for the introductory German course described in the letter. Please notice that despite the course being dedicated for Erasmus students and sometimes called “Erasmus Incoming-Course”, the International Office kindly allows IS:link students to participate as well.

In addition to the information covered in the letter from the International Office, you may have to deal with the following issues:

Visa: Depending on your country of origin, you may need an entrance visa / student visa for the Federal Republic of Germany. Please have a look at the web page of the German Academic Exchange Service for information concerning your country. You may also turn to the nearest German embassy or consulate for further information, e.g. regarding necessary documents.

Insurance: Besides health insurance requirements, which are explained in the letter from the International Office, we recommend you to check if your liability insurance is valid for Germany.

After Your Arrival

Enclosed to the information letter from the International Office you will find a detailed explanation of the first steps you have to take after arriving in Essen. These steps basically comprise:

  1. Get your rental agreement from the bureau of the “Studentenwerk Essen-Duisburg”
  2. Go to your student’s residence hall and receive the keys to your room from the janitor
  3. Go to the AOK (German health insurance company) with your proof of health insurance coverage, or, if necessary, buy German health insurance from the AOK (or from another German health insurance company)
  4. Register with the city of Essen: Students from EU countries need to report to the Citizen’s Service Office (“Bürgerbüro”), students from other countries need to report to the Office for Foreigners (“Ausländerbehörde”)
  5. Go to a bank and make a cash payment for the semester ticket that is included in your student ID card (please make sure to receive a stamped, signed receipt for your payment as you will need this for enrolment); then, open a bank account, which is necessary for paying your rent
  6. Go to the International Office in order to finish your enrolment and receive your student ID card
  7. Finally, you should again visit the bureau of the Studentenwerk in order to present your proof of student status received together with your student ID after enrolment, as well as your learning agreement

If you register for the introductory course, you will receive help in completing these steps.

In order to successfully cope with these steps, especially registering with the city of Essen, please bring the following documents with you to Essen:

  • Passport / ID card
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Biometric passport size photo
  • Admission letter of the University of Duisburg-Essen, which you have received in advance

Any further documents required, i.e. certificate of enrolment and rental agreement, will be issued to you after your arrival in Essen.

Further Information

Tandem language learning and Institute of Optional Studies

If you are especially interested in improving your language skills, you can sign up for the Sprachtandem programme (tandem language learning) of the International Office. This programme allows you to work together flexibly and individually with a native German speaker in order to improve your German language skills, as well as learning about the everyday life of another culture. You can either sign up for this programme in advance by using the application form provided on the web page mentioned above, or you can sign up for the programme during the introductory course, where further information about tandem language learning will be presented to you as well.

Furthermore, the Institute of Optional Studies offers language courses and other courses that might interest you and for which you can sign up as well. More detailed information will be provided during the introductory course.

Further Questions

If there are still any questions left regarding what to do before and after your arrival in order to prepare for a rewarding semester abroad at the University of Duisburg-Essen, please see the helpful links section or contact your local IS:link coordinator.