General Information

After your application has been approved by the International Office (you should receive an answer approx. 4 weeks after the application deadline), you will receive further information by e-mail.

We strongly suggest that you take a look at our HSBI Guide for International Students. It serves to answer many questions that you may have before and during your stay (see download box on the left).


Health insurance
Health insurance is compulsory in Germany. You must have health insurance that is valid for Germany in order to enrol at HSBI. Please check with your insurance company at home whether they cover you while being abroad in Germany. Your health insurance is definitely valid if you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). If you are from Turkey and you have the form AT/11, this document is accepted for your studies in Germany, too.

If you need to take out German health insurance, you will have a choice between public (or statutory) and private health insurance. Public health insurance is usually the better choice: it offers low rates for students and pays doctors and pharmacies directly for any services you needed to use. There is no cap on expenses, i.e. necessary treatments will be covered no matter what the cost. German public health insurance will be accepted for enrolment, no matter which company you choose.

Private health insurance will only be accepted for enrolment if your policy is comparable to public health insurance. This is often not the case: a private health insurance may not pay for necessary treatments in every case, or they may refuse payment past a certain sum (so that you would have to pay for the rest yourself). You should also know that private health insurance companies do not settle bills with the doctor or hospital, but with you. This means that you need to pay for any doctor’s visits in advance and then apply to the company for reimbursement.

It is possible to purchase a German health insurance policy online. If you need it to obtain your visa, for instance, you may want to consider buying German health insurance before coming here. You can also buy German health insurance once you are in Bielefeld. If you are not sure whether your home health insurance will be sufficient, it may be advisable to wait until arrival; this way, you can avoid purchasing expensive additional insurance policies that may not be accepted. There will be a meeting with a German statutory health insurance company during the Freshers’ Weeks.

Other types of insurance
It is advisable to take out liability insurance covering damages you might cause while living in Germany. If you drive your own car during your stay, car insurance is mandatory.

Going to the doctor

Should you ever need medical help, you will find information on which doctors and clinics there are in Bielefeld, Minden and Gütersloh in the following handouts:

Living costs

We cannot quote a fixed amount of money required for daily life as a student in Bielefeld as this depends on your living standards, your accommodation, your private expenses and the courses you take. However, statistics based on the experience of international students in the past years may give you an outline of expected monthly living costs.

The costs mentioned below are estimated and cannot be taken as binding. The accommodation costs refer to the price for a room in a dormitory/students’ residence in Bielefeld.


Monthy living costs:

  •     Accomodation costs (incl. heating and electricity): €300–400
  •     Groceries: €300
  •     Health insurance (statutory) : €100–120
  •     Public transport (included in the semester contribution)
  •     Books, course materials:  €50–75
  •     Semester contribution : €50–60 (€330.00 per semester)
  •     Broadcasting fees (TV, radio, computer): €18.36
  •     Miscellaneous: €100



  •     A meal in the canteen on campus (Mensa/Cafeteria): €2–6
  •     1 L milk: €1.15
  •     1 kg rice: €2.45
  •     1 kg apple: €3–4
  •     0.5 L beer (in a pub/restaurant): €4
  •     1 kg bread: €3–5
  •     A jar of Nutella (450 g): €3.50
  •     A cinema ticket (student discount): €8–12
  •     A theatre ticket (student discount): €10–30
  •     A second-hand bicycle: €50–300
  •     A pair of shoes: €30–100
  •     A t-shirt: €10–50

If you need to earn money during your stay, please keep in mind that the vacations will be the only time in the year when you have sufficient time to do so. Before taking up a job, please make sure that you comply with all the legal requirements.

Registration as a resident
Foreigners who do not need a visa but intend to stay for longer than three months may have to apply for a residence permit at the local registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt) within the first few days of their stay.
Bike rental system “FlowBie Siggi”

The regional travel, together with the city of Bielefeld, Bielefeld University and HSBI, has set up a public bicycle rental system for Bielefeld as part of their mobility strategy. From 6 May 2020, bicycles can be rented. By Friday, 8 May 2020, a total of 250 bicycles will be brought into a rental system.

They will be available at fixed locations in the city centre, outside of HSBI and at selected bus stops. Students can ride the first 60 minutes of each rental free of charge and benefit from a reduced night tariff on weekdays.

The locations are each marked with the “FlowBie Siggi” logo and visible in the “Siggi Bike-Sharing” app. The bikes can be rented there and parked again.

How it works for students
Borrowing is done via the “Siggi Bike-Sharing” app, which is also used for payment. Students can ride the first 60 minutes of each rental free of charge and pay 3 euros on weekdays for the night tariff from 6 p.m. in the evening to 9 a.m. the next day. Students receive a discount code to take advantage of these special conditions.

You can obtain a code for discounted use from the university’s software portal:
Please note the information provided there.

The code is entered once during registration in the app, under “Account-Einstellungen > Partner verknüpfen > Fachhochschule Bielefeld.” The app is already available for iOS devices and Android devices.

For open queries, please contact Kim-Oliver Steinhoff, the sender of the original e-Mail (AStA):

Job Teaser: Our platform for internships and job opportunities

Job Teaser is a platform where businesses and professors can place internship or work opportunities. Since our institution does not have a Career Centre, Job Teaser is your chance to find part-time jobs or work experience in and around Bielefeld. The platform was launched in March 2020:

Please find more information in the download box on the left. On p. 7 of the info document, you will find the contact person for your faculty, in case you have any questions.

Climate-friendly travel

Besides your travels, there are opportunities to act sustainably in your everyday life in Germany, for example in the way you live, shop and spend your leisure time. As one of the largest organisations promoting mobility, the DAAD offers information on how (international) students can make their more travels climate-friendly. In the download box, you will find information on

  • Planning,
  • Preparation and Networking of climate-friendly mobility as well as
  • Public and alternative means of transport and tips for regional shopping.