Entry and Insurance

Depending on their country of origin, people wishing to enter the Federal Republic of Germany are subject to different entry requirements. Please inquire about visa regulations concerning your country of origin as soon as possible, however, at the latest after completing the online application at Mobility Online.


Important notice: Whether you need a visa or not is determined by your nationality. It does not matter in which country you study, i.e. where your home institution is located. If you study in a different country than your country of origin and have a residence permit for this country, you still need to apply for a student visa for Germany. Please inquire about visa regulations concerning your country of origin as soon as possible.

  • Students from countries requiring visa

    Depending on their country of origin, people wishing to enter the Federal Republic of Germany are subject to different entry requirements. Every exchange student is responsible for her or his visa application her- or himself.

    Students from countries requiring visa (indicated by a “Yes”/ “No” without further figures next to your nationality) have to apply for a student visa in their country of origin, or the country of their home institution, before entering Germany.

    You are not allowed to study in Germany on a tourist visa. It is not possible to exchange a tourist visa for a student visa once you have entered Germany. That means that you would have to go back to your home country in order to apply for a student visa.

    Your visa application will require your official letter of admission by the University of Mannheim. Please contact the responsible German embassy or consulate in your country of origin or the country of your home institution and apply for a student visa immediately after receiving your letter of admission.

    You can find more information on visa on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

  • Students who don’t need visa/residence permits

    EU citizens and EFTA citizens (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) do not need a student visa. After enrollment, they need to register at the residents' registration office.

    Citizens from the following countries do not need a student visa either, they need to apply for a German residence permit at the respective Foreigners’ Registration Office in Germany:

    Australia • Canada •  Israel • Japan • New Zealand • South Korea • United Kingdom • USA

    As long as there is no intention to take up any gainful/paid employment before or after your studies, citizens from the following countries do not need a student visa. However, they need to apply for a German residence permit at the respective Foreigners’ Registration Office in Germany (indicated by a [4] next to your nationality):

    Andorra • Brazil • El Salvador • Honduras • Monaco • San Marino

    Your country is not listed? Then you need a visa.

    Disclaimer: We are continuously checking the contents of the information materials published by the International Office. However, we do not assume liability for these contents. All materials are for general information purposes only and cannot be binding for every individual case. The information provided is not necessarily complete, comprehensive or up-to-date. We do not give legal advice nor legally binding information. Neither can we substitute for information given by experts in individual cases.

  • Arrival and departure dates

    Our fall semester begins on 1 August and ends on 31 January. Our spring semester begins on 1 February and ends on 31 July. Yet, you don’t need to arrive until the Welcome Week or, if you are participating, before the International Summer or Winter Academy starts.  

    Our Welcome Week serves to ease you into your new environment here in Mannheim. During a variety of events, you will get to know other students. You have to arrive in Mannheim in time for enrollment

    The examination period ends before Christmas (fall semester) or by the middle of June (spring semester), respectively. After your last examination, you may return to your home institution. The following list contains the official semester details, the lecture period, and the regular and alternate examination dates.


  • Health insurance

    All students who study on-campus in Germany are required to have a health insurance. You cannot be enrolled at the university without providing proof of your health insurance coverage.

    If you are an EU citizen, you probably have an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). By uploading the front and backside of this card to Mobility Online: https://www.service4mobility.com/mannheim., you will be exempted from the necessary insurance coverage. 

    International students who are not EU citizens may also be exempted from compulsory health insurance. The conditions of this exemption need to be checked by a representative of a statutory health insurance company in Germany prior to your enrollment. For this you need to send a German or English translation of your insurance documents from your home country to one of the statutory health insurance providers in Germany for checking. We will contact you regarding this matter in due time. 

    However, we strongly recommend all our international students from non-EU countries to purchase a statutory German health insurance. Otherwise you usually have to advance all payments for a doctor's visit/stay in a hospital. The invoices can amount to big sums easliy (depending on the illness and on the scope and duration of treatment, it can be several thousand euros!) 

    If you have international/private insurance, you will be responsible for all treatment costs up front and reimbursement by your insurance company may take several weeks. This might result in financial problems. We want to inform you that international/private insurances do not have the same coverage as German statutory insurances. The following benefits are often not included with international/private insurances:

    - Inpatient and outpatient treatment in a foreign country for chronic illnesses

    - Accidents that occur under the influence of alcohol, or are otherwise caused by negligence

    - Dental procedures

    - Routine prenatal care

    Your decision against a membership with a German statutory health insurance is irrevocable. As long as you are a student in Germany you cannot enter a German statutory insurance paying the reduced student rate if you have not done so from the beginning.

    You can take out a public German health insurance policy after your arrival in Mannheim. It costs approximately €108 per month (student rate by all statutory health insurance companies). The health insurance coverage begins on the day of enrollment. For the spring semester, however, health insurance coverage begins no sooner than 1 February. Thus, if you arrive earlier than 1 February, we strongly recommend to purchase a travel insurance (only!) for the time until then.

    Please note: standard student health insurance ends after your 30th birthday. In this case, you need to purchase a private health insurance.

    For your information, we summarized the standard health insurance benefits in the following document: Health insurance benefits.

    We advise exchange students from non-European countries to take out statutory health insurance in Germany. Otherwise, you may incur high medical costs in case of illness. If you are not member of a German statutory health insurance, you will have to pay the physician directly.

    Hospital stays, in particular, may run you several thousand euros, depending on the medical care you need. If you are member of a private (foreign) health insurance, you will have to disburse and pay all medical bills in advance. You then have to forward those bills to your private health insurance provider. The health insurance company will translate the bills and subsequently check if the treatment in question is covered by your policy. If that is the case, your private health care provider will reimburse the costs.

    In the past, many students did not receive their reimbursements until after return to their respective home country.

    If you are member of a German statutory health insurance, you do not have to pay for treatments up front. However, some costs, for example for a single room at hospital, are not covered by statutory health care. Please contact any statutory health care provider in Germany for further information. 

  • Travel insurance

    For the duration of your travel to Germany and your first days here, taking out a travel insurance policy is recommended. Your home institution might be able to assist you in choosing a travel insurance provider.

  • Private liability insurance

    We strongly advise international students to take out private liability insurance. Private liability insurance covers typical everyday damages to other people's property (for example damages to a car caused by a bicycle accident or damages caused when practicing sports etc.). When taking out private liability insurance in your home country, please check in advance whether the insurance provider will answer for damages caused during your stay abroad.


Nadja Kindinger

Nadja Kindinger

Team Coordinator, Advisor for International Exchange Students
University of Mannheim
Division II – Student Affairs
International Office
L 1, 1 – Room 107
68161 Mannheim