Application and Preparation for International Exchange Students

A good preparation means a good start for an exciting exchange semester: Here you will find important information for the
Application Accommodation Visa / entry regulations Health insurance Enrollment


Our online application is not complicated. However, please check in good time whether you meet the requirements for applying as an exchange student to ensure that your application can be successful.

Application & Admission

Applying is easy! Just follow these steps:

  1. Check if the University of Tübingen is a partner university of your home university:
    • In Europe: your faculty needs to have a valid Erasmus agreement with a department in Tübingen or your university needs to be a CIVIS partner
    • Outside of Europe: your institution needs to have a valid exchange agreement with the University of Tübingen.
  2. Check the course options / restrictions as well as the language requirements below to see if you fulfill the necessary prerequisites to come to Tübingen as an exchange student
  3. Contact the International Office at your home university. Your home university needs to nominate you during the nomination period via our online portal. The link to the online portal will be provided by us to all partner universities. The nomination period for your home university is for the
    • Winter Semester 2024/25:  April 1  - May 15, 2024
    • Summer Semester 2025:   October 1 - November 15, 2024
  4. After your nomination has been accepted by us, you will receive an e-mail with the link for the online application portal. Then you need to complete your application online during the application period:
    •  Winter Semester 2024/25: April 1 - May 31, 2024
      • Nomination period ends on May 15, 2024
    • Summer Semester 2025: October 1 - November 30, 2024
      • Nomination period ends on November 15, 2024
  5. Fill out the online application and upload the following supporting documents: Scan of passport /ID card and Passport style photograph; it will be used for your student ID. Depending on what they wish to study, we require additional application documents:
    • Students who wish to study at the Faculty of Science (= Natural Sciences) or the Faculty of Medicine:
      • Transcript of Records
      • as well as a Learning Agreement (Erasmus / CIVIS) or Study Plan (Overseas) with the courses you want to attend. The Learning Agreement or Study Plan needs to be confirmed by your academic advisor by means of a signature, the Learning Agreement also needs your signature and the one of your home university.
      • Students who wish to study at the Faculty of Medicine: Proof of Measles Immunization Status
    • Proof of German language proficiency for studies/courses in some study fields
    • Students who come to do research: Confirmation of supervision by a lecturer of Tübingen University. The research stay should last at least 3 months
      More information for Master students and PhD students as research candidates.
  6. Once you have completed your application, we will process it in time. You will receive the official letter of admission which can be downloaded in our database. We will issue letters of admisison for the
    winter semester: from June onwards
    summer semester: from December onwards
    The letter of admission is necessary for the
  7. Apply for accomodation at our student dormitory. You can start an application at the same time as you apply for your exchange at the University of Tübingen. To complete your dormitory application, hand in a copy of your official letter of admission after you have received it.
  8. If you would like to improve your German before the beginning of the semester, you can apply for a place in one of the intensive preparation classes offered for exchange students at the Department for German as a Foreign Language and Intercultural Programs.
  9. Check out the courses in your field of studies.You can register for your courses a few weeks before the lecture period begins.

Language Requirements

Recommended language skills: You should have a B2 level or higher in the language of instruction of your classes (German or English). A completed B1 level in the language of instruction is mandatory for admission. The levels refer to the ‘Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)'. Even if you attend English taught courses only, we recommend a basic knowledge of German for everyday life. You generally do not need to submit language certificates with your application - however with the following exceptions:

  • Law (all study levels), Ethnology (B.A.), Biochemistry / Chemistry (B.Sc.), students from all partner universities must provide proof of German language proficiency of completed B1 or on a B2 level
  • Biology / Molecular Medicine / Pharmacy (B.Sc.) students from overseas partner universities must provide proof of German language proficiency of completed B1 or on a B2 level (no language certificate required for Erasmus or CIVS students)

The Department of German as a Foreign Language offers intensive preparatory courses before the semester begins. Also during the semester there is a wide range of courses on different language levels, usually starting from A2.

Course Options

On our website Courses for Exchange Students you find detailled information about the course offer at Tübingen University. Please note the access restrictions in study fields of the science or medical faculty.

Semester Fee

As an exchange student you

  • do not pay any tuition & no administrative fee / semester
  • need to pay a social contribution fee of 96,80 € / semester; this fee is due in the first semester upon enrollment, thereafter upon re-enrollment. The social contribution fee is paid by all students at the University of Tübingen and supports student services such as cafeterias and counseling services.

For some exchange students, there are additional monthly costs for health insurance.


A number of rooms are reserved for exchange students in the student dormitories. You need to apply extra for such a dormitory room.

Student Dormitories

The dormitories are managed by the Studierendenwerk Tübingen-Hohenheim, our partner company. The university itself does not own any dormitories. A certain number of rooms are reserved for exchange students. If you apply to the Studierendenwerk in time, your chances of getting one of these rooms for exchange students are very good.

The reserved dormitory rooms are furnished single rooms with shared kitchen and shared or private bathroom. The dorm groups, which share bathrooms and kitchens, range from 2 to 12 people, depending on the dormitory. Internet access is available in many rooms. The monthly rent is between 250 and 400 EUR and includes water, electricity and heating costs (= in German "Warmmiete").

Dormitories in Tübingen.

The rental contracts for exchange students are semester rental contracts for 6 or 5 months and cannot be reduced:

  • Winter semester: September to February; extension for March possible after consultation
  • Summer semester: March to July; extension for August possible, also for September after consultation
  • If you are admitted for 2 semesters, you will directly receive a room contract for 2 semesters (e.g. Sept - July or March - Feb)
  • The rent deposit of 600 EUR is due before moving in

The application period for a room in the dormitories is for the

  • Winter semester:    April 1 - May 31
  • Summer semester: October 1 - December 31

Online Application Dormitory Room

You can apply even if you have not yet received a letter of admission. You can submit it after you have been admitted.

Soon after May 31 / December 31 we will inform the Studierendenwerk about the exchange students who need a room. You can also apply for a room at the Studierendenwerk after these dates: The chances with a late application are, however, not as high as with a timely application. And if you apply for a flat instead for one of the reserved single rooms for exchange students, your chances to receive an accomodation offer decline, too.

If you have not received a room in the dormitories 4 - 6 weeks before the start of the lecture period, please contact our Housing Team for assistance in finding a room on the private housing market.

Private Housing Market

Since the private housing market in Tübingen is very difficult and living in Tübingen is expensive, we generally recommend international exchange students to apply for a dormitory room. However, if you do not want or do not receive a room in the dormitories, you will have to look for a room on the private housing market: Please check the Housing Team website and contact the Housing Team at housingspam prevention@zv.uni-tuebingen.de for advice.

On well-known online platforms such as www.wg-gesucht.de, https://www.kleinanzeigen.de, the number of scam offers is increasing. Please never transfer money in advance and do not send scans of your ID card or passport if requested. Some offers are too good to be true!

Please also read the Housing Team's guidelines to avoid scams. More information about scam offers and fake ads can be found here. If you are unsure about a room offer, please contact housingspam prevention@zv.uni-tuebingen.de: The Housing Team will help to check suspicious offers.

Visa and Entry Regulations

Depending on your nationality you can enter Germany withouth a visa or you need to apply for a study visa in advance.

Visa Exemption

  1. Students from the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland only need a valid identity card or comparable proof of identity to enter Germany. No visa is required.
  2. Citizens of the following countries can enter Germany without a visa and apply in Tübingen for a residence permit for study purposes within 90 days after entering  Germany:
    • Andorra, Australia, Brazil, Canada, El Salvador, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States of America
    • See this FAQ and  Point 4 and 5 of the "Next Steps" after your arrival for instructions on how to apply for a residence title at the Foreigners' Office Tübignen
    • Visa-free entry is optional: Alternatively, you can apply for a visa in your country of origin, see  this FAQ and the information under visa requirement.

Visa Requirement

All nationalities not mentioned under visa exemption must apply for a student visa before entering the country. Please do not enter the country with a tourist visa, this cannot be changed into a student visa / student residence permit later! Since visa issuance can sometimes take longer, please contact the applicable German office abroad (embassy or consulate) as soon as you receive your letter of admission and apply for the visa in time.

More information on visas can be found here:

Proof of Financing for the Visa / Residence Permit

When applying for a visa from abroad or for a residence permit after your arrival in Tübingen, you must prove that you have sufficient financial means for your studies in Germany. You can find information on the minimum amount and accepted proofs of financing by German authorities at

Health Insurance

Having health insurance is mandatory to get enrolled at a German university. Here you find information on how to confirm your current health insurance status or how to acquire German health insurance.

General Information on Health Insurance

A requirement of enrollment is to have sufficent health insurance and to have your insurance status digitally confirmed to the Student Administration of Tübingen University by a German statutory health insurance company ("gesetzliche Krankenkasse"). This digital confirmation of a statutory health insurance company is also necessary, if you have private health insurance or do not need a German health insurance, as your current statutory home country insurance is valid in Germany.

If you do not have health insurance in your home country or need additional insurance for the duration of your studies, you can either get insured through a German statutory health insurance company, or a private health insurance.

Together with your letter of admission, we will send out detailed information on health insurance providers and explain how the digital notification of health insurance coverage to the student administration of Tübingen University works.

1. Students from the EU and associated countries

If you come from an EU/EEA country, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, or a country with a reciprocal social-security agreement with Germany, you will remain insured in the country you are studying in and be exempt from taking out health insurance in Germany.

  1.  EU, EEA, Switzerland: For a German statutory health insurance company to issue the insurance confirmation, they need your health insurance card, the EHIC.
  2.  UK: For a statutory German health insurance company to issue the insurance confirmation, they need your health insurance card, the GHIC.
  3. Countries with a social-security agreement: Please submit the corresponding form of your statutory home country insurance to a German statutory health insurance company:
    • Bosnia-Herzegovina: BH 6
    • Serbia: DE 111 SRB
    • Turkey: A/T 11

2. Students without or with insufficient health insurance

If you do not have health insurance or if it is insufficient, you have the following options:

  1. Until the age of 30, we recommend that you insure yourself as a student with a statutory German health insurance. Costs per month are approx. 120 EUR.
    For students over 30 years of age  You must take out private health insurance.
  2.  If you decide to take out private health insurance (all ages), please note that each health insurance company offers a different range of benefits. 
    • Inform yourself thoroughly before taking out private insuranc; very cheap (private) health insurances often do not cover important services
    • You cannot return to the statutory student health insurance once you have chosen a private one


Enrollment means that you officially become a student member of Tübingen University and are allowed to study here. As an exchange student you will be enrolled for a limited period of study at Tübingen University, normally 1 or 2 semesters.

Enrollment - Procedure

By enrolling, you receive the official status of a student at Tübingen University. This includes the possibility to register for courses, the use of your student ID card and the university's databases with your log-in data.

To apply for online enrollment in ALMA, the university's central portal, you will need a code, which will be communicated to you in good time by the Incoming Team. You will also receive a step-by-step guide on how to enroll via ALMA. Please start an application for enrollment only after you have received the ALMA code and the instructions for exchange students !

If you spend two semesters at the University of Tübingen, you do not have to submit a new application for enrollment but you will re-enroll for the 2nd semester.