University of Erfurt

General Information for Studying and Living in Erfurt

1. The City of Erfurt

Blick über die Stadt Erfurt
Kikafigur Bernd, das Brot mit Kindern
Erfurt Rathaus am Fischmarkt

Many unique features characterise the medieval city of Erfurt, which is not only the largest city in Thuringia, but is also one of the oldest cities in central Germany. The city's eventful history began over 1,250 years ago with its early development as an economic, political and cultural centre, largely due to its favourable location at the crossroads of important European trade routes. Prominent figures such as Martin Luther, Ulrich von Hutten, Adam Ries, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller and Wilhelm von Humboldt are closely associated with the history of the city.

Erfurt, the capital of the free state of Thuringia, is located right in the heart of Germany, making it convenient for transport and travel. Erfurt is also in the immediate vicinity of famous towns and cities such as Weimar, Jena and Eisenach. With its 200,000 inhabitants, Erfurt is once again rapidly developing into a university city with great flair and character. Approximately 8,500 students currently attend its two institutions of higher education.

The charm of the well preserved and carefully restored medieval part of the city, with its traditional patrician houses, picturesque alleys and squares, can be discovered in the Andreas- and University quarter. The "Collegium maius" - the restored mediaeval University building - still stands in this old part of the city, along with the international guest house in the Michaelisstraße and the mediaeval residence halls am Kreuzsand. The current student centre is housed within the vaulted cellars of the "Engelsburg", which has a club with a long historical tradition and also provides numerous student services.

See the following image trailer for a first impression!

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2. Travel Arrangements to Erfurt and the University

Karte mit Entfernungen zu Erfurt
Haupteingang Bahnhof Erfurt

Erfurt is centrally located and can easily be reached by plane, train or car. 

  • By air: There are regular flights to Erfurt from almost all of the larger German airports (e.g. Düsseldorf, Köln-Bonn, München, but not from Frankfurt/Main). Erfurt Airport is situated on the outskirts of the city, approximately 10 km from the city centre, which can be reached by tram after your arrival.
  • By train: High speed trains (ICE, IC and IR) travel regularly to Erfurt from all parts of Germany. If you arrive via Frankfurt, there are trains from Frankfurt airport and Frankfurt Central Station ("Hauptbahnhof") to Erfurt every hour. There is a tram stop and taxi stand immediately in front of Erfurt Central Station. The tram travels directly to the University (see below).
  • By (long distance) bus: Erfurt is part of the vast network of bus lines connecting Germany's major cities (in our case: Frankfurt, Leipzig, Berlin). If you are planning on arriving by bus, you can take a look here.
  • By car: Erfurt can be reached via the motorways A 4 and A 71. From the west (Frankfurt/Main), you should take the A 4 Frankfurt - Dresden to "Erfurter Kreuz". From "Erfurter Kreuz", drive along the A 71 to the "Erfurt-Bindersleben" exit. Then follow the signs to "Erfurt-Nord" and "Universität".
    • From the east (Dresden or Leipzig), follow the A 4 Dresden - Frankfurt to the "Erfurt-Ost" exit. Then follow the signs to "Zentrum" und "Universität".
    • There is a visitors' parking lot behind the university campus with plenty of free parking spaces.
  • By tram: There is a tram stop in front of the central railway station. You can travel directly to the university with trams number 3 (going to "Europaplatz") or 6 ("Rieth") without having to transfer. The university tram stop is the seventh after the central station (Anger - Fischmarkt - Domplatz - Webergasse - Bergstraße - Baumerstraße - Universität). The main entrance to the university is directly opposite the tram stop.

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3. "Semester ticket"

Arrêt de tramway "Universität"
Erfurt Rathaus am Fischmarkt

After paying the semester contribution, you will receive your Student ID ,which also serves as your semester ticket. The semester ticket entitles you to travel free of charge on the Erfurt transport system (Verkehrsbetriebe AG), within the city zones of Jena, Weimar, Gera, Apolda and Gotha, and on the local trains of the German Railway System (Deutsche Bahn AG) within Thuringia and some private railway companies. Given that a single tram journey is almost 2 Euro, along with the fact that the semester ticket is valid for six months (October to March, or April to September, respectively), you can save a lot of money. Detailed information is provided by  Studierendenwerk Thüringen.

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4. Student Halls of Residence

1) The student residence halls are administrated by the University's Studierendenwerk Thüringen (Student Services Organisation). Detailed information on all the residence halls as well as photos can be found at Wohnanlagen > Erfurt. The following residence halls are situated on the university campus in Nordhäuser Straße:

  • Haus 6, Plauener Weg 8 (appr. 225 places)
  • Haus 1, Alfred-Weber-Platz 5 (90 places)
  • Haus 4, Alfred-Weber-Platz 2 (92 places)
  • Max-Kade-Haus (50 places)

The application form for the dormitory can be found online on the website of "Studierendenwerk". Please fill out the form and register for a single or double room. We advise you to apply as soon as possible.  You will receive a confirmation email from "Studierendenwerk" once your application has been received. Six weeks before you move in you will be asked if you are still interested in renting the room. Please do not forget to answer that email!
Rent is calculated according to the size and quality of the room; see the "Studierendenwerk" webpage for current price ranges. The rent price includes utility costs (heating, water, electricity). Please note that the minimum lease for a room in the student halls of residence is 6 months, i.e. you will have to pay six months' rent even if you are only staying five months. A deposit of € 300 must be paid for all placements in residence halls. You can bring your own bed linens and sheets ("Bettwaesche") from home, or you can buy the entire package for € 35 from the Studierendenwerk. A pillow and blanket can be provided for € 25. For internet access you will be charged a monthly fee of € 10. 

2) You can also look for a room in a shared flat on your own. Quite a few German degree-seeking students partake in exchange programs for a semester or two and offer their rooms for sublet. You can browse Wohnungsbörse Uni Erfurt (Facebook) to find out about accommodation options and establish contact with the respective offerers. If you are successful in obtaining a room off-campus please do on no account forget to cancel your dorm application - otherwise you will have to pay rent for two places.


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5. Student Restaurants (Mensa)

Studenten vorm Café "Hörsaal 7"
Glasbox des Studentenwerks Thüringen an der Universität Erfurt

One of the main tasks of the University's Studierendenwerk (Student Services Organisation) is to prepare and serve meals at reasonable prices. The students' meals in the "Mensa" (dining hall) are subsidised by the State of Thuringia. German and international food, including vegetarian, is served as the main meal and the standard menu. There are also salad and pasta buffets. In addition, various snacks can be purchased in the cafeterias: Mensen und Cafeterien.

Facilities and Opening hours

  • Mensa Nordhäuser Straße (University Campus) , Mon - Fri 7 - 3 p.m.
  • Cateteria "Hörsaal 7" (University Campus) , Mon - Tue 11 - 7 p.m., Fri 11 - 3 p.m.
  • Glasbox (University Campus) , Mon-Tue 7-8:30 p.m., Fri 7-3 p.m.

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6. Cost of Living

Living costs are currently estimated by the authorities to be EUR 853  per month (EUR 10.236 per year, as of 1.1.2020). You must provide relevant proof to authorities that this amount of money per month is available for your stay in Germany. Detailed Information on finances provides the Website of the DAAD.
Please take the following costs into consideration:

  • Rent for a room in a student residence hall or for private accommodation (from 160 Euro to 300 Euro)
  • Security deposit for a room in a residence hall (300 Euro), which is returned after the lease has expired
  • Semester contribution (approx. 270 Euro per semester) including the semester ticket, which enables travel free of charge on all local public transport in and around Erfurt
  • Health insurance contributions (approximately 90 Euro per month for students under 30 years old)
  • Costs for books and learning materials
  • Living costs

Keep in mind that you will need a big sum of money in cash at the beginning of your stay (room deposit, semester contribution, health insurance, phone card, shopping). Before you depart for Erfurt, inform your bank that you will be spending one or two semesters abroad, and find out if there is a daily or weekly limit for withdrawals. Bring enough cash and/or traveller cheques.


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7. Shopping

Freiraum im Hochschulladen WIESEL

Supermarkets are generally open between 8:00 and 20:00 from Monday to Saturday. There are outlets with large supermarket chains at the terminus of tram number 6 (Rieth) and at the Thüringenpark tram stop of the number 3 tram (Europaplatz). You can also buy good quality fresh fruit and vegetables at very reasonable prices at the local market on the Domplatz from very early on in the morning to approximately 13:30. In Germany, all shops are closed on Sundays. Petrol station shops and the shops near the train station are the only places that remain open during the night as well as on Sundays and public holidays.

You can plan your budget with the following supermarket prices in mind:

ProductPrice (Euro)
Bread (1 kg)2 to 3,50
1 Brötchen0.20 to 0.45
Butter (250 g)1.50
Milk (1 l)0.80
Yogurt (100 g)0.30 to 0.50
Wurst (100 g)ca. 1
Coffee (500 g)5
Potatoes (2,5 kg)1.50
Pasta (500g)0.50 to 1.50

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8. Working / Jobs

8.1. Legal Regulations

International students who are staying in Erfurt for at least two semesters are legally allowed to work up to 120 full or 240 half days per year, mainly during the semester break. The authorisation is provided directly by the Foreigners' Registration Authority, so you do not need a work permit from the job centre. If you have received a scholarship for your studies, and want to earn extra money during your stay in Erfurt, you will need permission from the body providing you with the scholarship. You do not need permission for a job as a student assistant at the university.

8.2. Looking for a job

It is not easy to find part-time jobs in Germany. However, with good language skills, particularly in German and English, and a little bit of luck, you could find a temporary job in fields such as typing, auxiliary work for companies, and part-time jobs in call-centres, factories or bars. The University's Studierendenwerk has set up a Student Job Agency in conjunction with the Erfurt Job Centre. In addition, the university itself employs students for temporary work.

In cooperation with the provider JobTeaser the Erfurt University's student council has implemented an online job and traineeship platform where you can register via an app. The platform's target groups are students, companies as well as teaching staff and employees. You can find this Career Center here

Thüringer Agentur für Fachkräftegewinnung (ThAFF) assists students in finding an internship or a job after the completition of studies. It provides a database with available jobs.

The Welcome Center Thuringia provides skilled professionals from other countries with specific immigration assistance and integration support. It is the main point of contact for skilled foreign professionals who want to work and live in Thuringia, and for companies who want to hire and integrate these specialists into their workforce.

The web portal "Make it in Germany" warmly welcomes international qualified professionals and their families! Qualified professionals from abroad can use the welcome portal to find out more information on how to live and work in Germany - and why it is worthwhile to do so.

Every December, Thüringer Agentur für Fachkräftegewinnung organises the "academix" job fair. Students and graduates receive advice concerning application documents, internship positions, and job opportunities. It is recommended to attend academix at the beginning of your studies to get an overview and establish contact with companies. Please do not forget to take your application documents with you to the job fair.

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9. Health Insurance

Every student is required to have adequate health insurance coverage at all times. Documentation for health insurance must be provided when enrolling at the University. As a student, you have the right to statutory health insurance at the lowest rate of contribution (at present appr. 82 Euro per month).

The following health insurance options are available:

  • for students up to 30 years old: a health insurance contract with a general local health insurance fund at student rates (approx. 82 Euro per month)
  • for students over 30: a health insurance contract with a private health insurer (Compare the prices of various statutory and private insurance companies for the best offer!)
  • the health insurance of certain countries with bilateral agreements with Germany is recognised in Germany so that it is possible for you to simply remain insured in your own country. You must obtain the form specified below from your domestic national insurance and present it to the german health insurance: (as of 4/2017):
Anspruchsbescheinigung KV

European Health Insurance Card (from national health insurer)

EEC-countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway); SwitzerlandEuropean Health Insurance Card (from national health insurer)

BH 6

Serbia, MontenegroJU 6
MacedoniaRM/D 111
TurkeyIndividual insurance certificate
TunesiaA/TN 11


Health insurances from other countries and travel insurances are normally not recognised. Students must normally follow options a) or b) and buy health insurance in Germany.


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10. Immigration Regulations

10.1  Visa

A visa authorises you to enter, but not remain, in Germany. The visa has an expiration date and may be valid for different time periods. Students who want to enrol at a German university may only do so with a student visa. A visa is not required for students from EC countries, Switzerland, Canada, the USA, and Japan. You must apply for your visa at the German embassy or consulate in your home country. The following documents must generally be submitted for an application for a visa:

  • Notification of admission for study at the University of Erfurt
  • Proof of sufficient financial means for the duration of the study period in Erfurt (as of 1.1.2020 EUR 853 per month)
  • Copy of a higher education entrance qualification
  • Proof of knowledge of the German language
  • Health certificate, if necessary

The processing of a visa can take up to three months. Please allow yourself ample time for the application! Never travel with just a tourist visa as it cannot be converted into a student visa. You also would not be able to enrol at the university and would have to leave Germany after three months! 


10.2 Formalities after Arrival

After their arrival in Erfurt all international students must register with the city's Registration Offices (Bürgerservice). In addition, non-European students must apply for a residence permit from the local Foreigners' Registration Authority (Ausländerbehörde).

Registration Office (Bürgerservice)

Bürgermeister-Wagner-Straße 1, 99084 Erfurt
Telephone: (0361) 655-5444

Office hours

Mon / Wed / Fr / Sai: 9.00 - 12.30 Uhr
Tue / Thu: 9.00 - 18.00 Uh

You will need the following documents:

  • your passport
  • rental contract + "Wohnungsgeberbestätigung"

Ausländerbehörde der Stadt Erfurt

Bürgermeister-Wagner-Str. 1
99084 Erfurt
Telephone: (0361) 655-3830

Office hours

Mon, Thu, Fri: 9.00 - 12.30 Uhr
Tue: 9.00 - 12.30 Uhr and 14.00 - 18.00 Uhr


(As of 04/2017)

You will need the following documents:

  • your passport together with a photocopy
  • the form "Antrag auf Erteilung einer Aufenthaltserlaubnis (Application for a Temporary Residence Permit in Germany) ( it can be obtained from the International Office)
  • one passport-sized photograph which must meet the requirements for biometric pass photos
  • certification of university enrolment ("Immatrikulationsbescheinigung") / student identity card
  • proof of health insurance
  • residence registration form ("Meldebescheinigung", available from Bürgerservice, see above)
  • proof of sufficient financial means to cover the living costs for the duration of the study period in Germany (as of 1.1.2020 EUR 853 per month)

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11. Formalities prior to departure

In order for you to successfully finish your stay at Erfurt University a few formalities have to be processed.

You may register your “Notice of Departure“ at the Citizens Registration Office 1 weeks prior to departure. Please go there during office hours. You only need to bring a form of identification with you (passport, ID, etc.).




You can fill in the form Request for De-Registration at the International Office (Marion Kraushaar & Sandra Schmidt) 2-3 days prior to departure. It will then be turned in at the Registrar’s Office. Please note that you are only able to ride the trams/trains for free until the date of de-registration put on this form.

If you are from a non-EU-country and have German Health Insurance, you have to submit your “Notice of Departure” and “Certificate of Exmatriculation” at the respective branch of the insurance company. Before closing your German bank account, the last installment has to be transfered directly to the insurance company’s account.

12. Student Associations

There are a variety of different student associations on the campus of the University of Erfurt. The associations cover topics such as society, politics and leisure. An overview of the different associations can be found here.  The members of the groups are looking forward to welcoming new dedicated students!

The student association Anti-Racist Campus Erfurt, for instance, aims to prevent any racist action on the campus of the university.

You can contribute to that by being an active member of the association. You can report incidents with racist background as well as receive professional help in case you were affected by a racist incident.

Website: Hochschulgruppe Antirassistischer Campus Erfurt

13. Students with Disabilities

All of the classroom buildings and central utilities are gradually being converted to accommodate those with disabilities as part of the modernisation and renovation programme of the university campus. Unfortunately, some of the buildings are still difficult to access, particularly for those in wheelchairs. However, your fellow students and the staff in the International Office are happy to help you.

Detailed information can be obtained from each individual faculty, or from the university diversity officer. He can answer your specific questions and clarify your concerns. You find more information on studying with disabilities and chronic illnesses as well as the contact person details on this website.
Studentenwerk provides appropriate accommodation for those with disabilities in the residence halls (see 4.).

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14. Recreation and Cultural Activities

Turnerin des USV Erfurt

The University Sports Centre 

The University Sports Centre (USV) provides students and employees with the opportunity to increase their levels of fitness with a wide range of activities, all of which are listed on the university sports centre website and in a brochure that is published at the beginning of each semester.
Building Saalestraße, opposite the beach-volleyball field

14.2 Music ensembles

Students who enjoy singing or playing an instrument have the opportunity to join the University Choir, the Chamber Choir, the Jazz and Gospel choir, the Big Band, or the University Orchestra.

14.3  Student clubs

The Studentenzentrum Engelsburg is situated in the mediaeval part of Erfurt - the Andreasviertel. Cultural events take place in the Engelsburg on an almost daily basis and can be found in the monthly calendar of events. 

Studentenzentrum "Engelsburg" (Allerheiligenstraße 21/22)

14.4  Cultural Events and entertainment in the city of Erfurt

There are numerous theatres, cinemas, museums and leisure facilities in Erfurt. The Erfurt Tourist Information Centre (Tourismus GmbH Erfurt) can provide you with more information and with a monthly calendar of events (Erfurt-Magazin) for a current overview of events in Erfurt.

Tourismus GmbH Erfurt (Benediktsplatz 1, 99084 Erfurt)

Tourist information

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15. Checklist

Make sure that you have the following items with you before departing your home country:

  • A passport that is valid for the full period of your stay in Germany (otherwise you may have to return to your home country in order to have your passport extended)
  • Notification of admission for study at the University of Erfurt
  • Proof of financial means (see 10.)
  • Visa (not a tourist visa), if required (see Visa)
  • Proof of health insurance from your home country, if it is recognised in Germany (see Health Insurance)
  • International student identity card (ISIC)
  • Personal effects and other items that you will need:
    • necessary medication and inoculation certificate
    • travellers' cheques and cash for the first days after arrival (see 6.)
    • EC bank card or credit card
    • Plug adapter, sleeping bag, alarm clock

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16. Further Information: Studying and Living in Germany

You need general information about studying in Germany? The German Academic Exchange Service answers frequently asked questions. Available in German, English and other languages.

Facts about Germany is a reference book offering all sorts of up-to-date information about Germany in general. All aspects of modern life in Germany are covered – be it business, culture, or politics. Available in German, English and 16 other languages.

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