Many international students study in Germany. Why is studying at ISM so popular? ISM offers you a wide range of study programs in Germany with a business orientation, high educational quality, individual support, semesters abroad, double degrees and a direct link to practice. The ISM locations are situated in the cultural and economic centers of Germany and offer you, in addition to a strong economy, a variety of sports, cultural and leisure opportunities. Studying in Germany opens up attractive opportunities.
Here you will find a few tips and tricks for your studies in Germany. If you have any questions, your student advisor will be happy to help you.
Study in Germany
Your ticket to study is the visa – Visa Issues Info
Non EU-students and students from countries other than the USA, Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, and South Korea who would like to study in Germany need an appropriate visa for entry. You need to apply for your student visa at the responsible German embassy or consulate in your home country. Please note: The entry with a tourist or visitor visa is not sufficient for study purposes!
The visa application has to state explicitly the reason for your stay in Germany (e.g. language course, studies, etc.). In particular the following documents need to be attached to the visa application:
- Certification of acceptance of the ISM
- Proof of sufficient financial funds (for example with the help of the document “Verpflichtungserklaerung” which you get from the German embassy if you have a person living in Germany)
For further information please contact the respective German consular mission abroad.
Do you need health insurance in Germany?
All students must bring proof of valid health insurance. The German social security system generally treats German and foreign students the same, i.e. foreign students can take out insurance with the statutory health insurers in Germany, currently for about 100 euros per month. Students from selected countries (mainly from the EU) can claim an exemption.
International students with private insurance can be exempted from compulsory health insurance if they present a certificate of insurance from their home insurance company, translated into German, which precisely describes the content and scope of the insurance coverage. The health insurance company in Germany will check this and may issue an exemption. Note: Please note that students older than 30 years of age are not eligible for student health insurance through the statutory health insurance companies and must take out private insurance either in their home country or in Germany. Please note that travel insurance cannot be accepted.
You can find more tips on health insurance and our partner Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) in the ISM Study Guide, (PDF).
Transportation – arriving in Germany
We try to offer a pick-up service for all arrivals at the following airports and main train stations.
- Dortmund: Duesseldorf International (NOT Duesseldorf-Weeze), airport Dortmund and main train station
- Frankfurt: Frankfurt international airport and main train station
- Munich: Munich international airport and main train station
- Hamburg: Hamburg international airport and main train station
- Cologne: Cologne/Bonn international airport and main train station
- Berlin: Berlin airport and main train station
You have to book this service not later than two weeks prior arrival. You will get a form which you have to fill out via email. Please contact your student advisor. The service costs 10/15 € per trip and per person (in Munich: 20 € from the airport per trip and per person). Please pay in cash when you meet the driver (German ISM students).
Arriving by Car
If you decide to come to Germany by car please note that in Germany environmental zones have been introduced. It is therefore necessary for you to buy an environmental badge which is obligatory for driving in green zones in Germany. For more information please visit: umwelt-plakette.de - here you will be able to choose your native language for further information. Be aware that should you be driving without the badge in green zones and be stopped by the police – they will charge you a fine.
Foreign students can take part in a 3-week intensive German course prior to semester start (€480 + an additional fee for books/study material). You will get 6 ECTS for the course if you pass the course successfully. The course will take place from Monday to Friday with 90 teaching units in sum.
There will be a course for beginners and if there are enough interested students, we will offer a language course for advanced learners.
In addition, we will also try to offer three different language courses during the semester for free with 3 ECTS:
Beginners + intermediate + Advanced Business presentations
Please be aware that you need an upper/intermediate level of German to successfully pass the semester at the ISM if you participate in classes taught in German and an upper/intermediate level of English to participate in the classes of the foreign lecturers and the ISM Business Certificate.
The Buddy Program is designed to support you, our incoming exchange or visiting students. Designated ISM students, called “Buddies”, will help you settle into your “German life”. This means they will start getting in contact with you before your arrival. But that’s not all! As a group, we will go on trips and spend evenings together, using a fun and interesting ways to get to know each other.
Feel free to contact your German buddy whenever you could need a little help or would like to meet with a local!
For more information see Study Guide ISM, (PDF)
Student Clubs and Extracurricular Activities
ISM-students have founded a number of student clubs. Variety ranges from consulting (ConsultISM) and tourism (AK TourISM) to politics (PolitISM) and finance (AK Banking). Please contact the spokesperson of each club if you are interested in joining for the time of your stay or participate in one of their activities.
Student life and parties
You will not miss any party as the party committee will put up announcements everywhere in the building. ISM parties are normally on Thursdays which does not mean that ISM students are not partying the other days as well. These parties are a great chance to meet local students and have good fun!
The running dinner is one of the most popular events among students. After the announcement you sign up at the office of the student body and decide if you want to be a cook or a driver. As an example let us say you are a girl and a driver. This means you will be paired with a guy who will make his kitchen available for the two of you to cook the starter, the main dish or the desert. For the dish you cook, two other “couples’” will arrive. (But you do not know who!) For the other two dishes you drive to someone else’s house where, again, two other ‘”couples” will be.
It is a great chance to meet a lot of people and to talk to lecturers and staff in a different surrounding as they participate as well.
Helping to shape the campus
Through numerous student working groups (AKs) and organizations, ISM students have the opportunity to realize their individual interests and preferences during their studies and to help shape their own campus. Whether it's letting your creativity run free in the AK Marketing Support or working out after class with a variety of sports, everything is possible at ISM. Your own ideas for new working groups are also welcome. The dedicated team of the Student Council (SV) plays an important role at ISM. Whether fellow students, alumni or interested parties - the SV is happy to answer all questions and tries to find a solution for every concern. Student activities are an integral part of the educational concept and are actively supported by ISM.
The diverse events at ISM give students the opportunity to get to know different subject areas and companies better. At the Career Day, many reputable companies come together every year to present attractive entry-level opportunities. Questions, e.g. about marketing strategies or current topics in the finance industry, are discussed at the ISM Summits. The Summits at the International School of Management are organized by ISM staff together with students for students.
How to open a Bank Account
Several banks offer a student bank account - most of them free of charge: Sparkasse (not free in Dortmund), Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank – to name the biggest three. You must bring the following documents with you:
- student ID card
- residence permit/city registration confirmation
If you plan to stay in Germany for at least one year, opening a bank account is usually not a problem and you can close the account anytime.
Electrical outlets in Germany usually give 220/230 Volt alternating current (AC). This may be different from that in your country. Check the appliances you bring with you to be sure they will work at the above voltages. Appliance plugs might also be different from the ones you have in your country. Converters can be purchased that will adapt your appliance's plug to the German standard.
If you are ill and you need medical service (general practitioner), please come to our office or call us and we are happy to help you!
ISM has cooperations with sports programs in Dortmund, Frankfurt and Munich. The ISM Masters is a regular sports event where ISM students compete in sports such as soccer or volleyball. There, the ISM cheerleaders from Hamburg also show what they can do.
There are several possibilities for you to do sports besides your studies. In general be careful if you sign a contract with a gym, they often have year-contracts.
You can find more helpful tips for your studies in Germany in the Study Guide ISM, (PDF) or directly from your student advisor.