There are many questions, mostly organizational, that have to be answered before a stay abroad can be undertaken. We are happy to help you plan your stay at Furtwangen University. Please note that as every guest stay at HFU, whether for teaching, research or employment, will be individually customized, only  general information can be given here.

Financing

There are various ways of financing a teaching, research or employment stay at Furtwangen University:

  • Scholarships
  • Employment contract
  • Self-financing
  • Project financing

Below you will find links to scholarship and funding programmes which fund research and teaching periods for (young) foreign academics at German universities:

Click here for current job postings and information regarding short stays and guest lecturer positions at Furtwangen University.

Visas

EU citizens
No visa is required to enter Germany.

Non-EU citizens
If you wish to teach, research or carry out some other type of employment at Furtwangen University, you will normally have to apply for a visa before coming to Germany at the relevant German diplomatic mission.

This is not applicable for citizens of states for which the European Union has lifted visa requirements. (incl. Australia, Canada and the USA). Click here for information about visa requirements and a list of states for which a visa is required.

Visa requirements can vary depending on the country, the planned length of stay and the reason for the stay in Germany. The German diplomatic representation in your home country can give you information about the required documentation.

Please note:

  • You should apply for your visa well before the planned date of travel as there may be long waiting times for processing.
  • A Schengen Visa is only issued for a short stays (up to 3 months per half year) and cannot be extended.
  • A national visa is issed for a planned stay of longer than 3 months.

Further information can be found under EURAXESS.

Medical Insurance

Valid medical insurance for the complete length of the stay is a legal requirement regardless of the purpose of the stay. It is needed for example for the residency permit. 

Please check before arrival whether your medical insurance from home provides adequate coverage in Germany and, if not, please arrange for coverage before arriving in Germany.

Stay with Scholarship
If you are travelling to Germany on a scholarship or are self-financed, and your home insurance does not provide adequate coverage, you can generally only take out private insurance in Germany. Please check this with your scholarship donor, or check the various options for statutory or private insurance.

Stay with employment contract
If you have an employment contract with HFU, you must take out German medical insurance. In this case, you inform our university of your chosen medical insurance company; the university then registers you with the medical insurance company. The medical insurance premiums are deducted directly from your gross salary.

Depending on your income, you can insure yourself either with a private or a statutory insurance company. The choice of both is large. Click here for more information regarding the system of statutory insurance.

DAAD insurance
Under certain circumstances you can take out insurance over the German Academic Exchange Service  (DAAD). This insurance also provides students, graduates, doctoral candidates and academics from abroad with accident and personal liability insurance in addition to medical insurance. More information can be found here: www.daad.de/versicherung/en/.

Further information on medical insurance can be found here: EURAXESS.

Accident and Personal Liability Insurance

Accident insurance
All members of the university (students and university employees) have statutory accident insurance. You are therefore insured for accidents on the way to and from the university, on the campus or during university events (e.g. excursions). However, this insurance does not cover accidents that happen privately or in your freetime. For this reason you should take out an additional private accident insurance.

Personal liability insurance
We strongly recommend that you take out a private personal liability insurance during your stay in Germany. This insurance covers you for any damage to property or bodily injury which you may incur. 

Accommodation

You should start early to search for accommodation near the university. The demand for short-term (furnished) rentals is high. Private rentals and rentals through real estate agents can be found on the following websites and in the local newspapers.

Click here for important information regarding moving in, accommodation search and rental laws.

Contact Information and Directions

Click here for travel directions and contact addresses for our three campuses in Furtwangen, Schwenningen and Tuttlingen.

Registration at the Residency Registration Office

After arrival, you will have to register at a Residency Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt, Bürgerbüro or Bürgeramt) in your town. This should generally be done within the first week of arrival. To do so, you will require the following documents:

  • Personal identity card or passport (with visa if required)
  • Proof from your landlord that you have moved in (Wohnungsgeberbestätigung)
  • Completed registration form

After registering you will receive a receipt which is proof of registration (Meldebescheinigung). You will need this document, e.g. to open a bank account or to apply for your residency permit.

Residency and Work permits

If you intend to stay at Furtwangen University for a longer period of time, you will generally require a short-term residency permit. You have to apply for this at the foreign office in your home city.

Travel with visa
The visa is your entry permit. You must register within a week of arrival in Germany at the Residency Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt) in your city. When you do so, an electronic registration title (eAT) will be requested at the immigration authorities (Ausländerbehörde) responsible and in doing so, the entry visa is substituted for an extended residency permit.

Travel without visa
Even if you do not require a visa to enter Germany, you still have to register your place of residence in Germany after arrival. If you stay in Germany for longer than 3 months, you generally have to apply for a residency permit. (This is not required for citizens of the European Union, the European Economic Area countries, or Switzerland.)

Immigration Authorities
Please apply to the immigration authorities in the city where you are resident:

Furtwangen (= Region Villingen-Schwenningen)
Local immigration office (Ausländeramt)
Landratsamt Schwarzwald-Barrkreis
Am Hoptbühl 2
78048 VS-Villingen

Schwenningen (= Town Villingen-Schwenningen)
Local immigraton office (Ausländeramt)
Stadtverwaltung Villingen-Schwenningen
Marktplatz 1
78054 VS-Schwenningen

Tuttlingen (Town)
Immigration department (Ausländerwesen)
Stadtverwaltung Tuttlingen
Rathausstr. 1
78532 Tuttlingen

Tuttlingen (Region)
Local immigration office (Ausländeramt)
Landratsamt Tuttlingen
Bahnhofstr. 100
78532 Tuttlingen

Please make an appointment for personal consultations.

Work permits
International academics who are invited to Furtwangen University to research or teach, do not require a work permit. Family members who accompany you during your stay at HFU and who wish to work, may have to apply for a work permit (see the following information flyer, "Research stays in Germany").

Detailed information can be found through the immigration office in your city, under EURAXESS and through the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.

Radio and TV Fees

Fixed radio and TV fees have to be paid for every apartment in Germany (2016: €17.50/month),  regardless of how many people are registered for the apartment and whether there are actually any TVs or radios in the apartment. After registration at the Residency Registration Office, your data are automatically sent to the "Contributions service of ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio". Radio and TV fees are normally paid by one of the people who are registered for the apartment.

Click here for further information: www.rundfunkbeitrag.de

Social Insurance

Statutory social insurance in Germany includes medical, old age pension, unemployment, accident and long-term care insurances.

Stay with scholarship
As a scholarship holder you are generally exempt from paying social insurance contributions with the exception of medical insurance.

Stay with employment contract
If you have an employment contract to work at Furtwangen University, you will be registered for the insurances over the medical insurance or through your employer. After registration you will receive your insurance number and an insurance pass from the pension company. The contributions for the insurances are deducted directly from your salary by your employer.

Further information can be found under EURAXESS.

Tax Identification Number

Tax identification number
After registration at the Residency Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt), you will normally receive a personal identification number from the Federal Central Tax Office (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern). This number remains your tax number for life and does not change. Please give the university or your employer your tax ID number.

You can apply for a tax ID number directly from the Federal Central Tax Office.

Stay with scholarship
Under certain circumstances scholarships may be tax free, or you may have to pay tax for a scholarship gained in Germany in your home country. Please contact the scholarship donor for more information.

Stay with employment contract
If you are planning a longer stay to work or carry out research at HFU on an employment contract, you will take up residence or have your main residence in Germany. In doing so you are generally liable to pay all income tax in Germany on any earnings from either Germany or abroad. However, German tax laws are subject to a series of double taxation agreements which it has signed with most countries.

Through your work contract, all taxes will be deducted directly from your salary and paid by the employer to the Tax Office (Finanzamt). Part of the taxes paid may be refunded at the end of the calendar year. To receive a refund, an application must be made to the local tax office.

Further information can be found under EURAXESS 

Transport and Driving Licence

Driving licence
You are allowed to drive with a valid driving licence in Germany for 6 months. After 6 months you will have to apply to have your licence converted into a German licence at the local road traffic licencing office (Straßenverkehrsamt). This is not necessary for valid licences from European Union or European Economic Region countries. To find out whether your driving licence is valid in Germany, check with the Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

There are car rental firms and various car sharing and car pool possibilities at all three campus locations.

Public transport
All three of our university campuses have good bus connections. In Villingen-Schwenningen and Tuttlingen there are also rail connections.

Useful links:

Bus

Bus & Rail

Car-Sharing

Car sharing agencies and car pooling

Learning German

The teaching and working language at Furtwangen University is generally German, however you can get by without problems without German, too. If you are planning an extended stay in Germany or wish to become more involved in the German culture, it is recommended that you learn some German before arrival. It can also be arranged for you to take German courses at the HFU Language Center.

Children and Family

Childcare
If you bring your children with you to Germany and need childcare, you should look into finding something suitable as early as possible.

  • For children under 3, there are nursery schools (Krippen) which often offer all day care and lunch.
  • Children from 3 to 6 can attend kindergartens, which are voluntary. Children generally only attend kindergarten in the mornings. If you require all day care, you will need to look for a kindergarten which offers this, a so-called Kindertagesstätte or Ganztageskindergarten. 

Schools
Children in Germany have to go to school from the age of 6. If your children are older and have already completed primary school, again you will need to inform yourself as early as possible about the various types of schools available in the German school system to find out which school type is suitable for your children. Information about the various types of schools in Germany can be found under: www.bildungsserver.de. Information about schools in Baden Württemberg can be found on the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs (only in German) website. 

Childminders
Childminders (Tagesmütter or Tagesväter) offer individual care and more flexible hours of care. They must have training and an official permit from the social work department. They can be found through the local newspapers or the social work department.

Children's allowance (Kindergeld)
This is available for all children up to the age of 18 and sometimes longer, depending on the circumstances. Foreign parents may also be entitled to children's allowances for their children. Further information can be found here: www.arbeitsagentur.de

Parents' allowance (Elterngeld)
You or your partner may also be entitled to a so-called parents' allowance in Germany. Parents' allowances are awarded to parents who care for their children themselves at home (as opposed to sending them to kindergarten), who do not work for more than 30 hours a week, who live in the same household as the children and who live in or have their main residence in Germany. Further information can be found here: www.familien-wegweiser.de (only in German)

Further Information
Information regarding childcare, Germany's school system and tips on choosing a suitable school for your children can be found on the following websites:

Important Documents

Passport or personal identity card
Your passport or personal identity card and those of any family members travelling with you, must be valid for the entire duration of your stay.

Certified copies of important documents
If possible you should bring certified copies of your grades certificates, doctoral certificate, birth certificate, and if necessary, marriage certificate, with you to Germany.

Letter of invitation or hosting agreement
Bring the letter of invitation or the hosting agreement with which you were invited to teach or research at HFU.

Proof of financial means
For your residency permit, you may need  proof of means to finance your stay in Germany. In this case you will have to provide proof of personal funds or income, or the award of a scholarship.

Driving licence
To find out whether your driving licence is valid in Germany, check with the Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

Vaccination pass
Your international vaccination pass (and those of your family) should also be brought.

Passport photos
You will need current biometric passport photos for various official documents. You can also have these done after you arrive in Germany.

Insurance documents
You should inform yourself about adequate insurance coverage before your arrival and bring the necessary documents with you to Germany. We recommend valid medical, accident and personal liability insurance, and possibly also travel insurance.