Living in Giessen
Due to the fact that the university and local authorities are closed from Friday afternoon to Sunday, we strongly advise you to plan to arrive in Giessen between Monday and Thursday – preferably in the morning. This will allow you to take care of any necessary formalities as soon as you arrive. Please remember that 3rd October is a public holiday in Germany – all shops and the student service facilities are closed on that day.
Please remember that if you reserved a room in one of our student hostels, you will be handed your room-key only during the opening hours of the student service offices. You will be required to pay your deposit and sign the rental contract before receiving your key.
Student Service Office - Opening Hours:
Monday - Thursday 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Friday 9:00 am - 2:30 pm
If you arrive at a time that lies outside of the opening hours, you will need to book accommodation at a hotel or hostel (cost: between 20 and 100 Euros per night).
Please ensure that you have enough money with you when you arrive (cash or credit card) in order to cover initial expenses during your first few days in Giessen. Don't forget that you will require money for accommodation, bonds, transport etc. and you may not be able to open a bank account as soon as you arrive. As there are several formalities to be taken care of in order to open a bank account, this process may take several days.
Transfer to Giessen
If you arrive at Frankfurt Main Airport there are several ways of getting to Giessen: you can travel by train (about 25 Euros) or by taxi (about 55 Euros). Giessen is situated approximately 70 km north of Frankfurt / Frankfurt Main Airport.
- If you decide to take a taxi to Giessen, you can order this service in advance via e-mail (email@example.com). Please ensure that you receive a notice of confirmation.
- If you decide to travel via train you can search here for a suitable train to Giessen: https://www.bahn.com/en/view/index.shtml
If you arrive at Giessen Central Rail Station ("Hauptbahnhof") you can use public transport to reach your next destination. The link below will take you to the website of the RMV, the public transport company responsible for the area of Germany that Giessen lies in. The website is also available in English. Here you can enter departure and destination points (e.g. bus stops) as well as enter addresses directly:
The following provides a map detailing the public transport in Giessen:
- SWG-Liniennetzplan: http://www.mitbus.de/fileadmin/user_upload/PDF/Liniennetzplan/SWG-Liniennetzplan_16_10_2015.pdf
If you reserved a room at a student hostel, you will need to sign the rental agreement and provide the following:
- Letter of admission or certificate of enrolment
- Cash with which to pay the deposit
You will require the rental agreement when registering at the Stadtbüro Gießen (Giessen city office).
Pleas note the information of the Student Service Office:
Certificate of Registration
In Germany it is required that you inform the local authorities within one week of moving to a new address. This means that, once you have moved into your new accommodations and signed the rental agreement, you will have to register at the Stadtbüro Gießen (Giessen city office).
You will require the following documentation when registering:
- Rental agreement
You will require a certificate of registration from the city office in order to apply for a residence permit.
Citizens from an EU country do not require a residence permit. Students from a non-EU country, however, are required to apply for a student residence permit in order to be allowed to stay in Germany.
You will require the following documentation in order to apply for a residence permit:
- Completed application form from the aliens registration authority
- Biometric passport photo
- Certificate of registration by the city office
- Health insurance certificate
- Certificate of enrolment at the University
- Proof that sufficient funds are available to finance your studies in Germany
The Giessen city office and the aliens registration authority are located in the same building.
Stadtbüro und Ausländerbehörde der Stadt Gießen
Berliner Platz 1
Opening hours, city office:
Monday-Thursday: 8.00 am - 6.00 pm
Friday: 8.00 - 12.00 am
Saturday: 10.00 am - 1.00 pm
Opening hours, aliens registration authority:
Monday and Wednesday: 8.00 - 12.00 am
Thursday: 2.00 - 5.00 pm
If you require assistance in your dealings with the local authorities, please do not hesitate to ask your tutors for help.
If you intend to live in Germany, you need to take out a local health insurance policy.
If you are from the European Union and already possess an EU-Health Chip Card, you are sufficiently insured already.
If neither is the case, you have two options. You can acquire an insurance plan from a public health insurance or from a private health insurance company. We advise you to choose a public insurance company, since all of these are recognized by the immigration authorities. However, if you are not enrolled or older than 30 years, a private health insurance policy can be a less expensive option.
A travel health insurance policy is recommended for your journey to Germany. Important: the immigration authorities only accept insurance plans covering pregnancy, dental prostheses, and psychotherapy with no cost-limit. The insurance plan has to be available in the German language.
Medical insurance companies worth considering:
- Techniker Krankenkasse, Liebigstraße 14, 35390 Gießen (Mon - Wed, Fri 8.00 am - 4.00 pm, Thurs 8.00 am - 5.00 pm)
- Barmer GEK, Bahnhofstraße 82-86, 35390 Gießen (Mon - Wed 8.00 am - 5.00 pm, Thurs, 6.00 pm, Fri 4.00 pm)
- AOK, Gartenstraße 10, 35390 Gießen (Mon - Wed, Fri 8.30 am - 4.30 pm, Thurs 8.30 am - 6.00 pm, Sat 9.00 am - 1.00 pm)
If you have further questions regarding your health insurance please contact the international office (Akademisches Auslandsamt): firstname.lastname@example.org
We would like to point out that enrolment at JLU does not include a room reservation. If you want to apply for a room in a student hostel, you should do so as soon as you have received admission to a degree programme. As many students are looking for an accomodation before the start of the semester, you need to calculate some extra time for finding an accomodation. International students are well-advised to consider the alternative of staying in a hotel for a few days.
Finding an accomodation
In order to be able to commence your course of study at Giessen without undue tensions and distractions, we recommend to arrange your accommodations as early as possible. There are several types of accommodation in Giessen: apartments/rooms in a student hostel, flatting with roommates, or a private apartments. The majority of international students decides to live in one of the several students’s residences during the initial phase of their studies at Giessen and decides to move on to private accommodations later.
Further Information housing is given on the official JLU website:
Our international office offers an online meeting in September, where you can ask any questions on living and studying in Giessen. This is very valuable, especially, if you want to clarify issues on housing.
JustInternational: Question Monday
Every first and third Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m.
(link updated on 21 Dec 2021)
Additionally, every Wednesday there is a Get-Together for international students: https://www.uni-giessen.de/get-together
All events for international students are listed in our international calender: https://www.uni-giessen.de/internationales/veranstaltungen
This type of accommodation is offered solely to students and includes individual apartments, double apartments or single rooms in an apartment with roommates. All rooms/apartments are fully furnished and equipped with TV, phone, and Internet connections.
- Individual apartment: in this accommodation, you will live in an apartment with fully equipet kitchen and bathroom. Costs: 230-290 Euro / month.
- Double apartment: in this accommodation, you will live in an apartment together with another person and share kitchen and bathroom. Your flat mates may be of the opposite sex. Costs: 180-230 Euro/month.
- Single room in a flat with flat-mates: You will live in a flat together with other students and have your own room for sleeping and studying, but you share kitchen and bathroom. In this form of accommodation, your flat mates may be of the opposite sex. Costs: 170-210 Euro/ month.
You find further information on the website of the Association of Student Affairs (Studentenwerk): https://www.studentenwerk-giessen.de/wohnen/
As many courses take place at Research Centre for BioSystems, Land Use and Nutrition (Heinrich-Buff-Ring) we recommend the students' residences "Leihgesterner Weg", "Unterhof", "Mildred-Harnack-Fish-Haus", "Gaffkystraße" or "Landgraf-Ludwig-Haus".
Depending on what kind of accommodation you are applying for, different student dormitories come into consideration. Here is an overview of the student dormitories:
In order to apply for housing in a students' residence please use the following link: https://ipack.studwerk.uni-giessen.de/iPack3/#admission
You will be directly linked to the Application for Accommodation form. Make sure you choose Giessen in the selection field Location of University. Furthermore, you need to decide whether you want to live in a double apartment, family flat, single apartment or single room. You may apply just for one of accommodation type or for several by ticking the respective boxes.
In order to apply for an accomodation, the process of enrolment at university does not have to be completed. All you need to do is to fill in your personal data, the room or rooms that you are applying for and upload your permission of study or certificate of enrolment in case you have already received it. Later submission is also possible, once a rental contract is offered to you. The upload is optional and not necessary to complete the housing application form. Only the information marked with (*) is mandatory for your housing application.
Rooms in students' residences are highly demanded, as this type of accommodation is comparatively cheap. If you intend to live in a student hostel, we advise you to apply for a room as soon as you have received admission to a degree programme.
The application is not binding. Applying for a room via this website only means that you will be informed when there is a room available suitable to your request. Then, at this point, you finally decide to accept the offer or not. You will receive an email every 14 days asking whether you are still interested in an accommodation. If the applicant does not confirm his/her interest, the application will be automatically deactivated.
As soon as a room suitable for you is available, an offer with all important information as well as the corresponding rental contract documents will be sent to you by e-mail.
For acceptance you confirm the offer by replying to the mail of the Association of Student Affairs (Studentenwerk). Then, you print out the lease agreement in duplicate and sign both copies. Please print out the SEPA direct debit mandate once and sign it after filling in all data. Please submit these documents to the Association of Student Affairs (Studentenwerk) either in person or by mail no later than the stated deadline.
If you do not accept the offer for the dormitory place, please cancel by e-mail so that the place can be assigned to someone else.
Keys are currently issued by the housekeepers in the dormitory. You will be informed about the key collection procedure by e-mail by the corresponding administrators before the start of your lease.If you do not have the possibility to collect the keys personally during opening hours, you can authorize someone to do this for you. However, a written power of attorney is required for this
Shared flats and private accommodation
In addition to the residence halls there are other possibilities of housing. You can also search for a private accommodation or shared flats known as Wohngemeinschaften, abbr. WG. You find accomodation adverts in Giessen‘s newspapers every Friday as well as online (for example www.wg-gesucht.de). You may as well search for an accommodation in the commuter belt of Giessen. Many smaller towns can be easily reached by train or bus, such as Lollar, Linden, Kleinlinden, Butzbach etc.
Flatting with flat-mates
The majority of students in Germany live in shared flats. These usually consist of two to six persons sharing an apartment. Each flat-mate generally has his/her own room, which is usually unfurnished, and all flat-mates share kitchen and bathroom. In this form of accommodation, your flat mates can be of the opposite sex. The rent ranges from 200 to 400 Euro / month depending on the size and location of flat.
Living in your own apartment is also an option. It is, however, rather difficult to find an affordable apartment in Giessen. The cost of renting such an apartment starts at about 350 Euro per month.The Friday issue of the local newspapers contains an up-to-date list of flats on offer.
The following Webpages contain up-to-date flatting offers:
Last but not least, we recommend to start learning German. Basic knowledge of the German language can be very helpful when trying to find suitable accommodation and coping with day-to-day life. German-language learning courses are offered at JLU for international students link.
You can open a bank account as soon as you have registered at the city office.
You will require the following to open a bank account:
- Certificate of registration by the city office
Recommended banks include:
- Deutsche Bank, Marktplatz 4, 35390 Gießen
- Sparkasse Gießen, Johannesstraße 3, 35390 Gießen
- Volksbank Gießen, Goethestraße 7, 35390 Gießen
Monday - Wednesday, Friday 9.00 am - 4.00 pm
Thursday 9.00 am - 6.00 pm
Please note: Several banks do not accept travelers' cheques.