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Living in Bonn

We hope the information on the following pages will help you plan your stay and studies in Bonn so that you can have a smooth start and good experience here.

Organization

Before and immediately after you enter the country, there are a few things you have to be aware and take care of. The International Office website has information and links for the following items: Registering for German language classes, registering for intensive German language and orientation classes, financial questions, health and other insurance coverage, and visa matters (the latter only for non-EU students).

For extended stays in Germany, you will need a German bank account; e.g. for renting a room via the Bonner Studentenwerk, if you get a grant, or if you have a student job. In most cases, account fees will be waived for students. When you go to open an account, you will need your valid passport, the registration certificate (Meldebestätigung) from the local residence registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt), as well as your student ID (Studentenausweis) (to get a free student account). When you open your account, you will receive a debit card (EC-Karte) and possibly, a credit card.

Your student ID will also serve as your transit pass. The so-called NRW-Ticket (statewide transit) is only valid in conjunction with a photo ID; so you should always carry your photo ID or passport. Within the so-called VRS-Gebiet (metro transit area), bicycles will be transported free of charge. You may take along a person older than 14 or up to three children no older than 14 for free from Monday through Friday starting at 19:00 h, and all day on weekends and holidays unless you are already taking your bike. Please note that this applies only for the VRS (metro transit area, which covers all of Bonn) and not for the entire state. Additional details on the NRW-Ticket can be found on the SWB website, as well as on the webpages of the ASTA. The semester ticket is valid from April 1 to September 30 (Summer semester) and from October 1 to March (Winter semester).

If you are already participating in an International Office German language class before your semester abroad has officially begun, you will not yet have a valid semester ticket. But you may apply for a student discount (Studentenermäßigung) at the Kundencentern der SWB (metro transit system customer centers); your application must be signed by an employee in the Lehrbereich "Deutsch als Fremdsprache" (German language teaching department). This will then entitle you to a discount on regular tickets.
For information on the train schedule of the Deutsche Bahn you can call 01805 996633 or check their website.

Housing in Bonn

Finding a room in Bonn can be very difficult; particularly in areas close to the university, such as Innenstadt, Südstadt, Poppelsdorf, Endenich, Kessenich, and Beul. It would be a good idea to start your search while you are still at home. Slots in the student dormitories are very popular; the Bonner Studentenwerk has 35 of them. If you would like to apply for one of these, please make sure you do so by their deadlines – February 20 for the Summer semester, and July 20 for the Winter semester. You can find more detailed information on the website of the Bonner Studentenwerk.

You may also want to consider the private rental market. In addition to newspaper ads; e.g., in the Bonner Generalanzeiger, there are a number of websites, such as http://www.wohngemeinschaft.de/, http://www.wg-gesucht.de/, http://www.studenten-wg.de/.

If you are already in Bonn, or if you have friends or family in Bonn, it would also make sense to look at the bulletin boards in university buildings.

Fun

The Uni Bonn International Club is not just a meeting place, but it also organizes plays and many other activities. You can find out more from the club’s website.
The varied university sports program provides both a balance for your studies, as well as a place to meet new people. Many of the offerings are free. For more information, please see the program’s website at Hochschulsport Bonn.

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