Communication and Media Engineering (CME)

The central idea and vision is to educate a scientific and application-oriented elite in the cutting-edge telecommunication and digital media technologies.

What's it about?

Information at your fingertips, mobile computing, internet of things, multimedia networks – many trends accelerate today's life. They are the driving force behind the global markets of telecommunication, computer science and media technology.

The international Master's degree program in Communication and Media Engineering (CME) is tailored to meet the challenges of the multimedia age. Developed in 1998 by the departments of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology and Media and Information Engineering, it combines essential elements of communication engineering with innovative multimedia issues. The curriculum has been continuously updated to modern needs and continues to successfully combine these two fields.

The program provides graduates with the necessary knowledge, methods and tools for a career in the field of media and communication technology. Students learn, discuss, perform labs and projects.

Practical experience can be gained during internships, pursued either in research projects within the University or in industry. The Master's thesis has a minimum duration of 6 months and can also be prepared either externally or within the University. 

After graduation, students can follow an academic career and pursue a doctoral degree together with Offenburg University's partner institution. However, most of our graduates directly enter the business world, either in Germany or in their home countries. Many companies are highly seeking qualified technical staff with an international background.

During the first semester, instruction is mostly provided in lectures, while in the second and third semesters active and creative participation is required. Students should be able to learn and study independently. A large number of lectures are accompanied by laboratories in order to immediately apply and deepen the theoretical knowledge.

An essential part of the program is the project work: in the third semester, students are required to work in intercultural teams and apply the project management methods they have learned.

The fourth semester is reserved for the master thesis which can be executed either at a company or within the university.

 

Module and course titles

 

Semester

Nr.

Title

C

1

2

3

4

Communication and Information Engineering Specialization

CME-01

Computer Science

8

 

 

 

 

 

            Object oriented software development

3

 

 

 

 

 

            OO Software development lab

2

 

 

 

 

 

            OO Modeling (UML)

3

 

 

 

 

CME-02

Signal and System Theory

6

 

 

 

 

 

            Digital Signals and Systems

3

 

 

 

 

 

            Information Theory and Coding

3

 

 

 

 

CME-03

Communication Networks

6

 

 

 

 

 

            Telecommunication Networks

3

 

 

 

 

 

            Computer Networks

3

 

 

 

 

CME-04

Digital Communications

6

 

 

 

 

 

            Digital Communications with Lab

3

 

 

 

 

 

            Advanced Channel Coding

3

 

 

 

 

CME-05

VLSI Circuit Design

6

 

 

 

 

 

            VLSI Circuit Design

4

 

 

 

 

 

            VLSI Lab

2

 

 

 

 

CME-06

Guided Waves

9

 

 

 

 

 

            Guided Wave Theory

5

 

 

 

 

 

            Microwave Lab

2

 

 

 

 

 

            Guided Wave Simulation Lab

2

 

 

 

 

CME-07

Advanced Digital Signal Processing

6

 

 

 

 

 

            Advanced Digital Signal Processing

4

 

 

 

 

 

            DSP Lab

2

 

 

 

 

CME-08

Digital Image Processing

4

 

 

 

 

 

            Digital Image Processing

3

 

 

 

 

 

            DIP Lab

1

 

 

 

 

CME-09

Online Databases

6

 

 

 

 

 

            Online Databases and Web Applications

3

 

 

 

 

 

            Online Databases Lab

3

 

 

 

 

CME-10

Wireless Communication (in German, with EIM)

5

 

 

 

 

CME-11

Mobile Communications

5

 

 

 

 

 

            Mobile Communication Systems

3

 

 

 

 

 

            Internet of Things

2

 

 

 

 

CME-12

Embedded & Industrial Networks

5

 

 

 

 

 

            Embedded and Industrial Networks

2

 

 

 

 

 

            Lab Embedded and Industrial Networks

3

 

 

 

 

 

Media and Information Specialization

CME-20

Interactive Distributed Applications

5

 

 

 

 

CME-21

Internet and Media Technologies

7

 

 

 

 

 

            Database Systems

3

 

 

 

 

 

            Database Systems Lab

1

 

 

 

 

 

            Interactive Media

3

 

 

 

 

CME-22

Media Design

6

 

 

 

 

 

            Intercultural Media Design

3

 

 

 

 

 

            IMD Lab

3

 

 

 

 

CME-23

Ubiquitous Applications

5

 

 

 

 

CME-24

Multimedia Web Technologies

7

 

 

 

 

 

            Network Security in Multimedia Systems

3

 

 

 

 

 

            Next Generation Internet

2

 

 

 

 

 

            Multimedia Databases

2

 

 

 

 

CME-25

Optical Networks

4

 

 

 

 

 

            Optical Networks

2

 

 

 

 

 

            Optical Networks Lab

2

 

 

 

 

CME-26

Media Integration

4

 

 

 

 

 

            Media Integration

2

 

 

 

 

 

            Media Integration Lab

2

 

 

 

 

CME-27

Quantifying the Effects of Media

5

 

 

 

 

 

Quantifying the Effects of Media

3

 

 

 

 

 

Quantifying the Effects of Media Lab

2

 

 

 

 

Non-technical modules

CME-40

Language

4

 

 

 

 

 

            German as a Foreign Language 1

2

 

 

 

 

 

            German as a Foreign Language 2

2

 

 

 

 

CME-41

Management Skills (choose two)

6

 

 

 

 

 

            Strategic Management

3

 

 

 

 

 

            Marketing

3

 

 

 

 

 

            Media Business Opportunities

3

 

 

 

 

 

            Managing Complexity

3

 

 

 

 

CME-42

Project Management

4

 

 

 

 

 

            Intercultural Communication and Competence

1

 

 

 

 

 

            Project Management

1

2

 

 

 

 

            Intellectual Property

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-specific modules

CME-50

Project Work (choose one)

8

 

 

 

 

 

            Internship

8

 

 

 

 

 

            Team Project

8

 

 

 

 

CME-51

Master Thesis

30

 

 

 

 

A "lab work" is the realization of experiments in modern, well-equipped laboratories. It allows students to transfer theoretical knowledge into practice. 

The following "lab works" are offered:

  •  Object Oriented Software Development Lab
  •  VLSI Lab
  •  Microwave Lab
  •  Guided Wave Simulation Lab
  •  Digital Signal Processing Lab
  •  Digital Image Processing Lab
  •  Photonics Lab
  •  Online Databases Lab
  •  Intercultural Media Design Lab
  •  Database Lab
  •  Interactive Media  Lab
  • Optical Networks Lab

 Have a look at the "Regulations concerning Study and Examinations (RSE)" of the program "Communicat6ion and Media Engineering":

1) English translation of the"Regulations concering Study and Examinations (RSE)", valid for students who have started their studies before winter semester 2014/15.

2) English translation of the "Regulations concering Study and Examinations (RSE)", valid for students who have started their studies in winter semester 2014/15.

3) English translation of the "Regulations concering Study and Examinations (RSE)", valid for students who have started their studies in winter semester 2015/16 or later.

4) English translation of the specific regulations for CME of the  "Regulations concering Study and Examinations (RSE)", valid for students who have started their studies in winter semester 2017/18 or later.

Zu Beginn des vierten Semesters haben die Studierenden die Wahl zwischen einem der drei folgenden Schwerpunkte:

Im Schwerpunkt Umweltverfahrenstechnik vertiefen Studierende in Vorlesungen und Laboren ihr Wissen über die Schadstoff-Analytik mit verschiedensten instrumentellen Methoden. Es werden zudem Verfahren dargestellt, die der Vermeidung von umweltbelastenden Stoffen in verfahrenstechnischen Prozessen dienen – immer vor dem brandaktuellen Hintergrund des Klimawandels, der Ressourcenknappheit und der Nachhaltigkeit.

In diesem Schwerpunkt geht es um die Energiewende durch Nutzung zumeist regenerativer Energien für Herstellungsprozesse, deren effiziente Realisierung und bestmögliche Verwertung. Zudem werden verschiedene Speichertechniken für unterschiedliche Energieformen und sinnvolle Umwandlungen, die sogenannten Power-to-X-Technologien, dargestellt. Studierende vertiefen ihre Kenntnisse über die Solartechnik, die Verwertung von Biomasse sowie die Batterie- und Brennstoffzellentechnik. Dieser Schwerpunkt beleuchtet die Energieformen, deren Speicherungsmöglichkeiten und Kopplungen mit all ihren Facetten für einen optimierten Einsatz.

Wasser rückt immer stärker in den Fokus, da es ein essentieller und zugleich rarer Rohstoff ist und oft nicht in der notwendigen Reinheit zur Verfügung steht. Die wachsende Weltbevölkerung und der Klimawandel verschärfen die Situation der Verfügbarkeit von sauberem Wasser für die Menschen und die Produktion noch zusätzlich. Im Schwerpunkt Wassertechnologie lernen die Studierenden in Vorlesungen und Laboren Methoden zur Trinkwasserherstellung und Wasseraufbereitung kennen. Es werden sowohl gängige Verfahren, als auch solche, die sich aktuell in der Forschung und Entwicklung befinden, vorgestellt. Die Biologie ist dabei die Grundlage. Als Prozesse rund um sauberes Wasser werden mechanische Verfahren wie die Flotation, Filtration und Membrantechnik aber auch die thermischen Verfahren vermittelt.

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Industry Demand for CME Graduates

Our students receive an excellent education which provides the basis for a successful international career. The industry demand for graduates of the CME program is high, both in Germany and abroad.

Many graduates tend to remain in Germany after the completion of their studies. They are especially sought after by German companies that have branch plants abroad or by foreign companies that have sites in Germany. Intercultural competence is not only a nice slogan, but an essential element of our classroom environment. Many graduates hold management positions in Germany or abroad and frequently work in multinational projects.

Here are some examples of what our former students are doing:

Andreas Jäger

Software Engineer, e.Solutions GmbH, Ingolstadt

Dr. Nidal Fawaz

Head of Communication and Networking Department, Al-Rashed Holding Group, Kuwait

Danish Naeem

Group Leader Technical Pre Sales, Keynote SIGOS GmbH, Nürnberg

Liudmila Goriainova

Software Developer, Markant, Offenburg

 

Academic Career - Continuing on to a doctoral degree

A relatively large part of CME graduates chooses to pursue a doctorate after graduation. In cooperation with one of our partner universities, many of them do their PhD in one of the challenging joint projects in the labs of Offenburg University. Other CME graduates have earned their doctoral degrees at other universities in Germany, such as the universities of Freiburg, Karlsruhe, Darmstadt, Heidelberg and Erlangen.

Selen Schabenberger

Senior Development Engineer - Rohde&Schwarz

"The curriculum offered at CME made it possible for me to start a good career in Germany. Meeting students from all over the world and building friendships which lasted up to this day are the most valuable gain I got along the way."

 

Mohamed Attia Aref

Senior Engineer @ Qualcomm

"Joining Offenburg University was a huge milestone in my career. It helped me a lot to develop my technical and social skills. I am very grateful to all the people I have met at Offenburg: staff, faculty and colleagues. It has been a great journey that I will never forget!"

 

Requirements

Academic Qualification

The prerequisite for an applicant for this program is either a qualified Bachelor's degree or an equivalent degree in the field of electrical or media engineering or a related discipline. In any case, good knowledge in the field of electrical/telecommunication or media engineering is essential to join the program. An outstanding CGPA is expected. Additionally, students applying for the course Communication and Media Engineering (CME) should not only be academically qualified, but also feel fit to integrate into a multicultural environment. Studying alongside students from different cultural backgrounds is both a chance and a challenge, requiring you to open up towards new ideas and different perspectives. Please note that the number of available places is limited.

Computer skills

Due to the international and interdisciplinary character of the course, students arrive with various academic backgrounds. The first semester, amongst other things, is reserved to adjust those imbalances. Nevertheless, some basic knowledge in software programming is indispensable for a successful completion of the program. We therefore ask future students to brush up their knowledge in the following areas before coming to Offenburg: "C" or another imperative/procedural/object-oriented programming language (Java, C++, Pascal, FORTRAN, ...) A prospective student should know how to implement algorithms (e. g., bubblesort, quicksort, mergesort) and data structures (e. g., queues, stacks, linked lists, graphs).

Language Skills

All classes of the CME program are held in English. Therefore, applicants must have good English proficiency in both oral and written communication. This needs to be proven by a TOEFL score report (minimum scores pBT 550, cBT 213, iBT 79-80) or IELTS (minimum score 6.0 in each competence area) . It is no longer necessary to provide proof of German language proficiency. Nevertheless, basic knowledge of German is indispensable for everyday life in Germany. You may take advantage of Offenburg University's Summer Course for German as a foreign language, which is offered every year in September.

Work Experience

Chances for admission into the program improve if the applicant has aquired relevant work experience in the field of communication and media technology.

Social and Personal Qualifications

Our student selection is highly competitive. Successful applicants should not only prove an excellent academic background, professional experience and outstanding references, but also that they are highly motivated to make a contribution to our international community. Applicants should use the “letter of motivation” to state their social and personal qualities. We are looking for students with well rounded personalities and the desire to make a difference, both inside and outside the academic world.

Procedure

Online Application and Deadlines

If you are interested in the Communication and Media Engineering program, we invite you to enter your data into our online application system HISinOne.

Please be aware that we only accept applications submitted via our online application system HISinOne. If you have difficulties entering your data, please contact the coordinator of the program. 

As a result of the very large number of applications that reach us every year, a two-step selection process has been introduced: The selection committee will screen your online application first. Within a few weeks you will be informed if your application has been short-listed. In this case you will be invited to send your complete application documents by postal mail.

If you are invited to send a paper-based application, print out the form generated in HISinOne, attach your recent picture, sign it and include the following documents:

  • Attested copy of your Bachelor's degree (translated into English or  German)
  • Attested transcripts of grades (translated into English or German)
  • Copy of TOEFL Test (minimum score: 550 - paper-based or 213 - computer-based; institutional code: 7087) or IELTS 6.0 in each competence area (preferably 6.5)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Letter of motivation (explanation why you want to study CME)
  • Letter(s) of recommendation
  • APS Certificate (for applicants from China, Vietnam and Mongolia)

Please make sure that you have completed and signed the application, added a recent photo and included all required documents in a single envelope (no folders or extra covers).

Before mailing your application, please be sure that you have completed and signed the application, added a recent picture, and included the other required documents in a single envelope (no folders or extra covers). Please send the envelope to us at the following address:

Finally, send your application package to:

Offenburg University of Applied Sciences
Ms. Ulrike Nordau
Badstr. 24
77652 Offenburg
GERMANY 

Note: As we do not send back any application documents, please only hand in certified copies, not original documents.

We are looking forward to receiving your application.

Deadlines

Course start:
The program begins only in winter semesters (classes begin in October).
 
Application deadline:
The online application deadline for the winter semester is:
31 March  of the same year 
 
Lecture periods:
Winter Semester: October - January (followed by a 3-week exam period)
Summer Semester: March - June (followed by a 3-week exam period)
 
Summer Course "German as a Foreign Language":
Every year during the month of September

Degree Master of Science (M.Sc.)
Language of instruction English
Duration of program 4 Semesters
Beginning of study program Winter semester (October)
Registration Deadline March 31st (exception: July 15th for EU residents)
Tuition and fees Fees per semester:
€ 1500 state tuition fee for non-EU citizens (exemptions see below)
€ 650 state tuition fee for a second degree (only for EU citizens who already obtained a master's degree from a German university)
€ 150 service contribution for EU citizens and other students exempted from the state tuition fees
€ 134 administration fees
Requirements Above-average Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, Information Technology or related field, TOEFL iBT 79 or IELTS 6.0, German A1 recommended, but not required, APS (only for applicants from China and Vietnam), two letters of recommendation
Internship Professional experience preferred
Selection procedure Yes
Accreditation Yes
ECTS 120 credits

Important Links

 

Study and examination regulations

Provisions on the formal course of studies and examinations as well as on the conditions for admission to examinations

Modul manual

Content description of the teaching fields of the program

Good to know

Funding and scholarships

In Germany, scholarships are usually not granted by the universities themselves but by independent institutions and foundations. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers a comprehensive database of scholarships and grants, which must be applied for from your home country before your arrival. Information about funding possibilities are also provided by the European Funding Guide.

Detailed information is also available through the DAAD regional offices, the German Embassy, German Consulate or German Official Representations in your home country, as well as from the specific organizations granting the scholarships.

At Offenburg a very limited number of partial scholarships are also available; applications for these are only open to students enrolled who have shown high academic performance and social commitment outside of class.

In addition, there are a few scholarships for international students, through which they can be exempted from the 1500 EUR state tuition fees for one year. To be entitled to apply, students must be enrolled at Offenburg University for their second semester (or higher) of the respective degree program.

Fees

There are fees to be paid which include:

  • State Administration Fee per semester, €70
    This fee does not need to be paid by exchange students from partner universities or special scholarship program students
  • Student Services Fee per semester, €46
    This fee contributes to the student canteen, student residences, counseling services, student book store and other services offered by the "Studentenwerk"
  • Student Representative Organization Fees per semester, €18.
    This fee does not need to be paid by non degree seeking exchange students from partner universities or special scholarship program students
  • Service Contribution per semester, €150 (only for students studying in one of the English master's degree programs of the Graduate School)
    This fee is charged each semester for ongoing services of the Graduate School, such as liability insurance, assistance in finding accommodation, buddies, events and excursions. Students of the Graduate School, however, who have to pay the State Tuition Fee are exempted from the Service Contribution.
  • IBC-Program Tuition Fees: €10,400 (for students studying in the MBA-program International Business Consulting). Students of the MBA-program do not have to pay additional State Tuition Fees.
  • State Tuition Fee for Non-EU-citizens: €1,500. You are exempted from this tuition fee if 
    - You are a citizen of the EU and/or the EEA
    - Your spouse or one of your parent is a citizen of the EU and/or the EEA
    - You have received your qualification of university entrance from the state of Germany
    - You are officially recognized as a refugee in Germany
    - You are an exchange student from one of Offenburg University's partner universities, or
    - You were already enrolled at Offenburg University before the 2017/2018 winter semester
  • State Tuition Fee for a Second Degree: €650 (only for students who are not exempted from the State Tuition Fee for Non-EU-citizens and already obtained a master's degree from a Germany university)

This information is supplied without liability. The jurisdiction on the exemption from tuition lies with the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg. For more information please click here.


Payment deadlines will be sent along with the admission letter. Exchange students from partner universities or special scholarship program students need to pay upon arrival.

Living expenses

Depending on your preferred lifestyle, average living expenses amount to approximately  €861 per month. Here is a breakdown of monthly expenses:                 

Rent

390

Health insurance (obligatory)

108

Study materials

  30

Groceries

220

Clothing, Public Transport, other

113

Total monthly expenses

861

 

For more information about the cost of rent, see the accommodation page.

Please note, in the first few days there will be several expenses such as your first rent, deposit, health insurance, etc. Therefore, we recommend bringing with you enough cash to cover these initial expenses.

 

Proof of financial support

In order to receive a student visa, foreign students must be able to prove to German authorities that they have enough financial support during their studies. This means, you must prove that you are able to cover at least your first year of studies. Currently, that amounts to € 853,00 per month, or a total of € 10236,00 for a year of study.

There are several forms of proof of financial support, which you can find listed in the "Financial Information" section in "Before Arrival".

Students will be responsible for their living expenses in Germany in addition to their tuition and fees. Before departure, it is a good idea to bring cash for your initial expenses, because a transfer from your home country could take 3-4 weeks. For more information about your first few days, please visit "Upon Arrival”.

Job Opportunities

Students who are EU-citizens are able to work in Germany without a work permit. 

Non-EU students have two opportunities:

  • Off-campus: 120 days per year, according to visa regulations for foreign students
  • On-campus: a limited number of assistantships and tutoring jobs are available

A basic knowledge of German is required for most jobs.

<link file:47329 - download "Initiates file download">Minimum wage leaflet:</link> In cooperation between the Universities of Applied Sciences and industry and other employers against the background of the Minimum Wage Act - Information for Universities, published by haw-bw.de.

Once you have been admitted to Hochschule Offenburg, you can use this section as an information source for pre-arrival preparations. Learn more about required documents, study fees and living expenses, accommodation and transportation, and more.

Another great source of information is the DAAD's brochure "Studying in Germany - A Practical Guide for International Students".

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Visa

Students who come from a country that is not part of the European Union will need a visa to enter Germany and an additional residence permit to study in Germany. Students who are citizens of an EU country will have other entry and permit regulations. You can find out more information about visa requirements by contacting the German consulate in your country.

We recommend applying for your visa three months in advance, because some cases may take longer to process. Also be sure to apply for the correct visa, because you are not allowed to study with a tourist visa.

There is a comprehensive list of information on the German Federal Foreign Office's visa regulations page.

If you need to give a German address for your visa application, and don't know yours yet, you can give the information for Offenburg University of Applied Sciences (Badstrasse 24, 77654 Offenburg).

These documents will be required for your final enrollment at Offenburg University of Applied Sciences, for the residence permit and registration with the city in which you reside, for the extension of your visa and for some other formalities. For students from EU countries, other entry and permit regulations apply.

  • Passport valid for the entirety of your studies
  • Entrance visa
  • Letter of Admission from the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences
  • Proof of sufficient financial resources
  • 2 biometrical passport photos 
    Master Degree seeking Students need also:
  • Original Bachelor's or equivalent degree in English
  • Missing documents not available during the admission process (TOEFL score, letters of recommendation, DaF certificates, etc.) 

Financial Information

In order to receive a student visa, foreign students must be able to prove to German authorities that they have enough financial support during their studies. This means, you must prove that you are able to cover at least your first year of studies. Currently, that amounts to € 861 per month, or a total of € 10,332 for a year of study.

There are several forms of proof of financial support, which include a savings book, a confirmation from your bank on the credit balance available, a bank statement, proof of scholorship or a statement of support from your parents. Check with your local embassy to ensure you have the proper documents. In some cases you may be asked by your embassy to open a blocked account called a "Sperrkonto". This is available, for example, via Deutsche Bank, Fintiba, or X-Patrio.

Please be aware, as it is only allowed to withdraw a certain amount of money per month from these blocked accounts, you will not be able to pay the tuition fees from the money on your blocked account.

Students will be responsible for their living expenses in Germany in addition to their tuition and fees. Before departure, it is a good idea to bring cash for your initial expenses, because a transfer from your home country could take 3-4 weeks. For more information about your first few days, please visit Upon Arrival.

An estimation of students' living expenses in Offenburg/Gengenbach, including a breakdown of the various costs, can bei found in the Costs and Expenses section. 

Whoever wants to study in Germany is required to have health insurance. Without health insurance, a student is not allowed to enroll for studies. International students need health insurance upon arrival. Students are eligible for statutory health insurance at a low monthly rate of about € 80,00.

There are some countries within the EU that have agreements with Germany. If you are a student from one of these countries and you already have statutory health insurance from your home country, you may not be required to get additional German health insurance.

It is advisable to purchase traveler's insurance for your first few days in Germany. This way, you will be covered until you obtain your German health insurance. 

Some companies, like Fintiba or X-patrio , also offer you to contract both types of insurances together online.

Scholarships

The organization that gives the largest amount of scholarships to international students in Germany, is the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). They have an entire <link www.daad.de/deutschland/stipendium/datenbank/en/21148-scholarship-database/ _blank>database</link>, which you can use to find the best scholarships for you.

We will arrange for a "buddy" to help you settle in during your first weeks in Offenburg. Your buddy will be a student from Offenburg University of Applied Sciences, who will be in contact with you before your arrival in order to ask and answer important questions in advance.

Your buddy will be responsible for picking you up upon arrival, taking you to your accommodation and assisting you in communicating with your landlady/landlord and understanding the lease. Additionally, your buddy will help you with registering at the town hall and the foreign residents office, opening a bank account and showing you where to go grocery shopping. Your buddy will also show you around the campus. 

Offenburg University of Applied Sciences has two campuses, both of which are easily accessible by plane, train or car.

  • Campus Offenburg
    Badstr. 24
    77652 Offenburg
    Germany
  • Campus Gengenbach
    Klosterstr. 14
    77723 Gengenbach
    Germany
  • location map

Airports

<link www.frankfurt-airport.com/content/frankfurt_airport/en.html _blank>Frankfurt airport </link>is the largest international airport in Germany, with two railway stations: one for within the city, and one for long distances, the "Fernbahnhof". There is a "Fernbahnhof" train directly to Offenburg from Frankfurt airport, and from Offenburg you can take a local train to Gengenbach.

Other nearby airports include: Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden, Basel-Mulhouse (CH/F), Strasbourg (F), Stuttgart and Zurich (CH).

Trains

Offenburg is a railway junction with regular connections to many major German cities, thus making it very accessible. From Offenburg, Gengenbach can be reached within 7 minutes by means of local train.

For information on train schedules and prices, please visit the German railway <link www.bahn.de/i/view/GBR/en/index.shtml _blank>website</link>.

By Car

Offenburg and Gengenbach are both conveniently located along motorway A5. A map of the Offenburg campus can be seen <link maps.google.com/maps _blank>here</link>, and a map of the Gengenbach campus can be seen <link maps.google.com/maps _blank>here</link>.

Enrollment

Once you arrive in Offenburg or Gengenbach, you need to enroll at the University. Exchange students do so at the International Office, Master's degree students at the Graduate School's registrar's office.

Before enrollment, exchange students have to pay their fees at the the University's payment office (room A106 on the Offenburg Campus). Please note that this office accepts cash payments only.

Graduate School students have to have transfered the fees in advance by a given deadline in order for their admission to be valid. 

For detailed information about the relevant fees, please see the website on "Costs and Expenses."

Once enrolled, you will receive your registration certificate and student ID, which is called OSKAR  (link in German only). The OSKAR card offers a number of additional advantages, such as paying for meals at the campus cafeteria or for the printing services on campus. You will also receive an email account from Offenburg University.

Opening a Bank Account

One of the first things you should do after arrival is opening a bank account, because health insurance, rent and other obligations can only be paid by bank transfer.

To open a bank account, bring your passport and the registration certificate you receive at enrollment, so that you qualify for a free student account. Bringing cash will allow the account to be opened immediately, whereas a transfer from your home country could take up to three or four weeks.

There are three main ways of conducting monetary transactions:

  • Transfer - used to move money from one account to the other; transfer forms can be filled out by hand at the bank or online
  • Standing order - used for recurring payments of a specific amount, e.g. the monthly rent; the bank automatically debits your account on an agreed date
  • Direct debit - used for recurring payments of varying amounts, e.g. phone bills; the recipient is given a direct debit authorization to deduct the respective amount from your account.

In Germany most transactions are conducted with cash, especially when paying a small sum of money. Credit cards are relatively common, but not often used for everyday purchases.  Instead, people pay more often with debit cards. When you set up a German bank account, you will receive a debit card that you can use at the ATM of your bank free of charge or while you are shopping.

Health and Liability Insurance

Health Insurance

To study in Germany, you are required to have health insurance coverage. Therefore, before enrolling at Offenburg University you need to provide proof of valid health insurance, i.e. a confirmation that you are covered by a German statutory-health-insurance provider. For more information about the German healthcare system, offered in 10 different languages, please check here.

In general, statutory health insurance companies offer cheaper rates for students, at approximately € 90 per month.

International students from EU countries who have statutory health insurance in their home country can have their insurance coverage recognized in Germany. These students must bring their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

Here you can download information about student health insurance.

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is taken out if you cause damage to someone else or their property. In Germany, you are legally responsible not only for material damages, but also, for example, health damages. Therefore, liability insurance is one of the most important insurances if you travel or live in Germany!

By paying the semester fees, all enrolled students of Hochschule Offenburg are covered by liability insurance. However, this only applies to activities that have a causal connection with your studies and take place on the premises of the University, or are part of a course stated in the study curriculum. Cover is also provided during approved work-experience programs which are part of the study curriculum.

Damages declaration forms and further details on student liability insurance can be found on the website of the Studentenwerk Freiburg.

For students of the Graduate School we take out our own liability insurance, financed by the Service Contribution fee, which also covers damages that are not causally related to the University. Exchange students and others, who are studying in one of the other study programs and/or are not obliged to pay the Service Contribution, are strongly recommended to take out liability insurance on their own, at the cost of  € 24 per year.

Registration in Germany

Germany has a personal registration law which requires everyone to register with their local government office. International students must report to their local foreign-nationals office within one week of arrival and register themselves. At the same office, students requiring a residence permit will have their visas converted into a residence permit for the duration of their studies. EU citizens don't need a residence permit, but are also obliged to register at the registration office and obtain a freedom-of-movement permit (Freizügigkeitsbescheinigung). 

Please bring the following documents for registration:  

  • Your passport 
  • A passport-sized photograph
  • The registration certificate from Offenburg University
  • Proof of financial support
  • Your signed rental contract
  • Proof of existing health insurance

For students living in Offenburg, you must register with the Office for Non-German Citizens (AusländerBüro), which has a website in German only. For students living in other communities of the Ortenau district, including Gengenbach, you must register at the Immigration Office of the Landratsamt (district office).

The opening hours are as follows:

AusländerBüro: Monday-Friday 8:00-12:00 noon, Thursday 1:00-6:00 pm

Landratsamt Immigration Office: Monday-Wednesday and Friday 8:00-12:00 noon, Thursday 1:00-6:00 pm

eAT (Electronic Residence Permit)

In the past, a residence permit (German "Aufenthaltstitel") was issued in the form of an adhesive label placed in the ID card or passport. Since 2011, electronic residence permits (eAT) for non-EU nationals have been issued as a separate document in credit-card format. 

The permit is equipped with a contact-free chip inside the card on which biometric features (photograph and two fingerprints), ancillary conditions and personal data are saved. Additional provisions relating to the residence permit are no longer printed on a label and stuck into the passport, but saved on the eAT chip and printed on a supplementary sheet that is issued along with the eAT.

Please note that the eAT is only valid for as long as the registered accompanying passport is. Therefore, please make sure that your passport is sufficiently valid or apply for a passport extension in good time. Also, travel to other Schengen-area countries is permitted only after issuance of the eAT.

 

eAT costs:

  • Duration up to one year: € 100
  • Duration of more than one year: € 110
  • Extension for more than three months: € 80

How and where to get the eAT:

  • Pick up the application form from the Ausländerbüro
  • Fill out, sign, and return the application form to the Ausländerbüro where you will receive a checklist
  • Take the checklist and other required documentation to the Bürgerbüro
  • You will receive an email invitation/appointment for fingerprint scanning
  • You will receive an email notification when your eAT is ready to be picked-up

Additional information:

The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has published the booklet “All you need to know about the electronic residence permit (eAT),” which is also available in other languages.

GEZ-Fee

Please be informed that as a resident of Germany you are legally required to pay a monthly fee of €17.50 per household (e. g., per shared apartment) to the Gebühreneinzugszentrale der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten (GEZ), a joint organization of Germany's public broadcasting institutions.

‘Per household’ in this context means that if you share an apartment, only one of the tenants has to pay, and it is up to the household members to decide how they divide up the costs. Thus, if you move into a shared place, you should first clarify whether one of the other household members is already paying the GEZ fee.

However, your German roommate(s) might be exempt from the fee because they are recipients of federal financial aid. To be sure, such an exemption does not extend to the remaining household members, who still have to pay the full fee.

If you live by yourself, or if no one in your household has been paying the GEZ fees yet, you are required to register with the GEZ – regardless of whether you are actually using or even able to receive the broadcasts. Note that failure to do so, whether purposefully or by negligence, constitutes a misdemeanor and may lead to fines.

The responsibility of paying the GEZ fees begins with moving in and ends when you move out again and have deregistered your place of residence at the local international office (Bürgerbüro). Hence, when you move out, remember to deregister from the GEZ as well!

For more details, refer to this <link file:2706 _top download file>information sheet by Deutsches Studentenwerk (in English).

Orientation Events

At the beginning of the semester, several orientation events are held for international and exchange students, where they get to know the campus, professors and lecturers and fellow students, and have plenty of opportunities to clarify any remaining questions about their studies at Hochschule Offenburg.

For all new students, an Introduction Day is held the day before the beginning of classes, including a welcome address by the Rector. New Master's degree students also meet for several orientation days at a special retreat, often in the Black Forest or at Lake Constance.

You will be notified about all relevant orientation dates and locations before your arrival.