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International Students – Studying at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam

Internationale Studierende arbeiten gemeinsam an einem Laptop

We are pleased that you are interested in studying at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. Whether design, architecture and urban planning, or social work: We offer a variety of Bachelor and Master degree programmes.

Starting your studies in Germany


Before you enter Germany, please check whether you need a visa. The Federal Foreign Office provides an overview of visa requirements/exemptions for entry into the Federal Republic of Germany.

To apply for a visa, contact the German embassy or consulate in your home country. A list of the websites of German representations abroad can be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

Prospective international students are eligible for different visas. Are you still waiting for your letter of admission or do you have to take an entrance exam? Then apply for a study application visa. You already have an admission letter from the university? Then you can apply for a visa for study purposes (national visa).

Do not enter the country on a tourist visa. A tourist visa cannot be subsequently converted into a visa for study purposes or a residence permit.

Required documents include

  • Valid passport
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Proof of financing (e. g. blocked account)
  • Letter of admission from the university (visa for study purposes)
  • Proof of university entrance qualification (study application visa)
  • If applicable, proof of previous academic achievements and language skills

Please contact your embassy for information on individual options, deadlines, requirements and documents to be submitted. Please note that the processing of your visa can take several months. Submit your application early.

Blocked account

Proof of sufficient financial means is a prerequisite for the visa and residence permit to study in Germany. Often this proof is provided by a blocked account.

A blocked account must meet the following requirements:

  • The account must contain sufficient funds to finance the costs of the stay in Germany. Standard rates apply, which are based on the rates for German students. Since January 1st 2023, the assumed annual standard requirement is 11,208 euro.
  • The account may only allow the withdrawal of a certain amount per month (currently: 934 euro).
  • The account may only be closed with the consent of a blocking beneficiary.

Information on providers for opening a blocked account can be obtained from the German representations abroad. The Federal Foreign Office maintains a list of providers offering blocked accounts throughout Germany and provides information on opening a blocked bank account.

In order to study in Germany, you must have health insurance. A valid health insurance certificate is a prerequisite for enrollment, among other things.

Further information on health insurance for international students.

The University of Applied Sciences Potsdam does not have its own dormitories. You must arrange your own accommodation. Housing in Berlin and Potsdam is expensive and in high demand. Start your search early.

The Studentenwerk Potsdam offers affordable housing for students of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. Please note: Dormitory places are limited and demand is high. A place in a dormitory is not guaranteed.

Further information on "Living in Potsdam".


As soon as you have found a place to live, you must register at the relevant residents' registration office within 14 days. This applies to every move, regardless of whether you are moving within a city or moving to a city from another city or country. To register, you must go in person to the residents' registration office in your place of residence. Appointments can be booked online. After registration you will receive your residence registration confirmation (Meldebestätigung). It is needed, among other things, to apply for a residence permit or to open a bank account.

If you live in Berlin, you can register at all of Berlin's residents' registration offices, regardless of whether you live in the district or not.

Required documents include

  • Valid passport
  • Confirmation from your landlord (Wohnungsgeberbestätigung)
  • If applicable, registration form from the residents' registration office

Citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland do not need a residence permit. However, they must register with the responsible citizen service.

Foreigners who have entered the country with a national visa and are planning a longer stay must apply for a residence permit before the visa expires.

Foreigners who are allowed to enter the country without a visa must also apply for a residence permit for a stay of more than 90 days.

The immigration office of the place of residence is responsible for issuing and extending a residence permit. You must appear in person for the application. You can make an appointment online.

The residence permit is issued for a limited period of time. It can be linked to conditions and can be extended. The respective duration depends on the purpose of residence.

Required documents include

  • Valid passport
  • Current biometric photo
  • Application for issuance/renewal of a residence permit
  • Proof of funding/available finances
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Certificate of enrollment or conditional admission
  • Confirmation of registration
  • If necessary study prognosis

Binding information can be obtained from your responsible immigration office.

International students from the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland have free access to the German labor market. International students from other countries with a residence permit to study may work 120 full or 240 half days per year. No freelance or self-employed activities may be carried out without the approval of the immigration office.

Scientific or student assistant activities may be carried out for an unlimited period of time, but must be approved by the immigration office.

Regardless of nationality, those who work more than 20 hours per week must pay higher insurance contributions (health/care/unemployment insurance).

You can find current job and internship positions suitable for your field of study in the job and internship database for students and alumni of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam.

For further information and advice on financing your studies, please visit the pages of the Student Counselling Service.

Support for international students

FHP Connect – Networking among students

What is it like to study at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam? Just ask students from our international student network FHP Connect. They assist international students before and during their studies at FHP - support at eye level!

FHP Connect

Buddy programme

The Buddy programme connects new international students with students in higher semesters. Your buddy will help you get started with your studies. Register now!

Buddy programme

STIBET Graduation Grant

STIBET Graduation Grants address international degree-seeking students who will complete their studies within one year.

The scholarships are offered twice a year for the winter and summer semester.

Die Preisträgerin des DAAD Presies, Phantina Sholi hält ihre Urkunde und ein Strauß Blumen hoch. Sie steht in einem grün bewachsenen Garten.
Phantina Sholi erhält den DAAD-Preis 2023 © Rhona Hayday Reimann

DAAD Prize

The DAAD Prize, endowed with 1,000 euro and funded by the Federal Foreign Office, is awarded each year to outstanding international students who have performed exceptionally well both academically and in terms of their remarkable social or intercultural commitment. The award is intended to demonstrate to a broader public the enrichment international students contribute to the (university) community.

The call for nominations at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam is usually announced in May. Potential prize winners must be nominated by professors of the university.