Living in Jena

Costs, Visa & Immigration, Housing and Insurance
Image: E. Stumpf
Costs Expand entry

There are no tuition fees at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. You just pay a small fee for courses in the language centre and sports centre, which are not on the curriculum.

All students have to pay a semester fee for the administration of the student body and the Studierendenwerk (approximately €240). This semester fee covers the use of local public transport in Jena and in Central Thuringia, and local trains throughout Thuringia for the entire semester. Students also pay far less for food in the canteen and cafeteria when they use their student ID.

Money is mainly needed for accommodation, food, health insurance, books, clothing, and personal things. We recommend you a budget of €700‒770 per month for everything.

  • €0 tuition fees
  • €40 semester fee with semester ticket (monthly)
  • €250 rent (can be higher)
  • €200 food
  • €50 clothing, shoes
  • €30 books, copies
  • €100 health insurance
  • €30 telephone, Internet, TV and radio licence fee
  • €50 free time (individual)

Please take note of our advice on financing your studies, e.g. by working.

Visa & Immigration Expand entry

EU citizens as well as citizens of certain countries with special agreements (e.g. Australia, Brazil, Iceland, Japan, Canada, Norway, and some more) can enter Germany without a visa. All other international students need to apply for an entry visa at the German embassy in their home country.

  • Once you have arrived in Jena, you have to register your living address with the German registration office.
  • Non-EU citizens also need to report to the foreigner’s registration office (’Ausländerbehörde’) of their district of residency, where they will need to register for a study visa (’elektronischer Aufenthaltstitel zum Zwecke des Studiums’). For this visa, you will need to proof you have sufficient funds for the duration of your studies in Germany (i.e. bank statement, scholarship confirmation, affidavit of support from parents/guardians).


Since the topic of immigration is a very important one, we recommend you check out

the website of the Central International Office ( for more detailed information and follow the links to the official websites of the German embassies and the foreigner’s registration office.

Housing Expand entry

When moving to Jena you can choose between private accommodation (WG = ‘Wohngemeinschaft’, studio apartment) and publicly subsidised residence halls of the ’Studierendenwerk’. Especially for exchange students it is highly recommended to apply for a room in the residence halls because this way you can easily arrange your accommodation prior to your arrival.

  • You will always have your own room as a student in Germany, no matter whether you live in private accommodation or a residence hall.
  • When considering private accommodation NEVER pay a deposit or your rent without

having seen the apartment/room and having signed a lease, especially when the offer seems too good to be true. Scammers try to get your money and foreign students are an easier target.

               More information on student housing in general:

Insurance Expand entry

You will need to proof health insurance coverage before your start your studies in

Jena. EU citizens should bring their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). For

all other citizens, it is highly recommended to get statutory health insurance for

students. This will cost you around 80€ to 90€ per month, if you are under 30,

and cover all essential health care needs, such as

  • doctor (GP and specialist) visits,
  • hospital stays,
  • psychotherapy,
  • physiotherapy,
  • most medication and
  • necessary dental care.

With statutory health insurance, the billing process will be handled directly between the doctor/hospital and your insurance provider and you will only have to provide small co-payments of e.g. 5€ per prescription. Also note, that the FSU Jena does not recognize private travel insurance plans as proof of health care insurance, due to the limited coverage and upfront payments.

More information on statutory health insurance can be found here:

More information on the German health system in general can be found here:

Another very important type of insurance is third party liability insurance.

  • Only costs about 5€ per month.
  • Covers accidental damages to someone else’s property.
  • Many landlords require proof of third-party liability insurance before they rent a room or apartment to you.
Activities Expand entry
  • Exercise:
    • The “Hochschulsport”, which is a university sports club, offers a large variety of different sports. You can take classes in yoga, canoeing, dancing, meditation, football, tennis, basketball and many more at a small fee. More information can be found here: https://www.hochschulsport.uni- de/sportprogramm
    • Additionally, Jena is a great location for all kinds of outdoor sports. The surrounding mountains allow for endless hiking and paragliding. The river Saale is very popular for canoeing and kayaking. Also, there are plenty of gyms and several swimming pools throughout the city you can go to.
  • Culture and History:

In Jena you have monumental German and European history right at your fingertips. The area around Jena is full of old fortresses and castles, some of which were built in the 11th century, you can take the train to Berlin (about 3 hours) and experience Germany’s vibrant capital and its rich culture or you can go to Weimar (about 15 minutes train ride) and dive into the origins of classical literature.

  • Nightlife:

With about 25000 students in the city, Jena is home to many old pubs, vibrant bars as well as nightclubs. There will always be a party you can go to. The brewing of beer and winemaking are traditional to the area around Jena, so you will get the chance to taste many local drinks.

  • Student Clubs:

There are many student clubs you can get involved in, ranging from political groups, to theatre groups and philanthropic groups.

For a list of all clubs check out the bottom half of this website:

Support for international students Expand entry

Here you can find a number of places you can go to when you need help. However, even when you do not know who to talk to, just reach out to someone you trust. This could be a professor, your roommate, your mentor or your GP. While they may not be able to help you directly, they will guide you to get the help you need.