Insurance and Visa

If you go abroad for a study or training period, appropriate insurance coverage, particularly for medical treatment, is essential. Depending on the destination country and your personal situation different provisions have to be made.

Insurance coverage within Europe

Within the EU, the EEA countries Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland, and in any other country that has signed a treaty on social insurance with Germany, students are covered by the statutory health insurance during their studies or training abroad. This applies to students who remain enrolled at their home institution while studying abroad.

Medical insurance coverage has to be proved in the host country by a confirmation signed by the statutory health insurance. Students are then entitled for necessary medical treatment according to the legal provisions of the host country. Depending on the country the standards for medical treatment vary substantially and often extra payments incur that will not be reimbursed by the home statutory health insurance. Sometimes medical services have to be paid in cash and immediately. It is therefore recommended to sign for a supplementary health insurance which covers additional costs for medical treatment and a return transport, if necessary.

Students who are dependent on regular medical treatment due to disabilities or chronic diseases are advised to gather relevant information on medical aid in the host country and to check with insurance and treating specialist how the necessary medical treatment can be guaranteed.

Insurance coverage outside Europe

The statutory health insurance does not cover medical treatment in countries which have not signed a treaty on social insurance with Germany. This applies to most countries outside Europe.

Students planning a study abroad in those countries must therefore apply for health insurance coverage abroad. Please check the provisions for the reimbursement of costs as well as the limit of liability.

Students having private health insurance should check with their insurance provider the insurance coverage abroad.

Supplementary insurance coverage abroad

Insurance providers offer different packages and plans for medical coverage abroad. They can be found easily by an internet search.

A moderate insurance, which includes not only medical (supplementary) coverage but also accident and liability insurance, can be signed via the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). However, you do not need this insurance package if you already have accident insurance and liability insurance (e.g. by a family insurance). Learn more about the DAAD insurance

In some cases - if medical insurance is obligatory in the host country and will not be excluded by the German insurance obligation -  a double insurance may occur. The same may apply in countries with national health service, e.g. in the UK.



As an EU citizen, you generally have the right to stay and study or work in other EU countries. If your stay abroad is less than three months, you only need a valid identity card. For stays abroad of more than three months, you generally have to register with the local authorities. You must prove

  • that you are enrolled at a local university,
  • that you are able to support yourself and have an income above the local social assistance rate,
  • and that you have health insurance.

For all countries outside Europe, you need a student visa. The Federal Foreign Office and the respective embassies or consulates provide information on the specific conditions. You must apply for a student visa at least two months, for the USA at least four months before the start of your studies. You will need a valid passport and a confirmation from your host university as well as, in most cases, proof of sufficient financial resources for the duration of your stay and, depending on the country, further supporting documents.

Foreign embassies and consulates in Germany