Organising your exchange
The following types of accommodation are suitable for visiting students:
- Rooms temporarily sublet by Cologne students who have themselves gone abroad for studies
- Rooms and apartments in student residences run by the Kölner Studierendenwerk (public student service organisation)
The ZIB WiSo Incomings Team will provide you with more detailed information regarding accommodation before you arrive.
Please note that places in student dorms are generally limited and it is up to visiting students to find an accommodation for their stay. We suggest you start looking for a room or flat around three to four months prior to arrival. It may also help to talk to other students (e.g. "buddies" as well as former or current incoming students) about their experiences.
Jens Funk and Viviana Acuna Azuaje
Phone: +49 (0)221 470-7969
Cost and finance
Living costs largely depend on personal needs and lifestyle. The following list contains average monthly figures for a study stay in Cologne, based on experience:
- Housing (including ancillary costs): €300–500
- Books and learning materials: €30
- Food: €170
- Leisure activities: €100–250
- Health insurance: approx. €100 (if the insurance from your provider at home is not recognised)
This does not include the social contribution of approximately €280 per term. Please note that this does not include health insurance.
The University of Cologne does not offer scholarships but you can find some useful websites on this topic below.
The Buddy Programme is organised by ZIB WiSo and the PIM & CEMS Student and Alumni Club Cologne e.V.. All incoming exchange students are assigned a "buddy" – i.e. a Cologne student who helps them find their way around the city and the University during their stay. ZIB WiSo puts guest students and their buddies in contact with another before the guest students arrive. Buddies thus lend their support in organisational matters right from the start, for example by helping incoming students obtain their keys to accommodation or by meeting incoming students at the airport. They also help guest students register with the authorities as well as taking part in many of the "Welcome Days" events at the beginning of term.
Jens Funk and Philipp Sperber
Phone: +49 (0)221 470-7969
Before the beginning of every term, ZIB WiSo and the PIM and CEMS Student and Alumni Club Cologne e.V. organise Welcome Days for all WiSo Faculty incoming guest students. The Welcome Days consist of academic information events, guided tours of the city and campus as well as cultural trips and gatherings with fellow students to help newcomers get to know one another.
Two Welcome Days are scheduled per term:
- At the start of the pre-semester German course (September and March)
- One or two weeks before the beginning of classes (October and April).
Attendance is compulsory as the Welcome Days provide students with detailed information about how to organise their studies and how to select and register for courses and exams. If you are not attending the pre-semester German course, you will need to be in Cologne for the start of the Welcome Days in October/April at the latest.
More details on the Welcome Days can be found under "Downloads" on this page.
Course selection & course registration via KLIPS 2.0
KLIPS 2.0 is the teaching, information and exam service of the University of Cologne (Kölner Lehr-, Informations- und Prüfungs-Service). This is the course catalogue for most of the University's faculties and also enables incoming students to register for their courses and exams.
During the University's second course enrolment period ("KLIPS Belegungsphase 2.0"), i.e. in March or September, ZIB WiSo regularly offers individual course guidance sessions for all new exchange students, both in person and online via Skype. Before your individual course guidance appointment, please prepare a list of courses that you would like to take in Cologne. When making your selection, you should always check which courses will be recognised by your home university.
Click here for information on the 'Course options for incoming students' and on workload and access depending on study level.
Most courses offer enough places so that all students who wish to take the course can do so. In order to foster a productive learning environment some courses, e.g. seminars and computer lab courses, are limited to a certain number participants. If necessary, any remaining places will be assigned on a special first-come, first-served process known as "Restplatzvergabe". This takes place after the selection process has been concluded, usually during the first week of classes.
In light of these special procedures, there is no guarantee that students will be able to register for all the courses that they wish to take. It is therefore recommended that students choose at least one course more than they are required to take to ensure that they satisfy their academic requirements for the semester.
Grades & transcripts
To successfully complete any course, students must pass an examination.
The grading scale at the WiSo Faculty of the University of Cologne ranges from 1.0 (best) to 5.0 (fail) though the best marks of 1.0 and 1.3 (A grades) are seldom awarded. A minimum mark of 4.0 (E grade) is required to pass a subject.
Once students notify the ZIB WiSo Incomings Team via email that all of their grades have been uploaded to WEX, they will process a transcript of records.
Official transcripts are available for download via our WEX portal. The information provided is equivalent to the information on our paper transcripts. We follow an eco-friendly process when issuing our transcripts but if necessary, coordinators can request a hard copy via WEX.
The WiSo Faculty's grade conversion scheme can be found under "Downloads" on this page.
Phone: +49 (0)221 470-7969
Phone: +49 (0)221 470-2779