In­for­ma­ti­on for In­co­m­ings

About FHDW

Our Credo

The FHDW was founded in 1993 as one of the first private universities in Germany. Our key competence is the advanced experience gained from a dual course of studies in Business Administration or Information Science for Business. Nowadays we prepare future managers in East Westphalia. The quarterly change between theoretical and practical phases is the key competence of the FHDW Studying in small groups, intensive individual support, intensive mentoring by the lecturers, highly practically oriented lectures, and a high number of international university cooperation agreements are other key indicators.


Fit for the re­al world

It is essential for the FHDW philosophy that our students are fit: highly qualified for daily work, both personally and professionally. But we also understand the word “fit” in terms of fitting together. Since we know our students well and have been cooperatin with our partner companies for a long time, we know what is important. That is why our trainee program takes place before the students work in the companies so we can ensure that we bring the right partners together. This way we can ensure the development of future management talent in the long term in a targeted, strategically oriented process. This is a decisive advantage of our concept in view of the clear lack of trained talent in business today.


Ho­me is whe­re the heart is

On­line Tu­to­ri­al: Ar­ri­ving in Ger­ma­ny

The first Wed­nes­day of every month star­ting at 18:00

The FHDW offers an online tutorial to applicants accepted into the program to help you prepare for your arrival in Germany. There are a lot of formalities to consider and documents to provide for your studies in Germany. This can feel quite overwhelming. We will guide you through this maze by giving you a clear preparation guideline for before and after arrival in Germany. This will include information on visas, on documents for enrollment and on documents for registration with the local authorities in Paderborn. We will also be talking about our onboarding system at the FHDW and introduce you to our buddy system. Of course, you are interested in finding out more about your new hometown Paderborn and its surroundings and will be given an overview on the sights of the city and its possibilities for students. Finally, we would like to talk to you about your ideas and expectations on studying at the FHDW in Paderborn and show you what we consider to be typical stages of cultural adaptation and what to expect. Your parents are cordially invited to the tutorial and we will be happy to address any questions they may have.


Course contents:

  • FHDW and the dual course study system. What does it mean for you?
  • Before arrival in Germany: types of visas
  • After arrival in Germany: registration & immatriculation
  • Preparation countdown. Timeline
  • Onboarding at the FHDW: buddy system, welcome week
  • Your new home: Paderborn
  • Settling in: what to expect
  • Question Session for applicants and their parents

Ge­ne­ral In­for­ma­ti­on

Be­fo­re Ap­p­li­ca­ti­on

General requirements

To study the Bachelor Degree Program International Business and Digital Management (IBDM) at the FHDW you need a recognized university entrance qualification to German universities (Hochschulzugangsberechtigung) and to demonstrate language skills in both English and German.

University Entrance Qualification (Hochschulzugangsberechtigung)

Your school leaving certificate needs to be equivalent to a German one. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) website has extensive information on the requirements: DAAD requirements or Uni-Assist. Please submit all school leaving documents in both the original language and a certified translation into either German or English.

Language Requirements

For our English language bachelor course of studies, you need to be able to demonstrate you have level B2 for English and B1 for German. You will need to submit certificates demonstrating your language skills as part of your application.

  • FHDW accepts the following certificates or equivalent for proof of language proficiency in German:
    Goethe Zertifikat B1,
  • TELC B1 (The European Language Certificates),
  • DSD I (Deutsches Sprachdiplom)

FHDW accepts the following certificates or equivalent for proof of language proficiency in English:

  • TOEFL (min 92 Points Internet based),
  • IELTS (mind. Band 6,5),
  • Cambridge English B2 First,
  • B2 Business Vantage



Accommodation is not linked to acceptance to a course of studies; i.e. You need to find a room or other accommodation quite early. You will be able to rent a room in our dormitory on campus in Paderborn. The information can be found here.


Information about Visa and Residence Permit

To enter Germany you will usually need a visa and for a longer stay a residence permit. Information about this Student Visa can be found on the website of the German government and/or German Academic Exchange Service.

As soon as you have received the study contract from FHDW, you can apply for a visa at the German embassy or consulate in your home country or country of residence. To apply for the visa, you will need the study contract from FHDW, proof of financing for your studies, and proof of health insurance.


A visa is a document you must apply for at the German embassy or consulate in your home country before traveling to Germany, provided a visa is required for your home country. You will need the visa if your stay in Germany will be no longer than 90 days.

Residence Permit

A residence permit is normally required for stays in Germany exceeding 90 days in cases where no visa is required (depending on your home country). This document is applied for after your arrival in Germany.

The exact regulations and requirements for a visa and/or a residence permit depend on your citizenship and the purpose of your stay in Germany (study, research). Please prepare for this in advance by getting consultation and plan enough time for the application process.

You should contact the German embassy or consulate in your home country immediately after receiving confirmation of your place of study or your study contract from FHDW.


Proof of Financing for a Visa

To obtain a visa for Germany you need to demonstrate that you have sufficient financial resources to finance your studies. You will need proof of financing (“Finanzierungsnachweis” in German). Usually this means that your normal expenses (“Regelbedarf”) are covered for one year. Proof can be provided by opening a blocked bank account with 1,027 Euro per month (for 2024) or through a declaration of commitment. If you need further information, please contact the German embassy or consulate in your home country.


No Visa Requirement /Citizens of EU countries, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland

Citizens from member states of the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA), as well as from Switzerland, do not require a visa to travel to Germany or take up residence there. A national ID card is all that is needed for this. Citizens of the above countries must register at the local Residents’ Registry Office after their arrival

Citizens from non-EU/EEA countries who already have a student residence permit in another EU country (REST Guideline) also need to register for a residence permit. Further information can be found in the flyer Studying and Research in the EU from the German Government Office for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge).


Residence Permit

International students from certain countries do not require a visa to enter Germany. The website of the German Foreign Ministry contains a list of countries whose citizens do not require a visa to enter Germany.

Currently these include the following countries (as of: August 2021):

Andorra, Australia, Great Britain, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Canada, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, South Korea, USA.

After your arrival in Germany and after having found accommodation, you must register with the Residents’ Registry Office. If you wish to study in Germany longer than 3 months, you then need to apply for a residence permit in Germany.



Visa and Residence Permit Citizen of all other Non-EU Countries

General Information

You can find a list of countries for which a visa is required to enter Germany here: Foreign Ministry – Overview of Visa Requirements


Visa application
A visa application is directed to the German embassy or consulate in your home country or country of residence: List of German Embassies or Consulates Abroad. It is advisable to commence the application procedure for a visa immediately after confirmation of acceptance at the FHDW or after receipt of your study contract. Visas for accompanying family members should be applied for at the same time.

Documents for visa applications

Typically the following documents are required: 

  • Application form (available from the German diplomatic representation)
  • Passport (valid for the entire stay in Germany)
  • Proof that you can support yourself financially (i.e blocked account, proof of a scholarship, declaration of commitment)
  • Proof of adequate health insurance
  • Statement of your intended reason for staying in Germany (i.e. study contract with FHDW)
  • Biometric passport photo
  • Information about planned accommodation in Germany
Student Visa

To study at the FHDW it is vital to apply for a D visa / student visa. After arrival you must apply for a residence permit from the local Foreigner’s Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde). You can apply for this student residence permit for a maximum of 2 years and it must be extended during your studies with proof of ECTS credits earned.

Residence permits are issued by the administrative organs of the city of Paderborn city government of Paderborn and can also be applied for online in German.


Health Insurance

Health insurance is compulsory in Germany. A comprehensive overview can be found on the website of the German government: Health insurance


Rental contract and confirmation of residence

A rental contract and confirmation of residence are issued by the rental agent (landlord and need to be presented to the Residents’ Registry Office.


Bank account

You will need a bank account at a German bank in order to pay your bills and rent. After you have opened the account, called Girokonto in German, you will receive a bank card, called an EC card. This can be used in most businesses to pay without cash as well as to pick up cash from ATMs.

The In­ter­na­tio­nal Of­fice-Team

Karin Carroll-Scott

Leiterin International Office

[email protected]

+49 5251 301-183

Jessica Schwabe

@Campus Paderborn

[email protected]

+49 5251 301-283

Britt Zein

@Campus Bielefeld

[email protected]

+49 521 23842-231

Eva Theisen

@Campus Bergisch Gladbach

[email protected]

+49 2202 9527-364

Simone Groll

@Campus Mettmann

[email protected]

+49 2104 17756-304