Social Counselling for International Students (without HGB)

We are here
for you.

International students from all Leipzig universities and academies as well as prospective students from abroad receive individual counselling for social, personal and financial questions. Individual counselling is free of charge and takes place in a protected setting. Counselling is possible in English or German. Anonymous counselling is possible as well. Counselling with interpreting is possible on request.

What we advise you on

  • Questions about the right of residence in Germany
  • Access to studying (orientation and referring)
  • Communication with authorities, health insurance companies, landlords – advice on application procedures and legal options for dealing with outstanding payments
  • Jobbing in addition to your studies – types of jobs (e.g. mini-jobs, student trainees, self-employment), social security contributions and taxes, work permits
  • Orientation in case of changes in the study status (e.g. leave of absence, removal from register due to family requirements, chronic disease, transition from study to work) and effects on student financing
  • Health insurance (e.g. access, differences between statutory and private health insurance, orientation in the health system)
  • Licence Fee (Rundfunkbeitrag ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio)
  • Examination of possible entitlements to social benefits (e.g. housing benefit, child benefit, unemployment benefits), requirements, information on the application procedure
  • Counselling and orientation in difficult life situations (e.g. doubts about studying, planned drop-out) – Information about specific offers of universities, municipal institutions and counselling centers in Leipzig
  • Advice on financial assistance from Studentenwerk Leipzig’s hardship fund to bridge a financial emergency situation
  • Advice on studying with children (e.g. financing, study organisation, daycare search)
  • Advice on studying with a chronic disease or impairment (e.g. financing, organisation of studies, disability compensation)


Jana Kuppardt

Head of Department & Contact for International Students

Phone: +49 1761 9659 673

Write an email

An overview of our offers

  • Book Short Consultation (Telephone, On site, Video)

    A short consultation lasts 30 minutes and can be held by telephone, on site or video (Big Blue Button). Consultations can be held in English or German. You can book an appointment via the online booking calendar.

  • Telephone consultation and open on-site consultation hours without appointment

    In addition to counselling by appointment, you can also call us during telephone consultation hours or use the open consultation hours on Thursdays for short, urgent enquiries. All information and contact details can be found on the general website of the social counselling.

  • Information Events

    Besides studying, there are other issues that occur in everyday life. There are various ways for students to finance their studies, one of the most common being taking a job. Also, when a child is born, this influences study planning or financing. Previous (financing-) plans have to be rethought. Likewise, studying can bring further challenges if a chronic illness or disability plays a role in daily life.

    That is why we offer regular information events on these topics. You can find an overview of the contents and date details in the overview of our online events.



  • E-mail Distribution List for International students

    You don’t want to miss any news and events of the Studentenwerk Leipzig for international students? Then you can subscribe to our e-mail distribution list. To do so, please send an e-mail to You can unsubscribe at any time by sending a short e-mail to the same address.

Questions and Answers

  • I received a letter from the fee collection service ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio. What do I have to do?

    In Germany, every apartment has to pay the broadcast license fee (Rundfunkbeitrag). This will finance the public broadcasting institutions.

    • The license fee is currently at 17.50€/month.
    • The fee must be paid from the 1st month from which you are registered in Germany.
    • You must register yourself with the fee collection service. If you do not do this, the service will write  to you by post after a few months and demand the unpaid contributions.
    • Only students who receive BAföG can be exempted from paying contributions. International students have to pay the fee, regardless of how long they will stay in Germany and how they finance themselves.
    • Whether your room in the dormitory counts as an individual apartment or whether you can register a shared apartment with your roommates differs from dormitory to dormitory.

    A lot of information about the broadcast license fee (explanatory videos,  information for students,…) and registration can be found on the website of the service.

  • How many hours am I allowed to work with my residence permit while I am studying?


    • International students who do not come from the EU or the EEA are allowed to work 120 full days or 240 half days per year. In this case you do not need the separate consent of the employment agency (Agentur für Arbeit). A half day is considered up to 4 hours working time and everything that goes beyond 4 hours is considered a full day. Half and full days can be combined and days off or sick days are not considered working days.
    • However, international students who do not come from the EU cannot simply work on their own or on a freelance basis. This must be discussed in advance with the Foreigners’ Authority.
    • Students with a part-time job must have proof of how many days a year they work
    • If you want to work more than 120 full days or 240 half days, you need the consent of the Foreigners’ Authority.
    • An exception is the work as a research assistant or student assistant: As long as the studies are not endangered, they can be carried out indefinitely. However, the Aliens Department must still be informed if you want to work as a research assistant or student assistant.


    • In principle, students from the European Union and the European Economic Area are practically equal to German students and have free access to the German labour market. You are to be considered a regular student and not an employee if your job does not exceed 20 hours per week during the lecture period.
    • Since May 2011, students from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Hungary can also work on the same conditions as German students.


    • During your preparation for university (language course, preparatory course), employment is only permitted during the semester break and the approval of the Foreigners’ Authority and the employment agency is required.

    If you are looking for a job, we recommend Studentenwerk Leipzig’s Student Job Office.

  • Do I have to register with the City of Leipzig at the beginning of my studies?

    All important information can be found on the website of the City of Leipzig.

  • Do I need health insurance?

    According to German law, all students, including international students, studying at a university or academy in Germany, need a statutory or private health insurance. To register at a university in Leipzig, you need your health insurance certificate and must present it for enrolment. Sufficient insurance cover is very important so that you do not have to bear the costs yourself in case of e.g. necessary surgery, required psychotherapy or the birth of a baby in the hospital. This can be very expensive. Therefore, you should inform yourself very well regarding what cost your health insurance company covers and do not enter into the cheapest contract right away.

  • Where can I find support for study difficulties, personal conflict situations or psychological strains?

    Studentenwerk Leipzig’s Psychosocial Counselling provides support with study difficulties, personal conflict situations or psychological strains. The offer is confidential, free and tailored to your personal needs.

  • Do I have to go to the Foreigners’ Authority?

    People coming from an EU member state or Iceland, Lichtenstein or Norway do not need a residence permit as long as the right to freedom of movement under the Freedom of Movement Act/EU exists.

    Everyone else has to make an appointment with the Foreigners’ Authority. However, the first step is to register your residence/new address with the City of Leipzig. You will be handed a registration letter. More information here on the City’s website. 

    After receiving your registration letter, go to the Foreigners’ Authority to register your stay for study purposes in Leipzig.

  • What is the difference between Social and Psychosocial Counselling?

    In general, Psychosocial Counselling deals with questions concerning the handling of stress and difficult situations in study related and everyday life. Social Counselling  deals with financing options, studying with residence permits, studying with children, studying with chronic disease, etc.

    Generally speaking, there are many concerns that are relevant for both Social Counselling and Psychosocial Counselling. For example, the question as to whether a semester off due to illness or heavy workload makes sense includes not only the aspect of how one can use the time to feel better and be able to study again (Psychosocial Counselling), but often also the question of financing during this time (Social Counselling). For this reason, Psychosocial Counselling and Social Counselling work closely together on many issues – given the students consent.

    If you are unsure to which of the two counselling services you should go to (first), you are welcome to write an e-mail with your concern to in order to receive feedback of our counsellors.