During your Stay
We hope that you had a good arrival in Germany and we, along with your contact person in the faculty, are happy to welcome you to one of our campuses in Cologne, Gummersbach or Leverkusen.
After your Arrival
New in Cologne?
During an individual appointment, we would love to get to know you personally and answer your questions regarding your stay at TH Köln. Normally, we will ask you to sign an agreement for your guest stay at the TH after you arrive. This agreement regulates all rights and obligations associated with your stay. We will provide you with a welcome package (including a guest identification card, email address and computer login) with many useful tips and information to make it easier for you (and your family) to get used to the new environment. We are also glad to give you an initial orientation on site at our campus and to explain the formalities that you must take care of after your arrival in Germany.
1) Formalities after Arrival
There are three important formalities to take care of in the initial weeks after your arrival in Germany:
- Registering your German residence
- Opening a German bank account
- Applying for a residence permit at the immigration office (only relevant for non-EU citizens staying longer than 90 days)
2) Formalities at TH Köln
- Sign the guest scholar agreement
- Activate guest identification card, campusID and email address
We would like to sign an agreement with you that covers the duration of your stay and regulates all legal conditions (permission, legal relationships, confidentiality, data protection, results, publications, termination) of your stay. If you would like to view the agreement, we would be glad to send it to you in advance by email.
In addition to a lot of important information, your welcome package contains a guest identification card, an email address and a login that is your campusID and serves as your login for various systems at the TH. In the beginning, you have to activate your campusID and your email address.
Guest Identification Card - MultiCa
You receive a guest identification card for the duration of your stay, which is a multifunctional chip card known as the MultiCa. With the MultiCa, you can identify yourself, make payments, make copies, buy food and park your vehicle.
The MultiCa has the following functions:
- Identification as a guest at TH Köln
- Library user card, which enables you to check out books by yourself
- Copy card for business and personal copies (must be agreed upon with the host before issuing the card)
- Parking card for Deutz Campus, Gummersbach Campus and Claudiusstrasse parking lots
- Locker card
- Cafeteria card with payment function
More information on KSTW cafeterias
The Kölner Studierendenwerk (KSTW) operates all cafeterias and coffee bars at TH Köln. There are different prices for main meals (students, staff, guests). Please be advised that guest scholars pay the guest price in the cafeteria even for longer stays at TH Köln.
You can pay with cash or with your MultiCa at most locations. At some locations, it is now only possible to make cashless payments with your MultiCa. That is why we recommend loading money onto your MultiCa. On the page MultiCa, you can find the locations where you can load money onto your card - and other useful information regarding the MultiCa.
University account – campusID
The campusID is your personal university account. It consists of your username and password and allows you to log into various systems. This includes your email inbox, access to the university network via eduroam and VPN or the campusID center.
To be able to use your university account, you first have to activate it in the campusID center and change your password.
In the campusID center, you can also activate your library account.
The first login also unlocks your email account in the GroupWise system. Your email address is normally: Firstname_secondname.lastname or campusID@th-koeln.de
Here you can log into your email account via a web browser:
It is also possible to download a GroupWise FatClient so that you can access your inbox directly on Windows or Mac OS on your computer. The CampusIT [only available in German] can help you with this.
3) Take a placement test / language course registration
If you arrive when classes start and are interested in participating in a German course during the semester, you normally have to take a placement test first (exception: you have no previous knowledge of German). Afterwards, you can register for a language course that corresponds to your level of German. The Language Learning Center offers more information on German courses.
4) Formalities if you bring along your children
You have to register your children with you in your municipality of residence.
Family-friendly infrastructure of TH Köln
As a family-friendly university, TH Köln supports parents with various offers: mobile play boxes, breastfeeding and diaper-changing rooms, arrangement of babysitters, child holiday care, etc.
School allocation and registration: After registering your residence, the municipality will send you information about registering your children for school. First, you have to make an appointment with the Communal Integration Center. During an advisory appointment, the Communal Integration Center will determine with you and your children which school and which grade would be best for your children. The Communal Integration Center has specifically trained personnel who speak English and other foreign languages. Afterwards, a school doctor from the health department will examine your children. About two weeks later, the education authority will usually allocate your children to a school that is close to your place of residence. If your children do not have any knowledge of German, they will initially be placed in a preparatory class for new immigrants with intensive German-language instruction. As soon as the children have a sufficient knowledge of German, they can attend regular classes.
You usually need to bring the following documents to your advisory appointment:
- Proof of your address in Cologne
- Your identification documents
- Your child's/ children's identification documents
- Your child's/ children's report cards from your home country
Registering for and adjusting to the childcare facility or daycare workers: For younger children who will be cared for in a childcare facility or by a daycare worker, the facility or daycare worker will provide you with information on registering and adjusting to the care environment.
Please note that at the time care begins in a group facility you must have written proof of a measles immunization for your children (Measles Protection Act).
Please bear in mind that it is normal for adjusting to take place in the first one to three weeks where a parent accompanies their children every day in the institution until they can be alone in the institution after a few weeks. This gives you and the children the opportunity to get to know the institution and your contact persons well and to ensure that your children feel comfortable at the institution.
5) Public transportation (local public transportation)
Information about the public transport network and ticket prices
TH Köln is easily accessible by public transportation (local public transportation). We recommend that you travel to the TH using local public transportation since parking is very limited. All locations are close to a subway stop or a train station. It is often worth buying a monthly pass if you normally come to the TH using local public transportation.
Starting your everyday life (at work)
German work culture
To help you get started with working at a German university, we have put together some links to give you an overview of the most important features of the German work culture.
We hope that you have had a good start to your stay at TH Köln. You will be part of TH Köln for the coming weeks and months. The TH has a variety of different information and programs to help you during your stay.
Below you can find information about TH Köln and its programs as well as some useful information for your time in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).
TH Köln intern - internal website
TH Köln’s internal website has a lot of useful information that we have compiled for new staff, which may be interesting to you. Here you can find forms, an overview of ongoing projects at the university or internal news that point out new programs and events at the university. Please be advised that some offers only apply to permanent staff at TH Köln such as being provided with business cards or obtaining a major customer ticket from the transportation authorities in Cologne. Feel free to contact us if you are unsure of whether you are allowed to use a program or service.
You can log into TH Köln intern using your campusID.
Opening hours, lecture times & public holidays
Opening hours and lecture times
- New Year's Day
- Good Friday
- Easter Monday
- May 1st as the day of commitment to freedom and peace, social justice, reconciliation of nations and human dignity
- Ascension Day
- Pentecost Monday
- October 3rd as the Day of German Unity
- Christmas (December 25th)
- Boxing Day (December 26th)
Additional public holidays in NRW:
- Corpus Christi (the Thursday after Trinity Sunday)
- All Saints Day (November 1st)
You can find information about school breaks in NRW here.
TH Köln has a number of different services and programs to help you during your stay.
Feel free to look at the pages of the Language Learning Center, the University Library and the Center for Academic Development.
Checklist: Before your Departure
Your stay will soon be over? We hope that you had a pleasant, successful time at TH Köln. Feel free to stop by our office again so that we can take care of any unanswered questions before your departure and personally say goodbye.
The following explains the formalities that you should take care of before your departure. You can also download this information as a checklist in the info box to the right.
At TH Köln
- Inform your host in the faculty as well as the International Scholar Services about your planned departure date
- Return all media that you borrowed from the library
- Spend any remaining credit on your MultiCa. You can also have the money paid out in the KSTW cafeteria
- Return your key or transponder to your institute or to the responsible facility management service
- Return your MultiCa to the International Scholar Services
At your place of residence
- Cancel your contract for your apartment, health insurance, mobile phone contracts, membership at the gym, KVB tickets, etc. in good time since notice periods are sometimes 3 months
- Make an appointment with your landlord for returning your apartment and key, and take care of your deposit refund
- Deregister your place of residence with the municipality
- Deregister television and radio license fees (only with deregistration documentation from the municipality)
- Make arrangements with your bank for closing your bank account
How was your stay at TH Köln? – your feedback
We are very interested to know how you liked your stay at the TH. Please send your feedback to email@example.com so that we can improve our services for guest scholars.
Departure is often stressful, and there is a lot to take care of in a short amount of time, just like at the beginning of a stay abroad. We understand if you do not have time to say goodbye in person. So, we would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank you for visiting the TH, we wish your all the best and hope to see you again in Cologne.