Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn (University of Bonn), Germany

The University of Bonn is one of the world’s leading research-based universities and is considered to be one of Germany’s most important institutes of higher education. The University of Bonn has over 60 years of experience hosting study abroad opportunities.

University of Bonn website

Who can go?

Student on postgraduate taught and research courses in the School of History.

There is currently a limit of one postgraduate research student and one student on a postgraduate taught programme per academic year for a period of three to six months. Available places may vary from year to year depending on the exchange balance


How to apply

Interested students must check that there is an academic at Bonn who can act as the host supervisor.

You should submit the following documents to the School of History study abroad coordinator:

  • cover letter
  • CV
  • description of the proposed research (500 words maximum)
  • supporting letter.

In the event of more applications than spaces for the same exchange, the School of History postgraduate committee will decide which application to prioritise.

Once accepted by the School of History, you will have to:

  • complete an application form for the University of Bonn
  • provide letters of reference
  • complete (in consultation with your supervisor at St Andrews) a "Postgraduate Learning Agreement". This will need to be approved before you leave St Andrews to study abroad.

Current students can contact study abroad coordinators to find out more. 

Your studies

The academic year at the University of Bonn runs from the start of October to the end of September and is divided into winter semester (October to March) and summer semester (April to September).

At the beginning of orientation week, members of staff may invite you to the first-semester breakfast, organise a city rally for non-locals, or introduce you to the pub life of the city of Bonn. You can also attend larger trips, for example a long weekend in the Eifel.

Although the main language of instruction at the University of Bonn is German, some courses are taught in English, particularly at the Masters level and in the natural sciences.

For an additional fee, the University of Bonn offers German language courses for Erasmus+ students during the semester.

A picture of the University of Bonn

Passports and visas

EU citizens do not need a visa to enter Germany. For a full list of countries which do not require a visa, please see the University of Bonn’s website. After entering Germany, all students who are staying more than three months will have to apply for a residence permit at the local immigration office.

Find out more about visa procedures and residence permits for the University of Bonn.

You should ensure that your passport is valid for the duration of your trip, and for at least six months after you return to the UK. You should scan your passport and keep a copy for your records.

If you are a European Union national, you will not require a visa and may enter the European Union countries with your passport or national identity card. Please note that you may have to comply with legal obligations, such as registering your address with the local authorities.

If you are an international student who has a visa to study in the UK, and you have any questions about the implications of studying or working abroad whilst matriculated at St Andrews, you should consult Student Services by emailing advint@st-andrews.ac.uk. You can also check the passports and visas page for further information.

About the University

The University of Bonn’s faculties, centres and facilities form a ‘city within the city’. The University has more than 350 buildings scattered all over the Bonn area.

The most renowned site is the historic Main Building located in the city centre, which originally was the palatial residence of the prince electors and is now home to the arts and the theological faculties. Together with the adjacent Hofgarten park, this historical and architectural landmark add to the University of Bonn's unmistakable charm.

The library facilities at Bonn are both efficient and extensive, housing a substantial range of over five million resources.

Building at the University of Bonn


As an exchange student, you will not pay tuition fees to your host university, and will only be liable for your normal St Andrews tuition fees.

Research Council students should make sure that they have their funding body’s permission to study abroad, notifying them particularly for any mobility grants that they may be receiving.

On enrolment at the University of Bonn, all students must pay a ‘semester contribution’ of €250, this money contributes to the students’ union, sports facilities, transport ‘Semesterticket’ and student social institutions.

Average monthly living costs can be found on the University of Bonn’s website.


University accommodation is available for incoming students through Studierendenwerk's student dormitories, provided that they apply by the published deadlines. Due to high demand, a room in a Studierendenwerk student dormitory is not guaranteed. 

The University of Bonn has a dedicated private accommodation guide for students. The University recommends looking before you have received confirmation of your Erasmus nomination.

Travel and transport

Three airports (Frankfurt/Main, Düsseldorf, and Cologne Bonn) connect Bonn to the world. The Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN) is the nearest large international airport, and there is a frequent bus to and from Bonn Main Station. The bus departs every 20 to 30 minutes. Find out more about how to get to Bonn.

Whilst staying in Bonn, students enrolled at the University of Bonn can use the public transportation system in the Bonn region for free. Your student ID serves as a "Semesterticket" for buses, subways and some trains (S-Bahn, Regional-express, Regionalbahn). You may also use other trains (D-Zug, InterRegio), but you have to pay a surcharge for them.

A park next to the University of Bonn

Student support

The University of Bonn has an international support group, which offers international students a relaxed and informal opportunity to talk with each other about the difficulties of studying as an international student.

If you are affected by a long-term health impairment, disability or chronic disease, the advisor for students with disabilities can give you advice on all matters relating to studying successfully at the University of Bonn.

Find out more about the range of support options from the University of Bonn.


Global Office
University of St Andrews
Bute Building
Westburn Lane
St Andrews
KY16 9TS

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2245
Email: studyabroad@st-andrews.ac.uk