International Student Edition
Current Corona Information

The Kölner Studierendenwerk and the universities and colleges of Cologne are taking numerous measures to protect all students and employees from infection. As soon as we receive new information, you will find it here in the news ticker.

We are committed to constantly supporting you as best we can and hope to be able to resume normal operations soon. Thank you for your understanding.

Special News from the Werk in the Coronatime

Special News from the Werk in the Coronatime

Important notes for tenants - Hygiene in the dormitories

The Corona Bridging Assistance is extended to September 2021

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) extends the Corona bridging Assistance until November 2021. The Corona Bridging Assistance addresses students who have demonstrably experienced pandemic-related emergencies. You can find all detailed information on the Corona Bridging Assistance on this site.


Update: 15.02.2021, 14:00.

Medical mask obligation in NRW

From 25.01.2021, only three types of masks will be permitted in buses, trains, stores and doctors' surgeries, as well as in our cantines:
- Medical face mask (also surgical mask).
- FFP2 mask ( Filtering Face Piece )
- CTA respirator mask (KN95/N95)

The state of NRW answers the most important questions in their FAQs. We have also summarized all the information clearly here.

Student Financing

BAföG support hours extended

Your BAföG case worker can be reached by phone during the day from Mon. to Fri.

When you call, have your account, matriculation and grant numbers ready. You must give us these numbers at the beginning of the call for the purpose of identification.

If you cannot reach your contact person, send an e-mail to bafoeg@kstw.de and write your grant number in the subject line. You will be called back promptly.

If you are not contacted and there is an emergency, you may call us at 0221/ 94265-197.

Daka: Tel. 0221/94265-147,-132, bafoeg@kstw.de

Contact overview - how to reach us

In order to minimize the risk of Corona infection, we have closed all face-to-face consultation hours. The Infopoints are also closed. 

You can reach our departments by phone or even better: write an email! 



Universitätsstr. 16
50937 Köln  

Phone: 0221/94265-201


Counselling, Kindergartens and Social Support 

Luxemburger Str. 181 – 183
50937 Köln
Phone: 0221/168815-0

Further contact details, consultation hours and informations about our counselling services are available here.

Gastronomy - Canteen, Bistro and coffee shops

Currently our gastronomy services are limited. You can find the opened canteens and their exact opening hours in our overview.

Student Accommodation 

Phone: 0221 /94265-211,-218,-222,-223,-225 (or call your administrator)


Student Financing 

Phone: Your advisor can be reached by phone from Monday to Friday during the day. You can find
more Information in "Student Financing

Daka: Phone: 0221/94265-147,-132, bafoeg@kstw.de 


Culture & International Program

All Programs cancelled
Phone: 0221/94265-365


Updated 17.08.2020, 15.00 

Corona Special Fund for Students in financial crisis

In order to provide short-term relief from emergencies caused by the Corona pandemic, the Cologne Student Union has set up a Corona Special Fund. From the Corona Special Fund, eligible students are granted a one-time interest-free loan of max. 800.00 euros. There must be no other claim for financial support in this Corona-related emergency.

Requirements for the loan from the Corona Special Fund:

- Emergency situation was caused by the Corona pandemic, such as loss of job (confirmation of termination or confirmation of reduced work needed) or travel barriers.

- Every student who is enrolled at a Cologne university and pays the social fee is entitled to apply.

These documents must be submitted:

Identity card, certificate of enrolment, bank statements from the last 6 weeks.


The loan will be repaid in instalments of 50.00 euros. Repayment begins 6 months after the loan is paid out.


You can obtain information by calling the Werk's Social Counselling department at 0221/168815 - 30.

Telephone hours: Mon - Wed and Fri from 9:00 - 11:00 am.


Updated 16.04.2020 - 18.00h

International Culture

By order of the City of Cologne all International Department events have been cancelled until further notice. These currently include the city hall reception, Café Babylon and chess evenings. We will inform you here as soon as there is any news.

Updated 27.03.2020, 10:00 h


The Kölner Studierendenwerk has implemented a ban on admission to the daycare centres starting Monday, 16.03.2020. Further information can be found here (Prohibition to enter) and here (New Guidelines). 

In April 2020, the Kita meals allowance will be waived. 

Many students have been hit hard financially by the crisis. Many have lost their side jobs. Therefore, in the month of April, the Werk would like to make a small contribution to alleviate the crisis and waive the flat-rate catering allowance. 

We will inform you here as soon as there is any more news.

FAQ Specials
Corona-related changes
FAQ Specials

FAQ Specials
Corona-related changes
FAQ Specials

The Werk would like to support and advise you personally, especially in times of crisis. Call, chat with us or send an email. In order to answer as many questions as possible, the Student Services have teamed up to compile an FAQ catalog, which is subdivided by keywords.

If you would like to add it, send us an email to presse@kstw.de.



Does the Werk continue the consolation?

Yes. To prevent Infections, we decided to close the face-to-face advice. But you can find the contact overview further up on this page.

Bridging financial bottlenecks

Bridging financial bottlenecks

How can I use grants and loans to bridge financial bottlenecks or emergencies during the Corona crisis?

In the following menu we have summarised the following information on the various loan and grant options: What are the requirements? How much is the loan? How does the repayment work? And who do I contact?


Social Loans from the Student Union

AStA, University Cologne

Loan amount

  • Interest-free short-term loan of up to 300 € for one month.
  • The loans are granted in the AStA advisory office in the Mensa, Zülpicher Str. 70, during BAföG consultation times.


  • Be an enrolled student at the University of Cologne.
  • Further requirements have to be clarified with the AStA of the University of Cologne by phone or e-mail.

Contact and further information

Email to Sozialreferat@asta.uni-koeln.de or call Tel 0221 470 6251

Further information can be found at here


AStA, Cologne University of Technology

Loan amount

One-time interest-free loan in the amount of 250€.


  • Be an enrolled student of the TH Köln.
  • Have a guarantor.


The repayment modalities will be agreed upon in an individual conversation.

Contact and further information

Further information from the social counselling service at TH Köln


Longer-term loans

In addition to the one-off bridging loans, you can also apply for a loan for a longer period of time. If you are in the final phase of your studies and haven’t been able to start a job, it might be worthwhile to take a look at the following options. In any case, you are welcome to ask our social counsellors or the respective contact person for the loan.

Daka Loans

Loan amount

  • Monthly loan for a maximum of 1,000 euros.
  • Flexible monthly instalments.
  • The loan is completely interest-free, only an administration fee of five percent is charged


  • Be a registered student at a state university in NRW.
  • Be dependent on financial aid.
  • Have a guarantor.
  • Note: Your age and number of semesters do not matter

Repayment of a loan:

  • Repayment begins twelve months after disbursement of the last subsidy payment.
  • If you are still studying, the repayment can be postponed for a further twelve months.
  • The minimum instalment is 150 Euro per month, but this amount is flexible.

Processing period

The processing time takes at least two weeks.

Contact and further information

Mrs Kürten Tel 0221 - 94265 (- 132) and Mrs Yildiz (- 1479)

Website Daka Loan


KfW Student Loan

Loan amount

A monthly amount of up to 650 euros.


  • Enrolled as a student at a private or public German university (including doctoral studies).
  • University entrance qualification obtained in Germany.
  • Minimum term is six months.
  • Available up to your 10th semester.
  • Be 44 years old or younger.
  • No guarantor required.


  • Repayment begins after approx. 18 to 24 months.
  • During this “waiting period”, interest continues to accrue.
  • A deferment is not possible.
  • You can adjust the repayment rate every six months.
  • The minimum repayment rate is 20 euros.

Processing period

If the entry has been processed by the 15th of the month, the first payment will be made in the following month.

Contact at the Werk

Mr Beckmann Tel 0221 - 94265 - 181 and Mr Calanni - 131


Education Loan

Loan amount

  • Flexible loans between 100 - 300 euros.
  • Single loan of max. 3600 euros possible.


  • Repayment does not start until four years after initial receipt of payment.
  • The Education Loan offers a low interest rate.
  • Simple online application via the Bundesverwaltungsamt (Federal Office of Administration).

Further information and contact

Website of the Bundesverwaltungsamt (Federal Office of Administration) or hotline Tel 0188 83 58 44 92 (office hours are Mon - Th 10:30 - 12:30 and 13:30 - 14:30 and Fri 10:30 - 12:00).

What else can I do when I cannot pay my health insurance, rent, mobile phone bill etc.?

If you are unable to pay your health insurance, apartment rental, mobile phone contract company, radio licence fee etc., you should pro-actively contact them. Please ask for a deferral of your payments and, if necessary, for a block on late notices. If it is possible for you, you could ask for a reduced amount to pay.

Where can I get financial help? Do I have to take out a loan?

It is best to contact our Social Counselling or Student Finance departments. We also have a loan fund, the Daka NRW.



Will my BAföG application be processed in the Corona crisis?

Of course. Our clerks will process your BAföG application despite the Corona crisis. Please check first whether your documents are complete. Our detailed checklist will help you - you can find it on our website under BAföG. The notifications are sent by post as usual.

Are there any disadvantages concerning BAföG if my standard period of study is extended or examinations are cancelled due to the corona crisis?

No. You can take a deep breath, because Minister Karliczek from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) made it clear in her decree that BAföG recipients should have clarity and planning security in the current exceptional situation. According to the report of the BMBF.

You are not alone - our BAföG colleagues will help you through the crisis!

Does the corona pandemic and the postponement of the Summer semester 2020 have an impact on my BAföG?

No, as the Federal Ministry of Education and Research has informed us, the postponement of the start of lectures will in no way affect BAföG entitlement. Students (whether they are first-year students or already receiving support) have no reason to fear that they will not receive any money in or for April 2020. Self-study and online studies also count as study activities. Please contact our department for information on financing your studies. It is important that the BAföG application must be submitted in April 2020 at the latest if you have not yet received a BAföG decision for the summer semester 2020.

One or more of my parents are acutely affected by the Corona crisis; they have a greatly reduced or zero income. Does my BAföG payment increase because of this?

If your parents earn less now, perhaps because of reduced work, your chances for BAföG funding or higher BAföG funding are greater.

Case 1:

If you did not receive BAföG or did not apply for it because of your parents' income, but your parents earn less now, you can always submit a new application for BAföG and update it to reflect your parents' current income. 

Case 2:

If you already receive BAföG but your parents' income is currently lower (for example, due to reduced work), you can apply for a BAföG update and your BAföG office will check the amount of your current BAföG entitlement. 

For further questions please contact our Student Financing department.

Does my claim for alimony from my parents remain?

Yes, provided that your parents are still economically capable; otherwise you may be entitled to BAföG. Self-study (reading specialist literature, research for and writing of homework etc.) or online studies also count as a study activity, especially in the current situation.

In exceptional cases, your parents may have to accept delays and interruptions of your studies and the resulting extension of your maintenance payments. In the case of delays and interruptions of your studies, each individual case will be considered, especially if there are special reasons for delay that merit recognition. In the present situation, which is completely unforeseeable for everyone, a delay in education, provided that it is due to official measures, is entirely without fault. However, you should use the extended lecture-free time for your self-study.

I'm considering taking a semester off because of the Corona crisis. What do I have to consider?

Attention: There is no BAföG entitlement for semesters during leave of absence - which are breaks from studying - asthere is no study programme! Please be sure to find out before a leave of absence what consequences this would have on your financing. You can contact our social counselling service for information on the requirements for receiving benefits in accordance with the Social Security Code II (basic security, "Hartz IV") during this semester, if necessary.



As a student with a part-time job, am I eligible for unemployment benefits?

No. Working students are exempt from health, nursing and unemployment insurance. It follows that those who don't pay into unemployment insurance, can't receive work benefits.

In addition to my studies, I am self-employed or a freelancer and I have lost my orders or can no longer perform work due to government measures to contain the Coronavirus. Do I have any claims for compensation under the Infection Control Act?

This is where we need to get some leverage: The Infection Protection Act (IfSG) allows in part very drastic measures to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and facilitate their treatment. Measures can be bans on activity or quarantine. Concrete official prohibition of activities or officially ordered quarantine measures against someone who may present a risk of infection, could trigger a claim for compensation under the German Protection against Infection Act (IfSG).

Please note: voluntary quarantine, for example, does not trigger a claim for compensation. According to § 56 para. 2 IfSG compensation is calculated according to loss of earnings. For the first six weeks, compensation for the amount of the loss of earnings is granted. From the beginning of the seventh week, it is paid at the level of long-term illnessbenefit in accordance with §47, Subsection 1, Book 5 of the German Social Security Code (Sozialgesetzbuch), insofar as the loss of earnings does not exceed the annual earnings limit applicable to the statutory health insurance obligation.

For self-employed people, the compensation is calculated at 1/12 of the monthly earned net income (average of the last year before the prohibited activity). The self-employed who are exposed to a threat to their livelihood as a result of a measure under the IfSG may receive reasonable compensation from the authorities for additional expenses incurred during periods of loss of earnings. Should the business have to close down, an appropriate amount of compensation will also be paid for the duration of the measure under IfSG for any uncovered business expenses which continue to be incurred during this period. 

Compensation is only available upon application, and very short application deadlines apply!

Applications must be submitted within three months of the halted activity or end of isolation (quarantine) with the appropriate authority.

Joblessness and Accommodation

Joblessness and Accommodation

If I lose my job or do not receive my salary, am I currently entitled to a housing benefit?

Not automatically. If you are currently unemployed due to loss of your job or have no wage income, you are not automatically entitled to housing benefits. The basic prerequisites for BAföG remains in place: your eligibility and acheck your monthly living expenses. In short: The eligibility criteria for housing benefits remain the same. LINK

Habe ich, wenn ich meinen Nebenjob verliere, oder die Lohnzahlungen ausbleiben, Anspruch auf ALG II-Leistungen?

No, you are not currently entitled to ALG II benefits. Full-time students are generally not entitled to benefits under the Social Security Code II.

Attention: International Students have other conditions. Please ask our Social Support Team.

Exceptions exist in only a few cases, for example:

Taking a semester break due to pregnancy/child rearing or a leave of absence due to their own illness/impairment. It is important that during such a leave of absence there should not be any study activities, otherwise ALG II benefits are at risk and can be recovered. In addition, other conditions must be fulfilled. You candiscuss whether there is a claim to ALG II with our Social Counselling department.

Part-time studies due to pregnancy or child rearing and in case of leave of absence due to own illness or impairment. There are a few things to consider, though, and other requirements must be met. Let our social counselling service advise you.

Hardship, for example in the case of an interruption of financing and/or of advanced studies loans can be provided according to § 27 para. 3 SGB II and are approved by the job centre.

Additional requirements for certain beneficiaries according to § 21 SGB II; this concerns students with children or students with disabilities.

Student Accommodation

Student Accommodation

My Residence - Will repairs that cannot be postponed be carried out during the corona crisis?

Yes. Of course, all urgent repairs (e.g. burst water pipes, power failure, heating failure, refrigerator broken) will be carried out by our maintenance staff - of course with distance. Please contact your property manager.

Not so urgent repairs have to wait (e.g. dripping water tap, continuous toilet flush, etc.)

My residence hall - Do I have to let the superintendent or my landlord enter my apartment, for example, to inspect the apartment or for repairs?

Viewings that do not have an urgent purpose must always be postponed until after the pandemic. However, if repairs are necessary, for example a burst pipe, you must still allow access to the apartment. Whether the superintendent or landlord is allowed to view your apartment depends on a balance between the landlord's right of ownership and the student's right to privacy. In the case of a pandemic, however, the tenant's right to physical integrity must be respected and is therefore decisive.

Housing - I can no longer pay my rent because of Corona. Do I now have to expect a termination by the Studierendenwerk?

For example, because you have lost your part-time job and/or your parents can currently also support you less financially due to short-time work benefits.

In this situation, you do not have to fear a termination of your rental contract for this reason alone. As a result of the current COVID 19 pandemic, it has been decided by law that in the next three months, limited to 30.06.2020, no terminations may be given if the rent payment difficulties have arisen as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic.  This causal connection must be credibly demonstrated. Nevertheless, the contractual obligation to pay the rent for you remains. In addition to a deferral or an agreement to pay the rent in instalments, you could also apply for housing benefit or BAföG. Due to the current situation, however, there are usually other options for obtaining financial support. Therefore, please contact the Kölner Studierendenwerk immediately! (Contact see above)

This also applies if you have rented an apartment or a room on the free housing market and are experiencing payment difficulties with your rent.


Housing - I am a foreign student and would like to travel back to my home country ASAP. Can I cancel my room with the Kölner Studierendenwerk without notice or prematurely?

For example because you have lost your part-time job due to the pandemic, with which you finance your studies and therefore cannot pay the rent anymore.

Basically no, the contractually agreed notice of cancellation periods apply. However, even in this case you should contact our dormitory administration (see above for contact details) so that they can find solutions together with you.

Housing - I am an exchange student and live in a student residence. My university and I have officially decided that I will return to my home country due to the pandemic. Do I have to interrupt or cancel my tenancy agreement?

You are welcome to return to your home country. However, your tenancy agreement will continue until the date specified (e.g. July 2020). Please inform the dormitory administration of your Studierendenwerk. You do not have to terminate your tenancy agreement.

Housing - I live with three other flatmates in a shared flat of the Kölner Studierendenwerk. Can a problem arise for my flatmates if I cancel my tenancy agreement?

No, this does not happen in Studierendenwerken, because every resident has a separate tenancy agreement.

This could look different if you live in a shared flat of a private landlord. Here you often have to consider who is the main tenant and who the subtenant. If you are the main tenant and cancel the contract, all flatmates who are subtenants will automatically lose their rooms on the date on which you cancelled your contract. If, on the other hand, you are only a subtenant in this shared flat, you can terminate your room in accordance with the contractual notice periods without any disadvantages for your flatmates.

Housing - My neighbor is suffering from Covid-19 May I reduce the rent?

No. The illness of a flatmate or neighbour does not constitute a defect in the rented property and therefore no reason for a reduction in rent.