Here you will find the most important information about living in the dormitories of the Cologne Studierendenwerk, from the right contact person to the application process to how to operate the washing machine.
In every dormitory there are students (administrative assistants) who work for the Studierendenwerk. You can contact them during office hours. The administrative assistants are your first contacts for all matters concerning your room or dormitory. They will give you the room key when you move in, lend you tools, hand out light bulbs or register damage reports.
Our apartments are self-contained residential units consisting of a room with a kitchenette, bathroom and toilet. Couples or students with children are given preference when renting slightly larger single apartments.
We do not have an ordered applicant list. Rooms are allocated according to specific application criteria. Your wishes regarding type of accommodation and furnishings will be taken into consideration. The waiting time varies. It depends on the demand and availability of rooms. There is no legal claim to a place of residence.
We give preference to the following groups of students when allocating accommodation:
Application criteria - Who can apply for a place in a hall of residence?
Those who are enrolled at one of the following universities are eligible to apply for a place in a residence hall as well as interns who are enrolled at a university outside Cologne and are doing a study-related internship locally:
Download PDF | Room Allocation Guidelines 2020
Applying for Accommodation at the Studierendenwerk
If you would like to study in Cologne, apply for a place in a hall of residence as early as possible, ideally one or two semesters in advance. You only have to present a certificate of enrolment when signing the tenancy agreement. Complete the online application and send it with your valid personal data. A signed tenancy agreement that contains false information will be cancelled without notice.
About the online application
You will receive an e-mail with a link which you should click on to activate. Please inform us of any changes to your e-mail address, postal address or telephone number, as this is the only way we can notify you if a place becomes available.
In order to ensure that only students who have not yet received a room are considered in the allocation process, we will send you an e-mail every 30 days. You should confirm the link in the e-mail within five days if you are still interested in accommodation. Without this confirmation your application will be deactivated. As soon as a room is available for you, we will send you a room offer via e-mail.
More beneficial for many students: The broadcasting fee, which finances public broadcasting, is levied on the household, not on your equipment. Therefore only one contribution per household is charged, even if you live in a shared flat. One flat = one fee (17,50 euros per month).
If you receive BAföG, you can apply for an exemption from the radio contribution. You can find the various application forms and the information flyer for the broadcast fee at → rundfunkbeitrag.de.
Consumer Dispute Resolution Act (VSBG) - Duty to inform as of 01.02.2017 (§§ 36, 37 VSBG)
We are neither willing nor obliged to participate in dispute resolution proceedings before a consumer arbitration board according to the Consumer Dispute Resolution Act (VSBG).
However, the Consumer Dispute Resolution Act requires us to refer you to a consumer arbitration board responsible for you:
General consumer arbitration board of the Centre for Arbitration e. V., Strasbourg Str. 8, 77694 Kehl
After signing the rental contract a deposit of 300 Euro will be deducted from your account with the first rent. After the completion of the contract you will receive the deposit back into your account approximately four to six weeks after moving out, provided that no damage has been found in your room. If there is any damage or a need for cleaning, these costs will be deducted from the deposit. You won’t receive any interest on the deposit. Any interest income will go toward the upkeep of the dormitory.
The Studierendenwerk operates several residences that are more than ten floors high. After the fire catastrophe in London's Grenfell Tower, which was caused by a highly flammable façade cladding, we checked the façades of its high-rise buildings.
The result: the materials used for their facades are fire proof. Fire protection measures are in place and the safety of the residents is guaranteed.
The ground plans of most of our dormitories can be found here:
The ground plans are rough drafts so that you can get a basic idea of the room layout and arrangement. In addition, there may be differences between the individual apartments and rooms within the dormitories, which we cannot show in the plan.
Here you can download and read our house rules:
Download | House Rules (PDF) / Hausordnung (PDF)
Students living independently who are not entitled to BAföG financial aid are entitled to a housing allowance. This could be the case in which the student has received the maximum amount of educational support. In order to receive this allowance from the state, the student must prove that they reside in a permanent household, independent of the parents. This could include any of the following cases:
A housing allowance is not granted retroactively, it starts from the date of application. Applications can be made regardless of your residence within Cologne at the central housing allowance office at the Lindenthal city hall (Bezirksrathaus Lindenthal) or at any location of the Department of Housing (Amtes für Wohnungswesen). Further information can be obtained from the Housing Benefits Office (Wohngeldstelle) in the Social Affairs section of the Department of Citizens (Bürgerämt) and from → Stadt Köln.
International students can ask us for advice on the following topics:
Before you call us please check out the information on the pages Consulting and International.
There is an internet connection in every room. The costs for the connection with 10 MB are included in the rent. You also have the possibility to increase the data volume at your own expense. You can find information about this here: → NetCologne.
Here you can download and read the operating instructions:
Download | Information sheet NetCologne (Informationsblatt NetCologne (PDF))
Basically, the following applies: You can only live in the dormitory once!
Exceptions: Students can only move back into a residence hall of the Studierendenwerk after moving out, if they were on leave of absence from their studies due to illness, doing a semester abroad or doing a study-related internship in another city. Please submit an informal application for re-admission to the Department of Student Accommodation.
Moving in and handing over the keys
You can pick up the keys for your room at the office in your dormitory building. When you receive your tenancy agreement you will also receive the document "Office Hours" and in it you will be informed when and where exactly you can pick up your keys.
You can find more information on this topic under Mein Zuhause in Köln (My home in Cologne).
You can apply for relocation with us. Please state your reasons for your wish to move so that we can check whether and which alternatives we can offer you.
Here you can download the relocation form:
Download | Relocation request (PDF)
Our reduced rents are all warm rents, which include all additional costs for electricity, gas, water, garbage and internet. There are no extra charges. However, the broadcast licence fees are not included in the rent and must be paid per accommodation to the broadcast licence fee collection centre. The rent is debited from your account on the 1st of each month.
Here you can download the radio licence fee form:
Download | Radio licence fee (PDF)
Basically, you can only live in the dormitory once! But there are exceptions.
Students can move back into a hall of residence of the Studierendenwerk after moving out only if they have been on leave of absence due to illness or a semester abroad or if they have done a study-related internship in another city. Please submit an informal application for re-entry to the Department of Student Accommodation.
Shared flats are flats for two to seven students. Students each have their own room but share the use of the bathroom, toilet and kitchen with the flatmates.
Short-term rental contracts are used for exchange students and students with internships for up to 12 months. For short-term tenants we do not charge a deposit, rather a rent supplement of 30 euros per month.
Here you can download a sample short-term tenancy contract:
Download | Sample short-term tenancy agreement (PDF)
Our single rooms are typical dormitory rooms with a common kitchen, bathroom and toilet, shared by all tenants on each floor. Some of the single rooms are equipped with washbasins. In some residences there is a common room in addition to a common kitchen.
Subletting your room is possible in principle, but you must apply for it at the Studierendenwerk.
Requirements and an sublet application form can be found here:
Download | Subletting Agreement (PDF).
For further information, please contact your contact person or visit the Infopoint.