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How to register as a Ph.D student at Uni-Goettingen Print E-mail
Komsan Suriya


July 17, 2009

University of Goettingen is famous on Development Economics. The university offers the degree of Ph.D. in Economics.  A lot of courses are offered in English. For friends at ZEF who would like to register as a Ph.D. student at the Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Goettingen, I will show the way step by step here.


Step 0:  Serious Warning for DAAD scholars !!!

You are not allowed to move from ZEF to University of Goettingen or other universities without a written consent from DAAD. 

If you moved without DAAD permission, your DAAD scholarship would be terminated immediately !

To have DAAD permission, you should follow this procedure.

1.  Inform ZEFb director about the move and explain why you have to move. Ask him for the permission. The permission in this step needs NOT to be written.

2. Inform Dr. Manke that you will move.  Explain Dr. Manske why you have to move. Inform him that you got a permission from ZEFb director. If Dr. Manske agreed with the move, ask him to provide a written letter of consent from ZEF to give to DAAD. The letter can be sent directly by Dr. Manske to DAAD or he may assign you to send it by yourself.

3.  Ask your academic supervisor at the university that you will move to, to write another letter of consent explaining why you have to move. Remember that the reasons must be good enough. The letter can be sent directly to DAAD by your supervisor or you may carry to DAAD by yourself.

4. Now, you have to write an email to DAAD, informing the move, also explaining your reasons why you have to move, and asking for permission to move.

This letter must be sent to DAAD at least 4 weeks before the move. Otherwise, the move will not be granted for the coming semester.

In case that those two letters of consent were not sent by Dr. Manske and the supervisor, don't  forget to attach them with your email.

5. After receiving your email and two written letters of consent (from ZEF and your academic supervisor), DAAD will make the decision and inform you whether the permission to move is granted or not. 


Step 1:  Contact a professor

It is the hardest step, I would say. The reason is you don't know anyone in Goettingen. In my case, Dr. Holger Seebens who was my tutor at ZEF graduated there. He introduced me to a professor. After I met the professor and presented my proposal on my laptop for half an hour, she accepted me as her student.

Now things are going on easier. As you may not know Dr. Holger Seebens but you know me. If you would like to contact a professor in Goettingen, you can send an email to me. I may be able to arrange a meeting.

Please note that the contact to the professor should have been done before you are going to the field trip. The German professor does not like to deal with a work that he or she does not take part of it from the beginning.  Therefore, it is good to contact a professor right after the end of examinations in ZEFb.

Step 2:  In the field trip, keep reporting the progress to your professor

You may go o the field trip for 6 months or 1 year depending on your project. This long period may diminish the memory of your professor about you and your work. Keep sending the professor with short reports and pictures.  The professor will be glad noticing that you are concerning him or her, still working hard, and going on well.  You may also get a good advice from the professor to shape the field work.

Make sure that you can enter ZEF intranet before leaving Germany. You need to read the financial regulation of ZEF in the intranet very carefully. If you violated the regulations, you might have to pay from your pocket. Please keep in mind that every payment must be covered by a clear receipt.  In case that you are not sure for anything regarding your financial clearance please mail to ask Dr.Manske  directly before it is too late. 

Read carefully step 3 about the financial statement. You can reduce your workload by issuing a reciept for the whole set of items, i.e. a food reciept for breakfast, lunch and dinner, not seperating them into 3 receipts, an accommodation receipt for a week, not just a receipt for a day, if possible to do so.

Step 3:  Right after coming back to Germany

Make sure you deal with the Statement of Account at ZEF completely. This is a must and a serious thing that Dr. Manske will not let you go anywhere without the clearance of your budget. 

Make things easier by gluing your receipts in A4 paper prior to coming back to Germany.  Use only glue.  One A4 paper should contain only a reciept. In case that the size of a receipt is small, you may attach 2 to 4 receipts in an A4 paper. However, it must be well organized so that the financial controllers can go through them easily. Don't make them too crowed on a page. You will have a trouble when related people get frustrated with you messy receipts. Keep them clean can clear with sufficient space between them on the page. Moreover, leave space on the left hand side of the paper for making holes for binding all A4 papers together at the end. 

Give number to each receipt, not each A4 page. For example, if one A4 paper contains 4 receipts, you give number 1 to 4, not just 1. This is because it will appear on the excel sheet for 4 lines (4 items), not only 1 line. However, if they are the exactly same item  and can be summed up, it is flexible in this case that you can sum the total value of all receipts in an A4 page and give only 1 number.

Approach Frau Zabel and ask for a copy card. You need to make a copy of all the reciepts. Bind them into a file using a hole puncher in the assistant room. Then complete an excel file given to you via your email by Frau Roswitha  Wyrwich.  Be careful of the separation between research expenses and travel expenses. If you are not sure about them, contact Jishoy or consult Frau Wyrwich directly. In my case, Frau Wyrwich kindly helped me to adjust the proper list.

Other administrative tasks that you may have known them.

1. Anmeldung at the city hall within 7 days after you arrived.

2. Present yourself to Director of ZEFb.

3. Request for an office space at the ZEFb secretary. You will be given a document for issuing the office keys.

4. Approach Herr Senk, the housmeister, only during 8.00 - 10.00 to issue the key.

5. Check your computer and telephone at your office. Inform the secreatry of ZEFb if somethings are malfunctioned.

6. Prepare a presentation of the "Field Survey Brief" to ZEFb discussion group  (30 minuts Power Point with another 30 minutes of discussion). This is mandatory. Inform Seid whenever you are ready to present. He will announce the schedule of the presentation to ZEFb members. Don't be shy. People are expecting to hear and learn something from your field trip.

Step 4:  Registering at Bonn University

We have to register at Bonn University for getting the student ID and student's benefits in Bonn. You have to approach Frau Zabel and fill a form.  Never lose the Immatrikulation number you got from the first semester. Another important document you need is the insurance certificate. Frau Zabel will manage it for you.  You will receive it from Frau Zabel in 2- 3 days.

Bring all documents with your passport to the University Secretary at Poppelsdorfer Allee  just right before the International student office.  You will get a temporary student ID and the tram ticket. As soon as you pay the tuition fee, the real student ID will be mailed to you at ZEF.  Please be careful that when you mentioned the address, use Walter-Flex-Str.3. This is the best option because there will be someone in ZEFb secretry to take care of the mail for you.

Step 5:  Heading to Goettingen

The building to the right of the gate is the Faculty of Economic Sciences.

The first thing you have to deal at Uni-Goettingen is filling the application form. It is called an "Antrag".  The form can be requested from Frau Birgit Heitmann, the secretary of Prof. Ruebel who is the dean of studying.  To make it convenient, I have a hard copy of it. Just come to me at my office and I will give you. Later, I will scan it and make it downloadable from this website.  >>

Fill the form using English, even though the form is in German. You have to consult the assistants; Jishoy, Maxim or Timo to help you. In a field that those German guys are not sure, I know the answer from Dr. Manske. Just put your GRADE into it. 

The documents needed for the application are listed here.
1)  The Antrag
2)  Acceptance letter from your supervisor
3)  Master degree certificate
4)  Master degree transcript
5)  Bachelor degree certificate
6)  Bachelor degree transcript
7)  High school certificate
8)  High school transcript
9)  ZEF certificate of the interdisciplinary course (15 ECT)
10)  ZEFb certificate of the economic courses (15 ECT)
11)  CV
12)  Letter that stating that you have not registered at other universities in the next semester
13)  The original master thesis

All of the documents except number 11 - 13, you have to make a photocopy and certify the copy. 
For the master thesis, make a photocopy of the cover, abstract and signatures of examiners. Then don't forget to certify the copies.

For the CV, you have to look good on your CV. 
Download Professor Stephan Klasen's CV at the website of the Faculty of Economic Sciences, Uni-Goettingen. You will find a proper way to compose your CV.

For the Letter that stating that you have not registered at other universities in the next semester, you have to write it by yourself. Please note that it is absolutely illegal to register in two universities at the same time in Germany.  In the letter, mention the courses that you attended at ZEF. Make sure you have a clear sentence like this.

"I hereby declare that I have not graduted the doctoral degree from other universities. I will not register at other universities in Germany in the next semester."

Now, getting the acceptance letter from your supervisor is another deal. You have to arrange a trip to Goettingen. Ideally, you bring everything with you and meet your supervisor (with a proper appointment). The letter is short with a few formal sentences. After the supervisor signed the letter, make the photocopy and bring all the documents to Frau Heitmann on the second floor at the right-front corner.  In my case, I visited my professor once and presented my work to her. Then I got the acceptance letter. I spent weeks in Bonn to fill the Antrag and arrange all the documents. Then I went back to Goettingen again to submit them to Frau Heitmann.

Please remind Frau Heitmann that in the admission letter that you will get from the faculty should contain a sentence that you will do the thesis in English and need not to submit the Geman language certificate. This is important for the registration for the Immatrikulation number later. 

After the submission, it may take up to one and a half month for the answer from the faculty.

Step 6:  Getting the admission letter from the faculty

If everything goes on well, you will get the admission letter from Prof. Ruebel, the dean of studying.  The letter will go to your address you gave in the Antrag. Safely, you made it Walter-Flex-Str.3.  In the letter, make sure that there is a word "zugestimmt"  which means "approved".

You will have an email from Frau Heitmann attached with a questionnaire from the Graduate School of Social Sciences (GGG) together with the welcome letter.  Please fill the questionnaire and send to GGG by email or mail within a week.

Step 7:  Registration for the Immatrikulation number

Please note that, you have to register at Uni-Goettingen at least 2 semesters to get the degree. Therefore, don't waste your time. Rush to the registration before the beginning of the next semester (1 April for Summer semester and 1 October for Winter semester). To play it safely, rush for the registration before the end of this semester because after this period, responsible people will go on their vacations. (
Around beginning of February for the Summer semester and around mid of July for Winter semester)

Now, go to Uni-Goettingen again. This time bring the admission letter and every documents mentioned in the list except number (1), (11), (12), (13).  More documents are needed.

14)  Do you remember the insurance certificate which Frau Zabel managed it for you when registering at Uni-Bonn?  If you lost it, please ask Frau Zabel to get a new one. This is so essential for the registration at any university in Germany.

15)  If you are the DAAD scholar, bring the original DAAD letter of award  and the DAAD insurance letter which stated the period that you are insured by DAAD.


You have to go to the Student Office on Wilhelm Platz. The office is close to Gaenseliesl statue at the center of the city.

However, it is hard to find the place because it was totally hidden by other buildings.  Normally, you will find people always ask the way to the place because the new comers always can't find it.  Then simply just ask for the way.

After finding the building, you will also see the monument of Kaiser Wilhelm IV and the big trees. This is the right place. You will find the Mensa at the right hand side. Count it one. Count another door to the left as two. Count the other door to the left as three and enter this door. You will be surprised that the door seems to be closed. Just push it forward. The door is hard to open but it will always open from Monday - Friday,  10.00 - 13.00.  Be careful of the time  just until 13.00.

After you open the door, you will find that the place is a busy office. Go immediately upstairs. Approach the first door. You will find a strange name, Benoist which pronounced  "Bu-Nua".  She is kind and she will help you for everything.

First, Frau Benoist will have you fill the application form.  She will check all of your documents starting from the admission letter from the faculty, the acceptance letter from your supervisor, the insurance certificate, the degree and transcripts of all levels, the DAAD letter of reward.   A problem may occor if there is no sentence in the admission letter about the use of English as a language the thesis and the exemption of the German language test. If this is the case, don't be panic. Frau Benoist will call the faculty and find the solution. Normally, the faculty will send a new letter to the Student Office later.

After things are going on well, you will get a Immatrikulation number. Make sure you can read it clearly.

You will be given a money transfer slip from Frau Benoist. You bring the slip to the nearest Sparkasse Bank which you can find immediately just turn left when you are out of the building.  Transfer the money as soon as you can. This will be good that Frau Benoist will be noticed by the system that you have paid the tuition fee. The procedure will run smoothly and fast then.  The tuition fee, at my time, was 122.49 Euro plus the transfer fee of 10 Euro. It is strange that the banker needs our passport and address for the money transfer. This is strict. Without the passport, you cannot transfer the money with cash. The way out is to use your ATM card with the automatic machine.

After the money transfer, no need to get back to Frau Benoist. She will be noticed automatically by the computer system about your money transfer. Within two or three days, you will receive a news whether your registration is complete or you have to submit additional documents.

Go streight to the faculty of Economic Sciences to submit the Immatrikulation number to Frau Heitmann.  Submit a copy of Admission letter that you got from Prof. Ruebel to Frau Niemann. Her office locates on the same floor (2.OG) but another side turning to the library. Frau Heitmann will be responsible for your studying while Frau Niemann will be resposible for your graduation.

Inform your supervisor that you have the Immatrikulation number. You may need to consult about the work ahead too.

After the completeness of the registration, you will be noticed by an email from Frau Benoist. She may request the certificate of Exmatrikulation from Uni-Bonn. This is what I have said that it is to make sure that you are not registering with more than one university. Contact Frau Zabel for the advice to have the document.  You have to fill a one-paged form. You have to use the Matrikulation number of Uni-Bonn. After filling the form, Frau Zabel will send it to the university. Then we will have the document mailed to our mailbox at ZEFb within 2 weeks. You can scan and send the document to Frau Benoist at Goettingen by email and show the original document to her again when you arrive Goettingen for getting the student ID.

The University of Goettingen will send a letter carrying the temporary student ID, the welcoming message from President, and guidline to get the plastic student ID card to your address that you informed Frau Benoist. Again, it is safer if the address is Walter-Flex-Str. 3.

Step 8.  Life in Goettingen

Be careful. The student ID card of University of Goettingen does not cover bus transportation (GoeVB). Students use bicycles. The price of a second hand bicycle is around 100 - 150 Euro. The maintenance cost is expensive. I prefer to buy a montly bus ticket. However, the student ID allows the student to use short-distanced trains, i.e. RB and RE, for free. The range of the free riding in a train is up to Lower Saxony. Sometime, the Graduate School of Social Sciences (GGG) arranges a one-day trip to visit places nearby, e.g. Marienburg and Erfurt at the cost of 2 Euro per person. This is possible because the transportaion is free  with the student ID.

 From time to time, GGG organized interesting events for PhD students.
1)  Methodenwoche (Week of Methodologies)
2)  English presentation skills workshop
3)  Academic writing workshop
4)  Christmas dinner, etc.
You can check the events at 

Should you need to learn more German, you could find courses offered by the Institute of Intercultural Communication of the university.

This is the end of the story.


Step 9: Tips in traveling and temporary staying in Goettingen

From Bonn, there are two options to go to Goettingen. A train via Hannover departing around 06.25 or a train via Frankfurt Hbf. departing around 00.14.  I experienced both options and prefered the latter which via Frankfurt Hbf.  Why?

The train via Hannover is crowded. You cannot have a seat without prior reservation which costs you 4 Euro more. Moreover, in Hanover, it is extremely cold.

The train via Frankfurt, even departing at night, is almost empty. The train came from Kiel to Basel. People get off the train at Dortmund and Koeln.  So there is no need for the reservation.  In Frankfurt,  another train (ICE) is waiting there. You can get on the train and sleep in the train. The temperature is also warmer. Until 05.04 a.m., it will depart from Frankfurt.

If you know that you have to go back and fort more than 5 trips (one-way) in a year. I recommend you to buy the Bahn Card 50 for the 2nd class.   It costs around 225 Euro.  The leverage is 5 one-way tickets as I mentioned. Moreover, you will get the Bahn Bonus which allow you to have a free ticket when you got  to some points or at least to use the DB louge as the first class persons.

In case that you bought the ticket by Bahn Card, you have to always carry the Bahn Card with you and show to the controllers every time.

Don't use other persons' Bahn Card. In the Bahn Card, there is a picture of the card holder. If the controller in the train found the cheating, you would be in a serious trouble as well as the true card holder.

For the accommodation in Goettingen in case that you have to stay overnight, I recommend the hotel Adesso Schweizer Hof. The hotel is cheap and good. Book the hotel via and you will get the cheapest rate. The cost is around 40 - 41 Euro for a single room with breakfast. This is cheap comparing to 75 Euro in Bonn Tannenbusch or 115 Euro in Bonn Inner Stadt.  Why it is cheap?  It is located out of the bus way. However, just walk for 5 minutes and save your money.  From the city center, catch the bus number 3 or 5.  When the bus turn left (Line 3 ) or turn right (Line 5), you get off the bus. When coming from the hotel, you walk through the Volkswagen showroom to a nearest bus stop. Bus line 3 and 5 will take you to the city center. Bus line 4 will take you to the train station.  The single ticket is 1.90 Euro.  The day ticket is 4.40 Euro.  If you have traveled place to place, a day ticket is worth. 

Another option of accommodation is the Youth Hostel (Jugendherberge Goettingen) located around 4 km. from the train station and closer to the university. You can find the detail at

For calling back to your country, there is a call shop near McDonald's at the junction between the inner city and the faculty of Economic Sciences. You have to buy a calling card, 5 Euro, then use the telephone provided in the shop.  Internet is also provided but you have to have 50 Cent or 1 Euro coins. Every fifty cent will allow you to have 20 minutes of the internet access.

In case that you would like to have more information, please write to me.
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

I wish for the success of your Ph.D study at  Goettingen. Let's have a kiss, at the end, with Gaenseliesl.


Download the Antrag (2 pages) here

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