Residence & Residence Garden | Photo: fotolia: #159776499 / Henry Czauderna
Living in Fulda
During your stay in Fulda, our Welcome Centreisyour port of call if you need information about administrative matters such as banks, insurance, visas, accommodation and schools for your children.
We will help you with matters inside and outside the university relating to your research and lectures as well as accommodation and wellbeing while you are here. It will of course advise you on any questions you may have regarding your contract too.
The Welcome Centre is here to support you and make your stay as pleasant as possible.
1. The City of Fulda
Fulda is an historic town with a picturesque baroque district, half-timbered houses and cobbled streets. Situated in the very heart of Germany, Fulda has a current population of 68,000, with up to 100,000 people living in neighbouring areas. Fulda's old town is one of the most beautiful in Germany and attracts visitors from all over the world. They are charmed not only by the narrow streets and medieval buildings but also by the many cafés, bars and world cuisine restaurants alongside numerous interesting shops and boutiques.
The history of Fulda dates back to 744, when the Benedictine monastery of Fulda was founded by Saint Boniface, the “apostle of Germany”. Under the leadership of Abbot Rabanus Maurus, one of the most eminent scholars of his time, the monastery reached its heyday in the 9th century, becoming the religious and cultural centre of the Frankish Empire - the precursor of Germany. With a collection of around 2000 manuscripts, the monastery library was one of the largest of its time. Schools and libraries were built, communities established themselves nearby and, in the first half of the 18th century, a university was founded. Its successor, the Theologische Fakultät, still exists today.
The town's historic and modern Christian imprint is reflected by its Franciscan and Benedictine monasteries and numerous churches in the municipal area, such as St. Michael's Church (the oldest Holy Sepulchre church in Germany, built in 822) and, of course, Fulda Cathedral (a landmark and Hesse's oldest baroque church dating back to 1704), as well as the headquarters of the German Kirchentag, or Evangelical Church Assembly, and the German Bishops' Conference.
There is also plenty to discover outside town. Only seven kilometres to the south of Fulda and surrounded by attractive woodland and fertile fields is Hesse's most beautiful baroque palace, Schloss Fasanerie with its extensive park and gardens, pavilions and stables.
An area of outstanding natural beauty not far from Fulda is the Rhoen, or "land of open spaces". This unspoilt biosphere reserve with its basaltine hilltops of ancient volcanic origin, endless meadows, lonely plateaus and dark high moors is popular with visitors who like to hike, bike, glide, climb or canoe. Milseburg and Wasserkuppe mountains can be easily reached by bike, car or regional train.
Fulda has an excellent public transport network. One of Europe's principal international airports, Frankfurt Airport, is just 85 kilometres away. For those who want to see the big city lights, the cosmopolitan city of Frankfurt is practically on your doorstep, just an hour away by car or train. Home of the European Central Bank and Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Frankfurt is the largest financial centre on the European continent.
The birthplace of Goethe and the Frankfurter Schule, the school of social theory and philosophy, Frankfurt enjoys an outstanding reputation for its comprehensive cultural offerings both nationally and internationally. The highlights of Frankfurt's cultural scene are without a doubt the Museumsufer, a line of 11 famous museums along the banks of the river Main that includes the Schirn Kunsthalle and Städel Museum, but also Frankfurt Opera.
Other major German cities, such as Berlin, Munich, Cologne, or Hamburg, are all within easy reach and around three hours away by train. Even famous European capitals like Paris are no more than a five-hour train journey away.
The official website of Fulda is
2. Day nurseries and schools in Fulda
Education is compulsory for all children who are resident in Germany aged between six and 15, although education generally lasts until the age of 18. The majority of schools in Germany are state-run and free, although parents can opt for a fee-paying private or international school.
Most of the schools in Fulda are state schools and the language of instruction is German. The nearest international schools are located in Frankfurt am Main and Kassel.
If you are staying here with your children for more than three months, children over six years of age must be registered at a school near your place of residence.
Home schooling is illegal in Germany. The law requires students to attend state-run schools or approved private schools.
Please contact us if you need help choosing a school for your children in Fulda.
3. Transportation in Fulda
Fulda has good infrastructure and a comprehensive public transport system. Fulda's main form of public transport is bus. For local bus schedules please click here
You can also rent a bike during your stay in Fulda. This website is available in German only. If you need our assistance, please let us know. For further information please click here
If you want to travel to other cities by train or need information regarding all transportation networks in Germany, please click on the following link
Car rental services are also available in Fulda. Some of the rental companies are also based at Frankfurt Airport. Please bear in mind that if you rent a car, you will also need to rent a parking lot.
Visitors with a fellowship
Normally, visiting professors or researchers with a fellowship are exempt* from German taxation if they meet the following requirements:
- The fellowship must be paid out of public funds or by a public or non-profit organisation (and be recognised by German law).
- The fellowship must be granted for the purpose of promoting research goals, academic or artistic education or further training.
- The fellowship should not exceed the amount needed to complete the research project or cover the education programme and daily living expenses. The fellowship is granted according to the guidelines of the support organisation.
- The recipient is not required to render any services in return for the grant.
*Tax exemption also means that no social insurance contributions have to be paid.
Visitors with an employment contract
If the visiting professors or researchers receive an employment contract from Fulda University, they are subject to taxation in Germany and income tax shall be deducted from their monthly income.
Electronic tax cards have been in effect in Germany since January 2013. All you have to do is inform Fulda University´s Personnel Department of your tax identification number. You will automatically receive this tax identification number, which has lifelong validity, by mail after you have registered your place of residence at the citizen´s office (Bürgerbüro). If you live outside Fulda, a different tax office may be responsible for you. You must inform the tax office directly if any changes occur to your tax card.
Double Taxation Convention
To ensure that foreigners are not required to pay taxes both in Germany and in their home country, Germany has signed a so-called Double Taxation Convention with many countries.
The Convention specifies in which country taxes must be paid. If you remain in Germany for less than half a year (183 days), your income will be taxed in your home country if you have worked for a foreign employer and if the Double Taxation Convention gives the right of taxation to your home country. If one of these conditions does not exist in your case, your income will be taxed in Germany.
Germany has entered into an agreement with some countries, which states that university professors and researchers working at a state research facility in Germany for a maximum of two years, can pay their taxes in their home country.
Details about such issues are regulated by the double taxation agreements which exist for EU-member states as well as for some other countries.
The state also collects church tax, approx. 9% of income tax along with income tax, for the main Christian churches. This is why you are required to specify your religious affiliation when registering your place of residence at the citizens' office (Bürgerbüro). The tax that applies to you will be deducted directly from your income.
We can provide you with a list of tax advisors in Fulda if required. Please contact us for further details.
5. Fulda University's academic calendar
Information about semester dates, lecture periods, examinations and breaks can be found in the university´s academic calendar. For more information please click here
6. Fulda University´s grading system
If you are a visiting lecturer and you would like to grade the work of your students, please use this scale as a reference.
7. Public holidays in the federal state of Hesse
The city of Fulda is located in Germany´s federal state called Hesse. This website lists all public holidays in Germany. Please click on this link and select "Hesse".
8. General information about social security in Germany
Social security covers health insurance, pension schemes, unemployment benefit, accident and long-term care insurance. For more information about the insurance system in Germany please click here