Q: I have been accepted to the programme, where can I get general information on studying in Bochum?
A: The International Office of Ruhr University Bochum provides international students with information on events, your visa application, health insurance,    housing, etc.

Q: Do I have to pay for the NOHA Master’s Programme in Bochum?
A: There are joint participation costs for the Joint Master's Programme in International Humanitarin Action. The NOHA programme at the Ruhr-Universität is able to offer scholarships for some of its students in the first semester to offset part these costs. More information is available here (link zur scholarship page) and on the official NOHA website at For Bochum the participation costs include the contribution to the social insurance (Sozialbeitrag) that is mandatory for all students enrolled at a German University. The contribution to social insurance includes a six-months public transport ticket, valid for the entire Ruhr-area and the Bundesland/federal state North-Rhine Westphalia.

Q: Where can I find accommodation?
A: Student housing by the university is managed by the AKAFOE. Please fill out the application form as soon as possible, as it is organized on a first come, first serve basis. Regarding private housing, the online flat share portal WG-Gesucht is also very popular for students to find a room in a shared apartment via

Q: What are the living expenses in Bochum?
A: About 200 EUR in cash will cover regular expenses, not including the rent, during the first few days after arrival. Living costs amount to approximately +/- 600 EUR a month (incl. rent). Rent is usually cheap in Bochum. A room in a shared apartment will cost around 200-350 EUR.

Q: Do I need health insurance?
A: All students have to arrange their own health insurance. Adequate coverage for medical costs is essential, and it is a requirement for obtaining a Residence Permit. The insurance should cover the entire period of stay, from the first day to the last. IFHV staff will assist you, in case you want to arrange your insurance in Germany.


Q: Do I need to pay for the Intensive Programme (IP)?
A: You need to cover your travel expenses to and from the IP but accomodation will be covered by as part of the programme.

Q: Can students get the email addresses of their fellow NOHA students in Bochum to make joint travel arrangements for the IP?
A: Yes, please contact the NOHA coordination office in Bochum at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Q: What exactly is the purpose of the IP?
A: The IP introduces the students to the programme. It also provides an introduction to the field of humanitarian assistance with lectures, workshops and working group elements.


Q: What does the academic calendar look like?
A: In Bochum, the first semester runs from the end of September/beginning of October to the end of January. The second semester starts in February and ends in June. During the third semester, July – January, students can apply for a stay at one of non-European partner universities or for a work placement at a humanitarian organization. In the fourth semester, starting in February and ending in June, students write their master’s thesis.

Q: What is the structure of the first semester in Bochum?
A: The semester starts with an introduction week, including an inauguration for the new students. The five core courses are taught throughout the semester…. The final exams are scheduled for January. Please refer to the course syllabi for further information on midterms and other means of examination during the first semester. Other means of examination refers, but is not limited to, oral exams, presentations, group papers, or a moot court.

Q: How do I enroll at Ruhr University Bochum after having received my acceptance letter?
A: The IFHV will take care of your enrolment. For these purposes, the NOHA Bochum coordinator will email you enrollment documents in June/July. Please remember to send them back in due time to ensure your enrolment in the NOHA Master’s Programme.

Q: Who will be teaching me?
A: Lectures will be held by the academic staff of the IFHV as well as by practitioners from the field, ensuring a holistic approach to humanitarian action. Practitioners include NGO and IO field workers and managers, government experts and skilled personnel from private companies.

Q: Are all classes in the NOHA Master’s Programme taught in English at Ruhr University Bochum?
A: Yes.

Q: Do I need to take all classes even when qualified in one of the five module areas.
A: Yes.

Q: What is the structure of the second semester in Bochum?
A: The second semester combines lectures and seminars with small project groups on fundamental issues related to humanitarian assistance and international organizations. The semester closes with a simulation exercise week in which students perform in different roles, e.g. NGOs, IO personnel, government, military, etc., to respond to a humanitarian crisis and includes practical training. Find out more about the structure here: (link to programme structure page)


Q: Is an oral defence required for obtaining the master's degree in humanitarian action at Ruhr University Bochum?

Q: Is an internship with a humanitarian organization compulsory?
A: No, students have the option to either complete an internship or research at a European or international partner university, focusing on a regional or thematic specialisatio.

Q: Can I contact ECHO directly for a stage in Brussels.
A: No, all contacts to ECHO go via the national NOHA directors


Q: Do I need to hand in proof of my English language proficiency?
A: As all course modules at Ruhr University Bochum are taught in English, the required level of English is C1 (Common European Framwork of Reference for Languages) or TOEFL (550-600 paper, 215-250 computer and 93 internet) or IELTS (6-7) certificate. Students having completed their undergraduate degree in English receive a waiver.

Q: Who are the people usually studying in the Masters? Where do they come from?
A: Our applicants have a variety of backgrounds including law, political and social science, geography, medicine, anthropology, etc. The student body is always international with people coming from many different countries.

Q: How long does the application process take?
A: The application process usually closes at the end of April. IFHV staff in Bochum will process the application and set up interviews for May. Accepted applicants can expect their admission letter in the course of June.

Q: As an international student coming to Bochum, do I get any support by the university to settle in?
A: Yes, the International Office provides assistance for all incoming international students. Please visit their website for more information:

Q: What does the schedule look like during the first and second semester?
A: During the first and second semester in Bochum classes usually take place between 10am and 5pm. Therefore, it is not possible to do a part-time study.