Located in the west of Germany in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Bochum is the 16th most populous city in Germany, and one of the largest in its surrounding region, the Ruhr area. It is within close proximity to many other major cities, including Dortmund, Gelsenkirchen, Herne, and Essen. The geography of the city is characterized by low, rolling hills, as it sits in between the Ruhr and Emscher rivers; to the south, it is surrounded by lush German forest.
Bochum has a total population of over 362,213 (2013) people, and although the vast majority of its citizens are native Germans, the city has a large international community that is made up of both expatriates and international students studying at one of its six universities. As a result, although German is the official language, expatriates moving to Bochum will find that many people also speak English as a second language, as well as other European languages such as Polish, French, Russian, and Italian. Therefore, although expatriates are advised to learn some German phrases, you should have no problem communicating with native residents.
Like the rest of Germany, Bochum has a mild temperate climate. This means that expatriates moving to Bochum will need to adjust to mild temperatures throughout the year, with a considerable amount of rainfall even in the driest months. During the summer months, the temperature in Bochum reaches highs of around 17°C (62.6°F), but it can reach higher in August, which is the hottest month. In the winter, however, the average temperature drops by a considerable amount to 1.6°C (34.8°F), although precipitation is less common in the winter. Overall, Bochum experiences 842 mm of rainfall every year on average, with February the driest month and June the wettest, where rain can fall in excess of 84 mm.
Expatriates moving to Bochum may not necessarily need a visa in order to do so. However, EU/EEA citizens as well as Swiss can in fact live and work in Bochum visa-free for an indefinite period of time, and will only need to register with their local authority if they are staying for more than 90 days.
Citizens of other nations will need a visa to move to Bochum, though. This will need to be applied for in their home country through the local German embassy or consulate. For more information about visas for moving to Bochum, please take a look at our in-depth articles on German visa and administration matters, or get in touch with your local embassy or consulate.