Visa (for German citizen)
If you are more than 90 days in the United States of America, or if you are in the Unites States for a purpose other than holidays, you need a visa. You get the visa at the U.S. Embassy in Frankfurt or Berlin. One can go there personally and provide all the necessary information, but first, one needs to make an appointment. It will take approximately 4 weeks to get such an appointment. After the appointment at the U.S. Embassy, it takes about 2 weeks to get the visa by mail. All actual and necessary information can be found at the homepage of the U.S. Embassy.
It is expensive to transfer money to the United States of America through a bank account. Traveler’s checks are generally accepted everywhere. A simple system is to open an account at a German bank that cooperates with an American bank like the Deutsche Bank. Accounts at Deutsche Bank allow one to get U.S. dollars without paying an extra fee at the money machines operated by the Bank of America. At Duquesne University there is an office of the Pittsburgh PNC Bank on Fifth Avenue (within a block of the University's Power Center). This bank and others welcome foreign students to open bank accounts.
Foreign students are welcome to live on the campus of Duquesne University in the dormitories. In the dormitories live mostly undergraduate students (18-22 years old). The rooms are most often designed to be shared with another student. There are no cooking facilities, but the Duquesne University offers different kinds of food. The stay in a dormitory is expensive, but easy for a short stay in Pittsburgh.
For a longer stay in Pittsburgh, it is nice to live in the South Side, a young and vibrant part of Pittsburgh. From there one can walk to the University in about 15-20 minutes. The city offers many vibrant neighborhoods where students can find bus access and be on campus within minutes.
If you are looking for a room or an apartment, the Internet is very helpful (e.g. craigslist-Pittsburgh). Also the Duquesne University website offers available information on finding rooms and apartments. At the University one can also find information about rooms and apartments posted in the Duquesne Union.
The rent for a room, depending from the location and the size, starts at about 350 dollars per month. A single apartment is more expensive.
A semester abroad or research at Duquesne University or the Cologne University is usually free of charge. The living costs per month in Pittsburgh are about 1,000 dollars. Study books are very expensive in the United States (often about 100 dollars or more for each law book.) But often one can find used books in the book store of the University. Besides that, one can also use the books in the library.