You should take care of finding suitable accommodation several months before coming to Germany. Upon request, we can take care of that for you for a small fee. See our list of Services.
Within two weeks of your arrival in Germany, you need to register your new address at the Residents’ Registration Office. You will need to bring your passport and a landlord’s confirmation of residence (“Wohnungsgeberbestätigung”). If you should move during your stay in Germany, you always need to register your new address quite quickly with the relevant Residents’ Registration Office.
The Residents’ Registration Office will issue you with proof of residency, which you will need for all further dealings with bureaucracy.
Many banks offer free current accounts for students. In order to open a bank account, you will need your passport and your proof of residency, in some cases also your residence permit and the registration certificate from us.
You definitely need health insurance.
Personal liability insurance may not be a legal requirement, but it is an excellent idea. It indemnifies you against third-party claims that could otherwise financially ruin you in case of an accident. Our Insurance Service also comprises an appropriate personal liability insurance.
You will probably also need a suitable mobile phone contract, with which you can make cheap phone calls within Germany as well as with your home country. Our partner company LMT GmbH can procure the right mobile phone contract for you.
Before your visa expires (3 months after arrival in most cases), you need to visit the Aliens’ Registration Office in order to apply for a residence permit. You will require the following documents:
A residence permit for the purpose of attending a German language course entitles you to a stay of at most 12 months’ duration. If, for example, you initially obtained a residence permit for 6 months and then book another German course, the Aliens’ Registration Office can extend your residence permit by (at most) another 6 months.
Students: At most six weeks before your entry visa expires, you need to apply for a students’ residence permit at the Aliens’ Registration Office. A residence permit for the purposes of studying or preparing for studying is valid for a maximum of two years and hence regularly needs to be extended while you attend university. A prerequisite is that your studies are progressing according to schedule. Once you have successfully completed your degree programme, you may apply for a further residence permit enabling you to stay another 18 months during which you can look for a job that is commensurate with the degree that you have obtained.
Study applicants: A visa for the purpose of applying to universities is valid for a maximum of 3 months. Subsequently, a residence permit for the purpose of study application may be issued for a further 6 months. Hence, the duration of your stay is restricted to a total of 9 months. If, however, you should subsequently begin your studies or enrol in a preparatory measure (such as attending one of our Preparatory Courses), you can have your residence permit altered accordingly.
Unlike in some other countries, in Germany, one does not immediately go to hospital if one falls ill, instead, one visits a doctor’s office. One only goes to hospital straight away in absolute cases of emergency, e. g., after an accident or if one is suffering extreme pain and requires treatment at once.
Even if you are completely healthy, you ought to choose a primary care physician (a general practitioner) in your vicinity after arriving in Germany. If you should ever feel ill, your primary care physician is your first point of contact. He or she will examine you and then decide whether he or she can treat you or whether you need to be referred to a specialist.
If doctors’ offices are closed (at night or on weekends) and you do not suffer from life-threatening symptoms that would otherwise lead you to see a doctor at once, yet treatment of your symptoms cannot wait until the next working day, call the medical on-call service on 116 117 (without area code).
In case of life-threatening symptoms such as unconsciousness, severe bleeding, severe heart complaints, severe respiratory problems, complications during pregnancy or poisoning incidents, call the ambulance service at once on 112 (without area code).
Pharmacies are usually open only during regular shop opening hours; however, there always is one pharmacy in your area that is on emergency standby duty and is open around the clock. If you urgently need medication, you can check here which pharmacy is on emergency duty.
The emergency number of the fire brigade is 112 (without area code), that of the police is 110 (without area code).