Moving to Germany

Visa

Students from Australia, Canada, all other European countries, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the USA, and some South and Central American countries do not need an entry visa. If you are not from one of these countries, please check whether you need an entry visa for Germany. Information is available from your embassy or with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Auswärtiges Amt). Unless you are a citizen of the European Union, you have to apply for a student visa - without a student visa , you may not stay longer than three months every half-year period in Germany.

You have to submit an application for a student visa to your nearest German embassy. Documents have to be presented proving inter alia that you have been accepted for studies by a German university. The German embassy will then forward the visa application for assessment to the foreigners authority ("Ausländerbehörde") in the town housing the university. The visa for entry can only be issued after the foreigners authority has given its approval. Details on the documents to be presented with your visa application are often available on the webpage of the German embassy or directly from the embassy itself. It should be noted that the visa application process can take up to three months, in some cases even longer, so apply for a student visa in time!

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Residence Permit

German law requires you to hold an official residence permit. This is why you have to register with the Foreigner’s Registration Authority (Ausländerbehörde).  Click on the following links for information about the nearest Foreigner’s Registration Authority (Ausländerbehörde) office to each university:

It may be good to ask a fellow student to accompany you. 

For your registration, please take the following documents with you:

  • Your ID card or passport (if you come are a national of the non-EU countries),
  • Your visa (if you are a student from a country for which visa regulations apply),
  • Proof of German bank account with sufficient financial resources (letter from your scholarship organization, a declaration of your parents that they support you financially or the like)
  • A passport photo (if you are a national of an non-EU country)
  • A certificate of matriculation of the ITIS Master's course
  • A proof that you have an insurance for at least one year

You will then receive your residence permit (Aufenthaltsgenehmigung) and your residents’ registration certificate (Meldebescheinigung). Please preserve these documents carefully as you will need them occasionally, e.g., when opening a bank account or applying for a library card at the public library.

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Finance

It is essential to ensure that you have sufficient funds to cover all your expenses while studying in Germany. Please assess your financial position early on and realistically before leaving your country. It is very important that you do not expect to rely on wages earned from part time work in order to finance your Master's study. You can talk to your tutor about possible means for funding your studies.

For your visa and residence permit you will have to provide, the German Embassy and the Foreigner’s Registration Authority (Ausländerbehörde), with proof of having sufficient financial resources for at least one year. The proof is required again at the beginning of each subsequent year in order to renew your residence permit. The sum you are required to prove is based on current living standards in Germany and amounts at present to 670 € per month and 8040 € for a whole year. As a full-time student you will not have much time to take paid employment. The ITIS master program is intensive and it might be difficult for you to work part-time without affecting your studies. However, many students do undertake part-time work, either to improve their financial position or to gain experience and work-related skills. If you are considering part-time employment in Germany you must observe German labor law regulations for international students. Most students from non-EU countries are not allowed, under the terms of their visa, to work more than 90 days or 180 half days per year alongside their studies. German authorities adhere strictly to the employment laws, failing to heed these laws may subject you to deportation from Germany. You should also note that due to the increasing unemployment rate in Germany, student jobs are not readily available.

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Insurance

Medical Care

All students studying in Germany must have an adequate health insurance cover under the German Statutory Health Insurance for Students (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung für Studenten). Proof of this has to be presented when you enroll for your courses. Without sufficient health insurance cover you cannot be enrolled at the university.

If you come from an EU member state or from another country that has insurance agreements with Germany, you are already covered by your national health scheme and are exempt. Please bring an appropriate insurance certificate (European Health Insurance Card or a temporary insurance certificate), approved by your insurance company in your home country. On presenting this form at a German public health insurance company, you will be issued the exemption certificate required for enrolment.

If you have private health care cover in your home country please bring a certificate issued by your insurance company at home with a German translation stating the exact type and extend of your insurance. The insurance must fully cover medical and dental treatment, the cost of prescribed medication, and normal hospital care. If your insurance is considered equivalent to the German Statutory Health Insurance you will be also issued the exemption certificate necessary to enroll. Please note that travel insurance is not adequate cover!

All other students must obtain insurance cover from the German Statutory Health Insurance for Students. The monthly rates are about 60 € and the insurance covers expenses for medical and dental treatment, hospital care, and a contribution on all prescribed medication. When choosing a private health insurance you must make sure that it fully covers medical and dental treatment, hospital care, and a contribution to the cost of prescribed medication. Check the contracts carefully and do not just opt for the cheapest policy!

Students of the age of 30 and older are not eligible for the German Statutory Health Insurance for Students. They should either bring sufficient health insurance cover from home or take out a private health insurance in Germany.

More information about the health insurance system in Germany can be found, for example, here.

Liability Insurance

We expect all our students to take out a personal liability insurance policy (Haftpflichtversicherung). This policy covers any accidental damage you might cause to property and other persons. Accidents can easily result in high costs (e.g. if you cause a car or bicycle accident). Without personal liability cover you alone are responsible for any damages and all resulting costs. Before you come to Germany, check whether you have an international personal liability insurance policy. If you do have one, bring appropriate proof to your enrolment. If not you can find a policy in Germany from about 7 € a month.

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Accommodation

Halls of Residence

The ITIS universities have different halls of residence and most of them are situated in the direct surroundings of the university campuses. There are various kinds of fully or partly furnished accommodation available. The choice ranges from single study bedrooms with washbasins, shared bathroom and kitchen facilities to single and shared apartments. All student residencies have common rooms, laundry and telephone facilities. Most bedrooms have direct Internet access. Generally, the halls of residence are mixed, but certain halls also provide single sex accommodation. For students with disabilities, there are some specially adapted apartments available.

Details on the halls of residences and room furnishings can be found on the respective Studentenwerk’s (student welfare services) Web site.

VERY IMPORTANT: Due to the fact that there is ALWAYS (!!!) a long waiting list for the student halls, it is recommended to contact the "Studentenwerk" as soon as you received the first notification of acceptance for ITIS by email.

Private Accommodation

A high percentage of students live in privately rented accommodation, most of them in shared apartments (Wohngemeinschaften or WG). There is a large number of private accommodation for rent and the offers range from rooms in shared apartments to single apartments and larger flats. Accommodation in the private sector is often not furnished and is priced from 200 € to 300 € per room in a shared apartment and 260 € to 400 € for a single apartment, including bills.

You should aim to secure a flat roughly a month before courses begin to enable a relatively stress-free start to the academic year. The best way to look for private accommodation prior to beginning your studies is through the Internet.

www.studentenwerk-braunschweig.de www.studentenwerk-goettingen.de www.studentenwerk-hannover.de www.studenten-wg.de www.wg-gesucht.de

Once in your ITIS city, offers of accommodation can also be found in local newspapers and on the information boards in the university refectories and on campus. Reading through the property advertisements you will find that they have their own system of abbreviations:

AbbreviationWritten-outDescription
1 ZKB 1-Zimmer-Küche-Bad single room apartment with kitchen and bathroom
2-ZW 2-Zimmer-Wohnung two room flat
zzgl. NK zuzüglich Nebenkosten plus electricity, gas, water, heating, etc.
KM Kaltmiete heating, electricity, and water excluded
WM Warmmiete heating, electricity, and water included
KT Kaution refundable deposit
NR Nichtraucher non-smokers
WG Wohngemeinschaft

flat- or house-sharing

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Content provided by ITIS students

Brief_Guide_Germany_Aug2012.pdf

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