Tips for a foreign student in Germany.
German universities in Germany do not have, as a rule, a campus system, students must look for their own homes. The search for a room or apartment is another barrier that must be overcome at the beginning of your stay in Germany. The living quarters in most German cities are small and expensive. Therefore it is very important even before the beginning of the semester – and even better right after you were accepted to universities – to come to Germany and start looking for housing.
If you have relatives or friends in the city where you will study, ask them to start searching before you arrive. The International Relations Divisions (Akademische Auslands? Mter), Studentenwerke and the General Student Committee (AStA) will assist you in the framework of your, unfortunately, limited opportunities.
Student Support Services.
I also recommend the first in Germany International Central Resettlement Service (Mitwohnzentrale) “Livin”, which organizes the life of students from different countries.
The cost of mediation is much lower than other similar services, which can still be the next place you can turn to. The Livin service is located in Munster, but operates throughout Germany (free of charge).
In local newspapers you will find a proposal for the removal of apartments and rooms (mainly in Saturday’s rooms), a place where you can look – these are student newspapers and bulletin boards (schwarze Bretter) in institutions, canteens and cafes.
When concluding an apartment lease contract, a security equal to one or two monthly fees (cauzion) is usually required. This money you will receive back when you leave the apartment, if you leave it in good condition.
The search for an apartment with the help of a broker will cost you up to 3 monthly rents.
For all questions concerning the rental agreement, please contact the International Relations Department, the Household Service Department for students or the social department of the General Student Committee.
The first days of stay.
The first days in Germany you can spend in a youth hostel or in an inexpensive private boarding house and from there to search for permanent housing. You will receive the list of addresses in the department of international relations. One day in the youth hostel costs about 10-20 euros, in a private hostel – 40-55 euros, including breakfast.
Student hostels (Studentenwohnheime)
Household services for students, as well as confessional and private organizations, were built in almost all cities where there are universities, student dormitories that offer, in addition to rooms, even common kitchens, rest rooms, etc. Unfortunately, student hostels can accommodate only a small part of the students.
Often there are long queues for a long time to come. The International Relations Divisions (Akademische Auslands? Mter) and the General Student Committee (AStA) will inform you about the proposal and formalities when submitting the application. The room in the hostel costs an average of 160 euros per month. As a rule, this includes the payment for heating, electricity and water.
Private rooms.
Most German and foreign students have to rent a room or apartment from private individuals. The monthly fee is, depending on the city, location and equipment, 170-350 euros and even more. In contrast to student hostels, there is not always an opportunity to prepare meals independently.
A room for a student in Germany.
Accommodation in Wohngemeinschaften
Many students in Germany unite and together occupy an apartment in which everyone has his own room, and they use the kitchen and bathroom together, (for example, a communal apartment in Russia). In the departments of international relations (Akademische Auslands? Mter), the General Student Committee (AStA), the student representation at the level of the faculties (Fachschaften), canteens, cafes and on message boards (Schwarze Bretter), pay attention to the announcements about vacant places in Wohngemeinschaften “.
Student life.
Each institution, in addition to teaching itself, offers even more opportunities for spending free time, and you will quickly notice it immediately upon arrival at the university. At the beginning of the semester there are university parties where you can already establish the first contacts. Sports in the university like everything, they cover many sports, in addition, there are many more cultural programs, theater groups, choirs, orchestras, interest clubs and much more.
Some representative offices of students at the faculty level (Fachschaften) organize so-called “round tables” (“Stammtische”, usually in a pleasant atmosphere – in a cafe) where you can combine personal conversations with conversations in your specialty. In addition, in what universities offer, in many cities you will find even a large selection of cultural events and other offers for spending free time. You will find this information in daily newspapers and local magazines.
Student religious communities.
Each university has evangelical and Catholic religious communities, and sometimes others. You do not need to belong to a particular confession to be a participant in meetings. These organizations deal not only with matters of faith, they also offer Sunday courses, trips, parties, discussions and other opportunities for joint leisure time.
Often such communities have even their own center, as well as a hostel. You can find the addresses in the student guide (Studienf? Hrer), a list of lectures (Vorlesungsverzeichnis), can also be found in the telephone directory under the heading “Churches”.