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Relax one or two days after moving to Germany as a student, and then get ready to secure your residence status in Germany. If you already got your accommodation, start from university enrollment; otherwise, begin finding accommodation in Germany.

1. Find Accommodation and Get a Residence Contract/Mietvertrag:

Accommodation is one of the most foremost things after moving to Germany as a student. It helps you to start an everyday life in Germany. You need your accommodation address for almost each and everything. So take it seriously and start searching for accommodation right after arriving in Germany.

At first, try to get accommodation in student residence halls (Studentenwerk). You can request a room in student residence halls on the Studentenwerk website or personally visit their office located in your city.

If you are unsuccessful in getting a room in a student residence hall, you can search for a place on online platforms, e.g., Wg-gesucht, Immonet, Immobilienscout24, Immowelt, and Ebay-kleinanzeigen. Get a residence contract (Mietvertrag) after finalizing the accommodation and move to the next steps.

>> Moving to Germany Checklist

2. City Registration (Meldebescheinigung):

Go directly to the Citizen Office (Bürgeramt) after getting the residence contract. It is necessary to register with the Citizen Office to stay longer in Germany and open a bank account. You can obtain the Citizen Office’s address from the international office of your university or google it.

In some German cities, you have to book an appointment to register yourself in the citizen office. So check this information in advance. Otherwise, take your residence contract along with your passport and go to the Citizen Office for registration. You will get a registration certificate (Anmeldung) after registering yourself in Citizen Office.

Please keep it safe and don’t forget to write your name on the letterbox. You will start receiving the letters right after registration. The first three letters you will receive will be about Tax Number, Social Security Number, and Radio Fee.

3. University Enrolment (Immatrikulation):

Visit the office of your university’s student service and inform them about your arrival. They will complete your registration at the university and issue your matriculation certificate and student card (semester ticket).

The semester ticket is essential to travel free in your city. If your university needs some time to issue this, go to the nearest transport office and get a weekly or monthly transport ticket with a student discount by showing them your matriculation certificate.

4. Unblock Your Blocked Account:

Money is essential to buy food, to pay for accommodation rent, and other things. Therefore try to unblock your blocked account immediately after the city registration. If you have your blocked account in Deutsche Bank, go directly to the Bank’s nearest branch and unblock your account.

If you have a blocked account with Fintiba, Coracle, or Expatrio, then open a second account in any German bank, get your Social Security Number, Tax Number and unblock your account. You will get Social Security Number and Tax Number by post right after registration with Citizen Office. So don’t worry about these.

5. Apply for Health Insurance (Krankenversicherung):

If you already have health insurance, then skip this step. If you need health insurance, then try to get it from a public or private insurance company. You can also obtain information about different insurance companies from your university’s international office.

>> See Comparison of Different German Student Health Insurances

6. Get Biometric Pictures:

You will need a biometric picture to apply for the residence permit in Ausländerbehörde. So get it from Fotofix automatic machines or DM stores. These two are the cheapest options to get passport size biometric pictures. You can get four pictures for 5-6 euros.

7. Apply for Residence Permit (Aufenthaltstitel):

The visa that you get on your passport from your home country will expire in 3 to 6 months, depending on your visa duration. So you have to extend it by converting it to a residence permit.

In most German cities, you have to book an appointment in the Immigration Office (Ausländerbehörde) to apply for a visa extension. So try to book an appointment in the Immigration Office as early as possible. Please keep in mind; you cannot get an appointment in the Immigration Office without city registration.

Generally, you need the following documents for visa extension or to get a temporary residence permit in Germany.

  • Blocked account
  • Health insurance
  • Biometric picture

8. Get a Sim Card:

You need a Sim Card with the internet after moving to Germany as a student because the internet is necessary to contact family and friends. You can get a Sim Card with the cheapest call rates and internet packages from the following companies.

  • O2 (You can get O2 prepaid sim with passport only)
  • Telekom Magenta Prepaid (You can get this prepaid sim with your passport)
  • WinSim (You need a bank account and residence address to get this postpaid sim card)
  • (Same like WinSim, you need a bank account and residence address to get this postpaid sim card)
  • Lycamobile (You need a bank account and residence address to get this postpaid sim card)

9. Radio & TV Fee (ARD, ZDF rundfunkbeitrag):

You will get a letter from the ARD & ZDF after registration in Citizen Office. This letter is essential and demands you to pay Radio & TV fee (ARD, ZDF rundfunkbeitrag). If you are living alone in an apartment, then bear this fee by yourself. If you are living in a shared apartment, then all the tenants will pay it collectively.

10. Buy Necessary Stuff:

Many students want to buy some stuff after reaching Germany. That stuff can be related to their room, kitchen, and university. If you also want to buy some necessary stuff then here are some essential tips:

  • You can buy the cheapest stuff related to your room like a bed, mattress, blanket, table, chairs, TV, curtains, etc., from eBay kleinanzeigen (used), POCO, and IKEA.
  • Kitchen stuff you can buy from Woolworths, IKEA, Mäc-Geiz or One Euro shop.
  • You can buy clothes like jackets, jeans, etc. from Primark, C&A, H&M, and New Yorker.
  • Shoes you can buy from Deichmann and GÖRTZ.
  • You can buy foodstuffs from Netto, Lidle, Aldi, Rewe, Kaufland, Penny, etc.
  • Buy stationery items from Mäc-Geiz.
  • Go to DM and Rossmann to buy cosmetics.
  • Visit MediaMarkt and Saturn to buy electronics, mobile-related stuff, and light blub.

11. Register for Language Course at University:

The German language is fundamental after moving to Germany as a student. So, register at university for the German language course after completion of all the necessary steps. This language course will assist you in learning the essential German skills.

>> Buy 5 best books to learn basic German skills

12. Enjoy Your Stay in Germany and Travel to Europe:

Now stay happy, focus on your studies, make new friends, and do a part-time job. Respect your roommates, cook by yourself, and keep your apartment clean. Also, travel to the whole of Europe during semester breaks and summer holidays. Flixbus and Ryan Air are the cheapest traveling options to travel to different European countries.

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