International Students

We assist students at all public higher-education institutions in Berlin throughout their course of study and provide them with a variety of services, including counseling and support, financial assistance, job placement, residential accommodations, and dining facilities.

The studierendenWERK BERLIN welcomes you!

We are very happy that you have chosen to study in Berlin! Berlin is the city with the most international students in Germany, and it appeals to many people from all over the world because of its cultural diversity and broad academic landscape.

The process of studying in Germany as an international student is very exciting, but the task of finding and organizing all of the necessary information is also very daunting. A little report from one of our students who arrived here from Turkey will give you a short introduction. Please klick >> here...

The following web pages will give you the necessary details to successfully navigate the various stages of your course of study in Germany.

Please select one of the options from the menu below to begin.

Should you ever need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us! We have three InfoPoints where you can get general information on all of the studierendenWERK BERLIN services and help with your questions.

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Before Arrival

Before Arrival

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Congratulations on your decision to study in Germany! 

Embarking on a course of study in a different country takes a lot of planning and preparation. The following information will introduce you to Berlin and its higher educational institutions and help you organize all that needs to be done before you step on the airplane – from arranging your finances and getting a visa, to finding a place to live! 

Berlin is the capital city of Germany and a city that is full of knowledge and culture, priding itself on its number of cultural and educational institutions. Berlin itself is one of Germany’s 16 federal provinces, and it is the country’s largest city in terms of area and population, with 3.5 million inhabitants.

With its 42 public and private universities/ Hochschulen, wide range of social events and activities, and low cost of living, it’s no surprise that the city is home to a large number of young people: 41 percent of Berlin’s population is aged 18 to 44. And thanks to its central-European location, Berlin is quite multicultural, with 23,9% of its population having a migrant backround, many coming from Turkey, Eastern Europe, and Russia, as well as Africa and Asia. In addition, international students make up almost 16 percent of the students of Berlin’s higher education institutions.

In terms of land mass, Berlin is very large, with an area of 891 square kilometers or 343 square miles. The city is relatively flat and quite green, with many parks, woods, and nature areas. The climate tends to be warm and humid in the summer, with an average of about 25 degrees Celsius, and cold in the winter, temperatures often falling below zero Celsius and with strong winds from the East. Rain is likely anytime of the year.

Berlin, as well as the rest of Germany, is in the Central European time zone (GMT +1). The country dialing code is 49, city code is 030, and the Euro is the official currency. is the city’s official website, which contains a wide range of information for both tourists and inhabitants of Berlin. Additional information can also be found from Berlin Online and Meine Stadt.




Travel to and from Berlin

Berlin has two airports. Flights from within Germany and Western Europe usually arrive at the Berlin International Airport in Tegel (TXL), and most flights to and from Europe, Africa, and Asia are serviced by the Berlin Brandenburg Airport in Schönefeld (SXF). Each of the airports is accessible either by bus, S-Bahn, or U-Bahn. Information about all two airports can be found here.

Rail travel to and from Berlin within Germany, as well as from other European cities, is quite convenient. German trains are run by the Deutsche Bahn.

The central bus station, Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof (ZOB), is located at Masurenallee 4-6 in western Charlottenburg. IC Bus operates long-distance coaches to and from Berlin.

Travel within Berlin

Within Berlin, transportation is provided by the BVG, which runs all subway trains (U-Bahn), busses, and tramsS-Bahn, or interurban trains, also run throughout the city and to the outer suburbs. Semestertickets are available for students and valid on transportation services provided by both the BVG and the S-Bahn.

Berlin is also a very bicycle-friendly city, with paths and lanes specifically for cyclists. A route planner for bike riders is available from BBBike.

Depending on the course of study you wish to pursue, you have the choice between two main types of higher-education institutions in Germany.

  • Universities provide study courses in the areas of medicine, engineering, arts and humanities, law, theology, economics and social sciences, agriculture, forestry, and many more. Universities in Germany focus on methodical, theoretical education, and research and study are closely combined, the prime goal being to gain further knowledge rather than practical application.
  • Universities of Applied Science focus less on research and more on applicable knowledge that can be directly applied to a particular career field. At one time, Fachhochschulen specialized in the fields of engineering and science; today, however, study courses in the arts and humanities are also offered.
  • A number of art, film, and music colleges also exist in Germany.

Since 1999 and the signing of the Bologna Process, the traditional German degrees – Diplom, Magister, and Staatsexamen – are being replaced with the international qualifications of Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.
You can find more information on the German higher education system from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Study-in-Germany.

Besides those in an international degree program and in certain postgraduate study programs, students attending a German university are required to have a high proficiency level of German. The TestDaF is the universally-recognized exam that proves one’s language skills for admission to any German university.

Please inquire directly with your university in Germany about their specific language requirements.

German language courses may be available at the university in your homeland or through a language school such as the Goethe Institute, which has centers in over 70 countries. Further information about the TestDaF and learning German is available from the DAAD.

If you are looking for language courses in Berlin, intensive, semester-long, and vacation classes are available through the:

As an international student, the financing of your studies is most likely one of your main concerns.

While the cost of attending a university in Germany is, compared to many other countries, relatively inexpensive, students should still expect to need at least 670 € a month to pay for their living expenses, including rent. Some international students cover their expenses with their own personal savings or from the support of their parent(s) or relative(s). Others rely on funding from a scholarship granted by an organization in their home country or in Germany.

It is very difficult for international students to find scholarships once in Germany. We therefore encourage you to begin your search for scholarships early, while you are still in your home country. The international office of the university in your homeland, as well as the German embassy or consulate(s), may have information on scholarships for students specifically from your country or your field of study.

You can also look into these specific scholarship opportunities and foundations below:

Political Foundations

  • Friedrich Ebert Stiftung
    Berliner Haus, Hiroshimastraße 17, 10785 Berlin
    The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung provides financial assistance to German and international students in all fields of study. Assistance is restricted to the first phase of study leading up to the initial professional qualification examination. Qualified recipients have above average grades, an extraordinarily mature character, and demonstrated awareness of civil responsibility. Selected international students receive a annual lump sum to cover fees associated with university enrollment and health insurance, in addition to a monthly stipend and money for books.

  • Friedrich Naumann Stiftung
    Karl-Marx-Straße 2, 14482 Potsdam
    This foundation is associated with the German Freien Demokratischen Partei (FDP), otherwise known as the Liberals. The goal of their financial assistance program is to sponsor students who have broad sense of social responsibility. Women, Fachhochschule students, and students of natural sciences and engineering are especially encouraged to apply. Successful candidates are highly gifted scientists with outstanding qualifications in their chosen discipline and have good, responsible characters. They are politically and socially engaged and possess a liberal outlook.

  • Konrad Adenauer Stiftung
    Klingelhöferstraße 23, 10785 Berlin
    The Konrad Adenauer Foundation offers financial assistance to students identifying with Christian-Democratic values. As a rule, applications for financial assistance are accepted only as of a student’s second semester of study.

  • Heinrich Böll Stiftung
    Rosenthaler Str. 40/41, 10178 Berlin
    This Green Political Foundation offers financial aid to students, as well as an extended support program which includes, for instance, various seminars. About 70% of the students receiving assistance the Heinrich Böll Foundation are women.

  • Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung
    Franz-Mehring-Platz 1, 10243 Berlin
    The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation is engaged in political education and affiliated with the Left Party, formerly called the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS). Since 1999, the foundation has been able to grant scholarships to nearly 900 students and PhD-students from Germany and abroad. Scholarships are granted to undergraduate and graduate students who possess a consistent and far-reaching social and political commitment. Preference is given to socially and physically disadvantaged applicants who demonstrate comparable achievements and qualifications, and the promotion of women is the foundation’s highest priority.

Religious Foundations

  • Cusanuswerk, Baumschulallee 5, 53115 Bonn
    KAAD, Hausdorffstr. 151, 53129 Bonn
    These organizations provide financial assistance to highly qualified international students professing the Roman Catholic faith. While the Cusanus-Werk's assistance program is generally restricted to German and EU students, the Catholic Academic Exchange Service (KAAD) assists students from other countries who are actively associated with the Catholic Church.

  • Evangelischen Studienwerk e.V. Villigst
    Iserlohner Str. 25, 58239 Schwerte

    Evangelischen StudentInnengemeinde
    Berliner Str. 69, 13189 Berlin
    The European Scholarship program of the Evangelisches (Protestant) Studienwerk e.V. funds academically-qualified students of the Protestant faith from EU countries, while the Evangelischen StudentInnengemeinde (ESG) provides scholarships to Protestant students from developing countries.

Additional Foundations

  • Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt
    An der Bornau 2, 49090 Osnabrück, Tel. (0541) 96 33 0
    This environmental foundation associated with the German federal government provides 60 scholarships a year to doctoral and post-doctoral students from Germany and abroad working in the area of environmental sciences.

  • Otto Benecke Stiftung e.V.
    Kennedyallee 105-107, 53175 Bonn, Tel. (0228) 81 630
    The Otto Benecke Foundation was founded in 1965 at the Technische Universität Berlin and operates on behalf of the German federal government. The foundation's humanitarian and educational mission includes the provision of financial assistance to ethnic-German immigrants from Eastern Europe, political refugees, and asylum seekers studying in Germany and under the age of thirty.

  • Promotionsförderung des Landes Berlin
    The City of Berlin awards a number of scholarships to assist doctoral students. Applicants must demonstrate above-average merit and an academic goal which suggests that they will make an important contribution to scientific research. The applications are to be submitted to the university.

  • Studienstiftung des Detuschen Volkes
    Jägerstraße 22/23, 10117 Berlin
    This foundation is politically, religiously, and ideologically independent. It awards around 1,000 scholarships each year to highly-gifted students, including those in a doctoral program, and currently provides financial assistance to about 5,500 recipients.


Further information about scholarships for study in Germany is available from the DAAD.

German law requires that all students, including those from overseas, studying at a higher education institution in Germany have health insurance either through a public health insurance provider or through a private health insurance company.

In fact, in order to register at your university in Berlin, you will need to submit your health insurance certificate (Krankenversicherungnachweis).

Students under the age of 30 or until their 14th academic semester are eligible for public health insurance in Germany, or if they choose, they may take out insurance from a private company. Please note: once a student takes out private health insurance, he or she cannot change back to public health insurance the course of study.

Public health insurance is offered to students at a reduced rate, around 78 € per month. A network of non-profit companies in Germany work with the State to provide the national healthcare program. You are free to choose the company with which you would like to be insured.

If you have health insurance in your home country, it is possible that this insurance will be valid in Germany:

  • If you are from the EU, a European Economic Area country, or Switzerland and are insured by the public health insurance system in your home country, you can have this insurance approved by a public health insurance company in Germany. Be sure to ask your insurance provider at home which documents you will need for this approval. You most likely will need to get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC, formerly forms E111 or E128). Please make sure that the EHIC is valid for your entire stay in Germany or that you can renew the insurance from Germany before the coverage runs out. Remember that the card does not cover the cost of private health care treatments. Some medical costs may not be covered by your insurance; before leaving your home country, ask your health insurance provider exactly what services you are entitled to in Germany.

  • If you are insured by a private health insurance company, please consult with your health insurance provider in your home country before coming to Germany to confirm whether or not you will be covered in Germany. You must provide a certificate proving your coverage when you register for your courses in Germany.
    Please note: by submitting this certificate proving your coverage by a private health insurance company, you are giving up use of the state health insurance system in Germany during your studies.

Students over the age of 30 or after their 14th study term are not eligible for public health insurance at the student rate. They may either take out voluntary health insurance with one of the public health funds or they may insure themselves through a private health insurance provider.

Private health insurance costs vary depending on the amount of coverage provided.

Students Participating in a Language Proficiency Course in Preparation for Enrollement in a German University do not qualify for public health insurance in Germany. They must insure themselves through a private company. At the end of the language course, if they decide to begin a full course of study in Germany and are under the age of 30, they can change their health insurance from the private insurance company to a public insurance company.

The Deutsche Studentenwerk concluded an agreement about a private health insurance with the Hanse Merkur Reiserversicherungs AG. Please watch here for more information. Further details are available from the Deutsche Studentenwerk. Your university or Fachhochschule may also provide additional information on health insurance.

The studierendenWERK BERLIN maintains and operates 33 student residence halls (Studentenwohnheime) located across the city. Many international students choose to live in a student residence hall because they can quickly and easily find an accommodation that fits their budget. There are even rooms available for couples and students with children, as well as for disabled students. In fact, international students make up approximately 58 percent of the residents in our dormitories.

In order to better serve international students, resident assistants ("Wohnheimtutoren") are available in some residence halls to offer help and support. Each residence hall also has its own student self-administration, or SSV, whose purpose is to make life in the hall as enjoyable as possible, through the organizing of various associations and parties, and, when necessary, the mediation of problems between residents.

For further information, please visit the studierendenWERK BERLIN's Student Housing department.

Resources for finding private accommodation are also available here. Many students opt to live in a “WG” (Wohngemeinschaft), which is a shared flat.

Some additional useful websites include:

Arrival in Berlin

Arrival in Berlin

Willkommen in Berlin! 

Your arrival in Berlin is sure to be a time of much excitement and nervousness. There is also much to be arranged and organized during your first weeks in Germany. Here you will find details regarding the administrative tasks that must be done, such as registering your residence and applying for a residence permit, in addition to information on how to get yourself, as well as your studies, set up in Berlin. 

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In Germany, you must register your local address with the Registration Department (Meldestelle) of the Public Administration Office (Bürgeramt), within seven days of moving into your permanent accommodation in Berlin. You must do this every time you move.

To register, you will need to present your passport, a copy of your lease or rental agreement, and a completed registration form, which you can get at the registration office or here.

Each district of Berlin has its own local Public Administration Office. Please visit the Administration Office of Berlin to find the Bürgeramt nearest to you.

Upon registering you will receive your official registration certificate (Anmeldebestätigung). You will need to have this certificate in order to apply for your residence permit, to open a bank account, and for other administrative tasks. It’s a good idea to keep a copy of the certificate in your passport.

All non-EU citizens
must apply for and obtain a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) within three months of their arrival in Germany. This is done at the Foreigner Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde).

Plan ahead: given the large number of people also applying for residence permits, you must wait several weeks for an appointment.

Besides an application, you will also need to submit your passport, visa, residence registration certificate of your address in Berlin (Anmeldebestätigung), and proof of your student status (Studienbescheinigung). Additional documents may be required, such as proof of valid health insurance and passport photos. The officials at the Foreigner Registration Office will give you a checklist stating exactly what you will need to submit at the time of your appointment.


Friedrich-Krause-Ufer 24, 13353 Berlin
U9 Amrumer Straße / S41 und S42 Westhafen / Bus 127, 227, 248

Mon. 7 am - 2 pm, Tues. 7 am - 2 pm, Thurs. 10 am - 6 pm
Wednesdays only with appointment
Fridays closed

Tel. (030) 90 26 90
Fax (030) 90 26 94 099

If you have a spouse and/or children who are still living in your home country or elsewhere overseas, it may be possible for them to join you in Germany through a family reunion visa.

In order to apply for a family reunion visa, you must already be registered at a German higher education institution, hold a residence permit for the length of your studies in Germany, be able to financially support yourself and your family, and have sufficient accommodation and a health insurance for you and your family.

As soon as your studies in Germany end, the family visa will expire.

Visa requirements differ between countries. Please consult with the German Embassy or Consulate in your home nation for further information specific to your country regarding family reunion visas. You can locate the German embassy and consulate(s) in your country here.

In many of the studierendenWERK BERLIN Residence Halls, Resident Assistants are available to provide support and help to international students. The Assistants are international and German students who have already lived in Berlin for a while and wish to share their experience with you. They can help you orient yourself in Berlin, answer your questions, and assist you with any difficulties you may have. Please click here to learn more!

You will need to officially enroll at your university once you arrive in Berlin. Contact your specific institution to find out the exact enrollment deadline and the required documents for enrollment.

These documents will include:

  • Proof of valid health insurance in Germany
  • Admission letter to the university 
  • Passport photo
  • Passport with visa (if required)
  • Residence registration
  • Possibly original education certificates

Once enrolled, you will receive your registration certificate (Immatrikulationsbescheinigung) and student ID card including the Semester Ticket, which often entitles you to discounts, such as at movie theaters and museums.

Berlin has a very good public transportation system, with a subway (U-Bahn), suburban trains (S-Bahn), street trams, and buses. As a student, you can purchase a semester ticket, which is valid for the current semester and which allows you to use the public transportation in Berlin.

Most students from Berlin’s universities obtain their personal semester ticket when they register for their courses. The semester ticket can only be used by the person it was issued for and is only valid in conjunction with your student ID. You must purchase a new ticket at the start of every semester. The price of the ticket is included in the registration fee (Immatrikulationsgebühr).

There is the possibility, on certain conditions, of having the semester ticket costs fully or partially refunded back to you. You can get further information from the Semester Ticket Office of your university or Fachhochschule.

For more information about the semester ticket and the public transportation system in Berlin, visit the BVG and the S-Bahn-Berlin.

Most international students open a checking account (Girokonto) at a bank in Berlin. For some students, a German account is necessary in order to pay their rent and telephone bills, and to receive their scholarship funds or work wages via money transfer. In these cases, money cannot be transferred to/from foreign bank accounts. Having a German bank account also allows you to use the money machines in Berlin without paying a service fee and to make purchases with an EC/Maestro-card.

Most banks offer special accounts to students that do not require you to pay an account fee each month. When opening a bank account, you will need to show your passport, residence registration certificate (Anmeldebestätigung), and your university registration certificate (Immatrikulationsbescheinigung).

You will find a number of banks in Berlin. Some of the larger firms with branches across the city are listed here. Please visit the individual websites to find out more about the types of accounts offered and the requirements of opening an account.

If you wish to set up a landline telephone connection in your room or apartment, you have a few different options. Deutsche Telekom is the largest landline (Festnetz) provider. You can arrange for a telephone installation at any of the T-Punkt stores throughout Berlin. The installation costs around 50 € and can usually be done within a week to ten days. The installation fee is cheaper if there was a previous connection in your room or apartment, so check with your landlord before hand to find out the name of the previous tenant and the phone number.

Other telephone service providers include Kabel Deutschland or 1und1. There are a number of price plans available, some of which include international calls or Internet access, so be sure to assess your calling needs and compare your options. You can find further information and compare providers on the Teltarif website.

Like almost everywhere in the world Mobile phones (Handys) are very popular in Germany. There are many different providers and tariffs. You should research the various options before signing a contract, as many contracts are for as long as two years. If you think that you will make few calls, a mobile phone with pre-paid cards can often be less expensive. Among others, the following mobile phone providers operate in Germany:

A number of telephone companies now offer call-by-call codes, which provide inexpensive calling rates, especially for international calls. These codes, which are dialed before the actual number you wish to call, can be found here. Calls using these prefix codes are then billed to you through your regular telephone service provider.

A convient way to look up phone numbers is through the Telefonbuch or, for business listings, the Gelben Seiten.

Most residences of the studierendenWERK BERLIN have been equipped with an Internet service. By the end of 2019, the rollout of the Internet service in all student residence halls will be completed. Each single student apartment is equipped with a network wall socket. Every tenant is free to use whatever device to connect to the network.

In most of the residence halls, public spaces such as kitchens, fitness rooms or open spaces are in addition equipped with an eduroam WiFi network. If you do not yet have your own credentials for eduroam, please contact the IT representative of your university. These credentials will work at your university and in the residencies.

For more information, including contact details for the support team, please see this handout.


The university libraries have computer labs available, as does each university. You can sign up for access here:

You can also easily find a number of Internet cafes across Berlin.

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© Grimm

If you own a TV, radio or Internet in Germany, you must pay a license fee (Rundfunkbeitrag). The money is used to help fund public radio and television broadcasts. The fees are not included in the price of cable TV.

The monthly fee must be paid quarterly.

If you do not own or no longer own a television, a radio or internet, you must notify the 'Beitragsservice' in order to be exempted from the fee. Registration forms you get automaticly when you move in a flat. 

Students meeting certain requirements, such as a minimal income, may be exempted from the fee. However, as international students must prove before coming to Germany that they have sufficient financial funds to support themselves during their course of study, in general they are not eligible for this exemption. An exception may be made for international students facing financial hardships. Here is a list of the exemption criteria.

The studierendenWERK BERLIN

The studierendenWERK BERLIN

© studierendenWERK BERLIN


Through a mandate of the German Federal State of Berlin, we provide social, economic and cultural support services to Berlin's students. We are here to assist students with their particular problems and to answer their questions.

Are there other things you would like to know? Please don't hesitate to ask us. We are here to help you! It is our goal to find the right answer.

Our dining facilities have so much to offer. And not just healthy, substantial and reasonably priced food.

Our canteens and cafeterias are a place where you can relax between lectures, meet friends for a meal, sit informally with new classmates or go for a coffee together. Here, weekends are planned, study groups meet and you can take a break.

We are proud of the confidence you place in us - but we are also committed to making it even better, day by day. This is because we want to offer you more than just healthy food!

The refectories and cafeterias aims to provide you with comprehensive information on healthy diets, the quality and selection of our products, the MensaCard (refectory card) and the range we offer.

Protecting the environment, sustainable management, careful handling of all natural resources and a healthy diet - are ideals which the studierendenWERK BERLIN is committed to.

Then we might have just the right place for you!

  • Around 9,500 places of accommodation in almost all districts of the city
  • Accommodation that is appropriate to all needs and financial resources
  • Live alone or with others in one of our studio or full-sized apartments
  • Participate in changes taking place in your residence and its surroundings

 To find a space in our student halls of residence you have to apply to the student halls of residence service online.

Internet in student accommodation: You can get private Internet over your phone line as well. You can choose between different private providers. Please check the contract for payment conditions, contract duration, extra fees and benefits.


  • Use it to finance your studies
  • We enable you to work flexibly according to your study schedule
  • You acquire practical work experience and learn on the job

Our special services:

Specialist employment: if you have a special qualification and would like to work in that area or would like to acquire a qualification by continually working in a particular area.

Long-term employment: 

if you have an employer who would like to employ you for an extended period and you would like to continue to take advantage of our booking system

If you would like to take advantage of what the job agency has to offer, please apply to our office. 

Requirements for initial registration:

  • Valid full-size registration certificate (indicating you are a full-time student – “große Immatrikulationsbescheinigung”)
  • Passport (citizens of EU countries can provide a green EU identification card)
  • Tax I.D. Number (“Steueridentifikationsnummer”) (for more information look at chapter Finding a job)
  • A passport photograph or colour photograph
  • Bank account number (with proof such as a bank card or a bank statement).
  • Social insurance identification (“Sozialversicherungsausweis” – for more information see chapter Finding a job)
  • Health insurance identification (chip card)
  • Valid residence or working permit
  • Participation fee of € 19.50 per semester
  • You can also register via our website,.

Whatever questions you may have, come to the Sozialberatung. We provide support and give advice to all students of Berlin universities. We are often the first point of contact for students and are here to help you. We offer counselling in both German and English. 

During your studies, we offer:

  • Financial advice regarding food, jobs, state academic loans (BAföG), scholarships and student loans
  • Support and counselling for students who are pregnant and for students with children
  • Student loans
  • Funds for students in distress and emergency situations
  • Support and counselling for students who are in difficult situations
  • Mentors for international students - Country Tutors
  • Workshops and lectures

Sozialberatung services are free and we adhere to data protection legislation.

We are based in Charlottenburg, Dahlem  and Friedrichshain.

Beginning your studies, completing them, changing faculties or institutions and taking exams are all challenging experiences. Sudden changes like leaving your home and country, being a foreigner, moving to a new town or a new apartment, or separating from a partner can cause psychological stress, as can longer-term circumstances, such as loneliness, isolation or problems with your partner or parents. 

We are here to help in a variety of situations:

  • difficulties with studying
  • fear of exams;
  • social inhibitions
  • depression,
  • anxiety,
  • psychosomatic symptoms,
  • poor self-esteem and severe emotional crises

In our counselling, we help you develop an individual solution to your problem. Sometimes a single individual session is all that it takes. Or, you might decide that a short-term therapy focusing on your problem is more appropriate. You could also choose to participate in our various group therapy sessions tackling a specific issue.

Counselling is free of charge and also available in English. We are professionally obligated to maintain total confidentiality.

Our Contact

No person shall be discriminated against because of disability. §3, Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany

Who do we help? 

Our services are aimed at individuals with disabilities or chronic illnesses who are studying or considering studying in Berlin to promote their self-determined participation in society. Our support is available for students with all kinds of disabilities, including non-visible disabilities or illnesses such as mental illness, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, HIV, cancer, rheumatism, diabetes and epilepsy. 

We provide confidential, unbureaucratic, prompt and socially responsible aid to those seeking help. Of course, maintainingconfidentiality is a fundamental requirement of our service to you. 

We provide counselling and support in relation to:

  • social law for people with disabilities
  • assistance for study and everyday matters
  • finances and student funding
  • technical and personal assistance
  • communication with government offices and institutions
  • personal problems and crises
  • psycho-social questions 

Berlin’s Higher Education Act (Hochschulgesetz) provides integration aid (Integrationshilfe) for students and prospective students with disabilities and chronic illnesses. We process your application for integration aid, such as study assistance, sign language interpreting, speech-to-text-interpreting, book grants or special equipment. Applications for integration aid can be filed at any time.

We are in Charlottenburg, Friedrichshain und Dahlem.


shutterstock Inozemtsev Konstantin

Where we are:

What we stand for: Our locations are in a green environment and each of our kindergartens has its own playground. We provide bright, friendly and well equipped rooms where children can feel at home. Our staff comply with City of Berlin childcare standards. We therefore set great store by our staff being properly qualified and provided with continuous professional development.

The kindergarten provides you with opportunities to get in touch with others and build up social contacts. We attach great importance to a good, trustful collaboration with parents to enable our institutions offer a family-friendly education environment.

CostsThe costs are subsidized partly by the state. In order to benefit from this you must apply for a voucher (Betreuungsgutschein) at the youth welfare office (Jugendamt) of your city district. The actual monthly amount that parents pay is calculated according to the number of children, how many hours the children stay in the centre and parental income. 

Contact Visit our homepage for more information, including the addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of our child day care centres:  

Or send an email to:

Thus, the cultural service BKI of the studierendenWERK pursues three main goals:

  • To foster the creativity of all students in order to encourage and support their general personal development and the expression of individual creative skills
  • To offer space for the expression of creativity and for meeting other creative students from all over Berlin, especially in its new venue “Freiraum im Studentenhaus”
  • To live diversity through a wide array of events, actions and activities, combining all sorts of cultural and creative expressions

The BKI reaches out to all students in Berlin and has launched an ongoing Open Call for creative and cultural projects. You do not need to study arts to participate. The BKI is also interested in supporting all sorts of activities, such as concerts, theatre plays, talks, slams, gaming, creative workshops, exhibitions, events, cinema, etc.

Feel free to contact the team under in order to find out if and how it can offer you support.

The BKI is already supporting a series of events under the label “Mix It!” (jam sessions and an annual contest of performing arts), exhibitions at various locations and with different themes, the “food+culture” events where international students can present delicious dishes and cultural highlights of their home countries or regions and the pop-choir of the studierendenWERK, called “Unität”, where students of all the Berlin universities sing together and find new friends.

Student tutors in student accommodation

For example, if you

  • have questions about life in and around your halls of residence,
  • are experiencing difficulties of any kind with your fellow roommates or hallmates,
  • don`t know where to turn when you have certain questions,
  • feel home-sick

Feel free to contact the “Wohnheimtutoren”. You can find your tutor on our website 

You can find "Wohnheimtutoren" in this  accommodations:  Allee der Kosmonauten, Aristotelessteig, Oberfeldstraße, Coppistraße, Danckelmannstraße, Eichkamp, Franz-Mehring-Platz, Goerzallee, Halbauer Weg, Mollwitzstraße, Sewanstraße und Siegmunds Hof 

We are students who’ve been asked by the studierendenWERK to help you with your daily life and studies in Berlin.

We are partners for African, Chinese and Arabic-speaking students and can help you with questions about financing your studies or the activities of the studierendenWERKs BERLIN.

We want to encourage students from different countries to swap experiences and, by offering you a point of contact in your native language, to make it easier for you to arrive and settle in Berlin.

We can not offer rooms in halls of residence or places at higher education institutions.

We are looking forward to your questions and hearing your impressions of studying and living here in Berlin.

For more information, please check the website.

Student Life in Berlin

Student Life in Berlin

Your studies are now underway! 

Student life, however, consists of much more than books and lectures. In this section, you will find a variety of information to help you make the most of your time in Berlin, including an outline of the services and support available from the studierendenWERK BERLIN and other organizations to assist you during your course of study.


One of the main functions of the studierendenWERK BERLIN is to provide counselling and support to students, including those from overseas. Managing one’s studies and personal life can be extremely stressful, in particular as an international student. We are here to counsel students in a variety of areas in order to ease this stress and better their well-being.

The Counselling and Support Department assists students in the following areas:

  • Social Counselling
    Counselling and support is available to students dealing with financial and social or legal problems, conflict situations, and also to students with children and during pregnancy. Financial support in the forms of loans and grants is additionally offered.

  • Psychological and Psychotherapeutic Counselling
    Assistance is provided through individual and group therapy to students dealing with such difficulties as depression, social inhibition, anxiety, psychosomatic symptoms, learning difficulties, and study-related stress. Couple counseling, pregnancy conflict assistance, and crisis management advising is also available.

  • Counselling Accessibility Study (Counselling for Disabled and Chronically Ill Students) 
    We offer support and counseling to disabled and chronically ill students who are seeking help with the organizing and financing of personal and technical assistance in their studies and everyday life, navigating various offices and institutions, personal problems and crisis situations, and with psychosocial questions. A resource pool is also run by the studierendenWERK BERLIN, allowing students to borrow, at no cost, a number of technical devices to assist them.

We encourage you to take advantage of our counselling and support services! They are free of charge, available to all universitiy students in Berlin, and also provided in English.


As an international student, the financing of your studies is most likely one of your main concerns. One third of the German students take part in Germany’s federal academic loan program, or BAföG, but this is normally not an option for international students, except if they are married to a German.

The studierendenWERK BERLIN’s Social Counseling Department is here to advise you about possible financial assistance available, including financial support for the conclusion of your studies, support for students with children, and housing assistance.

The following organizations also provide counseling and support to students experiencing financial difficulties:


Many international students work in order to finance their studies. Please note: in Germany, international students may work up to 120 days, or 240 part-time days, per year without a work permit.

The Students Employment Agency is a non-profit service of the studierendenWERK BERLIN that matches students in Berlin with employers offering jobs throughout the region. The majority of the job offers are for temporary positions, ranging from one day to more than a month. This service and its flexibility allow students to earn some extra money without disrupting their studies.

As part of the Counseling and Support area of the studierendenWERK BERLIN, a variety of services and advising is available to students who are already parents and to students who are expecting a baby.

Our Social Counseling Offices can advise you on the different social benefits that are available to students with children. A yearly workshop is also offered in coordination with the Psychological and Psychotherapeutic Counseling department to assist students in balancing their studies and their life as a parent.

The studierendenWERK BERLIN also offers very affordable day care services to all parents studying at one of Berlin’s public universities. Seven studierendenWERK BERLIN day cares, or KITAs, are conveniently located at the Freie Universität Berlin, the Technische Universität Berlin, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the Universität der Künste, the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft (HTW), the Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht (HWR) and the Beuth Hochschule für Technik . Places are available for children as young as eight weeks and up to school-age.



Besides the studierendenWERK BERLIN, various student-run organizations and services exist to provide assistance and support to international students.


AStA and RefRat: Students Helping Students

The AStA (Allgemeiner Studierendenausschuss), is the student body council of a university or Fachhochschule. At the Humboldt University, this is called the RefRat (ReferentInnenRat).

Each year, students are elected by their peers to serve on the council. The job of the council members is to assist and advise studentsprotect their rights, and represent and promote their interests and needs as students.

The AStAs and RefRat support international students, and many offer services and counselling specifically for students from overseas. Whether you are having academic, financial, or administrative difficulties or problems adjusting to your life in Berlin, the students from the AStA or RefRat are here to help. Legal assistance from an attorney is also available through many of the universities’ and Fachhochschules’ AStAs in Berlin.

Freie Universität AStA
Otto-von-Simson-Straße 23, 14195 Berlin
Tel. (030) 83 90 910

International Student Counseling:
Tel. (030) 83 90 91 17

Humboldt-Universität RefRat
Dorotheenstr.17, 10117 Berlin
Tel. (030) 20 93-26 03 / -2614

International Student Counseling:
Monbijoustraße 2a, 10117 Berlin
Tel. (030) 20 93-46647

Technische Universität AStA
Straße des 17.Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, TK-Gebäude, Raum TK 112
Tel. (030) 31 42 7482

International Student Counseling:
Counseling takes place in the rooms of the TU AStA
Tel. (030) 31 42 39 60

International Clubs

Each of the three large universities in Berlin has an international organization or club, bringing together Internationals and Germans through a variety of activities. You need not be a club member or a student at each particular university to participate!

International Club of the Free University-Berlin 
The FU’s international club offers over 30 activities each semester including discussions, film viewings, visits to museums and exhibitions, excursions, and of course, parties! Check out their online event calendar to find out about the upcoming activities. The club also runs a language exchange program. 

Internationaler Club “Orbis Humboldtianus” 
The “Orbis” is Humboldt University’s international organization. A language exchange and a cultural program featuring excursions, museum visits, city tours, and international evenings are offered. There is also a team of students available to counsel and advise international students on different topics. 

Sprach- und Kulturbörse der TU-Berlin 
The SKB is a student organization of the Technical University Berlin that promotes linguistic and cultural exchange. Besides offering a vast range of language courses, from German to Hindi, regular conversation evenings, writing workshops, concerts, films, parties, and excursions are planned. You can also find a tandem language partner on the SKB Website.

Catholic and Protestant Student Communities

The Evangelische Studierendengemeinde Berlin (ESG) (Protestant Student Community) and the Katholische Studierendengemeinde Edith Stein Berlin (KSG) (Catholic Student Community) are two religious student organizations that offer counseling and support, including financial assistance in times of emergency, to international students. The ESG also has a special program called STUBE, which is designed to help students from overseas adjust to their academic and personal life in Germany through various seminars, trainings, and dialogues. 

ESG Berlin
Borsigstraße 5, 10115 Berlin
Tel. (030) 28 38 82 23

STUBE Program
Esteban Chávez Guevara, 
Tel. (030) 27 57 23 80,

Emergency Social Assistance
Pfr. Pfistner, Tel. (030) 28 38 82 27,

KSG Berlin
Dänenstraße 17-18, 10439 Berlin
Tel. (030) 44 67 49 60

There are a variety of dining halls in Berlin run by the studentenWERK BERLIN, as well a lot of  cafeterias. These facilities are conveniently located in the vicinity of the universities. The dining halls (Mensen), serve hot meals, usually with two to three main course selections. Soups, salads, and desserts are also offered, as are a variety of health and organic food options, including meals for vegetarians and vegans. The cafeterias offer sandwiches, snacks, and coffee specialities, as well as some warm meals.

Anyone can eat in the dining halls and cafeterias, whether they are a student or not, but students pay the cheapest rate for their meal. You will find that students, professors, and even businessmen alike eat at the Mensa, and some Mensen serve as many as 4,000 people a day!

You must pay for your food from the Mensa or cafeteria with a  MensaCard. MensaCards can be purchased for 1.55 € at the dining hall and cafeteria cash registers. Each card has a microchip, and money can be added to the card using electronic machines located at each Mensa and cafeteria.

When you pay for your meal at the register, be sure to show your student I.D. from your university in Berlin in order to get the student price.

Visit the Dining Department of the studentenWERK BERLIN to learn more. You can find the Mensa or cafeteria closest to you and even see this week’s menu!

Being a student isn’t only about studying! Whether you want to practice a sport, join a club, see a movie or concert, or visit a museum, there are plenty of things to do in your free time in Berlin.
In our  Culture Calendar you may find interesting events of the studierendenWERK BERLIN or events for free.





In the Residence Halls

Many of the studierendenWERK BERLIN student residence halls have various facilities and equipment available to the students living there, such as fitness, table tennis, and music rooms, billiard tables, and even a bar.

Clubs and Organizations

A great way to meet new people who share your same hobby or interests is through a club. Besides the international clubs organized through Berlin’s universities, literally thousands of clubs and organizations exist in Berlin. 

To search for a club, click here or visit MeineStadt for a list of clubs in the Berlin area.


The three large universities in Berlin each have a sports center. For a small fee, they offer a variety of fitness courses as well as equipment for individual training.

Central Athletic Offices

Freie Universität
Königin-Luise-Straße 47
14195 Berlin
U3 Dahlem Dorf
Bus 101, X11, X83
Tel. (030) 83 85 33 20

Hannoversche Straße 25
10115 Berlin
U6 Oranienburger Tor
Tram M1, M6
Tel. (030) 20 93 20 180

Technische Universität
Straße des 17. Juni 135
10623 Berlin
U2 Ernst-Reuter-Platz
Tel. (030) 31 42 29 48

If swimming is your thing, click here for a list of pools, indoor and outdoor, in Berlin. In addition, you can find a number of sport clubs organized through the Sportclub Berlin e.V..

Events and Activities in Berlin

Berlin is a big, international city with so much history and culture, plenty of young people and lots of energy. The following links can help you better orientate yourself to all that the city has to offer.

Both Tip and Zitty have calendars listing concertsevents, and parties

Berlin certainly does not lack in its number of movie theatres, many of which show films in their original version. Cinema listings can be found at Please note, when reading listings, OV and OF mean original version (Originalfassung), OmU means original with subtitles, and OmE means original with English subtitles.

Concerts and Opera


Berlin Sights, Landmarks, and Places of Interest

Within Berlin

Within Berlin, transportation is provided by the BVG, which runs all U-Bahn (subway) trains, buses, and tramsS-Bahn (interurban) trains also run throughout the city and to the outer suburbs. Semester tickets are available for students and valid on transportation services provided by both the BVG and the S-Bahn. Berlin is also a very bicycle-friendly city, with street lanes specifically for cyclists. A route planner for bike riders is available from BBBike.



Outside of Berlin

Berlin’s central location makes it very accessible to other cities within Germany, as well as to other countries in Europe.

Berlin has two airports. Flights from within Germany and Western Europe usually arrive at the Berlin International Airport in Tegel (TXL), and most flights to and from Europe, Africa, and Asia are serviced by the Berlin Brandenburg Airport in Schönefeld (SXF). Each of the airports is accessible either by bus, S-Bahn, or U-Bahn. Information about all two airports can be found here.

Some inexpensive airlines that service Berlin include EuroWingsEasyJet, and is another useful website.

Rail travel to and from Berlin within Germany as well as from other European cities is quite convenient. German trains are run by the Deutsche Bahn.

The central bus station, Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof (ZOB), is located at Masurenallee 4-6 in western Charlottenburg. IC Bus and Gulliver’s both operate long-distance coaches to and from Berlin.

A further popular, practical, and inexpensive method of transportation is ride-sharing. On the Mitfahrzentrale website you can find drivers - oftentimes students and young people like yourself - who are offering rides to various destinations throughout Germany and Europe.

Please Note

Students from European Union countries may travel to all other EU-member countries. Students who have a residence permit for Germany may travel for up to 90 days in the 14 other Schengen States (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden). 

If you plan to travel to any other country outside of the Schengen States, please contact the embassy for further information about visa requirements.

The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is the only internationally-accepted student I.D. card. Bearers of the card enjoy discounts on flights, buses, trains and ferries, on entertainment, and at museums, restaurants and pubs, and youth hostels and hotels, both in Berlin and around the world. Visit the ISIC website for more information about the card and its benefits.

Students may purchase an ISIC card at these locations.
The following is required:

  • Proof of course registration / student I.D.
  • Personal I.D. or passport
  • Passport photo
  • Fee

Emergency Assistance

Should you have an emergency in Berlin, please dial the following numbers for help.




Police (Polizei) 110 24 hrs.
Fire, Ambulance, Medical Emergency
(Feuerwehr, Ambulanz, Notarzt)
112 24 hrs.
Emergency On-Call Doctor (Bereitschaftsärzte) (030) 31 00 31 24 hrs.
Emergency On-Call Dentist (Bereitschaftszahnärzte) (030) 89 00 43 33 After 8 pm
24 hrs. Sa. & Su.
Poison Control (Vergiftungserscheinungen) (030) 192 40 24 hrs.
Drug Emergency Hotline (Drogennotdienst) (030) 192 37 24 hrs.
Emergency Pharmacist (Apotheken-Notdienst)
Visit the website to find the after-hours pharmacy nearest to you.
Pharmacies are locked after-hours; ring the bell and you will have
to wait outside while you prescription is filled.
0800 00 22 8 33 24 hrs.
Crisis Hotline (Berliner Telefon Seelsorge) 0800 111 0 111
0800 111 0 222
24 hrs.
Telefon Doweria
Crisis hotline for Russian speakers
(030) 44 03 08-454 24 hrs.
Berlin Aids Support Organisation
Counselling and support
(030) 19 4 11 Mo. - Fr. 9 am - 9 pm
Sa. & Sun. 12 am - 2 pm
Federal Counseling and Hotline Service for Women (030) 32 29 95 00
Mo - Thur. 10 am - 2 pm
Rape Crisis Hotline
(030) 216 88 88 Mo. - Fr.
9 am - 6 pm
BIG e.V. Hotline
Domestic Abuse Hotline
(030) 611 03 00 Daily
International Health Line
Public service that offers referrals to doctors who speak various
languages including English, French, Turkish, Russian, Italian, etc.
(030) 31 00 32 22 Mo. - Th.
8:30 am - 4 pm
8:30 am - 1 pm
American Hotline
Crisis hotline and referral service for English speakers.
0177 814 15 10 24 hrs.



There may come a time when you need to visit a doctor in Berlin. There are general practitioners (Hausärzte) and specialists. In general, you need to first see a general practitioner, who can then refer you to a specialist. You can search for a doctor in Berlin in the phone book under Ärzte.

Your country’s consulate or embassy may also be able to refer you to doctors in Berlin who speak your native language.


There are several hospitals in Berlin. Some of the larger hospitals are listed here, but you may also search for the hospital or clinic nearest to you on the Gesundheit Berlin website under Krankenhäuser, Kliniken, Reha.

End of Studies

End of Studies

© Fotolia_89268836

Concluding your studies takes a great deal of planning and organization, whether you are returning to your home country or staying in Germany. 

The following information will introduce you to the different organizations and resources that are here to help you transition to your next step in life. Writing your final papers and exams as well as planning your future is always a very stressful time. 

The studierendenWERK BERLIN offers a variety of services to students in the final stage of their studies, including financial assistance and psychological and psychotherapeutic counselling. We congratulate you on your academic success in Berlin, and wish you all the best in your future endeavors!

Returning to your home country after completing your studies involves much more than just buying your ticket back. 

Academic and Other Various Tasks

You will need to deregister from your university or Fachhochschule and acquire all of your course and examination certificates. You may wish to have these important documents, as well as your academic transcript, translated into your native language by a professional certified translator before you leave Berlin. Please note that once you deregister from your university or Fachhochschule, your residence permit expires!

It is also recommended that you get a work certificate and references from your employers or internship supervisors.

There are also a number of agreements and contracts to cancel, such as your lease, bank account and health insurance, and phone and electrcity connections, as well as any newspaper or magazine subscriptions you may have. Some of these contracts are renewed automatically if they are not cancelled. Lastly, you will need to deregister your residence at the Meldestelle.

If you have worked in Germany and a portion of your wages has been paid into the German pension insurance fund, you may be entitled to have these contributions paid back to you within a waiting period of two years. This does not apply to students from another European Community country or from any other country that has a social security agreement with Germany.

Find out if you are eligible and obtain the necessary forms before you leave Berlin. You can learn more from the German pension insurance (Deutsche Rentenversicherung).

Finding a Job Back Home

If you wish to find a job in your home country, there are some organizations that can assist you. Many universities and Fachhochschulen in Berlin have career service offices that provide valuable information and workshops to assist students with their search for employment, no matter in which country they are seeking a position.

The Central Placement Office (ZAV) is the service of the Federal Employment Agency in Germany that places Germans in jobs abroad and international persons in jobs in Germany. It works with a number of international organisations and has placed job seekers in positions in more than 130 countries.

The ZAV also offers in cooperation with the Centre for International Migration and Development (CIM) a reintegration program to support students from developing countries who, upon completion of their studies in Germany, are returning to their homelands to begin their professional careers. This support is in the form of subsidies that are intended to cover travel and transportation of goods costs and to supplement one’s earnings. To qualify for the subsidies offered by the ZAV, you must be a citizen of a developing country, have at least two years of professional or higher-educational training experience in Germany, have legal residence in Germany, and return to your home country permanently and take up employment there.

Centrum für internationale Migration und Entwicklung (CIM)
Mendelssohnstraße 75-77,
60325 Frankfurt am Main
Tel. (069) 71 91 21 153

The European Employment Service, or EURES, is a particularly useful service for students from European Union or European Economic Area countries and Switzerland. This is a job mobility portal that provides information, advice, and job placement services for job seekers and employers of the European labor market. You can search in their online database for job offers in all 28 EU and EEA countries. Germany’s Federal Employment Agency also has a Europe Service that is linked with the EURES network and that offers additional information on work and training opportunities in Europe and worldwide.

Upon completing their studies, many international students decide that they would like to remain in Germany. 

Postgraduate Studies

Some students go on to pursue a postgraduate degree. The international office of your university or Fachhochschule, as well as the academic faculties, can provide you with further information specific to the degree and institution you are interested in. You can also search for postgraduate degree programs in Germany through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). In addition, the DAAD has a scholarship database, as does the Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen(Association of German Foundations), which easily allows you to look into different funding possibilities. 

Finding a Job in Germany

Other students wish to find a job in Germany. Many universities and Fachhochschulen in Berlin have career service offices that provide valuable information and workshops to assist students with their search for employment.

Students from European Union or European Economic Area countries and Switzerland may work in Germany without a work permit and do not need approval from the Federal Employment Agency to become employed in Germany. The European Employment Service (EURES) is a job mobility portal that provides information, advice, and job placement services for job seekers and employers of the European labor market. You can search in their online database for job offers in Germany and the other 28 EU and EEA countries. Germany’s Federal Employment Agency also has a EuropeService that is linked with the EURES network and that offers additional information on work and training opportunities in Germany, the rest of Europe, and worldwide.

If you are a student from a Non-EU/EAA country and have successfully completed your studies, you may extend your residence permit in Germany for an additional one year for the purpose of seeking employment. You can apply for this extension at the Foreigner Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde). You must be able to prove that you have adequate financial resources in order to support yourself while you search for a job.

In addition, during this one-year extension period, you still have the right to work 120 full days or 240 half days without a work permit.

Please note

Upon completing your studies, your residence permit as a student is no longer valid, regardless of whether the permit was designated for a longer period of time. Without extending your residence permit, you cannot legally stay in Germany.

The majority of employment positions offered to non-EU/EAA citizens must be approved by the Federal Employment Agency. This applies to side jobs and temporary positions as well. Approval, on the other hand, is not needed for employment in the science, research, and development fields.

The Central Placement Office (ZAV) is the service of the Federal Employment Agency in Germany that places Germans in jobs abroad and international persons in jobs in Germany. The ZAV works with employment agencies thoughout Germany as well as with each Federal State’s employment administration.

You can search for current employment opportunities in Germany here, through the Federal Employment Agency’s website. In addition, various local and national newspapers, such as the Berliner Zeitung, Berliner Morgenpost, the Tagesspiegel and Die Zeit as well as and the city magazines Zitty and Tip, post job offers in Berlin and nationwide.

Further detailed information about laws and regulations pertaining to international job seekers in Germany is available from the Federal Employment Agency and the Federal Foreign Office.