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An effective checklist for students to move to Germany

Updated: Jan 10

Relocating to any country requires plenty of planning and scheduling. When moving to Germany; one of the countries where people are known for punctuality, it's better to get used to this as early as possible

We tried here to build a checklist to help your relocation to Germany. We also managed to put some timeline to it. Therefore, you are always on time.

1. Budgeting

As you probably know already, Germany is one of the most expensive countries in the world. Therefore, it's better to calculate how much you can afford for your relocation.

The budgeting should include your first 3 months expenses including your basic expenses such as rent / hostel fee to toothpaste, college expenses, etc.

2. Keep track of the deadlines

Keep your calendar updated for any deadlines you have to meet; such as your appointment at the consulate for your visa or sending your bachelor's certificate to your university.

3. Get a visa

You probably aren't gonna need a visa if you are moving from the EU. However, the citizens of other countries like the USA or India are not as lucky as europeans! It's better to research the visa regulations and requirements early enough.

One related key element is the validity of your supporting documents. Eg. your passport or the expiry of your German language certification. Make sure you renew the important documents early enough so that you don't have to reappear for a visa interview.

4. Registration process

As soon as you arrive, you should consider booking an appointment to register in the residence registration office. In Munich, you have to register in the Bürgerbüro within one week of arrival (find the registration form here). Other cities have their own processes and timelines.

5. Health insurance, enrolment at university

Insurance is one of the unavoidable things in Germany.

Students need proof of health insurance or an exemption notice before you can enroll at the university. Proof of health insurance must be provided if a residence permit is to be granted/renewed for the purpose of academic study. If an exemption has been granted [by the university], you can then take an insurance policy with a private health insurer.

If you are moving in to start a new job, your employer must arrange health insurance for you from the first day of your start.

Insurance companies offer several products; health insurance, house insurance, car insurance, personal accident insurance, gadgets insurance and the list is going to be really long! Before falling for one, ask yourself if you need one. When you decide, compare the offers from different providers and choose the one best for your requirements and fits in your pocket.

Make use of websites like to ease your comparison.

Additionally, you can also check out our article Insurance in Germany to read in detail.

6. Bank account

You are normally going to need a current account; to transfer the rent or pay your bills, etc.) If you are a student, you also require a savings account during your period of study in Germany. Your residence permit will only be issued if you provide proof that you hold a savings account with a balance of a certain amount. The Foreigners Office can generally demand a blocking notice to limit the monthly amount that can be withdrawn from our account.

PS: Credit cards are not widely accepted in Germany. Therefore, make sure you can use the credit card if you plan to use one.

Checkout our article opening a new bank account in Germany to read in detail.

7. Find an accommodation

Perhaps, one of the first items in your checklist!

In general, it's not so easy to find an accommodation that suits your wishes and budget in Germany. Therefore, you need to start looking for accommodation as soon as you can.

One of the major problems we noticed is scammers! They’d ask you to send some money to a Paypal account or to a bank account as a deposit to visit the apartment. Don't fall for that and in general, no maklers (real estate agent) or landlords ask you for such deposits.

Some useful tips
  • Start checking the accommodation as soon as you can. Start searching at least 3 - 4 months before.

  • Once you find an accommodation that suits your budget and purpose, book it immediately.

  • Check the prices of the flight if you need one early enough and book in advance therefore, you can have a slightly lesser price and will be able to block your favourite seat.

  • Most students in Germany are eligible for the international student ID. Check if you can apply for one.

  • It's a good idea to keep a copy of all your documents in an online share drive. Therefore, it will be accessible on all your gadget platforms.

  • Check if you can apply for any scholarships and mark the due dates on your calendar

  • Check for any additional regulations in the university such as applying for the leave absence, etc.

  • If you are from a non euro zone, it's better to withdraw some money and keep it with you before you travel. Not all shops in Germany are digital yet!

Even if you think you got all the documentation ready, it's better to double or even triple check to make sure that everything is in place!

Well, these are only some general points and there are a lot to consider in the real life. However, with a little organisation and planning, you can make the move even easier.

Good luck!

how to find a job in Germany

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