Coming to Germany as an international student requires a lot of organisation that will make your arrival easier. Here are 10 things you should consider when preparing for your studies abroad:
When coming to Germany, be prepared for a lot of paperwork. If you are not an EU citizen, applying for a visa/residence permit is very time-consuming. Here are the main documents you will need: Certificate of enrollment, blocked bank account, health insurance, German bank account, accommodation documents and copies of your and your parents’ Passports. In case you need help with preparing everything, you can find out more about the International Office at Frankfurt School.
Regarding your place to live, you should start researching early. Frankfurt has many student residences, but they are quite expensive, so if you are looking for something more affordable, start researching early. The Flag is a good place to spend your first semesters. You can find more information on the types of accommodation and districts in Frankfurt here.
For your first flat, IKEA is the place to go. When I moved to Germany, I didn’t know about IKEA, so I ended up paying for very expensive bed sheets. Essential items to have are a laundry basket, a hair dryer, a coffee machine, bed sheets and pillows, an iron, an oven or a microwave, cleaning supplies and a shopping bag for groceries.
I was recommended to go to Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), which is one of the best for students. Before signing the contract, you should read it carefully and make sure it covers all you need. When you go back to your home country to visit you should always do a check-up because every country has different health systems.
During the first months, you will spend a lot of money on all the essentials, such as furniture and furniture and supermarket supplies. After that time, you will have an idea of how much money you need for food, going out and trips. Planning your monthly/weekly budget, will help you not to spend the whole month’s budget in one week. Believe me this will happen at least once 😉
Opening a bank account is an easy process, except all the signatures they need. For me personally, Sparkasse was a good option as they have multiple ATM’s all over Germany. After you opened your German Bank account, you should consider opening an online bank account as well, e.g. at N26.
Planning at University is slightly more complicated than at school, since classes change frequently. But Frankfurt School works with tools like Canvas where you can download your personal timetable. Prepare yourself for each week and check your schedule daily, sometimes the class times and especially the classrooms change shortly.
Whether you do everything online or analogue is obviously a very individual choice. Due to COVID-19 online materials are currently the preferred option. Personally, I still find it more satisfying to use pen and paper. However, using an iPad/Computer during lectures is very helpful since being fast in class is important. You will quickly notice that you do not have much time for making pretty notes.
Having both, a tablet and a computer has its advantages when studying. You will need a computer for exams and programming, but a tablet is also essential. Since most books and documents are online, you can use the app Good Notes to create online notebooks and highlight PDF’s and slides.
The last and most important thing is always to be early and well prepared. Frankfurt School has a first come first serve policy, if you want to participate in events. The high motivation among FS-Students enables you to achieve high performances and develop yourself in many areas. Studying at FS it makes you go above and beyond.