Within one week of your arrival, you are required to register with the Einwohnermeldeamt (Residents’ Registration Office) in the city or district you live in. The address of the Einwohnermeldeamt in Brandenburg is Nicolaiplatz 30 (Tel.: +49 3381/581351). Should you later move to different accommodation, you must register this change of address at the Einwohnermeldeamt. To register at the Einwohnermeldeamt, you will need your passport and a rental contract. In order to make this process easier for you, the international office arranges set times when students who live in Brandenburg can go together to the Einwohnermeldeamt in accompanied groups.
All non-EU-students in Germany – including those who do not require a visa - need a residence permit. The residence permit must be applied for at the Ausländerbehörde (Foreigner's registration office) in the city of residence before the visa expires.
The Ausländerbehörde is located at:
14772 Brandenburg an der Havel
Bus and Tram station: Willibald-Alexis-Straße (Straßenbahnlinie 6 / Buslinie E)
Telephone: 03381 - 58 33 21
Tuesday 09.00 - 12.00 a.m. and 01.00 - 6.00 p.m.
Thursday 07:30 - 12:00 a.m. and 01.00 - 3.00 p.m.
At the moment the Foreigner's registration office remains due to the pandemic.
In order to enrol at a German university, a student must have health insurance. This insurance policy must provide unlimited coverage in the case of illness.
Students from EU countries should bring along the European Health Insurance card, which can be obtained from the student's health insurance provider in his/her home country. If you have private insurance within the EU, you will need to present documentation of this insurance.
All non-EU students must take out health insurance in Germany. At the beginning of the semester, the international office organizes a group appointment for taking out a health insurance policy. It is highly recommended to also take out a third-party liability insurance.
You can find general information on German health insurance at http://en.1a-krankenversicherung.de/student or https://www.studying-in-germany.org/health-insurance-germany-guide/
In order to make the transition to your life in Brandenburg easier, the international office offers information sessions.
In these sessions, student mentors will help you get through the formalities, put together a course schedule, show you the closest grocery store, etc.
For the winter semester 2020, you can also ask our student buddy Ms Maria Ponce at poncedur(at)th-brandenburg.de
Semester - ticket
This ticket is a season ticket valid for the duration of a semester (six months) and entitles its holder to any number of trips using public transportation within the designated zones (i.e. between Brandenburg and Potsdam and Berlin, everywhere in the Federal States of Berlin and Brandenburg). All students are obliged (some exceptions exist) to buy this ticket.
Mensa and Cafeteria
The university mensa (dining hall) and cafeteria on campus are open from Monday to Friday. The cafeteria, opened from 8 a.m., serves breakfast and snacks. Lunch is available in the mensa from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. There are four meal options every day, ranging in price from € 1,20 to € 2,50.
Culture and sports
The students’ association organizes various types of sporting activities, such as volleyball, basketball, football, chess, water sports and table tennis. You can register for these activities at the sports office of AStA.
The student bar is situated on campus in the cellar of the main building and is called “IQ”. Parties and events take place there on a regular basis and students are also permitted to organize their own parties and art exhibitions there. “IQ” is a meeting place for students and teaching staff alike.
Living costs in Brandenburg amount to about € 500 - 600 Euro monthly. There are several scholarship opportunities. Please check www.daad.de/deutschland/stipendium/en/
Students living in Brandenburg permanently during their studies can obtain a yearly student's bonus of 100 EUR from the city authorities.
GEZ Broadcasting fee (Rundfunkbeitrag)
The broadcasting contribution is the current model for financing the public service broadcasters (Radio and TV) in Germany. After moving into an apartment, you should immediately register at www.rundfunkbeitrag.de., because not paying is an administrative offense and punishable by a fine.
• has to be paid in any case, it’s irrelevant if you have a radio or TV in your room or not.
• has to be paid per apartment, not per person. If you live in a shared flat, you can share the costs of € 17.98 per month with your flat mates.
• in the dorm: dorm rooms departing from a generally accessible hallway are considered to be apartments
• ends when you leave, don´t forget to inform the contribution service in the same month
Opening a bank account
It is advisable to open a bank account as soon as possible after arrival. In some cases, a bank account is even required, for example, to transfer the rent for accommodation.
You need the following documents to open an account:
• confirmation of registration of the residents’ office
• enrollment certificate in order to benefit from special offers for students.
Business hours of shops
Many of you may be taken aback by the opening hours in Germany, at least for those who come from countries where shops are open seven days a week. You should better forget about that in Germany. According to German law, shops have to be closed on Sundays. You’ll be surprised how fast you’ll adapt. Supermarkets are open from 8 a.m. to 8 or 10 p.m. Monday to Friday, other shops from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. On Saturday, small shops generally close by 2 p.m. at the latest, but large ones are open until 8 p.m. Supermarkets such as Aldi are open until 8 p.m., Netto near the University until 9 p.m. and Real and Rewe are open until 10 p.m. Don’t forget to buy extra provisions for Sundays! But in case you do forget, there are some bakeries open on Sundays, and if you don’t like bread or cake, you’ll still “survive” on a big, delicious Döner Kebab for € 4.00 at any Turkish takeaway open almost 24/7.
You can also get convenience goods at petrol stations, which are open on Sundays, but the prices are higher than those in supermarkets are.
Tap Water = Drinking Water
Tap water is drinking water and one of the safest and most controlled beverages/foods in Germany; often it even comes from the same sources as bottled mineral water. One litre of tap water costs on average 0.2 cents, one liter of mineral water from the supermarket between 19 and 90 cents.
Deposit on bottles and cans
If you buy beverages in bottles or cans, you often pay a deposit from 8 to 25 cents, which you get back, if you return the empties.
• Single-use PET plastic bottles and cans (water, softdrinks, beer) marked with the black on white square sign with a can and a bottle framed by an arrow: 25 cent deposit at refund centers in each supermarket
• Reusable glass or plastic bottles (water, soft drinks) often with no label at all, sometimes marked with Mehrwegflasche, Pfandflasche or a blue angel sign: 15 cent deposit in shops selling the brand
• Reusable glass beer bottles: 8 cent deposit in shops selling the brand
• Standard beer crate (20 bottles): deposit of €3.10
The German system for recycling and waste separation is not as complicated, as you may possibly think. There are four different colored bins – every bin for a certain type of waste:
• Yellow bin or bag: Lightweight packaging, e.g. aluminium foil, plastic bags, tins, yoghurt cups, juice and milk cartons, plastic bottles, coffee packs.
• Blue bin: Paper waste and cardboard, for example, paper bags, newspapers, catalogs, writing paper, cartons, cigarette packs.
• Brown bin: compostable kitchen and garden waste, e.g. coffee and tea dregs, fruit and vegetables remains, eggshells, leaves.
• Black or grey bins: Residual or household waste, types of waste that cannot be recycled, e.g. hygiene articles, dirty packaging, shoes, household items, vacuum cleaner bags, diapers, cigarette butts.
• Glass containers: Glass bottles with no deposit on them (wine, juice, vinegar) and preserving jars. Usually there are containers for white glass, for brown glass and for stained glass. To avoid creating waste is, therefore, still the easiest way to tackle the issue.
Cuisine and Eating
Germans appreciate international food – in big cities, you find almost every cuisine from all over the world and even every smaller town has its Italian, Asian, Greek and Indian restaurants, not to forget the popular Turkish takeaways.
German cuisine is not all about sauerkraut – it´s much more about bread, rolls, sliced sausages and cold cuts. There are more varieties of bread and rolls than in most other countries in the world - at least 3,000. More than 1500 different kinds of sausages and cold cuts are known in Germany. So it´s hardly surprising, that Germans usually have bread and/or rolls with different spreads and cuts for breakfast, at break-time and for dinner.
• A typically German Frühstück (breakfast) is easy to prepare: You just need a hot beverage (coffee, tea or cocoa), fresh rolls and various spreads and toppings, like butter or margarine, jam, honey, cheese, sliced sausages or cold cuts and if you like, in addition some fruit, a boiled egg, a glass of juice. – Enjoy!