Preparing to travel to Germany for your studies
How can you prepare to travel to Germany for your studies?
A few useful tips prior to your departure
1. Collecting your Visa
In case you need a visa to come to Germany, the first step is to collect your visa and ensure that it is in order and that they have given you ample time to settle down. Usually the standard issued duration is 3 months. You will need to get a residence permit after your arrival before the visa expires
2. Book your flights/travel appropriately
Once you are sure of the allowed travel dates, it’s time to book your flight/train/bus.
In case you are booking flights, check to make sure that you can reach your place of accommodation from the destination airport conveniently. Usually airports are located a bit far away from city centres. It is thus important to plan how you will get to your new home conveniently. Note that taxis in Germany tend to be quite expensive. You can opt for public transport and use the bus, train or other available means if you are on a budget.
Another thing to keep in mind is that lecture periods start on time as indicated in your offer letter or university page. Try to plan your arrival to be at least few days or even weeks prior to the start date if you can. This will help you sort out a lot of other requirements making your transition smooth and hassle free. The orientation period is also very important and usually happens before the lecture period starts. Plan to attend it if you can.
3. Confirm your accommodation
It is crucial that you confirm the details of your accommodation such as your address and availability before you set off. The last thing you want is to arrive and find the place you wanted to stay at is not available and you have nowhere to go.
In case you haven’t found a place to stay yet or your move in date is much later than anticipated , most students book rooms at cheap hostels or if your budget allows at a hotel just for the meantime. From the hostel, you can search for a place or wait out until your time to move in comes.
4. Carry your Documents
Make sure you pack all the necessary certificates and documents you may require during your stay. This can save you a fair deal of shipping costs.
If possible, try to print out your enrollment/acceptance letters back home and any other documents that may require printing.
5. Biometric passport photo
If possible, take at least 4 passport photographs with you because you will need them for other applications once you arrive. It is more convenient if you do it in your home country.
6. Plan for the Weather/Season
In case you do not come from a region with similar as that in Germany, check your weather guide and plan/dress up accordingly.
If you will start classes in the winter semester, usually in September/October, expect rainy days and chilly temperatures.
For those starting in the summer semester, pack your sunglasses and stay hydrated. Summer temperatures may vary by region. So check the highs and lows and keep your head up for some summer rain.