There are four steps you need to take after your arrival in Berlin in order to enroll with the Student Administration Office at Freie Universität Berlin, and to be able to use the advantages of your student status (assuming at this point that you already have an apartment and a rental contract).
First, you have to go to a Berliner Bürgeramt [German] where you need to register. The registration is necessary to open a bank account, to sign up for health insurance, and for enrollment at Freie Universität Berlin.
In order to register during the visiting hours at a Berliner Bürgeramt you need to fill out the registration form and the supplementary sheet, and you need to show your passport as well as your rental contract or sublease contract. We highly suggest you immediately (before your arrival) book an online appointment!
2. Opening of an account
It is essential that you have an official residence in Germany in order to open an account. A checking account is necessary for all receipts and payments (grant disbursement, invoices, rent, etc.) in Germany. You can open an account with any bank or any Deutsche Post branch. You will need your passport, your registration card and a confirmation of your status as a doctoral student, or that you have an income of over 1250 EUR.
Overview of Berlin banks [German]
3. Health insurance
As a doctoral student, the statutory health insurance does not consider you a regular student, and so you are exempt from the insurance obligation. This means that you may voluntarily sign up for the statutory insurance, for which you will have to pay a percentage of your income (amount depends on the statutory insurance’s rate). You will need proof of health insurance in order to apply for your residence permit for study purposes.
In order to sign up for health insurance, you generally need to have a German bank account. Some insurances also require the registration card, a confirmation of your enrollment in doctoral studies, a residence permit for at least one year, and your passport.
For your enrollment as a doctoral student you need to submit the following documents to the enrollment office of the Student Administration Office:
- the original letter of admission to the doctoral studies program
- the application for enrollment completed by you
- a photocopy of an official ID indicating your full first and last name as well as your semester address
- the original graduation certificate
- the original university entrance certificate
- the certificate of withdrawal from the last (German) university in which you were enrolled (educational residents only)
- passport (with visa) if you do not have German citizenship
- ATM card to pay semester fees (may also be paid by cash transfer for a fee)
After receiving your admission to the doctoral studies program you have four weeks to enroll at Freie Universität Berlin.