ADDRESS IN GERMANY
Many of you must already be knowing this, but just to clarify. Here in Germany, the address contains probably just three lines:
(Name of recipient)
(Street Name, Number)
(Post Code, City)
So, in Munich, if we get just a street number and name, it is enough to travel to that exact location
FLOW OF ADMINISTRATIVE STUFF
Below given are a flow of administrative stuff that you should do in an order. Some of the points are explained later in the doc elaborately.
CITY REGISTRATION ➡️ First thing you do here in Germany. Required documents are Wohnungsgeberbestätigung, filled and Signed Application Form, Passport and VISA. You will get documents like your Tax ID Document (Steuer ID number), Social Insurance Number document etc. Please make sure you take few copies of the Confirmation of City Registration as you might need to produce this for many administrative stuffs. Keep the original safe as well.
BANK ACCOUNT OPENING ➡️ You should complete the City Registration initially, after that you can open the Bank Account.
SIM CARD ➡️ You can take Sim Card after you have opened Bank Account. Not exactly to be third in the list, but anyway, you cannot take a SIM Card with CONTRACT without a Bank Account, so adding it here. Also, you can take Prepaid Sim Card, without bank account.
BLOCKED ACC. UNBLOCKING ➡️ Once you open the Bank Account, you will have an IBAN number. You should upload your bank account number in your blocked account portal (EXPATRIO / FINTIBA / CORACLE). After you update this, you will get the monthly dispersal of 863 Euros to your Bank Account which you can withdraw.
HEALTH INSURANCE ACTIVATION ➡️ You should activate your health insurance also once you have reached here. You must give your bank account IBAN number for this as well. This is for the health insurance company to deduct the monthly amount. They will automatically debit your account an amount of 120 Euros ever month. Once you activate the HEALTH INSURANCE ACTIVATION, you will get an Insurance Card also. For TK, you have an app, which you must activate. This requires some OTPs etc. etc. which they send through the post.
UNIVERSITY ENROLMENT ➡️ Most of you might already have completed the Enrollment, still adding this as a point here
Most of the immediate things that you should do are above. Only administrative stuff I can remember now is:
RESIDENCE PERMIT ➡️ You can do this probably before 1 month of your validity of the Student VISA. To be on the safer side, do it 1 or 2 months before your expiry.
TRANSPORTATION IN MUNICH
- The Munich central station will be where you reach if you are travelling in an ICE from Frankfurt.
- You can also reach the Munich Airport if you are coming directly. You will get S1 or S8 trains from the Airport (just follow the green ‘S’ symbol which will lead you to the S-Bahn platforms).
• There are four modes of local transport which you will mostly use in Munich (Symbols given below):
For tram-stops or bus-stops, there is an important thing you should keep in mind. These usually come in pairs. i.e there will be two bus stops opposite to each other. And there will be two same bus numbers, but which are going in opposite directions. It means, you should check the ‘bus’ or ‘tram’ line number as well as its direction. If you take the correct bus number, but the opposite direction one, then it will cost you a lot of time. Maybe once or twice, you might do this mistake once you are here. But you will learn from them probably.
- For transportation in and around Munich, you can use, either of the two apps:
- In bus-stops or tram-stops, you will see the below board. (This is an example)
This first picture is from Tram stop at ‘Leonrodplatz’. From the board you can see that Tram number ‘20’ in the ‘direction of Karlsplatz’ will go through this stop. In the opposite side of this stop, you will see another similar symbol with the same tram number ‘20’ but in the opposite direction.
The second picture is from a bus stop ‘Hohenzollernstr.’ You can see bus line ‘54’ towards ‘Muenchner Freiheit’ passes through this bus stop. Like the trams, you will find a bus stop opposite to this somewhere, which has the same bus line ‘54’ but goes towards the opposite direction.
• Notes about the trains through Munich Hauptbahnhof (Munich HBF) (Central Station)
S-Bahns through Munich HBF: S1, S2, S3, S4, S6, S7, S8
U-Bahns through Munich HBF: U1, U2, U4, U5, U7
Karlplatz, Marienplatz are two important stations in Munich which is very near to Munich Hauptbahnhof. These are two stations which are also at walkable distances from Central Station.
NOTE: There are also U3 and U6 lines which DO NOT run through Hauptbahnhof but run via Marienplatz.
- All the S-Bahn services which touch the Hauptbahnhof goes through the stations always.
Hackerbrucke <-> Hauptbahnhof <-> Karlplatz <-> Marienplatz <-> Isartor <-> Rosenheimer Platz <-> Munich Ostbahnhof
This means, all S-Bahns goes through these stations always. The re-direction of each line to their actual destination usually takes place either from Munich Ostbahnhof in that direction or from Munich Hauptbahnhof in the other direction. Hope I’m clear about this.
- AIRPORT Connections – You usually have S1 or S8 S-Bahn lines which travel to and from the airport.
MONTHLY TRANSPORTATION TICKETS / SEMESTER TICKETS
• As you can see from the above picture, the transport in Munich is divided into zones. The M Zone is the biggest one, centered around Hauptbahnhof (Central Station). After M-Zone, there are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 Zones.
• For the general public, for frequent travellers, there are two main cards.
ISAR Card Monthly
ISAR Card Weekly
You can check here
For example, an ISAR Card Monthly which covers all zones M-6 costs around 227.50 Euros / month.
• For students, as far as I know, the Semester ticket given from TU Munich covers only the travels during the week from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and all day on weekends and public holidays.
So, if the students want to travel weekdays during the daytime, without any restriction on time on working days and weekends, it is better to take an Extended Semester Ticket. It costs around 210 Euros for a total of 6 months (one full semester). Personally, I suggest you can take this, since this is for whole 6 months, and you can travel seamlessly without worrying.
The extended Semester ticket can be taken with our matriculation number from one of the MVG Machines which is available in different S-Bahn stations. I’ll try to cover this also in one of the videos if possible
IMPORTANT SHOPS & SUPERMARKETS:
There are a lot of supermarkets here.
• Out of these, prices in EDEKA and REWE are usually a bit more than the other ones. KAUFLAND is usually very big, and almost everything is available there, discounts can also be there.
• Penny is rare in Munich (don’t know why), but prices are very low in Penny compared to other supermarkets.
• In Munich, usually, all the supermarkets are closed except for the ‘EDEKA’ in Hauptbahnhof.
‘dm’ is an important shop here in Germany. You will get all cosmetics, healthcare items, toiletry items, household products, health food and drinks from here.
• For clothing, you have a lot of main shops like C&A, H&M, ZARA, ONLY etc. etc.
You also have ‘NEWYORKER’ and ‘PRIMARK’ where you might get cheaper prices.
There are lots more. You can roam around and explore more and more
TECHNOLOGY / ELECTRONIC APPLIANCES:
’Media Markt’ and ‘Saturn’ are the main two big shops where you can get electronics and electrical items. It can be anything from Gaming to Kitchen Appliances, everything.
CITY REGISTRATION IN MUNICH (KVR)
Once you are in Munich, you must do the City Registration. In Germany, every resident is required to register his or her place of residence. The registration takes place at the local authority, which is responsible for it. This is very important, since you usually require this registration confirmation to open a bank account, take a SIM (with contract), or any other contractual services in Germany.
City registration in Munich is done by the ‘Kreisverwaltungsreferat’ (KVR) office.
Required documents are:
1. Passport and VISA
2. Completed and Signed City Registration Application form
3. Wohnungsgeberbestatigung – This is a document which your landlord gives you as a confirmation that you are living in his/her property.
• For Residences inside Munich Municipality, you should take the appointment in one of the KVR offices in Munich from the below website. You should download the REGISTRATION FORM from here under Downloads section which you should fill. Also, the landlord usually gives you the Wohnungsgeberbestätigung in the same format as the one which you can download from the below site.
• For Residences in the outskirts of Munich, you will have to take an appointment from the respective municipality’s website. You should also download the REGISTRATION FORM to be filled by you, from that municipality’s website. Template might be different from the Munich City one.
All the grey parts and the white parts outside München in the below picture are different municipalities.
Once you have the appointment booked, you can go to the office, wait for your token to come, and then get it completed in 10 minutes (if you have the required documents correctly in place).
Opening a bank account is also a very important item in your checklist. This is because, once you have done the process, you will get your IBAN number and must update it in the EXPATRIO or CORACLE or FINTIBA portal, to start dispersal of your monthly Blocked Amount to your bank account. Similarly, you must update this IBAN number for the monthly Health Insurance deduction from TK. Bank Account is also required to take SIM Cards with Contract.
There are a lot of options for you, in terms of which bank to select. Here, everything works with appointments. Different banks will have different maintenance costs, student offers etc. etc.
Some of the main banks found here are COMMERZBANK, SPARKASSE, DEUTSCHE BANK.
There are also some banks like Monese, N26 etc. which works completely online.
I use SPARKASSE Bank Account. For me, no difficulties till now. I also have Giropay facility in the Sparkasse App, which kind of works like a Google Pay. It helps us to pay people in your contact list having Sparkasse accounts directly, or even to other banks’ accounts if we have the IBAN numbers. You should probably take appointments with representatives from one of the above banks. You should check COMMERZBANK, SPARKKASE and DEUTSCHE BANK. Take appointments with the representatives.
Check criterias like ‘Maintenance Charges (Monthly)’, ‘Student Offers’, ‘Cash Withdrawal Limit and Charges’, ‘Debit Cards and Credit Cards’, ‘Services in English’, ‘Mobile App (preferably in English)’ etc.
The main mobile network providers here in Germany are Vodafone, Telekom and O2.
Then, there are a lot of other providers, who use one of the above one’s networks for their working.
You will get SIM Cards LIDL Connect, ALDI Talk, Lebara etc. According to my understanding, you can order these cards online. These are all as far as I know, prepaid cards. Contracts cancellable in 1 month or so. Means, you cannot cancel it for 1 month. There may be other duration (validity) cards also. You must check this and research a bit.
Main thing is, there are SIM Cards which you can take WITH or WITHOUT CONTRACT.
For me, once I reached Germany, I used my passport, went to MEDIAMARKT in Hamburg. I took a VODAFONE Sim card, which was a prepaid one. It was without any CONTRACT. This might not be a feasible option for a long-term plan.
So, once I did the CITY REGISTRATION, and opened a BANK ACCOUNT, I disposed the VODAFONE Sim card, and took a ‘WinSim’ SIM Card in CONTRACT. I ordered it online. For me, it is working fine till now. No complaints yet. With Contract means, you will be signing a SEPA Form, which says they can take the monthly amount from our bank account whatsoever. So, I took the SIM Card for 2 years, and even if I don’t use it, they will deduct the 7 Euros monthly. There will be different offers for different providers. You must again research on this. For WinSim, when you check the site, it might have different offers at different times. I took a 5GB per month plan for 7 Euros monthly, whereas some of my friends took 4GB per month for 6 Euro etc. etc. So, the offers keep on changing for WinSim. It is quite cheap as well. I see a lot of bad reviews for WinSim, but personally I have not yet had any bad experiences yet.
NOTE: You cannot take the WITH CONTRACT Sim cards when you land because you need to provide them your bank account details for them to deduct the monthly amount.
Also, remember that the Sim Cards in Germany have a lock on them (they are password protected). You will get it when you get the SIM. You should keep your PIN safe. Most importantly, don’t lose it!
DOCTORS & APPOINTMENTS
To be frank, and fortunately, I did not come across a situation, where I had to call or visit a doctor. But yes, it is also an important aspect here. I have asked one of my friends about this. Here is what I got.
Quoting my friend:
“I had the TK Insurance Card. I called TK Helpline and asked to find a Haus Arzt for me. TK said, it will take some time. (Maybe two weeks). You can search for English speaking doctors through the TK site.
“Since, they told it will take time, I just Google searched for an English-speaking Doctor. I found one, contacted him directly to his clinic, booked an appointment. I just went there with the TK Insurance Card and had a consultation. I mentioned at the reception of the clinic that I am coming here for the first time, and can you be the Hausarzt for me. They said, I’m already registered now in his clinic, and hence he is already my Hausarzt now. I had an initial consultation with the doctor. Then for further check-up, he referred me to another specialized doctor. “
“Keep in mind, whenever you go to the doctor, whenever he prescribes you the medicine, or a check-up or a blood test, make sure, you ask and clarify whether this will be covered in our Health Insurance.”
I know that this is very less information regarding the ‘Doctors’ and ‘Appointments’, but this is all I got. Apologies!
VISA EXTENSIONS (RESIDENCE PERMIT) & WORK PERMITS:
When you initially travel to Germany, as a student, you usually have a Student VISA stamped in your passport for a duration of 3 / 6 months. Once you are here, you need to complete all the initial formalities. Within the validity of your VISA, before the expiry, you should take an appointment in your responsible office (one of the KVR offices if inside Munich Municipality) for a Residence Permit (which is a card which states you can stay here in Germany for a temporary 1 or 2 years).
I took my Residence Permit from Hamburg. There, the duration of the RPs given to people depended on the amount that we show as means of maintenance. We either had to show a blocked account amount, or maybe a working student contract, which will convince them, we have enough for these many months. But in Munich, it is quite lucky for students.
Since in Munich’s site, it says, The Residence permit for studying is usually granted for two years and can be extended. In Hamburg, I know people who got 1 year, and unfortunately, even 6 months.
I have also come to learn that the blocked amount requirement per month has been increased now from €10,332 to €11,172. So there can be a situation where the duration of your residence permit may depend the means of maintenance that you show. But lets be optimistic, and hope you will get it for 2 years
Also, there is a limit to working for students. You can only work 240 half days or 120 full days in year. Also, it translates to 20 hours a week. According to the German laws, students shouldn’t work for more than 20 hours a week during the standard lecture period. However, they can work for more hours, if it is their lecture-free period. I do not have an exact idea of how this works (working more than 20 hours during lecture-free period), but this is the law here. If you work for more than 20 hours a week during your lecture period, what I understood is that you will lose your student status and all benefits that come along with it.
This is a quite extensive topic. As you all might already know, there are usually two ways to do student jobs here.
- TECHNICAL JOBS: You can work for companies in your own field of study or maybe related to your previous work experience. Once you reach here, you must search on your own, explore, and find working student opportunities in companies of your interests. You can also always check up on, notice boards / department pages in universities, there might be Tutor / Research Assistant / Teaching Assistant posts in universities, which will pay you. As far as I know, if you work in some post in university, then I think you don’t have to pay taxes for that also.
- NON-TECHNICAL JOBS: There are different jobs like Folding Clothes in shops like Primark, New Yorker, ZARA etc., Grocery Delivery Jobs, Store Inventory Jobs etc. In my initial days, I went to Primark as well as two times in Deutsche Post.
You can either be directly employed by the companies like Flink (Grocery Delivery), Lieferando or GETIR etc. OR You can work on shifts. I used Job Valley (Also called JobMensa). This company is like an HR consultancy firm which works between the Employers and the Employees (students like us). Once we register with Job Valley, they take an interview for us (it’s a very primitive one, no worries). Once we are into the system, we can ask for jobs to be activated for us. In the app, we can see the shifts for jobs which are activated. We can see how many hours this shift is, where this shift is, what the job is, etc. We can select the shift according to our availability and go the place, report to the superior there. If we are there for the first time, they will show us what the job is. By the way, if any of you after coming here, are planning to register in Job Valley, do let me know, there is some referral thing I think, maybe we both can benefit from it. So please consider it.
Before doing any of these, you should have completed the FLOW OF ADMINISTRATIVE STUFF which you read in the beginning of this doc. Because, for working, you need to provide, health insurance details, Tax Details, Social Insurance details etc.
IF YOU REACHED THIS FAR,
I REALLY HOPE YOU GOT ATLEAST SOMETHING USEFUL.
THANKS FOR READING!
HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL HERE SOON!
HERZLICH WILLKOMMEN IN MÜNCHEN