Documents & Bank Account

If you read other pages before getting here you might have already understood that you will have to deal with so many documents and forms, that your head will start to spin! However, with a little organization you will manage to sort out everything. To sum up (and also to add some new info) here below are listed all the important documents you need for a regular, troublefree erasmus in berlin.

Anmeldung (Registration at the City Hall)

Regardless if you come from an EU country or not, as soon as you will arrive in Berlin you will have to register at the City Hall in order to communicate that, since that moment, you will be living in Germany. So, in order to get this document go to the closer “Rathaus” (City Hall) in your district and say that you need to get an Anmeldung (registration). You will be asked for your personal data, including the address where you are living in Berlin. Don’t forget to bring also the rent contract with you; if you don’t have it because you live in a shared flat, ask your landlord to write a document stating that you’re currently living in that place. As the Anmeldung is the proof that you are a regular student living in Berlin, we recommend you to make a copy of this document and keep it always in your wallet just in case someone asks you.

Bank Account

After that, you will be also able to open a Local Bank Account, which will give you the chance to get the famous Begrüßungsgeld (Welcome Money) in the amount of € 50. You can pick whatever Bank Institute you like, as long as it is German.
The most common form of account in Germany is a checking account (Girokonto) that will offer you several services such as deposit and withdraw money at any time; arrange standing orders (Dauerauftrag) for regular payments like the rent, gym, Internet, etc.; arrange transfer orders (Überweisung); get an EC card, a debit card tied to an account that can be used to make payments or withdraw money from a cash machine.
To open the account it’s enough to go to the bank you choose with your ID and student card, as well as a proof of residence in Germany (your Anmeldung). As in most cases students are exempted from account management fees, it doesn’t really matter which institute you choose, because you will probably get similar conditions everywhere.
When you open an account don’t forget to ask for the Online banking service as well. It is usually free and offers you the comfort to check your financial status whenever you want from a laptop or pc and gives you also the possibility to transfer money and do other operations.
Most commonly used banks in Germany:
• Berliner Sparkasse (it has the highest amount of ATMs in the city)
• Berliner Volksbank
• Commerzbank
• Deutsche Bank 24
• Dresdner Bank
• Postbank
• Sparda-Bank

Some direct banks:
• Comdirect
• Deutsche Kreditbank
• ING-DiBa
• NetBank

Health Insurance

By enrolling at a University, all students have to present a confirmation document of a German public health insurance company valid for the time of their studies in Berlin. You have two options to get such a confirmation:
1. If you already have a health insurance policy from your home country (European health insurance card) with you, you can present this one at a German public health insurance company. This way you will be exempted from the German public health insurance and obtain an exemption confirmation.
2. If you do not hold a European health insurance card, you will have to request a German public student health insurance which costs approximately € 67/month.
The confirmation document (original) is required for the enrolment, so don’t forget to keep a copy for you!
Public health insurance companies in Berlin (AOK, Barmer, DAK, TK…)