Advisory service for international students (Campus Berlin)

Jeannine Muhlack

My name is Jeannine Muhlack and I am responsible for the Visa and Career Service at HMKW Berlin. If you have any questions regarding the application of your residence permit, your start of studies, job search and many other topics, I will be happy to assist you.

Room 3.69, 3rd floor.

Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 46 77 693 - 19

j.muhlack[at]hmkw.de

FAQ: Before your study start at HMKW

Do I have to obtain a student residence permit?

Please note, the above information is intended as a general guide only and may vary depending on your country of origin. Please visit the Ausländerbehörde webpage for more information.

The general prerequisites for obtaining a residency for the purpose of studying in Berlin include:

  • Registered residence in Berlin - the Berlin Foreigners Registration Office can only issue residence permits to foreign nationals who are registered residents of Berlin. Click here for more information on registering your residence in Berlin.
  •  University place - you must be enrolled or have conditional approval for studying in order to be issued a residence permit.

Required documents include:

  • A valid passport
  • 1 current biometric photo
  • Completed "Application for Issuance of a Residence Permit" form (only required for first-time applicants)
  • Proof of secure livelihood e.g. a blocked account confirmation with 10,332 € / obligation form/declaration from financial sponsor (e.g. parents, relative, friend, etc.) scurrying the livelihood for the duration of the studies with the amount of 861 € per month / scholarship
  • German Health insurance certificate
  • Certificate of enrolment or conditional approval for studying
How do I get a student residence permit? Can you help me?

At HMKW, we offer a visa service and Jeannine Muhlack can hand in the documents at the Immigration Office for you. You do not have to attend this appointment. She has regular appointments at the Immigration Office.

When you have all documents ready, you can submit them by email.

The following documents are required:

  • Colour copies of passport visa page and normal page
  • Entry stamp to EU/Schengen area/Germany
  • Application form filled in and signed (please get in touch with Ms. Muhlack to retrieve the form)
  • Blocked Account statement with 10,332 € OR Obligation Form
  • Health insurance
  • Anmeldung

In addition, 1 current biometric passport size photo is required. Please send it by post to: HMKW, Frau Muhlack, Ackerstr. 76, 13355 Berlin.

Now, the new electronic residence permit is in place and the overall process takes approx. 6-8 weeks. Approx. 2-3 weeks after we handed in the documents for you, you will be invited by email to go to the Immigration Office to take your fingerprint. After another ca. 4 weeks the new residence permit card will be sent to your address in Berlin by post. 

How do I open a bank account?

Normally, when opening a current bank account (Girokonto), they also accept your passport with the entry visa. Please check out many different banks. For example: 

https://www.berliner-sparkasse.de/de/home/service/filiale-finden.html?n=true&stref=imagebox#institute-list

https://www.targobank.de/de/filialen/filialsuche/index.html

https://www.deutsche-bank.de/pk/filialsuche.html

You can also try direct (internet) banks such as:

openbank: https://www.openbank.de/girokonto?gclid=CjwKCAjwjbCDBhAwEiwAiudByzmNPdxpwH8nIW7FWehmAZKAnu6UzaLdPBPipmthaw1InU4BpwFbzhoCwIcQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

comdirect: https://www.comdirect.de/konto/girokonto.html

DKB: https://www.dkb.de/privatkunden/dkb_cash/

Consorsbank: https://www.consorsbank.de/ev/Girokonto/-/Basiskonto

PSD: https://www.psd-berlin-brandenburg.de/privatkunden/girokonto-und-karte/konten-im-ueberblick.html

ING: https://www.ing.de/lp/girokonto-student/?wt_cc2=CU2G4&wt_ga=_475629283417&wt_kw=e__ing%20konto%20er%C3%B6ffnen&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI7d-6tb347wIV1hoGAB3IgQ1cEAAYASADEgKh8vD_BwE

How do I get my 'Anmeldung' done?

After you have arrived in Berlin, the first important requirement you have to fulfill is to get your 'Anmeldung' done. After you have found a place to live in Berlin and have obtained a letting agreement by your landlord, you have to register your address with the local authorities here in Berlin at the so-called ‚Bürgeramt‘ (which is NOT the Foreigner’s Office). This is called the ‚Anmeldung‘.

Please schedule an appointment at the website of the Bürgeramt for 'Anmelden einer Wohnung': https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/120686/   Click on „Termin berlinweit suchen “ (search for appointments across Berlin). This will take you to a calendar. The days shown underlined in light blue still have appointments available. Click on the relevant day to see which Bürgeramt still have appointments free.

It is always better to accept an earlier appointment at a Bürgeramt even if it is not in your district. Berlin‘s Bürgerämter are overstretched, you may have to wait for an appointment for several weeks. Please also check in to the calendar at several times during the day in case no available appointments should show. Sometimes when appointments get cancelled the available time slot will be published again on the Bürgeramt‘s website. Therefore, it is worth checking it regularly to get a ‚last-minute‘ appointment.

As soon as you have your Anmeldung done, we can start your residence permit application process. At HMKW, we offer a visa service. Please get in touch with Ms Muhlack to start the application process.

FAQ: During your studies at HMKW

Do I need to get Health Insurance?

In Germany it is necessary by law that you have a health insurance. You have the choice between a private insurance (either from your home country or from Germany) or you can get health insurance from the German social health insurance fund.

90% of the students in Germany opt for the social health insurance fund. This insurance costs around 120 € per month. It also covers your family at no extra costs. You will be issued an insurance card and can go to any doctor, dentist or hospital without paying for the treatment or equipment.

With a private health insurance, you need to pay for the treatment in advance and get reimbursed by your insurance company once you hand in the receipts.

You do not need to get health insurance in advance. Once you get to Germany you can get insured during the first days of your stay.

Is it possible to extend my residence permit?

Yes, we can apply for an extension of your residence permit for (one more semester).

The following documents are required to apply for the extension of your residence permit:

  • Color copy of your current residence permit
  • Color copy of the main page of your passport
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Copy of your registration
  • Bank account statements for the last 6 months

Please email all documents to Jeannine Muhlack.

In addition, please mail 1 recent biometric passport photo to: HMKW, Ms. Muhlack, Ackerstr. 76, 13355 Berlin.

The new electronic residence permit is now in effect and the entire process takes approximately 6-8 weeks. Approximately 2-3 weeks after we have submitted the documents for you, you will be invited by e-mail to go to the Aliens' Registration Office for fingerprinting. After another approx. 4 weeks, the new residence permit card will be sent by mail to your address in Berlin

FAQ: Finances

Is it possible to pursue the Master program while working (full-time)?

As a student in Germany, you are allowed to work 20 hours per week during lecture time periods. You can work more than 20 hours per week in the semester vacations after the last exam is written, which is mid February until end of March in the winter semester, and beginning of august until end of September in the summer semester. Working students contracts are always based on these conditions. 

As an international student, you are allowed to work 120 full days (8 hours per day) per calendar year (Jan.-Dec.) and not more. 120 full days is 6 months of a year in which you are allowed to work full-time. So for example, when you take a vacation semester and decide to do an internship full-time for the full semester (6 months), your 120 full days would be up already and you are not allowed to work any additional day within this year. 

A good site to search for jobs is: https://de.indeed.com/jobs?q=Working+Student&l=Berlin.

You can search for 'Working Student' and 'Berlin'. In the job ads, please check the language requirements first. In many ads, they also ask for German language skills, but they are also jobs where just English is required. 

How do I apply for a student job? Do you have any tips for me?

First of all, please check that your cover letter overall is not too standard. Please always find out the name of the HR manager or whoever you address to and make the cover letter more personal. Please also think about why the company is special to you and why you really want to work there. This is what HR personnel is looking for, your passion for the company. This you should write about in the first paragraph of the cover letter in 2 to 3 sentences. Before applying, please always try to find out why the company stands out to you, for example on their website.

This creates work for you but it is worth it in the end. When you write about your own experience, be precise, to the point and shorten your cover letter. Give examples of your work, but always refer to the requirements of your future job of the job ad. Overall, it's important to mention in your cover letter what the company would gain from your experience when they hire you. And not how you can develop when you work for them.

If you are interested, you can submit your CV and cover letter to Jeannine Muhlack (Career Service, HMKW Berlin). She will check it according to German standards. 

Are there any scholarship opportunities?

Tuition fees often represent a hurdle for students, and we hope you will find a way over it. Unfortunately, we cannot offer any scholarships or fee reductions. However, we would advise you to have a look at our search engine, if you haven't done so already:

https://www.hmkw.de/en/study/funding-and-financial-aid/scholarships/

You could also try contacting some of your home country institutions as well as your embassy in Germany to ask if they offer any potential funding/scholarships.  And of course, the DAAD scholarships (which are fully compatible with our university and our program):

Scholarship opportunities can be researched independently, e.g. at the following scholarship data base (unfortunately only in German, but it is available to foreign students). You should also check the following websites for scholarship opportunities:

How many funds do I need for accommodation, living etc?

You should calculate for a room in flat-sharing community approximately 350-700 € per month. For a single flat with one room, this will cost around 600-900 € per month. Typical student areas for living are Berlin Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain, Neukölln and Wedding. Some helpful websites are:

FAQ: After your studies at HMKW

Am I allowed to work in Germany after my graduation?

You are welcome to start your job search while you finish your studies. After you graduate in Germany, you can apply for a 'Job Seeker Visa' and then convert it to a work visa. The 'Job Seeker Visa' allows you to work (full-time or part-time) and search for other jobs. It allows you to remain in Germany for 18 months. The advantage of the 'Job Seeker Visa' compared to a 'Work Visa' is that you are not linked directly to your employer so that you are more flexible when the contract might be cancelled, for example.

Please email all documents to Jeannine Muhlack when you have them. Please also let her know when you have scheduled your defense so that she can schedule an appointment with the Immigration Office close to this date.

The following documents are required: 

  • Copy of passport 'normal' page
  • Copy of current visa page
  • Bank statements of the last 6 months
  • Anmeldung
  • Health insurance
  • Confirmation of MA graduation
  • CV and cover letter
  • List of job applications you have done (list of ca. 10-15 job applications including company name, job title, when applied, and feedback)

In addition, please send 1 current biometric passport size photo by post to: HMKW, Frau Muhlack, Ackerstr. 76, 13355 Berlin.