Guide for International Students at Berlin School of Economics and Law

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1 Guide for International Students at Berlin School of Economics and Law Under the direction of: Frau Prof. Dr. Pakize Schuchert-Güler Assisted by: Dr. Lisa Rüter, Julia Grove and Friederike Pulkenat Translation editor: Christina Fong Supported by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) and the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)

2 Contents Introduction How do I apply at the BSEL from abroad? Who are my first contact persons? Where do I get information about the study programmes? Will my certificates from abroad be accepted? How is the application procedure for me as an international student? How do I get a student s visa or a visa as an applicant for a university place? I am new in Berlin! How do I open my first bank account? How do I as an international student get a health insurance? Where and how can I find somewhere nice to live in Berlin? Student accomodation there is always somebody around Wohngemeinschaften (WGs) experience the atmosphere of Berlin Agencies (Mitwohnzentralen) the fast way I haven t found a room or flat yet! I ll look for something in between! I would like to get to know a German family How do I register my place of residence? Where do I get a Freizügigkeitsbescheinigung under the Act of General Freedom of Movement for EU Citizens? How do I apply for an Aufenthaltserlaubnis (residence permit)? Discovering Berlin with the semester ticket Do I need a new cell phone provider? I want to improve my German! The international student identity card (ISIC) The Representative for Integration- und Migration in Berlin My Study at BSEL...16

3 3.1 An overview of the campus Schöneberg An overview of the campus Lichtenberg Department International of the AstA International Office The Career Service How can I attend courses? How can I check my grades? How can I re-register? How do I finance my study? Labour regulations for students from abroad I need a part time job! How can I find an internship? Experience the diversity of Berlin in your free time! Schools and universities of Berlin offers for the free time Sports with fellow students Where do I get a good coffee? International clubs at the universities Couchsurfing good for travelling Social Media for newcomers Discover Berlin Homesick? International websites about Berlin What to do in a case of emergency? Attachment

4 Introduction Dear international student 1, We would like to give you a very warm welcome here at the Berlin School of Economics and Law! We prepared this guide for you in order to give you information before you start your studies, so you know what to expect and how you can prepare yourself. This guide was particularly written for international students who are not part of an exchange programme 2. This new phase of life brings many changes and issues with it: a challenging study program, a "new culture", new ways of behaviour, a new language and everyday challenges such as visas, housing, and finding a job. Getting used to everything sometimes is quite difficult but we are there for you with information, counselling and special offers to assist you in settling quickly and finding your ways at Berlin School of Economics and Law. 1 In Germany the term Bildungsausländer is very common. On the website of the data report Wissenschaft weltoffen from the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) and the Hochschul-Informations-Systems-GmbH (HIS) you can find the following definition: Foreign students are defined as females or males who are nationals of any other country, besides Germany, (or stateless students) and are matriculated at a German higher education institution. It is possible to differentiate between two categories of foreign students, namely Bildungsauslaender students and Bildungsinlaender students. The former are foreign students who gained their higher education entrance qualification at a foreign school and/or complemented their foreign school qualifications by attending a German Studienkolleg (preparatory course for higher education admission). Bildungsinlaender are foreign students who gained their higher education entrance qualification at a German school or who passed a Gifted Students Test (Begabtenprüfung) or an Aptitude Test (Eignungsprüfung) in Germany. (http://www.wissenschaftweltoffen.de/glossar/a07_html?lang=en, abgerufen am ). 2 If you are an international exchange student, the International Office of the Berlin School of Economics and Law will support you. 3

5 1. How do I apply at the BSEL from abroad? 1.1 Who is my first contact? Central Student Counselling (Zentrale Studienberatung) There are a lot of different counselling offers at BSEL. At the beginning of your studies and also later the Central Student Counselling will be an important contact for you. You can discuss every question you may have about study options, study exchange, study termination, exam problems as well as learning and working problems. Central Student Counselling (Zentrale Studienberatung) Contact campus Schöneberg: Personal counselling without appointment Monday a.m. Tuesday a.m. Thursday a.m. and p.m. Advice by telephone Tuesday p.m. Thursday p.m. Chat Tuesday p.m. Patrick Lange Tel. +49 (0) Building A, Room 3.06 Anne Quilisch Tel. +49 (0) Building A, Room 3.07 Contact campus Lichtenberg: Personal counselling without appointment Tuesday a.m. Wednesday a.m. Thursday p.m. Chat Tuesday p.m. Andreas Hirsch-Landau Dietmar Tänzer +49 (0) Building 1, Room

6 Contact Department of cooperative studies: Diana Jurgec Personal counselling without appointment Thursday p.m. Campus Lichtenberg Building Room Advice by telephone: +49 (0) Where do I get information about the study programmes? A first overview over your field of study and your study program you can find on the website of the BSEL: You can get detailed information about your program in the Central Student Counselling, where student counsellors will advice you personally and will answer your individual questions. Familiarize yourself with the design and the sequence of your studies as soon as possible: Which courses do you have to take and when? Which tests do you have to pass? The study offices (Studienbüros) of the departments of the BSEL will assist you with these organizational questions 1.3 Will my certificate from abroad be accepted? For you as an international student it can be important to check before the scores of your documents at UNI-ASSIST and your application at BSEL, if your matriculation examination from your home country will be accepted in Germany. If matriculation examinations are accepted, then you can be admitted directly to your program. You can check if your matriculation examination will be recognised on the following websites: Informationssystem zur Anerkennung ausländischer Bildungsabschlüsse (ANABIN) This is a central database in which information regarding examinations from abroad are listed in order to compare them with the German education system. Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen (ZAB) Here you will also find information. ZAB is the central institution for recognizing foreign qualifications in Germany: Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) The DAAD on it s website has a helpful databank too: In some cases foreign matriculation examinations are not accepted and you must have studied one or two semester in your home country before you are permitted to study in Germany. Maybe you have to pass a language test, so you see, it differs for each individual! More about the language test is available on the DAAD website: 5

7 Here in Berlin the central institution for questions regarding the recognition of qualifications is the Senatsverwaltung für Jugend, Wissenschaft und Forschung. There the qualifications needed to enter universities and colleges are evaluated. Senatsverwaltung für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung Bernhard-Weiß-Straße Berlin Tel. (030) Personal Counselling: Monday and Tuesday a.m. Thursday p.m. 1.4 How is the application procedure for me as an international student? To make your application at Berlin School of Economics and Law easier, here is some basic information. It is very important that you take care to comply with all formalities, for example: complete documents on time. Some important things you have to keep in mind: Which preconditions do you have to fulfil for the programme you have chosen? Where do you have to apply? When is the deadline? Which documents do you have to send in? There are more than 40 different programmes at the BSEL, each with different application procedures. You can inform yourself what is the correct procedure for the programme you have chosen on the website of your department. There you will find helpful tips how to apply. Information regarding the application procedure at the BSEL is listed here: In order to avoid problems, note the deadlines for applications, since they differ from programme to programme. The websites of the particular study programmes will contain all the information. Deadlines you will find here: UNI-ASSIST For international students who are not exchange students in a programme, there is an extra step in the application procedure at BSEL! It is important for you as an international student to know that you have to apply with the help of UNI-ASSIST, as in many German universities. Detailed information you please look up on the following website of the BSEL: UNI-ASSIST will look through all your documents and will check them before they are sent to the BSEL. If you have passed this check, you will get a certificate from UNI-ASSIST. For this first check, UNI-ASSIST will document all important data of your application, if your matriculation examination will be accepted in Germany, and examination grade and your language skills 6

8 (if you apply for a programme taught in German). UNI-ASSIST will forward your application to the BSEL. The decision, if you are enrolled, will be made at the BSEL. Please note that UNI-ASSIST will charge you a fee. Downloads and other details about the application and the fee you will find on the website of UNI- ASSIST: UNI-ASSIST starts to check your application after it has received all your documents and the fee. In general the check of UNI-ASSIST will take at least four weeks. 1.5 How do I get a student s visa or a visa as an applicant for a university place? As an international student you need a student s visa, if you have already been enrolled at BSEL. If you are not enrolled yet, you need a visa as an applicant for a university place. Therefore the BSEL can affirm that you have applied. For a visa you have to go to the German embassy in your home country. The documents you ll need in any case are: a valid passport an notification of admission of the BSEL or a confirmation that you have applied proof that you can finance your studies Financial proof is very important for getting the visa. You can ask at the German embassy in your home country, what financial proof you ll need, as it differs from embassy to embassy. The authorities take the financial proof very seriously. Please consider that it can take up to several months until the visa is issued. This is an overview about the German embassies and about regulations regarding the entry into Germany: Further information you ll find here: To make an appointment or to get detailed information you can check the website of the Ausländerbehörde of Berlin: 7

9 2. I am new in Berlin! 2.1 How do I open my first bank account? After you have arrived you ll need a German bank account. For banks you can open a student s account with a notification of admission from the BSEL (Immatrikulationsbescheinigung) and resident registration (Meldebescheinigung). For a student s account you don t have to pay a fee for account management. 2.2 How do I as an international student get a health insurance? Up to the 14th semester or until you are 30 years old, you need statutory health insurance at enrolment at BSEL. Private health insurances are accepted only as exceptions. If you are from the European Union or from the European economic area sometimes your insurance from your home country is accepted, please check. These are examples for statutory health insurances in Germany: Techniker Krankenkasse Alte Jakobstr Berlin Mitte Tel.: 030 / Wilmersdorfer Str Berlin - Charlottenburg Tel.: 030 / On this website there is more information for students and the Techniker Krankenkasse: AOK Pallasstraße Berlin Tel.: Good Information about health insurances you ll find on the website for international students of the Deutsches Studentenwerk: 2.3 Where and how can I find somewhere nice to live in Berlin? If you are thinking about having a nice time in Berlin it is very important how you live. The prices of accommodation vary among the different areas and there are a lot of different ways to live in Berlin, for example: in student accommodation together with other students, in a room in a shared apartment (WG) and so on. Interestingly, if you want to get to know life in a German family, you can stay with a host family. 8

10 2.3.1 Student accommodation there is always somebody around An inexpensive way to live is in student housing. The Studentenwerk offers a lot of single apartments, shared apartments and flats for couples with children. Often the rooms are furnished and most of the time there is a room with washing machines for everyone there. If you are interested in student accommodation, please contact the administration of the Berliner Studentenwerk: The Berliner Studentenwerk has student housing in many areas of Berlin, also in Schöneberg and Lichtenberg close to the campuses of BSEL. If you have come to BSEL on an exchange programme, please note that members of DAAD and ERASMUS programmes cannot apply directly at the Studentenwerk for student housing. In that case, you have to apply through the German institution where you ll receive your scholarship from the BSEL. https://www.studentenwerkberlin.de/wohnen/studentische_wohnanlagen/programmstudierende/index.html In addition to this the Studentenwerk Berlin has the Studentenhotel Hubertusallee, a hotel, which in certain times of the year is mainly rented out to students of international programmes. If you want to know more, please check this website: Interesting for you as an international student could be that in many student accommodations there are tutors who support students from abroad and assist you in unfamiliar things, for example going to the German administration and so on. More detailed information about these tutors in student housing in Berlin you can find on this website: Wohngemeinschaften (WGs) experience the atmosphere of Berlin Another possibility how you can live inexpensively in Berlin is to find a shared apartment, a WG. WG s are very popular, because that way you share a flat, and if you are lucky you get to know nice people. In the beginning in a new city in a new country this can be helpful. On the BSEL website you ll find links to other websites where offers are posted: Agencies (Mitwohnzentralen) the fast way To contact an agency (Mitwohnzentrale) is another way to find a room or a flat fast and without having to look through a lot of newspapers. The agency acts as a broker between the ones who offer living space and the ones who search for a room or a flat. The agencies take a fee for arranging which most of the time is due with signing the rental contract. They mostly offer furnished apartments in private households. Here are the addresses of the most known agencies (Mitwohnzentralen) in Berlin: Erste Mitwohnzentrale: Home Company: Zeit-Raum Wohnkonzepte: 9

11 2.3.4 I haven t found a room or flat yet! If you are still looking for an apartment, maybe you want to try inexpensive hostels for the time until you ve found what you are looking for. There are a great number of hostels in Berlin, you ll find an overview on these websites: A website in English about hostels in Berlin you ll find here: I ll look for something in between Offers from students of the BSEL, who are looking for a next tenant or an interim tenant are ideal to get to know other students. You ll find offers for example in the facebook groups of BSEL students: I would like to get to know a German family For you as an international student the stay in a host family can be a good possibility to get to know the daily life in Germany. You ll get in direct contact to a family and can improve your knowledge of German. Experiment e.v. The non-profit-organisation Experiment e.v. is seated in Bonn and it is promoting the intercultural exchange between people of all countries, age groups and religions. Experiment e.v. mediates contacts to host families. The stay in a family offers you the chance to get to know the culture from the inside. Especially for foreign students the organisation Experiment e.v. finds a hostfamily in its programme Familienaufenthalt für Studierende aus dem Ausland (FAS) with financial support from the foreign office. Please look on this website for further information: 2.5 How do I register my place of residence? If you have found a flat, a room in a student s accommodation or in a shared flat you must register within 7 days at the registration of address office (Meldebehörde des Bürgeramtes) in your district. To register you need your ID and a form which you can download here: Appointments at the citizen s administration office you can make online, which is very convenient, since you don t have to wait at the administration office. A list of the citizen s administration offices of Berlin you ll find here: Welcome money (Begrüßungsgeld) If you lived outside of Germany or abroad before you ve moved to Berlin, you can apply for Begrüßungsgeld, which amounts to 100 until the 30 th September 2012, and 50 from the 1 st October 10

12 2012. You ll need the notification of admission of the BSEL and a form Antrag auf Gewährung von Begrüßungsgeld, which you ll find at the website of the Studentenwerk Berlin: With this form you ll go to the registration of address office in your district where you ll get a confirmation. Then the BSEL pays out the welcome money in the office for admission and enrolment of your department. 2.6 Where do I get a Freizügigkeitsbescheinigung under the Act of General Freedom of Movement for EU Citizens? If you are from the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway, you ll need for enrolment at the BSEL a Freizügigkeitsbescheinigung. This is the document that proves that you are entitled to stay and work in Germany under the Act of General Freedom of Movement for EU Citizens. You can get this document in Berlin when you register your place of residence at the registration of address office, which is where you apply informally (according to the law Gesetz zur allgemeinen Freizügigkeit von Unionsbürgern). Detailed information is available at the website of the state/city of Berlin: 2.7 How do I apply for an Aufenthaltserlaubnis (residence permit)? If you ve entered Germany with a student s visa you have to remember that it expires after three months. Then you have to apply for an Aufenthaltserlaubnis (residence permit), which then is valid for two years. Which you can later have extended. For this residence permit you have to apply at the Ausländerbehörde Berlin. This is the website where you get information about the Aufenthaltserlaubnis, forms and fees: In order to avoid long waiting times you can make an appointment per . These are the documents you have to bring along in any case: your registration confirmation from the registration of address office a form for applying for a residence permit, which you get on the website of the Ausländerbehörde your passport one biometric picture of yourself proof of financing showing what you live on, for example scholarship, bank statement, support of your parents documents regarding your stay, for example notification of admission at the BSEL certificate of your health insurance a fee, according to the length of your stay between 60 and 110 Landesamt für Bürger- und Ordnungsangelegenheiten Ausländerbehörde Friedrich-Krause-Ufer Berlin 11

13 2.8 Discovering Berlin with the Semesterticket Surely you want to explore your new city! Public transport is a good way to do so, because it is fully developed and one can see a lot in the underground or in the tram. Every student gets a Semesterticket by paying the fees at the beginning of the semester at BSEL, the Semesterbeitrag. The Semesterticket is a ticket for the public transportation system in Berlin, for all three zones: A,B and C. It is valid for one semester. The ticket is included in the student passport of BSEL, the Studierendenausweis. With it you can use public transport as often as you like, U-Bahn, S-Bahn, buses or tram, and can carry along baggage, children until the age of 6, a dog or a bicycle. If you have questions you can contact the AStA, the advocacy group of the students at the BSEL: 2.9 Do I need a new cell phone provider? If you need a new cell phone provider after you have entered Germany, we have listed some information for you. Besides the common contracts there are also some providers who offer prepaid cards. The advantage with this is that you can easily control the costs and don t have a minimum term. You can easily get information about prepaid cards in electronic markets or check the prices in the internet. If you have an activated cell phone you can use the German SIM card. If not, you can buy a combined package which includes a cell phone and a SIM card I want to improve my German! If you as an international student at the BSEL want to study in a programme which is taught in German you usually have to proof your knowledge of German for enrolment at the BSEL. This proof is mostly a test called the TestDAF : Many foreign students study in programmes which are taught in English. In this case, a language test in German before enrolment is not necessary. You can take language courses in addition to your studies or, if you don t have the time, in the semester break. You ll find a list of the different offers on the website of the BSEL: Adult Education Centers (Volkshochschulen) An inexpensive way to learn the language is to take language classes at an adult education center, which you can find in every district of Berlin. The Volkshochschulen offer classes in which German as foreign language in training and profession is taught: Language Tandems (Sprachtandems) As part of a language tandem you can learn the language and in addition you have the chance to make friends! A language tandem is formed if two people with different native languages talk and learn in tandem with each other. How they learn together is up to them: maybe they prefer to sit together at a desk, maybe they prefer to sit together in a café. 12

14 If you want to find a language tandem partner, the speech centers (Sprachzentren) of the universities are good places. Here in Berlin you can go to the Sprach- und Kulturbörse at the Technische Universität Berlin, where students from over 40 countries work together. There language tandems are brokered and language classes are offered, also one-to-one tuition: Also at the Sprachenzentrum of the Freie Universität Berlin you can find a language tandem partner and advice about how to learn in a tandem is given: The Ruhr-Universität Bochum has a database about language tandems on its website where you can find very good instructions about getting to know each other and about intercultural topics: The international student identity card (ISIC) The ISIC is the only student identity card which is recognized all over the world. With the ISIC you ll have a lot of discounts at cultural events, in restaurants or on flights all over the world. You can apply for the ISIC in your home country or in Germany. Please contact the advocacy group of the students at the BSEL, the AStA: Campus Schöneberg Badensche Str Berlin Campus Lichtenberg Alt Friedrichsfelde Berlin You can also apply for the ISIC online: https://www.isic.de/isic/isic_online_antrag.html These documents you ll need for your application: a valid notification of admission at BSEL passport or identity card biometric picture 12,00 The ISIC is valid from the 1 st of September until the 31 st of December of the following year. Detailed information about the discounts you ll get here: 13

15 2.12 The Representative for Integration and Migration in Berlin The Representative for Integration und Migration in Berlin is the place to go if you have questions about integration, residence permit or social concerns. There you ll get advice about your stay, answers to your questions and help if you have a case of emergency. Potsdamer Straße Berlin Monday, Tuesday 09:00-13:00 Thursday 09:00-13:00 and 15:00-18:00 Advice by telephone during counselling hours: If you are new in Berlin, the welcome package published by the representative for integration and migration has helpful information. It is published in German and seven other languages, and you can find it under the following link: On the website of the representative for integration and migration there is a lot more information, for example under the keyword for publications (Veröffentlichungen) you ll find advice about legal aspects for international couples, citizenship or the Act of General Freedom of Movement for EU Citizens: 14

16 3. My study at BSEL 3.1 An overview of the campus Schöneberg Campus Schöneberg is very spacious. We ve made an overview for you, where the five buildings of the BSEL are marked. So you can come to all lectures on time Building A Central building, Badensche Straße 52, Berlin University management Central administration Library Cafeteria Seminar and lecture rooms Building B Badensche Straße 50 51, Berlin Administration faculty for Business and Economics Offices of professors and faculty for Business and Economics Seminar and lecture rooms Canteen Building C Addition, Badensche Straße 50 51, Berlin Administration IMB Institute of Management Berlin Seminar and lecture rooms Building D Babelsberger Straße 40 41, Berlin Business Incubation Center 15

17 Building E Babelsberger Straße 14 16, Berlin Offices of professors and faculty for Business and Economics Seminar and lecture rooms Harriet Taylor Mill-Institute 3.2 An overview of the campus Lichtenberg On campus Lichtenberg you ll find the departments 2-5. Here is a map of all the buildings: Building 1 education and administration complex in Friedrichsfelde (BVZ) Administration of the department of Public Administration, Legal Studies, and Police and Security Management, the Institute for Distance Learning and the Institute for Cooperation with Central and Eastern European Countries in Public Reform (IMO) Academic staff departments 2-5, IMO and FSI Seminar and lecture rooms Dining Hall and Cafeteria IT-Centre Main auditorium Building 5 education and administration complex in Friedrichsfelde Administration of the department of Cooperative Studies (faculty 2) Academic staff department 2 Seminar and lecture rooms Building 6a education and administration complex in Friedrichsfelde Seminar and lecture rooms Building 6b education and administration complex in Friedrichsfelde Seminar and lecture rooms Laboratories department 2 Academic staff department 2 Passage to department 6c 16

18 Building 6c education and administration complex in Friedrichsfelde Library There is also a schedule for campus Lichtenberg to download, where you can find important information for example about the library, Central Student Counselling or cafeteria. Furthermore the download contains a site plan of the buildings and proximity with stops and stations of public transport: 3.3 Department International of the AStA At the Allgemeinen Studierendenausschuss (AStA), the advocacy group of students at the BSEL, you can find special contacts for foreign students at the international department. The contacts can help you with scholarships, and they also organise the International Day in cooperation with the International Office at BSEL. You can also contact the international department of the AStA if you have questions about the international student identity card (ISIC). The international department wants to promote international exchange. The AStA of BSEL has it s own website: 3.4 International Office If you are an exchange student of a partner university of the BSEL, the International Office will support you. The international office supervises approximately 130 international university partnerships and matching exchange programmes. It also organises study visits and field trips, international seminars, workshops, guest lectures in other countries and much more. Furthermore the staff of the International office coordinates the ERASMUS-programme as well as the Berlin International Summer School, which is organised by the International Office on campus Schöneberg. You can find more information about contacts and counselling hours on the following website: 3.5 The Career Service The Career Service of BSEL is a good place to get advice for career planning, filling out applications or for help in looking for a job. There is also the opportunity to get some individual coaching. These are great options to optimize your soft skills and expertise. You can stand out from other applicants by doing the eq-plus certification programme for extra-curricular skills. For business start-ups the Career Service also offers help. Here is an overview of the contact persons at the Career Service: Training & Consulting Beate von Halle Room A

19 Application consulting & coaching Juliane Strauß Room A 3.39 Corporate contacts & alumni Denise Gücker Room A Business incubation center Gründungseinstieg For more information please look at the webpage of the Career Service: 3.6 How do I attend courses? How can I check my grades? You d like to organise your studies at the beginning of the semester and you ask yourself: Which courses can I/ do I have to attend? Which exams do I have to take and when? Which deadlines do I have to make? Contact for these questions is your relevant studies office (Studienbüro) at your department. If you plan your study carefully, you keep track of your progress. If you are studying at the department Business and Economics or at the Institute of Management Berlin at Campus Schöneberg, you can look at the service platform Campus4u on the beginning of the semester and pick your courses. Here you can list your preferences. You can also check out your exam results on Campus4u, once your grades have been recorded by the relevant examination office: If you are studying at the department Cooperative Studies, you can find information regarding organisation and equipment on the following link: If you are studying at the department Public Administration, Legal Studies or Police and Security Management at Campus Lichtenberg, you can use the information campus Finca for attending courses or to check your grades: 3.7 How can I re-register? The re-registration is applicable to you, if you are already enrolled at BSEL. Re-registration means that you transfer the semester fee for the upcoming semester. With this transfer you explain that you are going to study at BSEL in the next semester. You won t get any payment request, so you have to re-register yourself within your own set period. Please note your matriculation number and your name when making the transfer. You may have to apply for changes of your student status when you re-register: for example, if you go on maternity leave or if you are planning an internship abroad for the upcoming semester. 18

20 Before you transfer the semester fee you should check your address. If it changed within the last semester, you can change your address at Campus4u. Your certificate of study and student ticket will be sent to this address. On Campus4u you can also find out about your re-registration status. If you have any problems with Campus4u or if you have got further questions do not hesitate to contact the matriculation office. 3.8 How do I finance my studies? How you can finance your study can be very important for you. A lot of students in Germany are working alongside their studies, and often students from abroad need a part-time job. It s important that your studies aren t negatively affected as your time and energy go into your part-time job. A job within the semester break is perfect but often not enough. Financial worries and looking for a job can be a huge burden. That s why we give you an overview about German law regarding the topics students and work and job possibilities in Berlin. Particularly important for many international students is developing German language skills: it is easier for you to find a job, if you speak German Labour regulations for students from abroad The labour regulations for students from abroad can change. At the employment agency (Agentur für Arbeit) you can make sure that the regulations are still valid. At the moment there are different regulations for students from abroad according to which country they come from: If you are coming from an EU state or the European Economic Area (EEA) you are commonly equivalent to German students in the employment market (this also applies to students from Estonia, Letvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Hungary). If you are not from an EU state or the EEA, you can work 120 days fulltime or 240 days halftime in one year. If you d like to work more please contact the employment agency (Agentur für Arbeit) and the public authority responsible for aliens (Ausländerbehörde) for an approval. It is very difficult to get this approval. Unfortunately to work as a freelancer is not permitted. To work in Germany you ll often need a wage tax card (Lohnsteuerkarte) which you will receive at your Inland Revenue Office (Finanzamt) at your district. You also need a social security number, which will be issued by your statutory health insurance after requesting it. If you are working on your wage tax card, taxes and pension contributions will be reduced from your wage. If you as a student submit an income tax return at the end of the year to your Inland Revenue Office, you ll often get your taxes back. For a job up to 400 (Minijob) you don t have to pay taxes or pension contributions. But your revenue mustn t be higher than 400 per month. It s also important to know that students who work more than 40 hours per month are not classified as a student regarding social security I need a part time job! There are different possibilities to find a job in Berlin as a student. Working as a student assistant could be very interesting for you because you ll maybe have to handle topics related to your studies. At BSEL student assistant job ads will be published in the internet: 19

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