Being abroad is certainly one of the most memorable experiences you can gain throughout your studies. You have the possibility of studying at Macromedia University of Applied Sciences in Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg or Munich for one or two semesters or for a full-degree B.A. or M.A. programme to develop your academic skills, while getting to know people from varying backgrounds and cultures.
Macromedia University runs, like most German universities, in various ways differently compared to the institutions in your home country. Not only German culture, social life as well as professional life will vary, also the way academic life inside and outside class works could be very different to what you know from your home institutions. This can affect time schedules, the way of communication with faculty and fellow students, your workload or the form of assessments and examinations.
Non-EU students need a student visa for entering and studying in Germany. All regulations and details concerning the visa application are listed on the German Missions Abroad website of your home country. You can apply for a visa at the German embassy or consulate of your home country. The Federal Foreign Office of Germany has listed all German missions abroad on its website.
Macromedia University will organize orientation days at the start of the semester. Orientation days will include a varied programme of activities to familiarize yourself with Macromedia University and the city you are going to live for the next few months. You will get information on living and studying in Germany, meeting other students and enjoying a fun and stress-free start at Macromedia University. Essential information will be provided on these days, which is why attendance is mandatory.
Within the first two weeks after your arrival, you are requested to report at the Residents Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt or Bürgeramt) to register your place of residence. If you have not yet found a regular place to reside during your entire stay in Germany, you can change your registered address at the Residents Registration Office at a later time. You must make an appointment to register; if no appointments are available online, please call or have a local call since sometimes their staff speaks German only. Just a piece of advice for you: in case nobody answers you, please don't panic, write them an E-Mail or just go there directly. If you open the official website to schedule an appointment and there is no free time or day for you, please don't panic too, just open the homepage one more time but in the early morning, the Registration Office offers some free dates so you're able to get them on the same day or go directly (but also early in the morning appx. at 7 a.m. in order not to be the latest; don't be worry, but in reality it's a little bit chaotic and people just are flocking into the building to get an appointment. It looks very strange, but it's a reality). The main and important point: don't lose your nerve and just keep going.
Opening a bank account
Once registered, you need to open a cheque account (Girokonto). You are free to choose between numerous, different banking institutions. Most banks offer accounts free of charge for students. You will need a bank account in order to settle payments such as rent, health insurance and tuition/semester fees, amongst other things. Please note that in Germany credit cards are accepted, but not as widely as in other countries. Instead, your bank will issue a debit card (Electronic Cash or EC card), which can be used for payments in most of Germany. For further information, please visit Deutsche Bank.
Taking Out Health Insurance
To register and study at Macromedia University, you are obliged to take out health insurance. You should make sure to take out a health insurance policy that provides sufficient cover for your needs. Hiffs and Krankenkassen can provide you with further information.
Application for Residence Permit
Citizens of the European Union (EU) and countries of the European Economic Area do not need a residence permit. The so called Freedom of Movement Certificate for EU citizens, formerly issued by the local Foreigners Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde) does no longer exist. Citizens of all other countries do need a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) if they intend to stay in Germany longer than three months.
Residence Permit Extension
Extension of the Residence permit must also be applied for at the Foreigners Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde), before expiration of the residence permit. It is important that you make an appointment with the Foreigners Registration Office as early as three months in advance.
Working While Studying in Germany
Students from countries of the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) have free access to the German labour market. International students from non-EU/EEA countries who hold a student visa are eligible to work a total of 120 full days or 240 half days in one calendar year.
Internships that are voluntary and not compulsory, count as normal work and will be deducted from the maximum of 120 days that international students from non-EU/EEA countries are eligible to work. Special regulations apply to internships that are a compulsory part of your studies.
Staying in Germany after the End of Your Studies
In general, graduates from the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area countries (EEA) have free access to the German labour market and do not need approval from the Federal Employment Agency to take up a job in Germany. By contrast, graduates from the new EU member states and all other international graduates who have successfully completed their studies at a German University are eligible to extend their residence permit for an additional 18 months to work or look for a job that corresponds to their qualifications. Graduates must apply for this extension at the local Foreigners Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde) and prove that they have sufficient financial resources to support themselves while staying in Germany. While looking for a suitable job during these 18 months, graduates are normally allowed to take up any kind of employment and to work without restrictions to support themselves and fund their job search.