Getting to know | Preparing for Germany

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Before you travel

Get your Visa

Contact the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Santiago de Chile to obtain your student visa. Then, ask for an appointment DIRECTLY, as they usually have waiting times of 2 months or more! Also, collect the required forms BEFORE going to the appointment.

Finance your stay

Search for financing options and scholarships.

Take out a German insurance

Start the procedure to enter the health insurance (it must be valid for all Schengen States and for the indicated period, with a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros) as soon as possible.
Tip: apply for insurance one month before the start of your studies, as the visa can only be valid from the start of the insurance.


Start looking for your accommodation. You can apply for a room at the student dorms here.
It is highly advised that you also check private rooms on the Studierendenwerk website. 

Travel tips

Purchase your flight no later than 2 weeks before the start of your studies.

Tip: Bring your original bachelor’s degree, notarized copy and notarized and translated copy.

Welcome to Heidelberg!

With its student spirit, the city of Heidelberg forms the lively centre of the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region, which is characterised by a high density of commercial enterprises and research institutions with a strong development potential. Together with the university they form an international competitive research network leading to a multitude of cooperation opportunities. The university’s global network makes internationality and internationalisation two of its principal characteristics.

Set up

Find a room

Attend pre-arranged visits to apartments or rooms.
Go to the Service Center of the University and ask for Privatzimmer (if the search from Chile did not give results)
Tip: When you find a room or apartment, ask for a handover protocol (Übergabeprotokoll; it should state in what condition the accommodation is handed over, especially it should record any damage and the electric meter count).

Residence permit and registration

Once in Germany, you will have to complete the procedure of requesting an Aufenthaltstitel (residence permit). Find the more information on how to obtain it here.
It is also necessary to register your accommodation at the Bürgeramt.

Open a bank account

Open a german bank account so you can manage your financial affairs from here.

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Contract an electricity supplier (e.g. Stadtwerke). When making the contract (Anmeldung) have the status (count) of the electric meter recorded in the Übergabeprotokoll at hand.

State media tax

Register for the Rundfunkbeitrag: this is a state media tax. You will receive a letter with a notice to pay (in the case of a shared apartment check if someone is already paying, since you only pay once per apartment). Fill the form attached to the letter accordingly or answer on the online site.


n order to be able to use public transport economically, it is worthwhile to buy the so-called Deutschlandticket. It is valid for one month for local and regional transport throughout Germany. If you prefer to ride a bike and need to buy one, you may want to go to a Fahrradflohmarkt, information on where to get it fixed, if necessary, can be found here.

Further information

If you have questions and/or problems regarding enrolment or other administrative issues related to being a student at Heidelberg University, you can contact the Studierendenadministration.

The Bürgeramt of each neighbourhood in Heidelberg offers all kinds of administrative services, such as certified copies of visas and university degrees, and other documents required for enrolment. More information about certified copies and their formal requirements can be found here.

If you need help in organizing your studies and career orientation, go to the Career Service of the University, which also offers courses every semester.

TIP: It pays to watch Study-With-Me style videos when studying at home in order to focus better.

Ideas for making use of free time:

To finance yourself in Germany it may be useful to have a job on the side, a list of possible positions available can be found here.

Participate in activities of the Network of Chilean Researchers in Germany, the Alumniportal Deutschland or the Career Service.

As a student at the University of Heidelberg you can participate free of charge in the University’s sports courses and in the University choirs.

You can also watch performances of the Heidelberg theatre and orchestra free of charge. Further information about the offer can be found here.

Links of interest

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