First Steps in Kassel
Especially at the beginnig it is quiet tough to keep track of everything that needs to be organised after your arrival. Therefore, the International Office of the university organises an orientation week every semester. During orientation, fellow students help you with all the formalities necessary for living and studying in Germany.
To prepare yourself for living and studying in Kassel, here is a checklist:
All students - including international students - are required to have health insurance in Germany. You have to have a health insurance in order to be allowed to enroll at the university.
For more information see www.ess-europe.de/en/study_in_europe.htm
Here are just a few of the insurance options in Kassel
AOK Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse, Holl√§ndische Str. 17
DAK Deutsche Angestellten Krankenkasse, Untere K√∂nigsstr. 86
Techniker Krankenkasse, Gottschalkstr. 8
BARMER Ersatzkasse, Treppenstr. 4
As required by Hessen Law, you must go to the Citizens' Service/ Residence Registration Office in the Town Hall (Rathaus) and let them know your address. Students in Witzenhausen register with the citizen's service there.
This must be done within one week after your arrival in Kassel or Witzenhausen. You simply go in, receive a number from the information desk, and, when your number is called, you fill out the form with a person who works there. You can also find the form (Meldeschein) online.
You will be given a copy of this form. Keep it in a safe place.
If, during your studies, you move to another apartment in Kassel or Witzenhausen, you must tell the Residence Registration Office your new address.
Your enrollment appointment should have been mailed to you with your letter of acceptance to the university (so-called "Zulassungsbescheid").
In order to enroll, you have to pay your university fees (so-called "Semesterbeitrag"). After this you will be sent a printout of your so-called ‚ÄúStudentische Unterlagen‚ÄĚ, or certificate of studies. This printout also includes your semester ticket, which you will need to ride on the trains, busses and trams. Keep these in a safe place. If they are lost, you must pay for a new copy.
The Foreigners‚Äô Affairs Office is where you will need to apply for a residency permit.
Usually, you will need to bring the following with you:
- Biometric passport photo
- Registration form from the Citizens' Service/ Resident Registration Office
- Certificate of the purpose of residence, e.g. proof of enrollment at the university
- Students also have to prove that they can support themselves financially
Typically a fee is also attached to receiving your residency permit.
For more information visit the website of the Citizens' Service.
The Foreign Affairs Office Kassel (or Ausl√§nderbeh√∂rde der Stadt Kassel)
Am Markt 1, 37213 Witzenhausen
The Foreign Affairs Office at the University of Kassel
The Foreign Affairs office has regular office hours at the University of Kassel. Here you can obtain information and make use of all services provided by the office.
Office hours and further information is available on the website of the University.
Opening a Bank Account
In Germany, rent and insurance are usually paid for every month by money transfer. This means that the money will be automatically taken from your bank account and transferred to the Studierendenwerk or your insurance company or whomever you have to pay. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to have a bank account in Germany. There are many banks in Kassel where you can open an account. Bring your passport and the certificate you received from the Citizens' Service (Meldebescheinigung).
EC Card (Electronic Cash)
A couple of days after you have opened an bank account, you will receive an EC Card and a PIN number. This EC Card works as both an ATM card and check/debit card in stores.
You can get money from almost all ATM machines in Germany and abroad by using your card. You will, of course, have to pay a fee when you use ATM machines that aren‚Äôt associated with your bank.
The EC Karte also doubles as a check card. You can go into most stores and pay using your card and a Photo ID, PIN, or your signature. The money will be withdrawn directly from your account.
The main library of the University of Kassel is located on Diagonale, right in the middle of campus Holl√§ndischer Platz. Other (smaller) libraries are also located in each department. These libraries have information pertaining specifically to each department and the subjects it teaches.
In order to borrow books from the library, you need a library card. You can apply for one at the main library, although it will take a couple days until you receive it. Bring your passport and a copy of the certificate you received at the Citizens' Service/ Resident Registration Office.
For more information, see www.uni-kassel.de/bib.
If you brought your own computer from home, are renting one from the Studierendenwerk, or just want to use the internet on campus, you need to stop by the IT Service Centre.
Visit the website of the IT Service Centre to get an explanation how you can unlock and activate your UniAccount. You can watch the tutorial and fill out the registration form.
After you fill out an application and pay a small fee, you will receive a user name and password. With these, you can log-on to the internet in the student housing or sign-on to a computer at the available Computer Pools on campus.
The IT Service Centre is located at:
M√∂nchebergstra√üe 11 (next to the TorCaf√©).
Computer pools are located on campus Holl√§ndische Stra√üe (ITS), Wilhelmsh√∂her Allee and Heinrich-Plett-Stra√üe.
Find further information about the computer pools amd opening hours here.
Should you have problems with your internet connection you can contact the Studierendenwerk‚Äôs internet tutors.