Greetings from my dorm room where I still don't have wifi, but thankfully have an ethernet cable! I moved in a week ago and I love my room. I get my own bathroom, the bedroom is really spacious, the kitchen is right down the hall, and there's a bus stop that goes pretty much anywhere just 3 minutes from my building. When I moved in on Monday I knew I had to get settled in really quickly so that I could start the matriculation process. I talk a little bit about it here, but basically I had to apply for temporary residency in Tübingen instead of getting a student Visa. I knew I had to do this within the first 2 weeks of my arrival, and I also knew I was going on a 5-day trip to Munich that Thursday, so I had 3 days to get it all done. No problem right? 3 whole days? What I didn't know is that basically every office in Germany closes at noon. Not even just for lunch. After 12PM all the offices I needed to go to would be closed for the rest of the day. So here's what I did to finish everything in time...
I made sure to set up my health insurance while I was still back in Hawaii, because I knew I would need proof of insurance in order to matriculate. I talk about it here. I am insured with Techniker Krankenhaus, and I applied over email and they sent me the letter I needed. I just have to go into their office now that I'm in Germany to fill out paperwork. But make sure you do this ahead of time! It will make your life much easier when trying to matriculate.
Day 1 (Monday)
I went to the Office for International Student Affairs and met with my advisor, Simone Hahne, to get all of my matriculation documents. She helped me complete some of the forms and gave me a useful little cheat sheet with a map of the town and the locations of all the offices and steps in the process.
Day 2 (Tuesday)
Next I had to go to the Registration Office for Foreigners in Tübingen (aka Ausländerabteilung) to apply for my temporary residence permit. I took all of the paperwork I had gotten the day before, as well as other important documents that I had scanned and printed at home. It took me forever to find the office, so by the time I was done with this step, I couldn't do anything else that day.
Day 3 (Wednesday, AKA crunch time)
I woke up bright and early to go and pay my student dues of 83.80€ at the Universitätskasse. This was really quick so I was able to quickly move on to the next step, which was taking all of my completed matriculation documents to the Student Office (aka Studentensekretariat). I dropped everything off and now I'm all set! I just have to wait for my residence permit and student ID in the mail, but I've done all that I can do on my end. I also had an appointment with Deutsche Bank to open up a checking account so I can pay my rent and insurance via direct deposit. I had gone to two other banks and they were incredibly not helpful, so I asked another international student who he banks with. Deutsche Bank has ties to Bank of America, so everyone that works there speaks really good English and it's free to transfer money from your account back home if you use Bank of America.
I'm glad I finished everything before my trip to Munich, because I got to fully enjoy my visit without stressing about having to complete more steps when I got home the next week. Munich was amazing, but that'll be a separate blog post. For now, I'm off to find dinner. Bis bald!