Have you been invited to Tuebingen for a research stay? Are you about to start doctoral work? Have you been offered a position as a postdoc?
The information compiled on these pages is here to guide you through the process of planning your stay, preparing for arrival, and getting started. Depending on your host institution, there may also be personal support available. See our list Personal Support to find out if your host institution offers Welcome Services.
|Before you leave home|
Housing is in short supply in Tuebingen, so be sure to start looking as soon as you and your host have established the dates for your arrival. Contact your host department and register with your Welcome Center, and be sure to check the information that we have compiled under Accommodations.
Find out early which documents you need to collect and have translated. Both city and university offices can accept original documents in German or English, with certified translations if the original is in a different language. These may include:
|Your first two weeks in Tuebingen|
After you've moved in to your new room or flat, signed your rent contract, and had your landlord sign the confirmation of residence form, you must register your address in the central municipal offices (Bürgeramt) where you live. By law, you must report your address within two weeks of your arrival, and you’ll need the carbon copy of your address registration to open a bank account, sign a work contract, etc. Address registration also starts the ball rolling for a number of other things, so it is in your interest to get this step done as quickly as possible. You can read more about how to do it on our page Official Registration.
If you have not already done so, finalize your health insurance coverage. Read more on our page Health Insurance.
Check in with your host laboratory. If you will be pursuing your doctoral degree here, be sure to visit the Office of Doctoral Affairs that administers your degree program. If you need to sign a work contract, make an appointment to visit the Human Resources department of your institution.
If you will be signing a work contract, you will need to open a bank account for your paycheck. Even if you are here with a fellowship or with private funds, longer stays will be easier with a German bank account. To open an account, you will need the carbon copy of your address registration.
Arrange for any utilities such as electricity that are not included in your rent. You can find out more under At Home.
Want to be reachable? Because German providers do not subsidize cell phones, mobile phone service is relatively inexpensive. For example, a basic mix of outgoing call minutes plus internet access (for example, 300 min. + 300 MB or 200 min. + 750 MB) is often available starting at only € 10 per month with a prepaid card or contract. Starter packs and refill cards are available at most grocery stores, mobile phone storefronts and gas stations.
If you do not already have biometric passport pictures fulfilling the requirements for German IDs (see www.epass.de), you can have them made while you wait at any photo shop in Tuebingen. You will need them for personnel files and for applying for your residence permit.
For several aspects of your registrations and paperwork, certified translations of your non-German documents may be required. You can find the contact details of certified translators in the official Database of translators and interpreters.
|As soon as possible|
When you register your address, the caseworker at the municipal office (Bürgeramt ) will tell you how long the waiting time is before you can come back to apply for your residence permit, should you need one. There is currently a delay of 4-6 weeks, plus six weeks of processing time for residence papers after you have submitted the application, so be prompt. Read more on our page Entry Visa and Residence Permit.
A few weeks after you register your address, you may receive a German tax ID and a German social security number in the mail. Take good care of these letters, and if you have a work contract, be sure to send a copy of both to your Human Resources case worker.
Register for broadcast fees, which are mandatory in Germany.
Consider finding German language classes. Although you can get by with English in most situations, for longer stays your experience will be richer if you know at least a few words of German.
Many foreign driver’s licenses are valid for your first six months in Germany. If you want to get a German driver’s permit, if will be much easier if you do this during the six-month grace period. You can read more under Getting Around - By Car.
|Getting ready to leave Tuebingen|
We hate to see you go, but you can make your departure a smooth one by planning ahead.