You've just arrived in Germany? Welcome to the country! If you have any questions or problems, you're not alone at your university. We show you who is on hand to offer your guidance and help.
Your first contact address: the International Office
Every university in Germany has an "Akademisches Auslandsdienst" (AAA), or International Office. This service is responsible for coordinating all international affairs at universities and is the first port of call for international students.
As soon as you start planning your stay in Germany, you should get in touch with the International Office at the university of your choice – by e-mail or phone. You can inquire here about the application procedure and admission requirements before your course begins.
The DAAD data base contains a list of all International Office addresses:
The International Office at your university is usually open every morning from Monday to Friday. To find out exact opening times, check your university's website
Completely new to Germany?
The staff at the International Office will answer any questions you may have after you arrive in Germany. They will provide you with all the information you need in the first few days and help you plan your stay here. They can advise you on bureaucratic procedures, help you fill in forms or enrol. And they can also offer you advice about finding accommodation and coping with everyday problems. International Office staff will also advise you who to contact for if you have specific problems.
The International Office is therefore the place to go if you have organisational questions. If you have queries about your particular subject, however, contact the department in which you are studying.
Tip: The International Office is always especially busy at the beginning of the semester. It may take a while for your inquiry to be processed, particularly if you are enrolled at a big university. You can save a lot of time if you clarify certain issues in writing or by phone before you arrive in Germany. It's a good idea to find out about your university's services by consulting the website before your arrival. The more specific your question, the easier it is to answer. And the faster you receive a response!
We help you find your way around
One to three weeks before the start of the semester, many International Offices invite students from abroad to attend special orientation events. You shouldn't miss these because this is where you receive important information about your studies. It's also an excellent way to get to know other students.
To help you settle into your new home, the International Offices also organise welcome parties, city tours or mentor or tutoring programmes. Mentors or tutors are experienced students who help new students deal with authorities (registration authorities/foreigners' authorities), find accommodation or open a bank account.
A long-term partner
So you've survived the initial phase? Congratulations, you've already come a long way! Nevertheless, you may still encounter problems in the course of your studies. Perhaps you have a problem with the foreigners' authorities, for example, the examination office or with an internship you are required to complete as part of your course. Whatever you need help with, just ask at your International Office. And don't wait too long! The sooner you seek help, the quicker we can be of assistance to you.
Now you know your first contact address. We have compiled further details under "Help for students" so that you know who to approach for advice and support with other issues.