Things to note for studying in Germany
To-do lists upon your arrival
Transportation, banking, registration…
congratulation! Probably you have to explain to people every time that Mannheim is near to Frankfurt when you introducing yourself as a student in Mannheim. Literally, no one outside Germany will know where is Mannheim hahaha
And you gonna stay in the ugliest city of Germany woohoo! Disclaimer: That’s what Germans think about. Mannheim is designed by American army so it is quite different from other cities. The garrison in Mannheim— formerly one of the largest in Germany, with some 8,500 soldiers in the 1950s and 1980s — was mostly a ghost town. Housing areas were empty, barbecues and televisions rest in heaps outside to be carted off. That explains why Mannheim looks so different when compared to other German cities. Its housing was designed as a US army base, so the buildings there are with the same style.
Frankfurt international airport (not sure if anyone is taking a flight to Frankfurt Hahn but please don’t do so…) is the nearest airport. If you bought tickets from other airports, Munich like me, you gonna take at least 4 hours ICE or 6.5 hours bus to Mannheim, which costs at least 40€. That’s a tragedy definitely.
Ways to travel from Frankfurt to Mannheim
1. taking ICE from the long-distance platform
30 minutes/20€/direct train for each hour
Things to notice:
After arrival, you shall go to the train station “Fernbahnhof” at Terminal 1. Ask for “Fernbanhof” and the ICE station. There is an ICE train at least every hour directly to Mannheim. There is another railway station at Terminal 1, which is underground (that’s the regional train) The crossing for the “Fernbahnhof” is on the upper level of Terminal 1 (1st floor) of section A and B.
2. taking the regional train (slow train) from the regional platform
1-1.5 hours/12-15€/transit train but many options
3. taking Filxbus from the bus station (shuttle bus P36 stop)
1 hour/5-13€ (depends on the date)/not for every hour
*Germans like punctual but public transport have a delay at all time, especially for flixbus, it is usual to have a delay of 30 minutes to 1 hour here. Certainly, there are other factors, like express bus service would have a more on-time schedule.
Both bus and train will arrive at Mannheim hbf (main train station) or ZOB (bus station), which are just located next to each other.
of course, there are more options like
7. on foot…
hahaha but I never tried these
Upon your arrival, you have to prepare the following:
What you should do
you will be familiar with the word K7 because you gonna do your registration and deregistration here. K7 is the street name and they named the street in alphabet and number, like G6, L3.
Germans like high efficiency so it will take up to 2 hours for queuing
. If you don’ t do online booking, you can grab a paper with the waiting number and have a rest in your dormitory.
It’s possible to submit deregistration online or put your form in front of the box of K7.
**bring the form, your passport/IC card as well as the registration proof from your university
2. health insurance
The German one (TK one) costs 100€ per month
, which include medicine appointment and dentist
. You don’t have to pay with the insurance card but you have to buy the medicine on your own
. As for the dentist, they charge for professional teeth cleaning for 70€.
No extra health insurance is required if you are EU citizens. For the non-EU citizen, you could buy the health insurance in your home country but make sure the plan is verified by the German government. Some of their prices might be a half cheaper than the German one. However, you should pay for the fees and claim the amount of medicine fee after you leave Germany. (travel insurance is not health insurance)
3. Open bank account
They didn’t charge for opening an account and I used Sparkasse. There are no big issue if your school arranged a bank clerk for you to handle the related issues. However, choice of bank is important if you are not fluent in German and have to open an account on your own. For example, Some said Deutsche bank only accept application form in German and you can’t communicate with the local staff there without speaking German.
Things to notice: Sparkasse charges commission fee even though you withdraw money from Sparkasse ATM in other EU country.
4. semester ticket
semester ticket costs €165 which include the public transportation of your regions. You can take free transport for a half year (duration varied) with the semester ticket. Tickets are available in both counter and automated machines. Semesterticket shall be used with your valid student ID. Otherwise, €60 is charged if they are checking the tickets
There are many Hoschules
here, which students have to work and study at the same time. For ERASMUS or exchange students, possibly you gonna study in University of Mannheim (UOM).
In Germany, the universities won’t arrange the accommodation on their own. Instead, Studierendenwerk is a student agency, its online system is used for dormitory registration, arrange move-in or move-out date and even facility maintenance.
In Mannheim, There is dormitory near UOM and some further like Ulmwegen, Carl-Zuckmayer, and Hafenstrasse. The details of dormitory like rental fee, facility, size and location are available on the official website of Studierendenwerk. The private dormitory is 2-3 times more expensive than the Studierendenwerk one.
I live in Carl-Zuckmayer
which is likely a rural area. However, they have two buses and one tram connection
, that is quite convenient.
Probably the only tourist attraction in Mannheim. Shopping streets are nearby and even Christmas market is held here. I like doing window shopping nearby when the weather was so cold and you can barely walk. Like another city, they have Bershka, Primark, Zara and 100+ ice-cream shops (a bit exaggerated but I love ice-cream so much)