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Everyday Life

Here is an overview of some topics that you might find helpful when coming to Berlin.

Finding an Apartment


There is a lot of competition on the Berlin apartment market these days. We are happy to give you some advice on how to look for a place. We can provide you with a list of helpful resources if you like. Just let us know.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions you have about this topic.

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Opening a Bank Account


You will need a checking account at a German bank in order to receive your salary and pay bills and rent. The following documents are required when you open your account: Your passport, confirmation of your registration from the district office, and your employment contract or other proof of income. Many banks require you to set up an appointment in person to open an account; however, some direct banks offer an online application process for new accounts.


Learning German


German Language Courses at Freie Universität’s Language Center

Freie Universität Berlin’s Language Center offers free German language courses for doctoral students (including PROMOS fellowship recipients) and visiting researchers.

The courses offered cover levels A2 to C1 (based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). To sign up for a German language course, you must either be enrolled as a student or be an employee of Freie Universität. You also need to take the “onSET” German language placement test. Based on your test results, you can then sign up for the appropriate course that matches your level.

If you want to take an intensive language course before the semester starts, details on course offerings are available under “pre-semester German courses” (Vorkurse). Look under “PhD courses” (PhD-Kurse) for information about A1 language courses before the start of the semester for doctoral candidates conducting research in English-speaking research environments.

We also have a list of language schools in Berlin and other language courses offered outside of Freie Universität. If you are interested, just let us know.



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The student union organization “studierendenWERK BERLIN” has 180 daycare spots available at Freie Universität Berlin. The spots are open to children of university members from the various universities and colleges around Berlin, but the families of students and employees at Freie Universität Berlin are given priority.

One focus of the Dual Career & Family Service (DCFAM) office lies in networking with daycare centers and schools. These networks help when it comes to finding spots for the children of visiting researchers, scholarship recipients, and freshly appointed professors who are new to Berlin. The Family Service office does its best to help all members of Freie Universität Berlin find a spot for their children at a daycare center, whether they are students, researchers, or administrative staff members. It also provides information about the mobile childcare program – MoKiS, a model program supported by the Senate Administration for Education, Youth, and Family, which helps parents with special working hours. Freie Universität employees can request emergency childcare at home if something unexpected happens, and if no other options are available.

The Dual Career & Family Service office can provide you with more information and specific advice.

For Visiting Researchers and Scholars


Accommodation Service 

It is getting harder and harder to find a place to live during a stay in Berlin. Freie Universität Berlin’s Accommodation Service can provide visitors with a bit of help during their apartment search. They have a list of helpful websites to get you started.

Please contact their office early on so that they can support you as best they can: accommodation-service@fu-berlin.de.


Family Friendly University

Freie Universität Berlin stands by its reputation as a family friendly institution. The Dual Career & Family Service office is available to help address any questions you might have about daycare, schools, or other important family-related issues.


Dual Career and Family Service
Tel: 030 838-51137


Freie Universität Berlin’s Dual Career Service also supports newly appointed professors and their partners in finding career opportunities in Berlin. They can provide individualized support geared to the specific needs of dual career couples, including comprehensive advice on potential jobs in Berlin’s professional world as well as information on childcare options.



Miriam Juchem
Dual Career & Family Service
Tel.: 030 838-63450
Fax: 030 838-451137
E-Mail: dualcareer@fu-berlin.de 




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At the End of Your Stay in Germany


At the end of your stay in Germany, don’t forget to take care of the following:


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