A students packing list for Germany
So you have your visa issued. Now all you need to do is pack and leave. But before you start packing, it would help you to know what you need to pack for a place you have never been before and do not know much about. So here is the blog about packing list for Germany that would help you decide what you would want to pack and things that you need while you arrive and settle down in Germany.
- Valid passport with your student visa
- Air ticket
- Admission letter from the university
- All financial documentation you will require to submit to the university or immigration authorities.
- All original certificates and other important documents
- Traveler’s cheques and sufficient cash
- Photos – 20 Copies in different sizes
- Detailed directions to your university or accommodations
- Details of contacts (Family friends, Seniors, Personal Friends)
Make sure your date of travel is later than your visa goes into effect. I have a friend who got stuck at immigration of a foreign country because she traveled before her day her visa went into effect. Check and cross check your visa.
You might already know that students get extra baggage allowance the first time they travel. If you do not know this yet, contact the airline and ask how you can enable this offer. The baggage allowance might vary from 40-56 Kg depending on the airline you are traveling with. Remember the baggage gets misplaced and lost quite a lot. Make sure you have your address and contact details on your baggage. Also buying a lightweight suitcase will help you carry a few kilos extra. So buy some good bags. You can check out Amazon for affordable suitcases.
If you are renting an apartment outside the university, ask the housemaster if he can pick you up from the railway station. Most of them would oblige and drive you to the apartment. If you are living in studentenwohnheim (Student hostel) contact someone already there and ask if they can help you get to the hostel. If that does not work out, contact the international office of your university and ask them if they can help. Universities have some kind of buddy program under which current students help new students settle down.
Food Items ( South Aisa specific)
- Spices (Red Chili, Turmeric, Coriander powder, Asafoetida etc)
- Masalas (Sambhar masala, Rasam masala etc)
- Papad, Appalam
- Rice & other food items (For the initial few days till u settle down)
- Ready to eat packs
You already know that German food culture is quite different than that of South Asian. Make sure you learn to cook a few basic things like sambhar and few sabjis. Also, pack as many spices as you can. Skip on ready to eat food if possible.
When you are here and do not feel like cooking, you can get around with finding Turkish food or Italian food. It is affordable.
SEE ALSO: 7 Myths about Studying in Germany
- Pressure cooker
- Spare gaskets & safety valves
- Grinder (Not a must)
- Frying pan
- Good knife
Carrying utensils is very important. It is hard to find the pressure cookers here that we use in South Asia. The frying pan is another important utensil you should carry as they are very expensive here in Germany. Here is the link to give you an idea of how expensive they can be. For other utensils contact the concerned person from whom you rent the apartment and ask him if he would provide them. If not carry the minimum utensils that you need and then find Ikea as and when you settle down.
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Very important: Make sure all the utensils you buy work on induction.
Toiletries and Medicines
- First aid box
- Prescribed Medicines
- General Medicines
- Bathing soap
- Cold cream
- Nail clipper
- Shaving kit
Get prescription from a doctor for all the medicines you carry to be on the safe side. Carry a good number of medicines if you need them regularly as the general medicines can be expensive in Germany. If you wear glasses, carry a couple of extra pairs with you.
With other toiletries, carry only as much as you would need for first 15-20 days. Do not overpack cosmetics, they are cheap in Germany.
Clothes and Accessories
How many clothes you wish to carry is upon you. However, if you are arriving in winter term pack a good number of warm clothes. German winters are harsh. The temperature is mostly in single digit or sub-zero. Thermal wear will help you beat the cold more efficiently. A good jacket is also a must.
A good pair of jeans is pretty expensive in Germany. The cheaper ones are imported from South Asia and sold at about 20-30% higher than they cost in respective countries. So buy it before coming.
SEE ALSO: 7 Tips to mentally prepare for studying in Germany
- A laptop without a bit-torrent client
- Universal plug adapter
- Scientific calculator
It is suggested to buy a laptop from your home country. The prices are about 2-5% higher in Germany and it would be difficult to afford a good laptop with ~720€ monthly allowance of your blocked account. Secondly, it is hard to find a laptop with US keyboard layout in Germany. Ear/Headphones are also pretty expensive in Germany if you find a good deal while in the home country buy it then.
Delete bit-torrent client if you have it installed on your laptop. Piracy laws are very strict and heavy fines are implied if you use torrents in Germany. The fines can go up to 800€. So be very careful using a torrent client in Germany.
A few universal plug adapter is another important electronic item you should carry. European plugs are very different from one in the other part of the world.
The most important of all, EUROS. Carry good amount of cash. A few things to take into consideration. You will need cash to pay a deposit for your apartment and pay semester fee at the university. Blocked account sometimes take about a month or so to get unblocked. So carry enough cash to survive a couple of months.
Important: Do not transfer any deposit money for the apartment before arriving here. Many people have been ripped by frauds. Also, read the contract terms of apartment renting very carefully, or any contract that you sign for that matter. Ask for English translations if you do not know German.
SEE ALSO: 7 mistakes to avoid when you arrive in Germany
If you are going for a post-paid phone contract in Germany, you should know that you are signing a contract for two years (in most cases), the customer representative will tell you all about it. What (s)he might skip is that the contract is auto-renewed if you do not cancel the contract three months prior to its expiry. You will be most likely to be moved to a high expense plan and the contract extends for further two years. There is no way to get out of contract. A prepaid contract is a safer bet but you get less for more money.
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