Open a bank account as soon as possible after your arrival. This will make it much easier to organise monthly payments such as rent and insurance.
Account maintenance fees are usually charged for a bank account. However, most banks and savings banks offer current accounts free of charge for students – ask for a student account.
Foreign driving licences are valid for stays of up to six months in Germany. However, you may have to provide a German translation of your national licence or an international driving licence.
After six months latest, foreign driving licences have to be converted, but there are no consistens regulations. As a rule, people from non-EU-countries who wants to have their driving licence converted, have to take the German driving licence by taking a practical driving test for the respective vehicle class.
Methods of payment
In Germany, people tend to pay in cash – especially for small amounts. Credit cards are relatively widespread but are not often used for everyday purchases.
On the other hand, payment by cash card is very common.
Every person, who is registered in Germany, will be asked to pay a fee of 18,36 Euro for broadcasting contribution, regardless if you possess or actually make use of a television or radio. If you receive student loan (BAFöG) or a similiar social benefit from your home country, you can apply for exemption.
The German Federal Administrative Court ruled on October 30, 2019 (AZ: 6 C 10.18) that even students who do not receive any financial aid (such as BAföG) should be exempted from fees as a hardship case if their income does not exceed the subsistence level (requirement rates according to SGB II / SGB XII).