The Studierendenwerke offer international students different kinds of support. At many universities, they have their own advisors for international students and also, in many cases, tutors, for example, in student dormitories.
If international students find themselves in financial difficulty, under certain circumstances, the Studierendenwerke can provide help. However, every Studierendenwerk has its own strong point; there are cultural programmes, international clubs, mentor programmes, excursions and much more. With offers such as the service package, the Studierendenwerke enable a carefree start to your studies in Germany. Ask your Studierendenwerk what offers they have for international students.
In many places, tutors in student accommodation from the Studierendenwerk are available to help international students. Their function differs from Studierendenwerk to Studierendenwerk. Mostly, the tutors are the point of contact for international students, but also sometimes for all residents in the dormitory.
The work of the students' tutors is aimed at improving the living conditions of international students by helping them to settle into their new surroundings as quickly and comfortably as possible. Tutors help at the arrival and move-in, provide support with administrative aspects and organise cultural events.
There are accommodation tutors in lots of Studierendenwerke. Some of the tutors are themselves international students and have themselves come from abroad to study in Germany; the German colleagues mostly have already spent time abroad.
Find out if there is a tutoring programme at your Studierendenwerk.
To become a tutor, at most Studierendenwerke, you must apply in writing to the person who manages the tutor programme. In some student-houses, tutors are part of the students’ self-administration. Whoever is interested in being a tutor can put himself/herself up for election at the house plenary meeting at the beginning of term. More information is available directly from your Studierendenwerk!
In order to be able to help your fellow students from abroad, you need to have studied for a few terms already and know your university and its location well. Good German and foreign language knowledge is important; own experience abroad is an advantage. If you find it easy to approach and make contact with others, and you like to organise things, then a job as a tutor could be just the right thing for you.
As a tutor, you can gather international experience without having to go abroad. You work in an international team, train your social and cross-cultural competencies and get to know lots of young people from all over the world. Moreover, nearly all tutors receive an allowance for their commitment in the form of financial payment, a rent reduction or an extension of their entitlement to accommodation. Another plus for all those who have a residence permit for the purpose of studying in Germany: the work as a tutor does not count towards the 120 full or 240 half working days allowed – they can be carried out in addition.
Anna, Studierendenwerke Darmstadt
Get in contact with others and have a look at the different campus groups and initiatives. For example, the student council, the Erasmus Student Network Germany or events organised by your Studierendenwerk.
Some Studierendenwerke offer service packages for international students. The types of services on offer vary. As a rule, a service package covers accommodation, meals and health insurance. Some serive packages also include bedding or rented bikes. In many cases, leisure activities are also included. The service package is booked in advance before studies begin and ensures international students a smooth start to their studies.
This is particularly important for students who are staying in Germany for a limited time, but even students who want to spend their whole study time in Germany have to be able to concentrate completely on their studies, especially at the beginning.
This is especially necessary for students who aim to stay only for a limited time in Germany. But also students who want to spend their studies completely in Germany should be able to concentrate on their studies right at the beginning.
The service packages of the Studierendenwerke also have other advantages: the all-inclusive-offer makes the cost of your stay in Germany calculable. The extent of the most significant expenses such as rent, food and insurance is already clear at the beginning of your studies.The service package is credited to the financial statement for the residential title.
If you find yourself in financial difficulties, you can submit application for financial support at the Studierendenwerk. Usually, this is in the form of a loan which has to be repaid.
Especially at the end of your studies, it is important to completely focus on the last exams or the final thesis. For students who cannot work during that time, some Studierendenwerke offer graduation loans. They were only granted to students who find themselves just before graduation. Inform yourself directly at your Studierendenwerk if there exists such a support during the last phase of your studies and under which circumstances it is available.
International students in financial difficulties should contact the advisory services of their Studierendenwerk. The advisors gladly provide further help in a confident manner and free of charge.