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Study in Germany: Organization before your Trip

You are planning to come to study at IGC in Bremen and you know that you have many things to consider for your first months in your new home. But have you ever wondered what details you should not forget in your home country before you leave? When leaving your home country for more than a year, you should also consider different factors that we have put together for you in this article so that you don't forget anything and come better prepared than ever.

Woman with notebook outside in green

Cell phone number

Have you ever wondered what you will do with your cell phone contract for the time you are away? You should ask yourself questions like: Do I want to keep my same number when I return? Will I continue to pay for the contract? 

Whether you have a prepaid or contract plan, if you don't take action before your trip you could lose your number since the sim card is inactive for a long time and the provider company believes it can use the number again. It is therefore important to get in touch before your trip and see what options they offer so that you can continue to keep the number, such as continuing to pay a minimum monthly fee.

Cell phone

Some companies block the cell phone they give you so that it does not recognize any other chip from another companies. That’s why you should also check before coming to Germany if your cell phone is blocked or if you can use it without any problem with a German sim card.

Contracts

Before your trip you should make a list of all current contracts you have such as gym, language classes, insurance, leasing, etc. and analyze which ones you can cancel and most importantly when you can cancel them. You should also make a list of the contracts you will have to maintain and write down the costs and payment dates so you don't lose sight of them.

Bank

Do you have several credit cards? Do you want to keep all of them? Are you going to cancel any of them? Or will you take out a new card to use abroad? How much does it cost to make transfers abroad? Is the exchange rate your bank uses for credit card payments good?

It is advisable that before your trip you contact your bank and see what important details you need to take into account. For example, when you are in Germany and you need to make a domestic transfer in your country, what method will they use, will they send a code to your mobile number in your country? Will you still have access to that message? Check carefully how you can make both domestic and international transfers without any problems.

You should also consider how much money you will leave in the account, if any payments will continue to be debited each month and what those will be. It is recommended that you plan to leave a backup amount in that account for contingencies.

Money

If you are about to come to Germany, you probably already have a blocked account. You should also keep in mind that it is better to exchange your local money for euros in your home country in order to have cash when you arrive in Germany. It is also recommended that you bring cash or credit card money for the first few days until you have your German bank account and the money from the blocked account is transferred to you. It is better to bring bring a little extra and then simply deposit it in your German bank than if you are short of money and your account is not yet open.

In your country you can find out what are the cheapest ways to send money in case of emergency. It is important to have all the necessary information to avoid potential problems. 

Important documents

Before traveling, it is important to pay attention to the expiration dates of your documents, such as your identity card, driving license, passport, etc. Are they still valid for more than one year? Is it better to renew them now? And did you find out if you can use your driving license in Germany? What are the requirements? With some driving licenses you are allowed to drive for six months on German territory, others are not valid from the beginning.

Furthermore, we recommend you to have all your most important documents as mentioned above scanned and saved online. It can also be helpful to scan all documents such as your degree, your university grades, your high school diploma, your language and work certificates. All documents should be scanned along with English or German translations neatly arranged online. You will never know when you will need them.

Power and electronics

Arriving from a long, long flight, finally in your new apartment in Germany wanting to charge your cell phone – and oh surprise, your charger doesn't fit in the socket.
It is therefore important for you to find out if your cables and chargers can be plugged in without problems in Germany or if you need to buy adapters before coming. In Germany a voltage of 230 V is used and the plugs are of the type F.

And last but not least don't forget to make a nice farewell party with all your friends and family to share some nice moments together before you start living this new adventure!

We hope to see you soon - perfectly organized - in Bremen!