Please find out early (at least 12 weeks before arrival) if you need a visa to enter Germany by contacting the German embassy about possible visa requirements. If you need a visa, you must apply for a tourist visa which covers the time of the FUBiS program. The German embassy or consulate in your home country can issue such a visa. FUBiS cannot and will not intercede for those who choose not to obtain the appropriate documentation. Participants are responsible for educating themselves on any specific requirements for their selected destination. Failure to obtain appropriate passports and visas is not grounds for any refund.
For further information on visa requirements please visit the German Federal Foreign Office’s website.
On arrival in Germany during times of the coronavirus you may be asked to present proof that you are a participating in the FUBiS program. You will receive a confirmation document by FUBiS with your registration confirmation and should have it handy when entering the country.
Upon request FUBiS can issue a letter of invitation for you, which confirms that you will be studying during the respective period (Term I, II or III) at Freie Universität Berlin. The condition for receiving such a letter of invitation is that you have already registered and paid all incurred costs. FUBiS can e-mail the document to you as a PDF file or fax it directly to the respective German embassy. In this case you will need to send FUBiS the necessary contact data of the embassy (including contact person and fax number).
The day of arrival and departure are part of the FUBiS program. In Term I, arrival and departure days vary. The specific dates can be found here. For Term II and III, it usually is the first and the last Saturday of the respective program. You should arrive in Berlin and move in to your accommodation on the day of arrival. Please note that the day of arrival is the earliest you can move in to your accommodation. Here you can find the arrival and departure dates for your respective term.
In summer, the FUBiS orientation meeting takes place on the first Sunday of the respective terms. In Term I, the dates for the orientation meeting vary. At the orientation meeting, you will receive important information about the program and your courses. Therefore, you should make sure that you arrive in Berlin on the official day of arrival (usually the day before the orientation) at the latest.
Berlin has many transportation connections: you can arrive by plane, train, bus or car.
Arriving by plane
Berlin has two airports which are served by many international airlines. Both airports are situated in or just outside of Berlin and are well integrated into the city’s public transportation system.
- Berlin Brandenburg (BER) is the largest regional airport and is located in the south eastern part of the city. International long-distance flights usually land here.
- Berlin-Schönefeld (SXF) is located right next to BER and is there integrated ad Terminal 5. However, both airports are not reachable by foot from each other.
Arriving by train
Berlin can be reached by train from all major German and European cities. It disposes of several long and short-distance as well as regional railway stations. You will most likely arrive at Berlin’s central station (Berlin Hauptbahnhof).
Arriving by bus
Numerous coach lines from different German and European cities arrive at Berlin´s Central Bus Station Terminal (ZOB) and other stops in the city.
Arriving by car
Berlin is also easy to reach by car. All highways to Berlin flow into the beltway (A10) surrounding Berlin. From there the exits will lead you to the city center.
Further arrival information can be found on the city’s official website.
Berlin has a very well structured public transportation system. Your accommodation can be reached by metro (the “U-Bahn”), city train (the “S-Bahn”) or bus from all airports and railway stations. Approximately four weeks before the FUBiS term begins, you will receive pre-departure information that helps you find the directions to your accommodation.
You should definitely bring the following things with you: passport, visa (if applicable), enough cash for the first days (approx. 250 euro), valid health insurance (FUBiS also recommends accident and liability insurance; if you have chosen the FUBiS insurance package, you will receive your documents at the orientation meeting), towels, adaptors, laptop with Wi-Fi (highly recommended), Berlin guide, dictionary.
Which clothes you should bring depends on the season. In winter the temperatures lie between +10 ° C and -15 ° C. You should bring a warm jacket, scarf, hat, gloves and water resistant shoes. In summer the weather is quite variable in Germany. It is advisable to bring clothes for hot summer weather as well as closed shoes, pants and sweaters for chilly days.
Please also keep in mind to check import regulations for medication you might need and make sure to bring all medication in its original packaging.
If you have a medical condition that requires you to travel with medication, you should have your physician write a letter describing your condition and prescription medications, along with a list of any generic names of the prescribed medication. You should leave your medications in their original containers.
You may want to check if your medication is considered a narcotic drug in Germany. A list of substances subject to special regulations can be found on the following website: http://www.bfarm.de/EN/FederalOpiumAgency/narcoticDrugs/_node.html. If your medication is on this list, you will have to fill out a special form, which can be found on the same page (direct link to the form: http://www.bfarm.de/EN/FederalOpiumAgency/narcoticDrugs/Ein-Ausfuhr/_node.html;jsessionid=D723BD64224612F39E64EA4428505143.1_cid340. This form has to be filled out by the doctor and signed/authorized by a public health authority. It should be presented at customs.
Please avoid bringing large amounts of non-prescription drugs with you.