Preparation before coming to Germany

Visa Questions

If you are not a citizen of the EU, you will most likely need permission to work in Germany.  Even if you are able to enter the country without a visa, you will not be able to work until you have a visa or a residence permit that allows employment.  In most cases, we advise to apply for a research visa

Important Documents

This is a non-exhaustive list of documents to bring with you:

  • a valid passport or form of identification (valid for your entire stay in Germany)
  • if required, a visa
  • passport photos for ID cards and documents (if required, biometric passport photos)
  • written documentation in German or English of how you are funding your stay (scholarship, salary from your home country)
  • proof of health insurance in German or English with a written confirmation of the monthly payments. If your employment in Germany is subject to compulsory insurance, please provide: documentation of your current health insurance (e.g. European Health Insurance Card from your current provider)
  • certified copies of your academic degrees in German or English translation
  • if applicable, birth certificate of your children and certificate of marriage, in German or an English translation, if possible. Depending on the country, certificates will need to include an apostille or form of legalization
  • a credit card and/or EC card
  • an (international) immunization record as well as documents on illnesses or medications
  • If you would like to drive a car while you are in Germany, please bring along an international driving license and a valid driving license from abroad.
Preliminary Housing

It can be quite difficult to find housing in and around Konstanz.  Homeowners often want to meet their potential tenant in person before they draw up a lease. Therefore, we recommend booking a room in the MPIAB guesthouse for the beginning.  Please contact Elke Henkenhaf in order to reserve a room.

The University of Konstanz also has a few rooms available, you can ask here as well

Of course, you are welcome to try the housing market in advance. Here are some of the biggest regional housing portals:

Südkurier Immobiliensuche



Immobilienscout (especially for shared-living arrangements)


Travel to the Institute

The closest airport is located in Zurich, Switzerland.  The next airports in Germany are Friedrichshafen, Stuttgart, Munich and Frankfurt.

Your department’s assistant can help you with your initial travel plans to the institute or see our Addresses and Directions page.

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