Where is Bard College Berlin located? What is the neighborhood like? Bard College Berlin is located in the Niederschönhausen neighborhood of Pankow, in the north of Berlin. Niederschönhausen is in a quiet and residential area of Berlin, with lots of parks and green spaces nearby. Students have easy access to the center of Berlin with M1 tram access.
Will my student have access to medical care at Bard College Berlin? Yes. All students are required to be insured in order to matriculate at Bard College Berlin, whether through German or International health insurance. Students have access to on- and off-campus health care. Read more about health insurance below.
Who is responsible for my student’s well-being? In Germany, everyone above the age of 18 is considered an adult. If your child needs support, there are live-in Residential Assistants on campus and full-time professional staff available to assist them all hours of the day.
Is there a doctor on campus? All students have health insurance, and thus have access to medical doctors. There are excellent doctors within a quick tram ride from campus. There is even a 24-hr emergency room within a 10-minute tram ride from campus.
In addition, there is a medical doctor on campus once a week, and a counselor on campus twice a week. Students are encouraged to find the doctor who best suits their needs.
Should my student bring their medications to Bard College Berlin? Yes. Students will not be permitted to ship medications internationally to Bard College Berlin, and are recommended bring their necessary medications with them.
Please check that the various medications are legal in Germany. It is also a good idea to connect with a doctor in Germany who can assist with your student’s medical needs upon arrival.
How do I view and pay the student bill? You will get a BCB student account statement send to your BCB email address shortly before the beginning of the semester. The statement shows all credits and charges (like financial aid, FAFSA, reader charges, Semesterticket charges, cash payments, and bank transfers to your BCB student account) and will include the due date and payment methods.
Does my student need health insurance? Yes. It is a legal requirement to have health insurance coverage in Germany. All students in Germany must have adequate insurance in order to be enrolled. The type of insurance will depend on a student's individual circumstances and preference.
How does health insurance work if my student is an EU citizen? Students from most other European countries will already have state health insurance valid in Germany. They must simply bring their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with them to demonstrate this (and to avail of German health care services).
Please note that a EHIC is not sufficient for employment in Germany, and students must be insured by a German health insurance provider in order to pursue on- and off-campus jobs.
How does health insurance work if my student is not an EU citizen? Students from outside Europe can either sign up for German public insurance or apply for exemption from this. It is not possible to switch insurance once a student has made their decision.
Please note that under current German employment law, students must be insured by a German health insurance provider in order to pursue full- and part-time employment in Germany.
How can my student get German health insurance? If opting for German health insurance, there are two options to pay the contribution: either by monthly installments from a German bank account (at a cost of ca EUR 90) or by bill covering six months at a time. It is not possible to pay the latter by credit card, can be paid as a transfer payment from an international account. The billing cycle runs October-March and April-September.
How can my student apply for an exemption from the insurance requirement? Students can apply for exemption from German public insurance on the basis of a private insurance (including an overseas insurance with international coverage). This private insurance must be as comprehensive as German public insurance and provide comparable access to medical facilities (emergency and non-emergency).
The application for exemption will be reviewed by one of Germany's public insurance providers to determine this. If the insurance is inadequate, the application may be declined and the student would then have to sign up for German public insurance. Students are guided through the above process by the College at orientation and beyond.
How do I process a change of address? Students should notify the College about any change in their primary address (e.g. when moving off campus or relocating within the city), by contacting the Registrar’s Office via their Bard College Berlin email address.
Does the tuition include book costs? No. Students can pay around 300 Euros per semester for books, but often pay less. It is best to budget 500 Euros per year for books costs.
How can my student have cash and finances available in Germany? How can I send money to him/her? We recommend the student set up a German bank account. This can only be done after the student is officially registered (Angemeldet) in Germany, and after the receipt of a residence permit, so students should be prepared to wait before setting up a bank account. In the meantime, students can use their foreign cards to withdraw cash.
What does my student need to bring for on-campus housing? Residential life services at Bard College Berlin provide for the majority of housing necessities, including sheets, pillow, duvet and kitchen supplies. All your student needs to bring are clothes, toiletries, and a towel! Plus, of course, anything they need for their academics!
How can I send my student a care package? If your student is living on-campus, we suggest sending a package to the Administration building, so that the package can be received Monday through Fridays at the following address:
Student Name ℅ Bard College Berlin Platanenstraße 24 13156 Berlin
If your student is living off-campus, please mail packages to their off-campus addresses. Packages for off-campus students are not received on campus and will be returned to sender.
Can my student stay in on-campus housing during breaks? In shorter breaks (such as Fall, Winter and Spring break), yes! Students are asked to register when they stay on-campus for breaks, but this information is kept in case there is an emergency and all on-campus residents are allowed to stay on campus during these breaks.
Students can apply to stay on campus during the Summer break, but typically only students with on-campus employment are allowed to do so. Students with questions about this should contact the Director of Housing and Residential Life.
When do I get notified about grades? Bard College Berlin does not notify parents about academic progress. Students have access to this through their online BIP system and can share this information with their parents.
What can I do if my student is not doing well academically? If you find that your student is not doing well academically, you can encourage them to do the following three things:
First, speak with their professor in their office hours. Second, visit the Learning Commons (where the college offers various peer tutors and workshops). Finally, encourage the student to connect with the Head of Student Life, who can assist in helping them find adequate resources to support their academic development (on- or off- campus).
Will my student get an American and a German degree? That depends. All students who graduate with a Bachelor’s degree from Bard College Berlin will receive a BA accredited by Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. Students with Abitur equivalency can receive a BA degree accredited by the German Wissenschaftsrat, as well.
Will my student need a visa for Germany? EU citizens will not need a visa to study in Germany.
Other international students will need a visa to enter Germany, or will need to apply for a visa upon arrival. Students must check if they require a student visa from a German Embassy prior to entering Germany. We recommend consulting a German embassy for details, as the procedure can vary by country and changes may occur. German embassies around the world can be found here.
If a student needs a visa to enter Germany, we urge you to start this process as early as possible since the visa processing might take several months. Please note that tourist or visitors’ visa cannot be used for university students, please make sure that your daughter/son applies for a student visa (also called national/long-term visa). General visa regulations can be found on the webpage of the German Foreign Office.
All students from outside the European Union will also need to apply for a long-term student residence permit once they arrived in Germany. This process is supported by BCB staff.
Will my student need to get a visa on her/his own? Where can students get assistance? German embassies only accept individual visa applications by the student. Students will need to book an appointment, submit documents, and pick up the visa on their own and in person. However, Bard College Berlin can provide counseling and will assist with visa documents: students will be issued a visa invitation and admission letter for the German Embassy after admission and payment of the enrollment deposit.
Upon arrival at Bard College Berlin, the College will hold orientations to provide information and assistance for students who need official registration in Berlin and a long-term student residence permit (all students from outside the EU). Bard College Berlin offers to settle the official registration and the long-term student residence permit application with the immigration authorities on behalf of the students. Students are asked to be prepared to hand in their passports for several weeks if they would like to make use of this service.
Can I help my student with the visa process? We recommend that parents work with students on the visa application to make sure that the process is successful. Students might need assistance with collecting the required documents, understanding the requirements for proof of available funding, or timing the visa application well before departure.
Please refer to the website of the German Embassy in your home country for information about the visa process. German embassies around the world can be found here.
How long does it take to get a student visa? Can you speed up the process? Visa processing times can vary from 6 weeks to several months. We urge students to start this process as early as possible to arrive in time for classes. To assure a speedy process, students are encouraged to read all the information on the respective German embassy’s website carefully and hand in complete paperwork.
Embassies are usually unable to respond to inquiries and requests to speed up the visa application. It is not possible for Bard College Berlin to influence the visa processing times or the visa requirements, all visa decisions are taken by the German Embassies and the Federal State of Germany.
Can my student work in Germany? Once students successfully received a visa and a long-term residence permit (upon their arrival in Germany), students are usually allowed to work part-time and as student assistants on- and off-campus.
Students should be aware of work restrictions outlined by the College, by their health insurance, their visa, and residence permit.