Getting a Room in a Berlin Dormitory
A dormitory is a special place to life. A place, that can be anything. Especially in big cities like Berlin. 9500 rooms in 33 student dorms are available including single rooms, one room apartments, WGs (German shortcut for Wohngemeinschaft = shared apartment) or flats. But this is only the number of places in the student dorms from the Studentenwerk Berlin. Dorm valleys, special dorms for students and trainees or luxury student dorms are not included. Nevertheless, everybody who has a valid registration in one of the state universities in Berlin can apply for an apartment in one of the 33 dorms of his choice. Before applying, keep in mind, that the dorm must not be next to your university. Some better ones seem to be a little bit far away from your faculty, but are probably in a much better condition. Filling out the online form is the first step. What comes afterwards is hopefully not an email like this:
You have applied for a room in our Halls of Residence. Unfortunately, we have not been able to accommodate you up to now and you have been placed on a waiting list. If you are still interested in a room in Halls and wish to keep your application active, please confirm within 5 days of receipt of this email by clicking the following link. If you do not activate the link within the specified time, we will no longer consider your application
Halls of Residence Administration Studentenwerk Berlin
Some student dorms in good and central locations in Berlin have really long waiting lists. These include especially the ones in Nollendorfstraße (Nollendorfstreet near famous Kurfürstendamm) and Potsdamer Straße (Potsdamerstreet near Potsdamer Platz) or a dormitory in a very beautiful and calm place called Grunewald. The time waiting for a free room in one of these dorms is most probably longer than a complete master study - without joking! If you finally get your confirmation per e-mail: congratulations and welcome to the life in a German dormitory - most likely funnily without Germans.
One Hour After Moving in: Where can I get Internet?
It completely depends on your student dorm! If you are lucky, you'll get a room in the only student dorm with free internet at Berlins Nollendorfplatz. But as we know so far, there is no internet in all the other ones. That means you have to find someone, who already lives there and agrees to share it with you or you get your own internet. This can take up to four weeks, but is by far the best option. Especially in dorms like Franz-Mehring-Platz or Halbauer Weg, where only a few people or in the worst case no one likes to share the costs.
You should make sure to sign a contract with either O2 or 1und1 3-4 weeks before moving in. Why only these two? Because they offer contracts without a minimum contract term. In case you want to move to another place, you can take the internet contract with you, but they will charge money for that. Another tip: 16000 GB is more than enough for the internet you are using in a dorm, even though the sells person is telling you something else.
Eight Hours After Moving in: Can I use Your Kitchen Stuff?
A lot of people from different countries are living in Berlins hostels. That also means that everybody likes to cook and eat different kind of foods (sometimes with a lot of hot spices), has a different way of cooking his meal (a rice cooker can be found in every kitchen; if you see a pressure cooker its better to stop cooking there!) and different timings (sometimes people like to cook at 2 am in the morning). A student dorm kitchen is the place, where the real student dormitory life begins. If the kitchen is big enough, it can also function as a partyroom. Very communicative person will most probaly love cooking and spending time in a dormitory kitchen.
5 Days After Moving in: Where Can I Wash my Laundry?
In every student dorm in Berlin is a washing room with washing machines and dryers. You can either pay with your Studentenwerk card (rechargeable in the University) or with coins. These coins are most of the time available in the dormitory bar and only at certain times. An average washing cycle costs around 2 Euro.
10 Days After Moving in: How Many People Are Living in the Room Next to Me?
Don't wonder if you notice that more than 1 person is coming out of the room next to you - everyday. The legal tenant(s) is legally or more probably illegaly sharing it with someone else. It's a very common technique in every student dorm in Berlin to save money. A lot of couples are doing this, but also a lot of people from the same foreign country. Sometimes even 3! people are sharing a 16 square meter room with each other for a longer period of time. In this case, the other two illegal tenants most probably have a legal room in the same dormitory. If everyone is renting out his own room for 300 Euro/month (for a 200 euro-room), the group of three students are basically living for free when everybody is paying 70 euro rent for a 3-shared room.
1 Month After Moving in: What Does This Bitch Want From Me?
A lot of people from different countries, all approximately the same age, all stressed students. What else can be expected than fights? To avoid fighting with each other, we recommend to talk less and rather keep on learning to finish your degree as fast as possible!
3 Months After Moving in: How Can I Quit my Contract?
Moving out from a Berlin student dorm is a very fast and easy process. After 3 months minimum term living in a dorm, you have a 4 weeks cancellation period. Just write a quick letter to the housemaster. If you want or have to move out after 2 weeks, there is no way. Then we can only suggest to find an (unfortunately illegal) interim tenant for the remaining 2 1/2 months. Before leaving your room its important to follow the housemasters instructions to clean it up properly, which includes a 15-20 Euro chemical cleaning for the matress.
For more information about Berlin student dorms from Studentenwerk visit: