This housing and visa guide is specifically for those looking to spend 12 weeks in Berlin for the SPICED Full Stack program. If you decide to stay in Berlin after the program, we’ll be happy to guide you through that moving process then!
Do You Need A Visa to Study in Berlin for 12 Weeks?
The short answer is, it depends.
If you are a citizen of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you do not need a Residence permit to live and work in Germany. All you need to enter Germany is a valid passport or identity card.
If you are a citizen of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, The Republic of Korea, New Zealand or the USA, you may enter Germany without a visa and apply for a Residence permit after entering Germany. Only citizens of these countries can directly apply after their arrival for a Residence permit.
If you are not a citizen of any of the above mentioned locations, you will need a visa to live in Berlin and participate in our 12-week program.
Important Note! SPICED Academy is not registered as an educational institution. It is a private company. You will not be granted a student visa to live in Berlin and participate in our program for the 12-week duration.
Another important point to remember is that visa rules and regulations can change frequently, so the best place to always refer to is your local German embassy website. To determine type of visa and applications, please visit your local German embassy website. To get to the website to your local German embassy, visit the official German “Local Contacts” page.
We recommend that you apply for one of the following types of visas, depending on which country you’re a citizen of:
- Schengen 90-day visa
- Job Seeker visa
- Freelancer visa
The Schengen 90-day visa is the easiest visa to acquire, so your best bet is to apply for this type of visa. The SPICED 12-week program is well within the 90-day duration. To learn more about Germany visa regulations, please visit the Germany Federal Foreign Office website.
While you’re studying at SPICED and you’re on the Schengen 90-day visa, if you decide to look for employment in Germany, you can apply for the Job Seeker or Freelancer visa. If you have applied for the Job Seeker or Freelancer visa and your 90-day Schengen visa duration is overdue, you are OK to stay in Germany as long as you have proof of an appointment with the Federal Foreign office for the Job Seeker or Freelancer visa.
You can also check this very useful page regarding the EU Blue Card in Germany.
For a duration of 12 weeks, we recommend that you utilize short-term rentals, because there is very little paperwork required. We have outlined three different short-term rental websites below. We recommend that you start your apartment search at least 30 days in advance of your program start date.
In case you prefer signing up for a long-term rental before you start the onsite program, these are the most popular and helpful websites:
- http://www.immobilienscout24.de/ is the most comprehensive website for finding an apartment.
- http://www.immonet.de/ and http://www.immowelt.de/ are similar to immobilien scout.
- http://www.wg-gesucht.de/ if you’re looking to share an apartment with someone else.
- https://www.dreamflat.de/ is a newer website (startup).
- https://www.wg-suche.de/ has an English version.
Berlin Neighborhoods and Rents
Average rents for a 60 square meter one-bedroom apartment in a nice, friendly neighborhood are in the range of EUR 600 to EUR 800 per month. Of course, you can find something cheaper if you rent a studio or decide to share an apartment with someone.
In terms of neighborhoods, Schöneberg is a nice area with plenty of restaurants, bars and shops (this is where SPICED is located). If you want a more hipster vibe with a scattering of Turkish shops, Kreuzberg or Neukölln are your top picks. The more family friendly neighborhoods are Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg, and the rents here are slightly higher than in the rest of Berlin.
All of these neighborhoods are about a 30 to 40 minute train or bus ride away from SPICED Academy. And if you like to bike, that’s another great option for commuting around Berlin!
You will need health insurance for the duration of your stay in Berlin.
If you come on a Schengen 90-day visa, you can buy traveler’s health insurance. If you already have health insurance in your country of residence, you can use your existing health insurance for the 90-day period in Germany (make sure you bring proof with you and carry it with you at all times!).
If you come on a longer visa such as a Job Seeker’s visa or Freelance visa, you can sign up with a popular German health insurance company after moving to Berlin, such as TK, Barmer or AOK. You will of course need to pay for it on your own.
SPICED Address and Contact Info
SPICED Academy is located at Potsdamer Strasse 188, 3rd Floor, 10783 Berlin. We are in the Schöneberg neighborhood of Berlin, well connected by public transport. The neighborhood boasts an eclectic choice of restaurants, bars and coffee shops.
As your plan your 12-week stay in Berlin, please do not hesitate to contact us! We are here to help you and are happy to guide you through the process!
Send an email to Shilpa Melissa Rodrigues at firstname.lastname@example.org.