4. Bureaucratic Duties

4.2 Studentenwerk (Zimmervermittlung)
4.3 Einwohnermeldeamt (Polizeiliche Anmeldung)
4.11 Visa (Aufenthaltserlaubnis)
4.7 Health Insurance (Krankenversicherung)

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4.1 The first speedbump: The German Bureaucracy

The German Bureaucracy is one of the first sources of stress that you will encounter. It consists of many offices that do not communicate with each other. Therefore you are the one that must tell all of them what the other is doing. Of course you must prove that you have visited these different offices. This proof is papers, receipts, and copies of forms. If you get a piece of paper from an office, DONíT LOSE IT! Otherwise you donít have any proof of what you have done. German offices do not leave their doors open. If there is no one inside it will be locked. If you want to go in you have to knock or just open the door and poke your head inside. If the clerk is not up to par yet, just say please a lot, nod your head, and smile as if you understand what the bureaucrat is saying. This may all sound horrible. But if you know where you need to go, what you have to take with you, and when you have to be there, all will be fine. Donít forget to being a pen (dark blue or black ink).

Providing the essential information is where this section of the Manual comes to play. It is one source of information. Others are a yellow booklet from the Auslandsamt entitled: Informationen für ausländische Studienanfängerinnen und Studienanfänger. It has most of the information that is in this section. Another source is the orientation program that the Auslandsamt runs a day or so after you arrive (Section: 6.1). In it they give you the proper forms and show you the proper offices to go to. They may also help you get health insurance and open a bank account. If for some reason these resources are not available to you, there is enough information in this section to get you through the pinch. This section is intertwining. You should skim all of it to get an idea of how the system works.

4.2 Studentenwerk (Zimmervermittlung)

Hours: Mon. to Fri.: 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Phone: 06421/2960
What you need:

This is the organization that runs the dining halls and dormitories. They do other things but these are the only two that you will have to be concerned with. They tend to be like the rest of the public offices that you will visit in your first few weeks, civil if they feel like it and have a love for paper work.

The only reason that this is the first entry is in case no one is in Marburg to meet you and you really donít want to shell out the money for a hotel room or try to find the youth hostel. You can sometimes go to the Studentenwerk and ask for your room (if of course they are open). You sign some papers, show them your passport and you get your key. Again ideally there should be someone from the Auslandsamt to help you get you settled in.

You will get a paper (in the form of a letter) that you need to show to your Hausmeisterin or Hausmeister (person responsible for the building and its maintenance). You must take it to them between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. within the first few days of your arrival. If you have any questions about the dorm or if anything is damaged in your room you should tell them at this time. From Studentenwerk you will also get a paper to set up automatic payment of your rent. You will get the necessary numbers when you open your Girokonto (Section: 4.4). Return this paper to Studentenwerk within a week of receiving it.

Directions from the Hauptbahnhof (Also see map Section: 12.2, B on the Map):
By foot:

The street right in front of the Train station is Bahnhofstraße. Walk on the left side of the street until the first street on your left. This is Robert-Kock-Str. Continue straight, around a bend, and a bridge across the river. Make a left onto the second intersecting street, Deutschhausstrasse. Continue straight and around a bend (to the right) and straight on to Biegenstraße. Continue straight. The third street on your left, next to the University Art Museum is Wolffstraße. Walk over the footbridge at the end of the street. The building at the end of the bridge in front of you is the Studenthaus. Inside on the right you will see stairs. Take them to the top floor. Studentenwerk is to the right. Behind the glass doors is a waiting area with benches. Just open the door right inside and see if anyone is there.

By Bus:

From the bus stop across from the train station and right in front of the Euro Pick restaurant, take bus 1,2,3,4,5, or 7 (It will cost two marks and you can pay with bills, just keep them small) to the Rudolpsplatz stop. Cross the street (use the underpass if you donít feel like dodging cars) and follow the first street on the left (Wolffstraße) to a foot bridge crossing the river. The building at the end of the bridge in front of you is the Studenthaus. Inside on the right you will see stairs. Take them to the top floor. Studentenwerk is to the right. Behind the glass doors is a waiting area with benches. Just open the door right inside and see if anyone is there.

4.3 Einwohnermeldeamt (Polizeiliche Anmeldung)

Address: Biegenstraße 7 (ground floor)
Hours: Mon. to Fri.: 8 - 12; Thur.: 3 p.m. - 6 p.m.
What you need:

You need to do this within a week of your arrival in Marburg. This means that by the time the Auslandsamt orientation covers it a week will have passed.

On the first floor of the building find the office that covers your last name. Just open the door and get a WHITE form with the half sheet first page and says "ANMELDUNG BEI DER MELDEBEHÖRDE" on the second page. Now the fun part, go out into the lobby and fill out the form.


4.4 Bank Account (Girokonto)

Hours: Mon. to Wed., Fr.: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Thurs.: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Location: Depends on the Bank. Sparkasse is recommended.
What you need:

Probably the best place to go is Sparkasse. They handle some of the Universityís accounts and are very accommodating to students. We found them to be very helpful and glad to add our money to their pot. Just tell some one that you want to open a Girokonto. Be sure to ask for an Geldautomat card. You will get a receipt and a card with your Girokonto number and the Bank number. You will use these numbers to set up automatic payments with Studentenwerk for rent (Section: 4.2) and your health insurance (Section: 4.7). You can pick your Geldautomat card up at the bank in about 3 to 4 weeks from the branch where the account was opened.

You will receive two numbers for your account the Girokonto number (account number) and the bank number or Bankleitzahl (BLZ). You must give these numbers to Studentenwerk (Section: 4.2) on the sheet you received and have them when you go to sign up for health insurance carrier (Section: 4.7).

4.5 Akademische Auslandsamt

Hours: Mon. to Fri.: 9 - 12
Location: 12 Biegenstraße, 2nd floor (3rd on the American system)

This office takes care of the affairs and concerns of foreign students at Marburg and German students studying abroad. For the foreign students they assist in an orientation program, get you a room in student housing through Studentenwerk, and help you get settled into it. Other concerns and problems can also be directed to this office.

This is supposed to be the case. However you may find that the two people you will talk to the most, Herr Komm and Frau Christmann, are not the most available people in the world. Typically their hours are 9-12. And of course in the first month of your stay this is the same time as your Sprachkurs. So if you need to speak to them make an appointment with the secretary.

When you actually get to speak to them they will be very accommodating. But if they give you any date or say that they will do something, it is in your best interest to assume that it will take longer then they say it will. As with any office donít assume that they will do something immediately, they have many students to oversee. If you canít get through to them contact the International Programs Director at Juniata.

Herr Kommís office is the place to ask questions about program specific problems, stipend matters, and the transfer of Scheine (Section: 8.4). Frau Christmann is there for more general questions. Herr Komm or Frau Christmann can help you with other concerns such was a professor not wanting to give you a graded Schein. If you cannot get in touch with these two people or just have a basic question, talk to Herr Kommís secretary. This person can tell you what has been completed and answer basic concerns.

4.6 Stipend

What you need:

To deposit money in your account, Juniata and the Auslandsamt (Section: 4.5) must have your bank account number, your bankís number (Bankleitzahl), and your address in Marburg. If you canít give these things directly to Herr Komm give them to his secretary. The important thing is that you must supply the information.

This is important because it is Herr Komm that decides where your stipend is coming from. It will come from one of two places: directly from the University or from Juniataís bank account in Germany. Either way he needs to know your bank numbers so that he can deposit the stipend for September (800 DM in 1995) and other payments Juniata might make in your account (once Juniata authorizes it). As said before you also need to give Juniata this same information. They authorize Herr Komm to make any transfers form the Juniata account. Komm needs your address because Studentenwerk does not communicate with the Auslandsamt. It is important that information is sent directly to you. Otherwise the Auslandsamt has to send it in care of Studentenwerk, which can take longer than mailing it directly to your dorm.

All of this boils down to two places where you will get your stipend. If the money is coming directly from the University you will pick your stipend (800 DM per month in 1995) up at the Universitäteskasse (located on the first floor of 10 Biegenstr., the building next to the Auslandsamt, 2nd door on the left as you come in the main entrance) bring your passport as a form of identification. The stipend can also come from Juniataís account in Germany. In this case the money will be directly deposited in your Girokonto. Again it is Herr Komm that decides from which source it will come. If you donít know the source or Herr Komm is vague ask the secretary. Be sure to communicate with Juniata when you get your September stipend as well as where and when you get your regular stipend. Tell them the amounts as well, if it is wrong they can correct the problem. If you think the amounts are incorrect, ask someone.

4.7 Health Insurance (Krankenversicherung)

Hours: Vary with the carrier. Barmerís are: Mon. - Wed.: 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.; Thur.: 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.; Fri.: 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Location: Varies with the carrier. Barmer is located on Bahnhofstr. you can see it easily from the Hauptbahnhof.
What you need:

Though you may have health insurance in the states, the University requires that you have German health insurance when you register. Check with your U.S. insurance carrier as to how foreign care is handled. Some carriers have agreements with German carriers and you may already be covered by a German carrier. Barmer is the one that the Auslandsamt recommends. It as a bit expensive (84.66 DM a month in 1995), but they are the largest in Germany, have offices all over the country, and are accepted by most doctors. The basic insurance covers just about everything sensible from regular and emergency care to dental work and glasses. All you really have to pay for is a portion of some prescribed medication, frames for glasses, and some dental work.

Barmer has the simplest form that you will fill out. Usually a Barmer representative will fill it out for you. They are very helpful and tolerant of broken German. You will receive proof of insurance (a white, 2 or 3 part postcard). Donít lose this card. You will need half of it when you register at the university. You donít need to pay any money there, they will pull it out of your bank account.

When you register at the University you will get several Studienbescheinigungen . Take one of these to Barmer as soon as possible. They will also need one for the winter semester when you re-register.


4.8 Transportation Passes

Hours: Mon. to Thur.: 7:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. , 12:15 - 3:30 p.m.; Fri.: 7:15 - 12
Location: Little blue-green building (says Fahrkarten-Verkauf & Auskunft) under the Autobahn bridge on Bahnhofstr. (only sell passes for Marburg)
What you need:

4.8.1 RMV SemesterTicket

You are probably wondering what RMV is. It stands for Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund GmbH. This corporation is an agreement among public transportation providers in central Hessen to for an integrated transportation system.

The SemesterTicket was proposed by AStA (student government) to RMV for convenience and environmental grounds. RMV agreed to the arrangement, but it would only be feasible if all students in the region were required to purchase the ticket. Voting was held in the summer semester of 1996. Students voted in favor of the ticket and the ticket fee was added to the University Fee (Section 4.9) required at the beginning of each semester.

The ticket allows students to travel anywhere in the RMV on participating transportation providers (which is almost all public transportation in the region) without additional payment. This includes all buses in Marburg, buses in other cities, regional buses, street cars, subways, and trains. The ticket can only be used on RB, RE, IR, and S trains. For other trains and travel outside of the region separate tickets must be purchased. Travel from Marburg to Kassel-Wilhelmshöre by train is covered on the pass for Marburg students only (transportation in Kassel is not however). An additional 3 DM was added to the Marburg ticket so that travel to Kassel was allowed (Kassel is outside of RMV).

Students do not receive a separate pass, your student ID acts as your pass. It must be accompanied by a photo ID, a passport for example (a drivers license from the states will not be enough). If you are worried about carrying a passport all of the time you can obtain a customer card from RMV that will act as a photo ID (where you can obtain this card was as of the writing undetermined). There should be further information available on this ticket in Marburg. If you select Marburg as your first place of residence (Erstewohnsitz) at the Anmeldung with the city then you get 20 DM off of the ticket. To request the money back you have to fill out a form in the Studentensekretariat giving your bank information. For questions about the Ticket ask at AStA in the downtown Mensa.

4.8.2 Passes just for Marburg

A bus pass will allow you to ride any of the buses in Marburg for a one time price during a set period of time. There are many types of passes available. The most useful though will probably be the Monatskarte and Mehrfahrtkarten. If you are going to ride the bus to your language course then it would be worth your while to get a Monatskarte. It costs 38 DM and is good for one month, starting the day of purchase. Otherwise you have to pay 2 DM for a ride, here you get a receipt good for two hours. Mehrfahrtkarten (6 rides for 10 DM) can be purchased from the driver or at the above listed office. There are other types of passes, ask at the ticket office if you are interested.

Before the SemesterTicket was implemented there was a semester bus pass (just for buses in Marburg). These are no longer available. But if the time were ever to come about that the SemesterTicket were no longer offered, the semester bus passes would probably be reinstated. At the time they were offered the best way to get the Winter Semester pass was to go to the meeting held by the Auslandsamt for the students arriving in October (Cost 78 DM in 1995). The Summer pass was obtained at the blue building mentioned at the beginning of the section. If you had a Studienbescheinigung the pass cost 57 ( in 1996).

In 1997 there will be a new electronic debit card system implemented in RMV. This will allow passengers to pay per ride with out having to carry money with them. The ride will just be deducted from the card. The beginnings of the implementation were just starting as of the writing of this manual, so not much information about its full implementation was available.

4.9 University fee (Bezahlung für Studentenwerk und Studentenschaft or Studiengebühr)

What you need:

This step is easy was well. Just go into any bank in Marburg and tell them that you want to pay the University fee. This is done by filling in a funds transfer form (the people at the bank can help you) filling the Universityís bank account information (Konto Nr.: 108, BLZ: 533 500 00). You can pay with cash or just pull it out of your Konto (Section 4.4). You can also pay directly at the Universitäts-Kasse. Keep the receipt, you will need it when you register at the University. The fee is paid at the beginning of each semester.

In the Winter Semester of 1996 the fee was 83.50 DM. The increase by 91 DM is due to the addition of the RMV SemesterTicket. For further information about the SemesterTicket see Section 4.8.1.

4.10 Einschreibung (Matriculating with the University)

Hours: Mon. to Fri.: 9 - 12
Location: 10 Biegenstraße. Studentensekretariat, right inside the main entrance.
What you need:

This is where you finally get to tie up some of the lose ends. During 1996 the process was not done in the Studentensekretariat but in room 23 and 25 of the same building (a sign will be posted on the door saying if this is still in effect). The Registration form listed above asks for your name, subject etc. You will probably not have received this form. Just get to the office early and get a form and the key. Fill it out the best that you can. If you donít know what to fill in for an entry, leave it blank and the clerk will fill it in and ask you questions as they enter the information into the computer. Give them your various receipts

You will receive a large computer print out. It contains all sorts of wonderful things including your student ID (Studienausweise), supplement Ids (Studienbescheinigung), and a registration form for the Summer Semester (Ruckmeldung). Donít lose this. Put it in the nifty white folder and take it with you when you go to get your visa, the last leg of the journey. Donít forget to give one of your Studienbeschinigungs to your health insurance carrier (Section: 4.7).

4.11 Visa (Aufenthaltserlaubnis)

Hours: Mon., Wed., Fri.: 9 - 12; Thur.: 3 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Location: Ausländerbehörde, 7 Biegenstraße, top floor.
What you need:

This is straight forward. You walk to the top floor and find the office that covers you name (just like down stairs). If there is nobody waiting outside the office, knock. Just follow the bureaucratís mutterings. You will get a receipt and have to go the ground floor to the Kasse (first door on the left as you enter the Einwohnermeldamt) pay you 60 DM and get a stamp (on the receipt) and the run back upstairs. The timing is so that the clerk is finishing up their writing, stamping, and pasting by the time you get back (just walk right into the office, theyíll let you know if theyíre not ready).

Congratulations! You are done (until you leave) with your tour of the German Bureaucratic System and lived to tell about it. Now you can get down to the important things in life (Weíll let you decide what those things are).

4.12 In-between the Semesters

4.12.1 Ruckmeldung

Hours: Mon. to Fri.: 9 - 12
Location: 10 Biegenstraße. Studentensekretariat, right inside the main entrance.
What you need:

This is when you tell the University if you are going to be returning for the next semester. It is perhaps the quickest of all of the above listed bureaucratic garbage. You simply fill out the Ruckmeldung form that you received when you matriculated, have the receipt that you paid the University fee, and bring the three fold postcard that your health insurance carrier will send to you. You can also extend your E-mail account by giving the receipt of payment to the person attending to you.

The lines tend to be long but move quickly. Get there early if you donít like waiting. Be sure to give Studientbescheingungen to your health insurance carrier (Section: 4.7) and to the Auslandsbehörde (Section: 4.11).

4.13 When Leaving Marburg

4.13.1 Studentenwerk

To get your security deposit back before you leave pay the last two months of your rent in cash (Bargeld). Before June 10th go to room 310 (this is the Kasse) of Studentenwerk, cancel the automatic payments from your bank account and pay in cash. You can pay all at once or you can pay by the month. Studentenwerk should sent you a letter stating this.

You get the deposit back after you give up your room. To do this you will have to make an appointment with your Hausmeister or Hausmeisterin. They will check you out of the room and any damage will be assessed. You will get a Laufzettel which you will have to take to the Vermietungsamt in Studentenwerk (this is the office you went to initially to sign the lease and get your keys). Go to the room to the right and say you would like your Laufzettel tabulated (in 1996 Frau Gephart was responsible for this). The costs will be tabulated and you have to go up to the Kasse (Room 310) where you will receive the an about of money back in cash. Any additional costs or refunds for heating, water etc. will also be tabulated at this time (it is also possible that you will get some money back). Other additional costs outside of damage include a 25 DM processing fee and a 40 DM room cleaning fee (this can be avoided if you clean your room thoroughly and the Hausmeisterin writes this on the form).

There will probably be a period of time between when you give up your room and when you leave the country. As of 1996 Studentenwerk will not allow you to stay in your room once you have received your security deport. You will have to ask your Hausmeisterin, sometimes they will allow you to stay one night. This however is no guarantee, so you should have a place to stay for the necessary amount of time.

4.13.2 Health Insurance

Most health care providers request that you notify them of your insurance cancellation four weeks in advance. The easiest way to do this is to do it in person since there is a form that you need to sign. You are still insured for the last month of your stay in Germany, you just give the insurance company more of time to do the paper work. They should send you a letter confirming the cancellation.

4.13.3 Abmeldung from the city

You go the Einwohnermeldeamt (Section: 4.3) and get a green Abmeldung form from one of the offices. Fill it out then give it to the clerk. The form is similar to the white Einmeldungs form that you filled out at the beginning of the year. Refer to your copy of the white form and the directions in the section if you have problems.

4.13.4. Exmatrikulation

Go into the Studentsekretariat on 10 Biegenstr. during the Ruckmeldung period and simply state that you wish to exmatriculate from the University. The clerk will give you a form to fill out there. You will receive a copy and a computer printout. Bring your Studienausweise and passport.

4.13.5 Transcript from the Auslandsamt

You have two options to get credits transferred back to Juniata, take the Scheine back to the International Programs office or have the Auslandsamt in Marburg prepare a transcript for you. The simplest option is to have the transcript prepared. You will receive a form at the office. List on the form what courses should appear on the transcript, the hours per week they meet, and the grade earned. After the Auslandsamt has seen the Scheine they will prepare a transcript and send to Juniata. It is also possible to list courses that you do not yet have a Scheine for at the time that you request the transcript. This is the case when you were not able to pick up the Scheine for some reason (someone was on vacation for example and you could not get a signature). List the Scheine on the transcript request and have the Scheine forwarded to the Auslandsamt. It will then be listed with the grade and the transcript and Scheine sent to Juniata.

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