If you can't beat 'em join 'em
11.10.2013 - 11.10.2013
There is no fighting German bureaucracy. You just comply. Submit. Gather all the required documents, stand in line, wait your turn, and be very, very polite to the official helping you.
I do not consider any of this interesting per se, but it feels like an accomplishment nonetheless. Thus, I will document how I spent today:
- Obtain my Anmeldebestätigung (carried out in German, after 2+ hours of queuing at the bureau)
- Open a bank account (also carried out in German)
- Arrange direct deposit of my stipend into said bank account (a pretty simple task accomplished by virtue of filling out yet one more form and dropping it off)
- Obtain a waiver from buying German health insurance, saving me perhaps 50€/mo
- Show up to the Immatrikulation ground zero bearing my Anmeldebestätigung and half a dozen other required components to complete the matriculation process. This earned me my student ID, library card and Semesterticket (transit pass)
- Purchase a “Mensa card” that is needed to pay for various things around campus
- Go to the library to activate my student account and get set up on the university Wi-Fi
- Attend a soporific but useful tutorial on Humboldt University’s various online platforms (the only thing all day that I allowed myself in English)
- Return home exhausted.
The devil is truly in the details. On the up-side, after a day of dueling with details, I just need a cell phone and a bicycle and will be set to function in Berlin.