Housing

This webpage provides general information on searching for housing. Students should take care of their housing in a timely manner, because there is a rush on housing at the beginning of the semester. This also depends on which semester you start your studies. As most degree programs begin in the winter semester, it is easier to find housing in the summer semester.

Information on how to register your residence can be found here.


Student Dormitories

Studentenwerk Potsdam (Potsdam’s Association for Student Affairs)

You can apply for a room if your bachelor's/master’s degree at the University of Potsdam is your first bachelor's/master’s degree (worldwide). Students in the second bachelor's or master’s course are not eligible to live at Studentenwerk Potsdam! Please check the following wepage of the Studentenwerk if you are eligible to apply for a room.

The Studentenwerk Potsdam offers furnished dormitory rooms in several student dormitories that exist at all of the University’s campuses.

  • Single and double rooms, which save more money and increase your chances of getting a room
  • monthly rent between 175 to 460 Euro (including heating, electricity, water)
  • mostly shared apartments with shared kitchen and bathrooms
  • dormitory tutors give support and help

Application for a dormitory room:
If you have applied to the University of Potsdam and are sure that you want to study in Potsdam, please use the Online application, even you haven’t yet received a notice of admission, that you can hand in later. Improve your chances:

  • do not specify a dormitory location/campus. It may be that there are no rooms there, and you will not get a room, even though there are rooms in another location. It's better to live half an hour away from the university than not to get a room at all.
  • The earlier you apply, the better your chances that you will get a room.

Offer for a room & lease agreement

  • You must accept the offer within the response deadline. Afterwards the offer will expire. You also have to pay a registration fee/deposit of 300 Euro to confirm the offer. This deposit will be returned in full if you return the housing unit in orderly condition.
  • Please submit the documents listed in the offer as soon as you have them (for example, a notice of enrollment or a university enrollment certificate).
  • The lease agreement will be signed on your arrival during the opening hours or by personal appointment. Please make also an appointment with the caretaker for a handover certificate.

Studentendorf Schlachtensee (Student Village Schlachtensee)

The cooperative of the nearby student village Schlachtensee offers rooms in shared flats between 275 and 440 euros, depending on the equipment. The residents of the village have a fitness room, computer room, piano room, rehearsal rooms and a modern laundrette at their disposal. The spacious garden can be used for leisure activities. Students of all disciplines and nationalities as well as of all ages live in the Studentendorf, here you help and support each other. The Potsdam university locations can usually be reached by regional or S-Bahn within approx. 30 minutes.

Learn more.

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„Homesharing“

In January 2020, the Studentenwerk Potsdam has launched the “Homesharing” project. The idea: Housing providers in Potsdam offer accommodation and receive support with daily chores in return. Lawn mowing, grocery shopping or childcare. The housing conditions and rules are decided by both parties beforehand. Studentenwerk Potsdam brings home providers and students together and guides them throughout their housing partnership.The service is free of charge.

Learn more.

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Private Housing

Apartment sharing community (WG)

WG (Wohngemeinschaften) are a popular form of housing that many students in Germany take advantage of. The idea is simple: several people share one apartment. Everyone has their own room. You share the kitchen and bathroom. You split the costs for rent, electricity, and Internet. A room in a WG can be more expensive than in a dormitory (about 300-600 Euro per month), but it remains relatively affordable.

You can normally “apply” with an email that says a bit about you and your interests. If the members of the WG are interested in you, you will be invited to what’s called “WG casting” to get to know one another.

Renting your own apartment

Looking for private housing can often turn out to be difficult because several applicants who want to compete for an apartment can be invited simultaneously to one viewing appointment. It is also important to pay attention to the components of the rental price. Online portals often only show what’s called “cold rent” (Kaltmiete), which does not include utilities such as electricity or heating.

Online platforms
www.immonet.de, www.wohnungsmarkt24.de, www.immobilienscout24.de, www.immowelt.de, www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de.

Required documents

  • A copy of your ID or passport (Kopie des Ausweises)
  • Confirmation of no rental debts (Mietschuldenfreiheitsbescheinigung). This document confirms that you do not owe your previous landlord any money and always paid your rent on time. If you have lived in another country before, you might not need it. It is best to ask your prospective landlord or realtor if they need this document from you. In case they do, you can find forms on the internet to download.
  • Salary confirmation (Gehaltsnachweise) / Bank statements (Kontoauszüge): It is common that landlords ask for copies of your three most recent salary slips. If you do not have pay slips, there is a chance that the landlord accepts bank statements (most of the last three month) that prove that you have enough money to pay the rent.
  • Documentation of your credit history - Schufa record (Schufa-Selbstauskunft - privately held company in Germany that keeps track of people’s debts): If you have never lived in Germany before, you won’t have a Schufa record yet. Then you can try to show past bank statements, showcasing a regular income and that you’ve always paid your rent on time. Your Schufa records automatically start once you starting using a bank account in Germany, sign contracts etc. You should use this as your main account where you receive your salary and pay most bills.
  • Tenant application form (Mieterselbstauskunft): Additionally, landlords hand out questionnaires called Mieterselbstauskunft about your general situation (your name, date of birth, about the amount of people who will live in the apartment or room, your job, in-come and if you are in debt).

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Waste Separation

In Germany, it is common to divide waste into different groups to recycle the the garbage - residential buildings and dormitories, but also throughout the campus and in other public places, such as a railway station.

Yellow Bins are for light-weight packaging (for example aluminum foil, plastic bags, tins, yoghurt cups, milk cartons, coffee packs)

Green or Blue Bins are for paper waste (for example, paper bags, newspapers, catalogs, cartons, cigarette packs).

Black or Gray Bins are for residual waste or household waste and all other types of waste that cannot be recycled (for example, porcelain, hygiene articles, dirty packaging, shoes, household items, vacuum cleaner bags, diapers, cigarette butts, window glasses).

Bio waste or Brown Bin are for compostable kitchen and garden waste (coffee and tea dregs, fruit and vegetables remains, eggshells, leaves).

Glass bottles with no deposit on them have to be disposed of in specific containers. There are usually containers for white, brown, and green glass.

Reusable bottles and cans

On disposable bottles, you will find a square sign with a can and a bottle (with the logo of "Deutsche Pfand-System GmbH"). Returning the bottles or cans you will receive a 25-cent deposit (Pfand) at refund centers in each supermarket.

On returnable bottles, you will often find no labeling at all, sometimes there is a blue angel sign or the word "reusable bottle" ("Mehrwegflasche", "Leihflasche" or "Pfandflasche"). Whether glass or plastic, for returnable bottles you receive 15-cent and 8-cent deposit for each beer bottle.

Public Broadcasting Fee (Rundfunkbeitrag)

Every apartment and every dormitory room must be registered to pay the public broadcasting fee. The fee for three months is 55.08 euros.  WG members can split up the fee. You can register your apartment or room with a form that you will get from your local residence registration office.

Abbreviations in Housing Advertisements

2-Zi.-Whg tow room apartment

2 ZKDB two rooms, kitchen, hallway, bathroom (zwei Zimmer, Küche, Diele, Bad)

EBK includes built-in-kitchen (Einbauküche) – otherwise, you will have to purchase your own kitchen and appliances

K Rental deposit (Kaution)

+ NK plus Nebenkosten (=costs for heating, electricity, gas, water, and waste disposal)

NR non-smoking (Nichtraucher)

WBS Wohnberechtigungsschein (official certificate for low-income reners)