Support Structures

The deadline for applications has ended on 1st March, 2022. We cannot accept any further applications.

Doctoral and postdoctoral fellows of the RTG minor cosmopolitanisms will have access to a variety of support structures for the move to Potsdam/Berlin and for settling in in the new environment.

The Welcome Center of the University of Potsdam assists international PhD students and scholars with all sorts of information and help regarding administrative and organizational issues a move might entail. 

The Welcome Center provides information on their website about: 



Health Insurance

As a fellow in the RTG minor cosmopolitanisms you will be an employee of the University of Potsdam. As such you will be entitled to German health insurance. The insurance will automatically be deducted from your monthly salary, you won’t have to pay it separately. One public health insurance provider even has an office on campus. They are used to helping international students with questions about health insurance, you can contact them directly:

TK at the University of Potsdam 
Am Neuen Palais 10, bldg. 22, Room 0.21
Phone: +49 331 977 4125 
Tue 11:00-15:00 & Thu 10:00-12:00h

Family and Childcare

If you are not coming to Germany on your own but with your spouse and/or your children, the Welcome Center also helps with information about registration of your spouse and children and provides information on child care facilities and schools. 

The Welcome Center can also be contacted via e-mail.

In addition, there is also information on child care facilities on the website of the University of Potsdam’s Equal Opportunites Office (in German only, unfortunately).


German Classes

German classes are offered at low price to doctoral candidates and university staff (currently 80 Euros for a whole semester of 4 hours per week). Even though German is not required for taking part in the doctorate program of the RTG, it is very helpful to learn some German. Especially people working in the administration of both the university and the city often do not speak English very well and many things get easier with a little German. German courses can count towards the credits you need to fulfill as part of the RTG’s Qualification Programme



The International Office of the University of Potsdam also provides some help for new students. They have a buddy program which you can apply for. Your buddy would then support you with settling in in Potsdam/Berlin. But they would not only help with organizational issues but also show you around a little in your new city and share their experience at the University of Potsdam with you. 

The Potsdam Graduate School provides a helpful network for all doctoral and postdoc researchers at the University of Potsdam. PhD students can register for a variety of trainings and training programmes, and doctoral researchers at the RTG are required to attend a number of workshops or programmes as part of the RTG’s Qualification Programme. You can browse the current PoGS course programme which also specifies which courses are currently offered in English. 


Public Transport

Many people studying or working at the University of Potsdam live in Berlin. Germany’s capital is only a short train ride away. When you are enrolled as a PhD student you get a student card which also serves as a ticket for public transport in Berlin and Brandenburg. The fees for the ticket are included in the semester fees, so you don't have to worry about paying for every train or bus ride to campus.

There are several trains an hour from Berlin to Potsdam and the other way around, so commuting between the two cities is very easy. Potsdam is a smaller city than Berlin. But it also offers many opportunities, there are museums, castles, lakes, parks as well as bars and cafés which can be visited. There is a big student scene which provides many possibilities to enjoy concerts, festivals, movies and much more. So everyone can decide whether they prefer living in a big or small city.You can of course explore the cities yourself. If you want some recommendations, the Erasmus Students Network provides more information for new students and what they can do to get to know their new surroundings and how to spend their spare time.



If you’re interested in sports, you can have a look at the courses the University of Potsdam offers for students and register for the classes (always at the beginning and at the end of a semester). The website is in German only.

Also the universities in Berlin offer many courses which are quite cheap for students: