International Affairs

Further Guesthouses and Housing Platforms

Another inexpensive form of housing is a shared flat (WG).

If you prefer private accommodation, you can find various online providers in the list "Mitwohnzentralen."

Especially at the beginning of the semester, a lot of students are looking for a room or a flat. It is recommended that you apply for various options. It is also recommended that you do not pay a deposit or rent in advance! If you do so, it is at your own risk.

Student placement and advising

Student assistants in the International Student Counseling will be glad to provide you with information concerning the alternatives for locating a room or an apartment in Berlin. However, the selection of housing opportunities is not very comprehensive here and usually involves single-room accommodations in a sublease arrangement. The rent will typically cost EUR 250. Student assistants can be contacted in the Main Building in Room H51 (Tue and Thu 9:30-12:30 and 13:30-16:30)

Free market housing

Of course you also have the possibility of finding housing on the free market yourself. In the Sunday issues of German newspapers such as the "Berliner Zeitung," the "Berliner Morgenpost," and the "Tagesspiegel," there are extensive advertising sections with housing offers. The same newspapers have current housing offers on a daily basis as well.

The magazines "Zitty" and "TIP," which are published every two weeks, as well as the newspaper "Zweite Hand," which is published Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, also contain current housing offers. Rooms in apartment-sharing cooperatives (= Wohngemeinschaft/WG) are best found in the advertising sections of “TIP,” “Zitty,” and the “Zweite Hand” or on the bulletin boards of the various Berlin universities and educational institutions.


Studentische Beratung

May Said / Yani Carmen Zegarra Jara / Ertan Özel / Berra Akbas

Student Assistants for the Support of International Degree Seeking Students, Visa & Residence Permit Advising for Students

+49 (0)30 314-24359

Office INT SB
Room H 0051
Advising hours Tue and Thu 9.30 - 12.30 and 13.30 - 16.30

Housing subsidies and eligibility certificate for public housing (WBS)

Housing subsidy

In principle, foreign students may also apply for a housing subsidy. However, three basic requirements must be met:

  1. You are not allowed to receive any form of scholarship or financial support already containing a rental subsidy (e.g. BAföG).

  2. You must provide proof of long-term separation from your parental household – and not merely due to studies (very difficult!).

  3. You must have adequate income at your disposal (approx. EUR 502 + rent), as the housing subsidy can only supplement existing housing expenses.

The amount of housing subsidy which can be received depends upon your rent and income and is calculated on an individual basis. You can also apply for a housing subsidy if you are subleasing or staying in a student hostel. To apply for a housing subsidy, you require the following documents:

  • a passport with a sufficiently long residency permit

  • a rental or sublease contract for the accommodation and a receipt of the last rental payment

  • income documentation (parental support, “TUSMA,” etc.), police registration, study certificates

Eligibility Certificate for Public Housing (WBS)

The Eligibility Certificate for Public Housing is intended to assist you in the search for housing. Due to a resolution of the Berlin Senate from December 1984, the possibilities for foreign students to rent an apartment have been expanded. Since 1 January 1985, it is also possible for foreign students to apply for an Eligibility Certificate for Public Housing (WBS).

What is a WBS? The WBS authorizes its recipient to occupy housing which has been constructed with public funds (social housing) or housing in the eastern part of Berlin which is subject to similar tenancy restrictions. However, the WBS is only an option for specific income groups.

Who can receive a WBS?The WBS can be acquired by an individual with an adjusted annual gross income of EURO 16,800 at the most. This means that certain sums are to be deducted from the actual gross income: such as child benefits, the deductible flat-rate for employees (EURO 920,--), as well as other deductible amounts, including the further possibility to deduct up to another 30% if pension and health insurance payments are also involved. Two persons are allowed to earn a joint sum of EURO 25,200-- in adjusted gross income, whereas for each additional person another EURO 5,740 -- and for each child another EURO 700 -- are permitted. Each person resident in the same household must occupy his/her own residential space. Additional residential space will be acknowledged if important reasons of a personal or professional nature exist.