1. Ask the secretary to write an introduction letter for the communication with all involved entities (Internationalsbuero/Personalabteilung, Bank, Health Insurance, Einwohnermeldeamt, Ausländersamt etc)
2. Find a flat, and get a paper (rental contract) from your landlord. If you have not yet found one at your arrival, ask a friend of yours to sign his/her address&name in a Anmeldungsformular (but remember to register your own in Rathaus after you rent your own flat). Check with your landlord about the situation, e.g., power supply, water meters, TV and telephone sockets, (if any) bed etc. Ask secretary or another colleague if you don’t understand the rental condition/contract!
3. Register in the Einwohnermeldeamt (in Rathhaus) with your passport + rental paper, and get a residency registration (Anmeldungsbestätigung). If you're also to sign a contract with the university, you need to ask the same office to send a Führungszeugnis to the university personal office (you need to pay some 13€ for this).
4. Create a bank account: most banks are free for students but charge somehow for normal employees. Bring your Anmeldungsbestätigung + passport + secretary’s letter to show you’re a student or an employee. There are many options: Sparkasse, Deutsche Bank, Post Bank, Commerzbank, Dresdner Bank, SEB, Volksbank…
5. Choose a health insurance company (TK/AOK, …) and set up your health insurance. Bring all the documents mentioned above (including secretary's letter) with you .
6. If your birth certification, academic degrees and transcripts getting from abroad have no notarized German (or English) translation: Go to a translation company and have that done (it does cost you something).
7. If you are going to sign a contract with the university, before signing it you have to bring all documents (Anmeldungsbestätigung + passport + Birth certificate + Marriage certificate, if applicable + secretary’s letter + financial paper e.g., letter from the secretary/sample contract, rental contract, insurance, degrees, transcripts), go to Ausländersamt (in Rathaus) and obtain a required living permission (Aufenthaltserlaubnis or Aufenthaltsbewilligung) and later from the Einwohnermeldeamt (in Rathaus) an Income-Tax-card (Lohnsteuerkarte). You have to pay for the application fee (50€?). This step is also necessary for scholarship holders if their visa/living permission status is going to expire soon.
8. If you’re a student: get a confirmation letter from the institute about English (German) (non-)requirements and your intended study program; then go to Internationalsbuero in Wilhemsplatz, register yourself as a student (pay a fee approx. 180€ for each semester) and get a Studentenausweis. Otherwise, go to Personalabteilung for signing contract and get a Universitätsausweis in Gosslerstr. 5/7. Ask Secretary before you go!
9. Now you are almost done with external paper work. Feel free to take a breath and get your working environment established: room keys, computer account, homepage, mailing lists, get familiar with colleagues here…
10. Of course you may go to a German Telekom office for getting a telephone access. The telephone set itself is not free, and you have to pay the installation fee (25€?) and monthly fee for using the telephone, plus the telephone calls you make – each month you’ll receive a bill. Check http://www.telefontarif.de/ for latest cheapest international call-by-call rates. If you want you can also get a mobile phone, note students and university employees can get certain reduction if you get it from O2.
11. In many student dormitories there is Internet access; otherwise, you may choose to find a DSL provider or some other means. Ask colleagues for suggestions.
12. Last and but very importantly, be prepared to live yourself: go shopping and buy necessary living materials: quilt, pillow, towel, food, (if needed) furnitures and cooking materials… Bicycle is in most cases necessary for living in Göttingen, unless your flat is in the city (center) and close to the office. Ask friends, colleagues for suggestions!
Comments? Contact Xiaoming Fu (fucs.uni-goettingen.de)