Getting settled

Housing

House hunting is of course most efficient on site after your arrival. It is therefore convenient to book a room in the institute’s guesthouse, which is situated on our campus next to the MPIBR, and start looking for a room or an apartment from there. Stays at the guesthouse are possible for up to 4 weeks, with an option to extend to 3 months at max with the consent of the director. The rates for a single room (as of January 2021) are 42 € per night, 180 € per week,  550 € per month; for a double room 58 € per night, 260 € per week and 720 € per month, including all service and utility costs. If you want to start looking for accommodation already from abroad, you may browse the respective websites, and either contact the owner yourself or ask the International Office to do so; although many owners nowadays speak English quite well, it often is more efficient and adds a confidence-building touch if an institutes’ administrative assistant acts on your behalf. One important thing to know about renting a flat in Germany is that the rental charges are divided into two parts: the so-called "Netto-Miete" (net rent), usually called  "Kalt-Miete" ("cold" = rent excluding heating and service charges), and the operating and service costs, or "Nebenkosten, Betriebskosten". This means that the costs for heating, water consumption, garbage collection, street cleaning, etc., are added to the net rent. Both sums should be given in the apartment ads. One thing you may find strange is that in Germany it is rather uncommon to let furnished apartments. Although this has changed somewhat during the past years, you should be prepared to have to purchase at least part of your furniture.

Links for house hunting:

Public transport

Frankfurt has a quite well developed local public transport network; ticket machines with multilingual touch screens are to be found at the stations. Note that, as the municipalities organize the local public transport in Germany, each town and city has their individual systems. For example, unlike in many other cities in Germany, there are not tickets of five, ten etc., which you can use up as you need them. In Frankfurt, there are different season tickets on offer (day, week, month, year, single, groups). Single tickets have to be used right away. Also, tickets are not stamped at validation machines inside the trains or busses, but have to be presented to ticket inspectors who do random checks. So if you wish to travel by public transport in other cities, and are not a holder of the Goethe Card (for students), it is wise to get some info about the individual system in place. The German railway network is also well developed, and to travel between cities by train is often faster and more relaxing than by car or plane. There are high-speed ICE trains, which connect all major German cities and also connect to cities in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria. IC trains travel between German cities, and EC trains connect German cities to neighboring countries in Europe. Compared to other countries, Deutsche Bahn is rather expensive, especially tickets for ICE and IC trains. People with lower budgets therefore prefer to travel by one of the long-distance coaches that link German cities to each other and to cities in neighboring countries at very economic prices.

Phone and internet

Most providers offer combinations of landline, mobile phone, internet and/or cable TV. It is an unfortunately well known fact that the provision of an internet connection can take some time. To compare prices and find a provider that works for you, you may use comparison portals such as

https://www.tarife.de/verivox/
https://www.check24.de/

Be sure to check the offers carefully and, if possible, avoid contract periods that are too long, such as 24 months.

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