Documentation:Science Co-op/Germany - Stuttgart
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Helpful Tips For Co-op Students Going to Stuttgart
Purpose: This document was created to help you prepare the necessary documents and funds
BEFORE your departure to Stuttgart. This information may help to prevent some difficulties with
paperwork and make it an easier transition for you.
I was here for an 8 months internship at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State research (MPI-FKF) in Stuttgart.
Visa application: at the German embassy in Vancouver through the Youth Mobility Agreement: http://www.canada.diplo.de/Vertretung/kanada/en/02/visa/yma.html Showing the contract at the embassy makes things much faster. The Visa was obtained within 3 days after submitting the application. I was registered as a resident in Stuttgart after my arrival, the MPI staff here took care of everything.
Monthly salary paid by MPI either cash or via a direct bank deposit. Getting a free bank account is easy as long as you show proof of enrollment as a student along with the MPI contract. In Stuttgart, a salary of 1000€/month is sufficient for rent, shopping and even going out or traveling.
I was covered by my Canadian insurance company. In this case, make sure that you always have the necessary documents with you, i.e proof of insurance while abroad.
MPI provides rooms at the guesthouse for the first 3 months at a fee of ~280€/month, and then you have to find housing elsewhere, my advise is to start looking soon after you arrive because the process might take time. Typical rates for a shared flat is in the range of 250 to 500€ depending on location.
The public transportation system in Stuttgart is very efficient. You can reach most areas in the city by S-bahn and U-bahn (metro and tram) or by buses from the metro stations. The fee for 2 zones is 2.60€ for only one direction, day pass is around 6€. A monthly pass of 53€ is enough to cover most of Stuttgart and all of the popular areas, I recommend this if you take the bus to work everyday.
I made sure that I always had my proof of enrollment as a UBC student(provided by the UBC co-op office), proof of health coverage, and an international student card (get discounts at many museums in Europe).
My advice would be to stay positive and don't be afraid to approach people, most of them speak English here so you won't have trouble communicating with them. They provide free German courses (twice a week) at MPI if you're interested. It is an advanced scientific institute, so most people here are PhD students, post-docs and scientists so it is a great environment to be in as a bachelor student. The city is very safe and active with a central location in Europe for traveling. There are many festivals happening every few months so there are always things to do on weekends (but note all shops are closed on Sundays). Enjoy!