My firstborn will leave home soon and is off to study at a university a few hours away from home. Being a first, this is quite a new situation for me. What we (mostly she herself) have done so far is:

  • Enlist at the university.
  • Find a place in a shared apartment.
  • Inform the Familienkasse (Family Benefits Office) so the Kindergeld (Child Benefit payment) keeps flowing.
  • Inform our Gesetzliche Krankenkasse (National Health Insurance).
  • She should be covered by our Haftpflichtversicherung (Liability Insurance) due to being less than 25 years and it being the first course of studies, although I have to give the small print a good read-through again, regarding this.

What else do we need to do along these lines (related to laws, insurances, money etc.) or risk dire consequences otherwise? She doesn't drive a car. Anything else we should know/do? Anything that's optional, but would be really bad to miss for some reason? Or would be really good to do now instead of later?

I'm mostly interested in stuff that involves the parents in some fashion or is really non-optional - I trust that she'll handle everything related to the university on her own.

  • It might be helpful to translate to English the terms you have still in German, or explain them ("Familienkasse - Family Benefits Office - " for example). I'll make an attempt but my German is pretty old, perhaps @Steph can make a better pass.
    – Joe
    Oct 20 '20 at 17:47
  • Thanks a lot, @Joe! You're absolutely right, should have tried that from the start.
    – AnoE
    Oct 21 '20 at 7:27
  • What about insurance for stuff (e.g. computer, clothes, jewellery etc)? Oct 22 '20 at 9:38
  • Have you gone over basic "woman living alone" safety stuff with her, and made sure that she knows that if she ever gets raped or something, she can always come to you for support without having to feel embarrassed or ashamed?
    – nick012000
    Oct 23 '20 at 6:57
  • @nick012000, I have not done that explicitly - I'm sure she knows, but will definitely take a minute to talk with her about that. Thanks!
    – AnoE
    Oct 23 '20 at 7:00

Without claiming any kind of completeness from my (somewhat ancient) past the following points come to my mind, additionally to your list:

  • In non-Covid times many "Fachschaften" (student union on department level) provide 1-2 day introductions. Try their web site for instructions. Maybe they went virtual
  • Your child will have to register with the local "Einwohnermeldeamt" (resident office of the local council).
  • If she has strong connections to their privious locality of residence (like, she wants to be eligible in local elections) she might have to fight to have it accepted as their "Erstwohnsitz" (primary place of residence)
  • There are different organisations that provide scholarships. They differ in what emphesis they lay on academics and on non-academic activities. Many are party affiliated, but you don't have to be a party member to get a scholarship.
  • Thanks for the Einwohnermeldeamt, I'd not have thought of that!
    – AnoE
    Oct 21 '20 at 13:23
  • The registration with the Einwohnermeldeamt is really important, you will have to pay high fines if you forget to register within the first 14 days of moving to the new place
    – Max
    Oct 23 '20 at 6:49

Your list is pretty good as it is. You can check if she's eligible to apply for BAföG (combination of student loans and scholarships). In that case she will need data from you for the application. A general tip, the AStA (Allgemeiner Studierenden-Ausschuss - political student union) and Studierendenwerk (social student union) often has guides and counseling opportunities for new students who can help her with these things.

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