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Moving to Germany

Moving to Berlin is an exciting step in your international career

The links below answer common concerns for students coming to Germany. Every year, over half of ESMT's students relocate to Berlin from abroad. Some students plan to return home after graduation, and some come to ESMT with the goal of staying in Germany and hence participating actively in Europe’s largest economy. There are also many students who are considering changing location and moving to any given country post-graduation. No matter what the end goal is however, all students spend time living and studying in beautiful Berlin.

Living in Germany during your studies is rewarding. The country is well connected to the whole of Europe, which means that you have a wide variety of vacation options during your study breaks. The visa processes are relatively easy and straightforward – you receive personal support for these steps from our Student Services manager once you are accepted for a program.

Students with disabilities who are looking for more information about accessibility and accommodation in Germany can visit this website.

  • Before you arrive

    Your ESMT degree program application must be approved and accepted. Once you confirm attendance to ESMT, our Student Services Team will give you advice for any necessary visas to enter Germany. Please check with your German consulate if you need a visa to enter Germany for study purposes.

    As a general rule, all foreigners staying in Germany for more than 90 days wanting to work or study in Germany need a visa before entering Germany, however there are several exceptions.

    Nationals of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and the United States may apply for the necessary permit after arrival in Germany. The same applies for nationals of Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino who do not intend to take up employment.

    Admitted students from some countries will need to apply in person at the German embassy to receive a visa. Only once a visa is obtained can these students board a plane to Berlin. Visa processing from the local German embassy typically takes six to eight weeks.

  • Arriving in Berlin

    ESMT’s Student Services will provide you with information on how to find housing in Germany. A wide variety of accommodation is available in Berlin for your needs. Typically, our students are able to find an apartment in Berlin before, or during the first weeks, of the program.

    ESMT’s Student Services also provides support for all students when registering their address with authorities, and (for non-EU citizens) when acquiring a German residence permit. Full details of these procedures are provided at orientation sessions during the first week of class.

  • Learning German

    Students who wish to stay in Germany after graduation are strongly encouraged to learn German.

    For Master's in Management students, learning German is part of the curriculum and a requirement for graduation.

    For MBA candidates, ESMT offers different options to learn German. ESMT partners with GLS to offer an optional, intensive language courses to interested MBA students before the program begins in January. These students move to Berlin in September and attend daily German lessons to quickly gain language competency. Interested students should apply to the ESMT MBA no later than July 1.

    During the intensive one-year MBA program students will have the opportunity to study German for a few hours each week. This is generally enough for beginners to reach basic conversational level by the end of the year. For students at intermediate and advanced levels the lessons are particularly useful to practice interviewing in German, writing inquiry letters, and developing conversational mastery. Students receive details about the MBA German courses during orientation.

  • Staying in Germany after graduation

    Almost 90% of ESMT graduates stay in Germany after graduation. Most of these students are non-Germans hired by local German startups, small companies, and multinational firms who need valuable international business expertise in their industries.

    After graduation, students can extend their residence permit and stay in Germany for up to 18 months while looking for a job. During the job search phase, graduates are allowed to work without a work permit in any job without restriction. Once a suitable employment is secured, graduates are advised to apply for a work permit.

    ESMT graduates also enjoy significant benefits in obtaining a work permit in Germany. German companies are incentivized to hire foreign talent with a degree from a German school through fewer HR constraints. This allows ESMT graduates to be competitive players when applying to jobs in Germany.