Tanja Macke
Team assistant

Max Planck Society Resources

A guide for international scientists at Max Planck Institutes.

Living and working in Germany - A guide for international scientists at Max Planck Institutes

A guide for international scientists at Max Planck Institutes. [more]

Göttingen Campus Resources

A guide for international researchers on Göttingen Campus.

Welcome to the University of Göttingen - A guide for international researchers

A guide for international researchers on Göttingen Campus. [more]
A Guide to the University and Daily Life in Göttingen

Welcome to the University of Göttingen - International students' guide

A Guide to the University and Daily Life in Göttingen [more]

City of Göttingen Resources

Brochure Göttingen Impressionen

Göttingen Impressionen

Brochure Göttingen Impressionen

Welcome to Germany

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International Office

Welcome to our visitors and new arrivals! This page points to useful resources for guests, incoming scientists and students at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research and the International Max Planck Research School for Solar System Science at the University of Göttingen.

The main contact points for visiting and incoming scientists are the secretaries or team assistants of the hosting research groups. They will assist with matters such as visa, travel and accommodation. Tanja Macke manages the accommodation available to visitors and incoming scientists. She is also available to assist incoming IMPRS students with their paperwork with German authorities. At the same time, staff members of the administration concerned with human resources will make sure that all necessary contract- or stipend-related issues are covered.

Short-term visitors

Short-term visitors are likely to be concerned predominantly with: visa if required, travel arrangements, accommodation, and travel cost reimbursement where applicable. In brief, the accommodation options are guest rooms, guest apartments, or one of the hotels in the city of Göttingen. For information on how to get here, please see the Contact page linked to from the top right corner. There may also be pick-up service available to welcome you at the train station. Please ask your contact person at the institute.

Incoming scientists

Incoming scientists will be concerned with various issues before and upon their arrival in Germany. For almost all of these, the Visiting Scientist Guide published by the Max Planck Society, as well as their answers to Frequently Asked Questions, are recommended reading. More Göttingen-specific information is available beneath. Whenever additional information is needed, the respective contact persons will do their best to answer further questions.

Before leaving

Checklist: What do I have to bring with me for entry to Germany? Answer on page 21!

Note   For IMPRS PhD candidates: In addition to the items on the checklist above, you will need to bring your academic degree certificates and transcripts (original documents - in particular your Master's degree), possibly along with certified translations into English or German.


Do I need a visa to enter Germany? Who is exempt? What types of visa are there?

Note   If you need a visa, you must apply for it in the German embassy in your home country. For this purpose, you will receive a formal letter of invitation by the institute.

German Foreign Office: Visa regulations for entry into Germany

German Foreign Office: German Missions Abroad

Health insurance

Do I need health insurance? What must I do if my health insurance coverage is not adequate? Am I solely responsible for paying my health insurance premiums?

Note   Health insurance is compulsory. Stipend holders should make sure to obtain their copy of the leaflet "Notice to Grantees - Health insurance, accident insurance and third party liability insurance regulations" for further information well before their arrival. Stipend holders will be required to submit proof of adequate health insurance within two weeks of the start of their stipend.

EURAXESS: General information on health insurance

EURAXESS: Special case EU citizens

Note   If you fall into the 'EU citizen - extended stay' category described in the link above, please remember to request Form E106 or S1 from your domestic health insurance provider before leaving your home country and bring it with you!

Group contract: Private health insurance mawista-Hallesche for foreign stipend holders in the Max Planck Society under tariff DOPG2+PVN

Note   The above group health insurance policy will only include pre-existing conditions if the application is submitted within six weeks after entry into Germany, otherwise pre-existing conditions are excluded!

Travel arrangements

How can I get to the institute?

Note   Pick-up service from the train station may be available upon inquiry.


What must I do to register myself (and my family) in Germany?

Note   Within one week after arriving in Germany you must register with the residents’ registration office (see Einwohnermeldeangelegenheiten to the right).
Papers needed   Identity card/passport, visa (if applicable), rental contract (Mietvertrag) or proof of accommodation.

Residence permit

If you are planning a stay longer than 90 days, shortly after arrival you should apply for a residence permit.

Note   The residence permit is required if you are staying in Germany for longer than three months (see Ausländerbehörde to the right).
Papers needed     Identity card/passport, two passport photographs, confirmation of registration (Anmeldebestätigung from the Einwohnermeldeamt), work contract or stipend letter, rental contract or proof of accommodation, proof of health insurance, marriage certificate for couples.


Do I need a work permit? Will I be liable for taxes during my stay in Germany? When must I file a tax return?

Note   For IMPRS PhD candidates who are stipend holders: The grants are paid at rates which, in the view of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, are exempt from tax (see § 3, No. 44 of the Income Tax Act) and obligatory social security insurance does not apply. Social insurance, such as health insurance, is not part of the grant. You will find detailed information in the "Notice to Grantees" (see Health insurance).


What support is available to help me find accommodation? What must I be aware of if I want to rent an apartment? Which websites will help me when looking for accommodation on the Internet?

What are the accommodation options available directly through the MPS?

Note   Tanja Macke will competently advise visitors on the accommodation options managed by the institute. She can arrange for stays in guest rooms or guest apartments for a limited amount of time. This option allows new arrivals to look for longer-term solutions on the private market in the weeks following their arrival. See also the information provided on local accommodation by the various Göttingen-specific web sites to the right, or directly here (main text), here (right-hand side links only), or here (actual offers; mixed English/German).

Bank account

How do I open a bank account?

German classes

Primary resource for German language classes: The Language Centre German as a Foreign Language

From their FAQ (first question, translated): The courses are aimed at students, visiting scientists, PhD candidates and employees of the University of Göttingen and of the Max Planck Institutes.

Note   Comprehensive lists of German language classes offered by a variety of institutions in Göttingen are available here and here.

Buddy service for PhD students

Note   Applicants for the IMPRS PhD programme are assigned a student buddy both for their interview phase as well as for their arrival period after acceptance. This student-organised service has over time earned a reputation both for being very efficient in information transfer as well as for quickly making newcomers feel at home in a new social environment.
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