Campus Life FAQ

Physical health

What should I do if I am ill during the weekend or at night?

Most medical practices are closed during the weekend and at night, so if it is not an emergency situation patients usually wait until Monday or the next morning. If you feel very ill at those times, you may, of course, visit the emergency room at the hospital closest to you where you can speak to on-call doctors and specialists. Also, feel free to contact your Residential Assistant (RA) or any other member of the Residential Life Team.

Where is the nearest hospital?

The nearest medical hospital is Maria Heimsuchung Caritas Klinik Pankow, located at Breite Str. 46/47, 13187 Berlin. The nearest M1 tram stop is Pankow Kirche. To get there from campus by taxi costs around € 8.

The nearest psychiatric hospital is St. Joseph-Krankenhaus Berlin-Weißensee, located at Gartenstraße 1, 13088 Berlin. The nearest M13 tram stop is Berliner Allee/Indira-Gandhi-Str.

What do I need to bring to my doctor’s appointment?

Every time you go to a doctor, please bring proof of valid health insurance, such as your European health insurance card (EHIC) or a similar document. If you’d like to visit a medical specialist, you will also need to bring a referral from your doctor.

What do I need to bring to an appointment with a medical specialist?

For an appointment with a medical specialist (e.g. neurologists, orthopaedists), except for dentists and gynecologists, you need to bring proof of valid health insurance as well as a referral (Überweisung) from your physician.

How and where can I get the morning-after pill in Germany?

The morning-after pill (Pille danach) is available without prescription from pharmacies. The pill costs around 35€ and is not covered by German public health  insurance. It is recommended to check with the pharmacy first if they have them in stock.

Where is the nearest open pharmacy?

The pharmacy that is closest to campus is the Apotheke am Schlosspark, located at Hermann-Hesse-Str 4 (open Monday-Friday 8.00 am - 8.00 pm, Saturday 8.00 am - 4.00pm). To find out which pharmacies are open during nights and weekends, please consult the emergency service website for pharmacies (

Mental health

Who can I speak to?

Bard College Berlin offers its students the services of a professional counselor.
Katharina Pauli's on-campus office hours are as follows:

Tuesday: 6.30 pm - 8.30 pm
Thursday: 9.15 am -11.15 am

The counseling sessions take place in the Student Center in Kuckhoffstraße 43 (upper floor). E-mail appointments are recommended, but it is also possible to drop in without an appointment.

The counseling service aims to provide students with the opportunity to speak confidentially about any personal difficulties and to obtain advice about referrals to other specialists or sources of support. If you would like to set up an appointment, please contact Bard College Berlin’s counselor Katharina Pauli by e-mail:

What should I do  in mental health emergencies?

If you or someone else is suffering from a severe episode of mental illness please get in touch with a Residential Assistant or Student Center staff. If you prefer to speak with a social worker or doctor, you may also call the Berlin crisis hotline at 030 390 63 40 (Berlin-Pankow, 4 pm–12 am) and 030 390 63 00 (all other times) or visit the psychiatric hospital (St. Joseph-Krankenhaus Berlin-Weißensee) respectively.

What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist?

In Germany there are two types of mental health professionals involved in the treatment of mental illnesses: psychiatrists are medical professionals (M.D.), who can prescribe mental health medication (e. g. antidepressants) based on the symptoms; psychotherapists are other professionals, who offer regular counselling sessions of about 1-2 hours based on various therapy forms (such as behavioural therapy or psychoanalysis). In most cases, psychotherapists cannot prescribe any medication.

How can I find an English speaking psychiatrist?

To find an English speaking psychiatrist please consult your welcome folder, which contains a list of specific doctors, or get in touch with Student Center staff.

How can I find an English speaking psychotherapist?

To find an English speaking psychotherapist please consult your Welcome folder, which contains a list of specific therapists, or get in touch with Student Center staff.

Health Insurance

What health insurance plans are there?

Students studying at a state-recognized college or university in Germany are legally required to have a valid health insurance throughout their entire degree.

Bard College Berlin students have the opportunity to sign up to public health insurance during Orientation. Exchange students from North American universities at BCB through Bard Abroad programs (Begin in Berlin, Art and Society, LAB) are insured through HTH.

What does my health insurance cover?

German public health insurance allows you to go to any doctor or specialist without receiving a bill. All you need to bring to a doctor’s appointment is your health insurance card. For some prescription drugs, you are asked to pay 5€ at the pharmacy for each prescription and the health insurance will cover the remainder. For hospital visits you are asked to pay 10€ per day and the health insurance will cover the remainder.

If you have private health insurance please bring your health insurance certificate when you go to the doctor in Germany. After your visit or hospital stay, you will be sent a medical bill, which you generally need to pay upfront. You can then send a copy of it to your health insurance together with a claim form in order to be reimbursed. With private health insurance you also have to pay for your medication upfront and can then send a claim form along with the prescription and receipt to your insurance in order to be reimbursed.

HTH has direct pay relationships with a number of doctors and hospitals in Berlin, which do not require you to pay anything upfront for a doctor’s visit. All other doctors will send you a medical bill after your visit, which you need to pay. You can then send a copy of this medical bill to HTH along with a claim form in order to be reimbursed. With HTH, prescription drugs and hospital stays have to be paid upfront but will normally be reimbursed.

I received a medical bill. How can I get reimbursed?

This depends on the insurance. Generally you will have to send all receipts and medical bills to the insurance along with a claim form.

Residential Life

Are all first year students required to live on campus?

Yes, by default all first year students are required to live on campus. Exceptions can only be made by the Residential Life Coordinator.

Can I move off-campus in my second semester?

To apply for off-campus housing in the second semester, please fill in the Off Campus Housing Request form and hand it in to the Residential Life Coordinator by December 1. Please note that the approval of your off-campus housing requests depends on various factors and can thus not be guaranteed.

Can I request a roommate?

Yes, it is possible. Please mention your request in your Housing Questionnaire or speak to the Residential Life Coordinator. We try our best to fulfill these requests.

Can I request a single room?

Yes, it is possible, if you have a valid medical note stating that a single room occupancy is recommended for you. Please mention your request in your Housing Questionnaire or speak to the Residential Life Coordinator. Please note, however, that the college cannot guarantee that your request will be fulfilled.

Can I check in to my room before the official arrival date?

No, this is unfortunately not possible.

Can I check out later than the official departure date?

No, this is unfortunately not possible.

How can I apply for on-campus housing?

If you are a sophomore, a junior or a senior you have to fill in the  On Campus Housing Request Form and hand it in to the Residential Life Coordinator.

Can I store my extra luggage somewhere outside my room during the semester?

No, this is unfortunately not possible.

Can I store my luggage at BCB during the summer?

If you are a returning student this may be possible. Please contact the Residential Life Team on time.

Can I store my luggage at BCB while I am abroad in my 3rd year?

Yes,  this is possible. Note that we have limited storage space.

Can I have overnight guests in my room?

All overnight guests must be registered. To do this, please fill in the Overnight Guest Stay Request form with details regarding your guest’s stay on campus and get it signed by your Residential Assistant (RA) and the Residential Life Coordinator or Student Life Assistant 72 hours prior to your guest’s arrival. If you would like to invite your guest to any of the meals served  in the cafeteria, you need to purchase a meal voucher in the Student Center.  Dinner and breakfast vouchers cost 6 EUR, lunch and brunch vouchers cost 8 EUR.   

Can my parents stay as my guests in the dorm?

Parents, or visitors of older generations are typically not permitted to stay as guests in the dormitories.

Can I smoke inside the apartments/dorms?

No, smoking is strictly prohibited inside all BCB buildings, including apartments and dorms and their balconies.

Are pets allowed in on-campus housing?

Pets are not allowed in on-campus housing unless the pet is a service or support animal that is an approved accommodation for a student with a registered disability.

Student Life

What is a Semesterticket?

A Semesterticket is your Berlin public transport ticket valid for an entire semester. It comes in the form of a sticker that will be placed on your BCB Student ID. All you have to do is show this ticket to the bus driver or ticket inspector on the tram or subway.

Do I have to pay for my Semesterticket?

Yes, all students have to pay for the Semesterticket. It costs € 193,80 (as of Spring 2017).

If I pick up my Semesterticket later, can I get reimbursed for the other months?

Yes, you may get a partial refund for each full month.

I was caught on the tram without a valid ticket. What do I do?

Show your semester ticket at the BVG office mentioned on your fine. Make sure that you pay the fine within the required time period in order to avoid an additional fine.

What can I use my Student ID for?

With your Student ID you can get reduced prices at museums, galleries and events. It also gives you free access to the gym (SPOK) in Nordendstraße 56.

What is the legal drinking age in Germany?

The legal drinking age for beer and wine is 16. Stronger alcoholic drinks are only permitted from 18. (Please read the Student Handbook for our policy on alcohol consumption!)

Is marijuana legal in Germany?

The possession of marijuana is illegal in Germany and is prosecuted. This also includes small amounts. It is absolutely prohibited to be consumed on BCB campus grounds.

How does the bottle deposit system work?

Certain bottles can be returned to the supermarket, some others have to be disposed in the glass/plastic containers. Check the label of the bottle for information. If it says Pfandflasche or Mehrwegpfandflasche and/or you see this icon: 

you can return them in the supermarkets and get money back.

How does the garbage separation work in Germany?

Garbage is separated in Germany and on campus according to the following categories:

Recyclable plastic waste, paper and cardboard, biodegradable and organic waste, regular waste, white glass, colored glass.

How can I form a club or start an initiative?

To form a club, all you have to do is find like minded people and get in touch with the Student Life Assistant to register your club.

How can I get funding for my club?

All clubs are permitted to apply for funding for their activities at the Student Life Committee. To apply for funding please send the budget request form to Committee then decides on the application and amount of funding.

What volunteering opportunities are there outside of BCB?

The Civic Engagement Initiative at Bard College Berlin is in touch with a number of organizations and supports students with finding interesting volunteer work positions. Please contact the Civic Engagement Coordinator ( for more information.


What are the cafeteria opening times?

Monday - Friday:
Breakfast 8.00 am – 9.00 am;
Lunch 12.00 am – 1.30 pm;
Dinner 6.00 pm – 7.00 pm

Saturday - Sunday:
Brunch 10.00 am – 1.00 pm;
Dinner 6.00 pm – 7.00 pm

How does the lunch shift system work?

Due to space constraints in the cafeteria the student body is divided into two lunch shifts: the early shift starting at 12 am is reserved for students who have at least two classes a week starting at 1:30 pm. Students not belonging to this group may eat lunch from 12:45pm onwards.

Who can I speak to about allergies, intolerances or other dietary requirements?

You can either talk to the Cafeteria team or the Residential Life Team. They will help to accommodate your request.

Can I eat breakfast or dinner at the cafeteria as an off-campus student if I have class in the morning or in the evening?

This is only possible if you purchase a meal voucher. Meal vouchers can be bought from the Residential Life Coordinator and the Student Life Assistant. The prices are as follows: dinner/breakfast 6€, lunch/brunch 8€.

What if I would like to invite a guest of mine to eat with me in the Cafeteria?

Meal vouchers can be bought from the Residential Life Coordinator and the Student Life Assistant. The prices are as follows: dinner/breakfast 6€, lunch/brunch 8€.