Accommodation in Berlin
The BSEL does not have its own on-campus accommodation and therefore is not in a position to guarantee rooms to exchange students. However, there are several possibilities for exchange students to find accommodation during their stay in Berlin.
1. Housing application through the International Office
BSEL does not have on-campus accommodation. However, the BSEL International Office can provide limited third party accommodation spots for exchange students, offered by either Studentenwerk Berlin or Studentendorf Berlin (“student village”).
Important: Please note that as an exchange student, you can solely apply via the BSEL International Office (by selecting the accommodation checkbox on the online inscription form for your BSEL exchange semester) – direct applications with both of these parties will be rejected.
Furthermore, accommodation is provided according to availability, and you cannot influence whether you will get a place at one location or the other.
1.1 Studentenwerk Berlin
Studentenwerk (Student Services) Berlin is a non-profit organisation providing social, economic and cultural services to students and letting very reasonably priced rooms or flats in its dorms.
As an exchange student, you are not entitled to apply directly for Studentenwerk accommodation, even if they might offer free spots on their homepage. These are only available for degree-seeking students spending more than one or two semesters in Berlin.
As an exchange student, you apply via the BSEL inscription form. Please note that the Studentenwerk reservation process is run by our cooperation partner ERG GmbH. Once you’ve been selected for Studentenwerk accommodation, you will be notified by the BSEL International Office team and receive detailed information on how to proceed with ERG GmbH.
The monthly rent for a bedsit starts approx. from €250. A deposit of 1,5 monthly rental rates shall be paid upon signing the rental contract. The deposit will be refunded when moving out, provided the flat is left in a clean and proper condition.
All rooms are fully furnished. The room size differs depending on the residence. In general, kitchen and bathroom facilities are shared with other students. Blanket, pillow and bed sheets, as well as dishes and cutlery, are not included, but can be bought as packages at the housing administration office (or in regular department stores).
Important: The rental period is from March through August for the summer semester and from September through February for the winter semester. This time span is not negotiable – i.e. the rent is to be paid for the whole six months, even if the accommodation is needed for a shorter period. The contract is subject to the Studentenwerk Berlin’s letting conditions.
1.2 Studentendorf - Student Villages
The Studentendorf Berlin comprises two student dormitories which are located in the Adlershof and Schlachtensee districts of Berlin, both having good transport connections to BSEL (commuting time approx. 50 – 60 minutes).
1.2.1 Studentendorf Schlachtensee
Honoured as National Heritage, Studentendorf Schlachtensee offers multiple forms of living in several houses located on an international, multicultural campus in the southwest of the city, characterised by grand scaled common areas and green spaces. Most likely, you will stay in one of the neatly refurbished buildings offering different accommodation types (please refer to the Studentendorf website for further information).
All room types are fully furnished, equipped with desk and chair, wardrobe, bed, and Eduroam Wi-Fi. Kitchens and sometimes bathroom/toilet must be shared with other residents on the same corridor.
Please note that the minimal rental period is one semester (6 months). The deposit is at least €500 (depending on the room category) and shall be paid when entering into contract. It will be refunded after moving out if the room is left in sound condition.
1.2.2 Studentendorf Adlershof
The brand new Studentendorf Adlershof is located in the heart of the Adlershof "City of Science, Business and Media".
BSEL students can apply for one of the fully furnished 15 sqm Classic Ensuite rooms offering an ensuite bathroom/shower plus a modern kitchen and a cool lounge area for 13 residents.
Upon availability, you might be offered one of the other room types (please refer to the Studentendorf homepage for further information).
Again, the minimal rental period is one semester (6 months). The deposit at least €650 and shall be paid when entering into contract. It will be refunded after moving out if the room is left in sound condition.
2. Finding accommondation yourself
If you prefer to live in a more central location or to share a flat with your fellows, we suggest that you look for accommodation yourself.
But please be aware that there’s a lot of scamming going on! Unfortunately, none of the private housing websites listed in our PDF under “Shared Flats” are immune to this fraud.
Indices for dubious offers:
- Appealing price far below the standard
- Nice pictures
- When contacting the “landlord”, it is always some variation on ”I’m not in Berlin at the moment, but my apartment can be yours. Simply transfer the first rent (deposit) to my bank account, and you’ll get the key at … (naming some serious agency like Airbnb or parcel service providers like DHL)."
So please BE CAREFUL when you are asked to transfer money in advance!
If you find it difficult to judge whether an offer is serious or not, please contact the BSEL International Office before making any payment.