When you return to your home country after completing your studies, there are a number of formalities to consider - just like when you arrived. In the following you will find a – by no means exhaustive – to-do list:
Please remember to deregister from the local registration office before your departure.
Be sure to hand in notices of termination in time to save yourself trouble and financial disadvantages:
- Apartments usually have to be terminated three months before moving out. Take a look at your rental contract to see if you need to renovate before moving out, and plan accordingly for time and material costs.
- If you move out, you have to transfer the current meter reading to your energy provider and leave your new address for the final bill.
- If you have a landline connection, it must be terminated in time. Leave your new address here, too, because of the final bill.
- Mobile phone contracts usually have to be terminated six months before expiry of the existing contract, as otherwise they often extend automatically.
- Cancel your insurances.
- Deregister with your health insurance company.
- You should close your bank account shortly before departure. If you still expect transfers after your departure, you will need to provide another account in case of doubt, e.g. that of a friend who can then send you the money.
- If you subscribe to magazines, cancel them in time before the subscription automatically renews.
- The same applies to the BahnCard, which is only available as a self-renewing subscription!
Prior to departure, obtain all relevant certificates and confirmations about knowledge you acquired in Germany - from abroad it is much more difficult to have missing documents subsequently issued. And don’t forget to have your achievements like internships certified as well.
If you have been liable to pay for the German pension insurance during your stay in Germany, you are, under certain conditions, entitled to get back your employee’s share of the paid sums 2 years after your departure. Here the crucial factor is, amongst others, that you don’t come from another European Community country or a country that has acquired a social insurance treaty with Germany. Before your departure, you should get some information on this possibility, e.g. at the free service hotline of the German Pension Insurance, Phone: (0800) 10 00 48 00.
In addition, you must deregister at your university. Before that, you should inquire at the nearest immigration office, because your residence permit ends with deregistration.
It is surely hard to leave one's host country after several years. Still, professional as well as private prospects in the home country make it easier to say goodbye, and it is also the start of a new chapter in life.
It is incomparably harder to return home without the aspired final degree. In many countries this is seen as a loss of face, although there are many reasons why a course of study might not be completed successfully. In their studies, international students still face many obstacles and often suffer immense pressures, as they are strained by financial and linguistic impediments.
If you are afraid to return to your home country without having fulfilled the expectations of, e.g., your family, you should seek advice while you are still in Germany. You can find help, amongst others, at our Psychological Counselling Centres.