Skip to main content
Panorma of Berlin featuring TV tower

Moving to Berlin

Your international career begins here...

Studying full-time at ESMT Berlin means relocating to Germany's vibrant capital city (if you don't already live here!). Every year, about half of ESMT students relocate to Berlin from abroad and whether you plan to return home after graduation, or stay in Europe's largest economy, Berlin is the perfect place to launch your international career.

Berlin is a major global city, a central hub of both the German and European economy and one of the continent's most exciting startup ecosystems. But living in Berlin is about more than just studying and work. You'll also be moving to an influential cultural capital famed for its history, music and art that is regularly ranked as one of the world's most livable.

On this page, find out everything you need to know about moving to Berlin and getting started.

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


image of people in the sun at Berlin's Monbijou park

What to do before you arrive

Once you have confirmed your attendance to ESMT, you will receive a student handbook from our Student Services Team that contains detailed information and advice on immigration to Germany and other relocation processes involved. The team will also give you advice and support for any necessary visa applications to enter Germany.

As a general rule, all non-EU nationals 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, the United Kingdom 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 ten weeks.


Image of crowds on Berlin's Straße des 17. Juni

Arriving in Berlin

A wide variety of accommodation is available in Berlin to fit your needs. Typically, our students are able to find an apartment in Berlin before, or during the first weeks, of their respective program. ESMT partners with various private and public housing providers to arrange housing opportunities for our students.

Once you have found a place to live, the Student Services Team can help you with the process of registering your new address with the Berlin authorities, getting the right health insurance, opening a German bank account and, where applicable, applying for a German residence permit. Full details of these procedures are provided in the Student Handbook, and at orientation sessions during the first week of class.


image of paddle surfers on the River Spree


Staying in Germany after graduation

Up to 90% of ESMT graduates of full-time study programs (such as the Master in Management and the Full-time MBA) 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 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.


Image of Teufelsberg in Berlin