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Smith in Hamburg

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Accepted Students

Congratulations on your acceptance to the Smith in Hamburg program! There are a few things that you must do to prepare for your time in Hamburg. Please complete the steps below by the dates given.

The German government allows citizens of the U.S., Canada, the EU and some other countries to enter Germany as a tourist, and apply for a Residence Permit after arrival in Hamburg. Students from other countries will need to apply for and receive a Residence Permit before entry into Germany. These students should contact Smith's Office for International Study immediately.

If you have questions about any of the paperwork, please ask! Better to ask a "silly" question than to make a mistake and delay the process for everyone.

All paperwork should be submited in person or via mail to the Office for International Study, Wright Hall 125, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063.



Please read all instructions and follow them to the letter.

Date Format

When entering dates, use the European format of dd MON yyyy (e.g., 12 Oct 2018).

Step 1: German Visa Application Overview

United States, Canadian and EU Citzens

Citizens of the United States, Canada, the EU and some other countries can enter Germany as a tourist and apply for a Residence Permit (Aufenthaltsgenehmigung) after arrival in Hamburg.

During the first meeting of the orientation program, the director and associate director will help students complete the necessary paperwork. A student who enters Germany prior to the official start date of the program may be responsible for obtaining a residence permit herself (although the program will pay for it). Permits normally include permission to work part-time during the semester and full-time during semester vacation.

Citizens of other nations

Citizens of other nations are required to apply for and receive a residence permit (Aufenthaltsgenehmigung) through the German Consulate in Boston prior to arrival in Germany. Students should research visa application requirements online and contact the Office for International Study for supporting documentation.

Step 2: Techniker Krankenkasse (German health insurance), housing application, and passport photos – April 27 for full-year students; December 10 for spring students

For students on campus, please bring these materials to the OIS by the deadline. For guest students, please send these items via U.S. mail to the OIS.

This form is to apply for German health insurance. Prior to completing the form, please view this sample form for guidance. Once you're ready to complete the form, please TYPE your responses into the form. The start date of the insurance should be October 1, 2018 for year students and April 1, 2019 for spring students. In the "Details of previous insurance section" write "Health insurance in the US".

This form is to apply for housing in the University of Hamburg dorms. Prior to completing the form, please view this sample form for guidance. Once you're ready to complete the form, please TYPE your responses into the form. Please note that the line about Fakultät is misleading - it does not mean "faculty" in the was it is used in the US, but rather the department in which students want to take classes at the university. So just indicate the area that your major falls under (i.e., Humanities)


5 Passport Photos

Photos must be official passport photos taken against a plain background, without hats, with a neutral expression and printed on photo paper. Do not smile! Face must be between 32mm and 36mm high, from chin to top of head. It is best to have the photos taken at a local drugstore such as CVS, Walgreens, or any other store that has a photo center service. These kinds of stores can generally provide passport photo services quickly and inexpensively.

You may use the OIS's photo punch to cut photos to European size. If you are not at Smith, the administrative coordinator will punch your photos to size and attach them for you. Write your name in the middle of the back of each photo, and let ink dry to prevent smudges. Put your photos in an envelope and write your name on the envelope, but do not seal the envelope.

Step 3: Associate Director Meetings – TBD (year students only)

Jutta Gutzeit is currently the associate director of the Hamburg program and starting next year she will be the permanent resident director.  Jutta will be reaching out to all year-long students to set up virtual meetings (likely via skype).  Please be sure to be looking for an email from Jutta shortly.

Step 4: Predeparture Orientation - April 16, 2018 5:00pm - 8:00pm (fall departures) or Late November TBD (spring departuers) in the Campus Center Carroll Room

All students attending the Smith in Hamburg program must attend this meeting.

Step 5: Predeparture Information – June 4 for full-year students; December 10 for spring students

1. Emergency Contact Information

This form must be opened in Microsoft Word. Please TYPE all of your answers into the form. Give as much information as possible. On page two, list the people who should be contacted in the event of an emergency. If you want us to contact your parents, list your parents on page two.

Once you have completed the form, save it using this naming convention:


And send it as an attachment to the OIS Student Programming and Support Coordinator.

2. Break Address and Travel Information

Please complete your summer contact information now, and provide your travel plans to Hamburg as soon as you know them. You can return to this link to update your information as needed.

Please Note: You'll need to log in to your Smith College email address in order to access this form.

3. Official Transcript

Request that an official transcript (including Spring 2018 grades for fall and year student and Fall 2018 grades for spring students) be sent to the OIS. The transcripts will be used for academic advising during orientation and are also required as part of the German Health Insurance application.

You can order from the registrar by the deadline just be sure to select the "Hold for Grades" option so that your most recent grades will appear!