You need a signed and stamped document for everything here. I can’t attend orientation for my host university without proof of registering with the city, a German bank account, health insurance, liability insurance, etc. My first mistake was trying to do things in the wrong order, and I had no clue there was an order. Before you can open a bank account, you need a Meldbescheinigung (proof that you have registered your address with the city), but you can’t get the Meldbescheinigung without a copy of your lease. You also have to schedule an appointment to open a bank account. After getting a bank account, you can get health insurance, but you have to bring proof that you’ve done all the aforementioned things. Then you get liability insurance, but they mail you the proof of that and give you a CD with all the important information on it in the meantime. Fun fact: My laptop doesn’t even have a CD drive, but I was way too exhausted to explain this, so I just took the CD.
But all in all, I’m super happy to be here. The city is beautiful, I’ve met some very nice people, and I’ve gotten around everywhere by myself so far and almost completely in German. The lady who enrolled me in health insurance said, “Ihr Deutsch ist fast perfekt!” (English: “Your German is almost perfect.”)