Probleme internationaler Studierender

Die Suche nach bezahlbarem Wohnraum in Potsdam ist für internationale Studierende oft ein mühsamer Kampf. Viele berichten von diskriminierenden Praktiken, undurchsichtigen Bewerbungsverfahren und überhöhten Mieten, die ihre finanzielle Belastung enorm erhöhen. Einige müssen sogar aufgrund von Altersbeschränkungen oder rechtlichen Einschränkungen alternative Unterkünfte suchen, was die Situation zusätzlich erschwert. Die fehlende Unterstützung seitens der Universitäten und der politischen Entscheidungsträger wird ebenfalls kritisiert. Trotz des erheblichen Beitrags, den internationale Studierende zur Vielfalt und zum akademischen Leben in Potsdam leisten, fühlen sie sich oft alleingelassen bei der Bewältigung der Herausforderungen auf dem Wohnungsmarkt.

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Kommentare von Studierenden

I have been in Germany for 2 years and it is my 4th place to live. I had to find a new place every 3-4 months. I paid up to 20,000 euros for the house in two years. I missed my first semester here because of accommodation. I applied a hundred times for a place in Studentenwohnhei m. My previous landlord kept me in her flat illegally and charged me 500 euros more for the time I was in my country. The housing problem in Potsdam and Berlin is huge, especially for married students. Single students can find a flat-share, but this is a difficult problem for married students. For example, my partner and I found a shared flat with one room for each of us. And the payment for the two of us together was 800 euros. In a house where you share the kitchen and toilet with 4 other people, that is terrible!

It would be better if the process of how the Studentenwerk allocates rooms in the dormitory would be more transparent. I registered for a room as an international student for the winter semester of 2023/2024 back in February and I have to this day never heard back from them. I think they could improve their services by sending out monthly updates on the status of whether you still have a chance at getting a room that semester. In case you don’t have a chance, it is still possible to decide to study somewhere else. I think they should also work with a centralized waiting list so it would not be necessary to send them a reminder email after your application so they do not ‚forget‘ your application.

One Tip I have is to create a (private) Facebook group every semester for outgoing and incoming Erasmus students (and communicate this to all Erasmus students!!!). Outgoing Erasmus students from the Uni Potsdam are looking to subrent their room for 1 semester, wheras incoming Erasmus students are looking to rent a room for 1 semester. In this Facebook group, they can easily find eachother. This system of subrenting rooms by Erasmus students to other Erasmus students worked very well at my previous university!

Ich würde mir wünschen, dass Universitäten als Institutionen, für die so viele junge Menschen in Städte ziehen, mehr Druck auf die Politik auslösen würden. Es ist sehr schade, dass z.B. internationale Studenten ihre Auslandssemester hier doch nicht antreten können, da sie einfach keine Wohnung finden. Ich habe selbst an einem Auslandssemester teilgenommen und dort wurde jedem Studenten ein Zimmer garantiert.

The search for accommodation was exhausting and discriminatory. After a few interviews with flatmates, I wondered if my ethnicity had anything to do with the rejection I received. In one funny case, a woman who was temporarily renting out her son’s room told me that it wouldn’t work between us because our zodiac signs didn’t match. I also felt very uncomfortable sending all the required documents with all my details to strangers, only to be turned down immediately. When looking for a place through companies (real estate companies) I was asked to provide a guarantor in addition to Schufa-Auskunft, Einkommennachweis etc. which was a difficult thing to do as my family is not in Germany, and asking friends for their personal documents was difficult. I applied (contacted) about 43 people asking for rental accommodation before I got lucky.

Da ich aus dem EU-Ausland komme war es für mich bei der Wohnungssuche schwierig glaubwürdig bei Vermietern rüber zu kommen, da ich keine Schufa oder Ähnliches vorweisen konnte. Im Endeffekt musste ich mich dann mit einer Wohnung zufrieden geben wo der Preis knapp noch in meinem Budget war und definitiv zu hoch für das was es ist. Dann kamen auch noch zwei Mieterhöhungen in den letzten Jahren, die hielten sich aber zum Glück noch in Maßen.

It’s extremely difficult for international students to find a room to live in, especially for those who are the first time to live in Potsdam. Resources are so limited to be accessed. For example, I nearly found it was impossible to see rooms posted on renting platforms (or I would say, yes, there were some on WG Gesucht, but I contacted a lot of households but no reply so that’s why I think it was nearly no resources!). Finally, I can only live in Berlin.

I arrived in Potsdam during the COVID-19 pandemy. It was very difficult to find an accommodation as a foreigner but it was even harder due to the health situation. Some examples of difficulties were that I could not visit any accommodation in person (my country had imposed a strict lockdown and I could not travel outside my country), and that some owners were not willing to guarantee me the rent from the date I could be authorized again to travel to Germany. The Welcome Center was very helpful in my search for accommodation and I found my current place thanks to one offer that they shared.

It feels like it’s harder to find a room than a job. Looking for an apartment is at least like a part-time, if not a full-time job. On the days spent searching, there is no energy or time left to study or work.  With my current living situation, it takes me 1,5 hours to go to the University, which results in me often choosing to study online, which is much less effective and prevents me from connecting with other students.

Paying 700€ for a 12m2, where I can’t even use the whole cupboards because the owner didn’t want to empty them. Very difficult to get into student housing. Especially for International students like me. Coming from Namibia, I’ve been rejected a few times from potential shared housing, because the people were unsure if I would be able to pay rent, since I’m from Africa.


As a foreign student, it took approximately 8 months to find an apartment. Few options and a lack of communication were always a problem.

Due to both not having too many dorms and too many people looking for dorms, it’s hard to find accommodation in Potsdam. When I was looking for accommodation for Uni Potsdam, I couldn’t find any and had to go into the Brandenburg An Der Havel Studentenwerk Dorms, because if I didn’t I would be on the streets.   For friends, I’ve generally heard it’s hard to find either because of the aforementioned situation or because the wait list at Studentenwerk is not followed accordingly. I.e I’ve heard that a student waiting for a dorm was 900th or so in line but a student that applied later was put in 300 or so at the same dorm. The student who was given the 300th place in line got in before the first.


I never got a room in Studentenwerk. They said several times I am not eligible because I am doing my second master’s. The problem is even though I am doing my second master’s nowadays I am facing a big financial crisis because of the high rent in Berlin. I don’t even have money in my bank account for my basic needs. This is the time when I am in need for a cheaper accomodation it’s a basic right for a student like me but I am not getting it. I am disappointed with the Studentenwerk. I need the Studentenwerk to obey the terms of my contract and allow me one more extension.

I have no other choice. Being a PhD student I am not allowed to live in a Dormitory which doesn’t make sense at all. The housing situation is not good and even after spending almost 500€ still, it’s not easy to find a place.

The rent is too high. Housing management refuses to communicate in any language other than German.

Dorm capacity should be increased as soon as possible. Considering the high pressure on students in recent years, if the authorities don’t take any initiative now, there will be a long queue of housing candidates. The current waiting period is already 2-3 semesters, mainly foreign students suffer from this

I am doing my second master’s, and when I started my course I was 29. As far as I know in Brandenburg state students who are doing their second masters or who are above 30 are not eligible for university student dormitories. It’s a clear discrimination against old international students. Everyone knows how difficult is to survive here without German proficiency. This law is just adding more fuel to the current crisis. The university administration should have some plans or arrangements for accommodating international students. From my experience, I can tell that these issues affected my mental health and it still does.