Pre-arrival information

We are here to assist you with preparations for your arrival in Leipzig!

Pre-arrival form

As we want to prepare as best as possible for your arrival, we need some more information from you. Please complete this arrival confirmation form  (mandatory for all students) and one of our team members will be in touch with further instructions.


Getting to Leipzig

Travelling to your new home can seem like a daunting experience, but Leipzig’s transport links could not make it easier.  You have several options for how to get to your accommodation and Lancaster University Leipzig.  

Leipzig/Halle Airport is Leipzig’s own airport. From there you can get a 20-minute train to the city centre or take a 30-minute taxi journey.  

If you choose to arrive from Berlin Brandenburg Airport, you then can get the fast Intercity Express connection between Berlin and Leipzig, which takes 1 hour and 15 minutes, from Berlin Südkreuz or Hauptbahnhof.

Another opportunity for you is to arrive in Germany via Frankfurt/Main or Munich. Both airport cities are connected with direct trains to Leipzig. Average train travel time is three hours.

Leipzig Central train station (Leipzig Hauptbahnhof) is located in the city centre and is only five minute walk from the campus. It is Europe's largest railway station measured by floor area and connects the city to Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich and several other cities. The bus station is opposite Leipzig Central Station. From here, you can connect with trams, buses or taxis to reach your accommodation in the city.

What to pack

You'll need to label your luggage, pack all necessary belongings and bring along important documents including your completed immunization forms, medical records, prescriptions, academic transcripts, and your passport and student visa. You should also carry important bank documents and copies of any agreements for accommodation.

Weather and clothing

Leipzig is located directly in the transition zone from the oceanic to the continental climate zone. The seasons are characterised by differences in temperature and weather. The summers are warm and hot, the winters are cold and frosty. Temperatures between -2° at night and 4° during the day are normal from December to February. Spring comes to Leipzig in March. In summer (June to August) it is usually 24°-30°. Autumn begins in Leipzig in September. The coldest month is January with an average maximum temperature of 6° and an average minimum temperature of -5°. It rains more or less throughout the whole year.

As the weather in Leipzig differs according to the season you would need both light and warm clothing, as well as water-proof/wind-proof jackets. The dress code on campus is informal. We advise you to bring clothing appropriate for professional and special social functions as well.

Suggested items

Avoid bringing excess items that can be purchased once you arrive. Listed below are items students suggest you bring because of expenses and for convenience:

  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses & fluid.
  • Traditional or special medicines, packaged and wrapped – medicines you need should be in your carry-on luggage in case your luggage is lost.
  • Photos, slides, maps, flags, artifacts, clothing typical of your country that can be used to share your culture with other students.
  • Medical history from your home country physician (translated into English and/or German).

You will need bedding and personal items, but it is best to purchase them after you arrive.

Most importantly, don’t worry if you discover that you’ve forgotten to bring something with you. There are plenty of shops nearby if you need some unexpected essentials.

Mobile phones

Before you leave, make sure that your phone is unlocked to international providers.

It’s best to purchase a new mobile phone SIM card when you arrive in Germany, as using an international phone number will have high costs. Every provider offers a range of data plans that you can use to access online sites. There are two types of mobile phone accounts you can choose from:

  1. Prepaid – allows you to control how much you spend on calls. Prepaid SIM cards and recharge vouchers are sold in many shops, such as newsagents and convenience stores. There are no set contract periods, so you can change providers at any time.
  2. Contract (Postpaid) – If you plan to use your mobile a lot, a contract could work out cheaper for you. There are many mobile phone providers in Germany. Once you choose your phone plan, you will pay a fixed price per month for a certain amount of calls, text messages and data.

Take time to research the providers with the best customer ratings before committing to a phone plan.

Once you’re enrolled at your campus, you’ll have free Wi-Fi access, so you’ll be able to use messaging apps on your phone at no cost.


For Germany there are two associated plug types, types C and F. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins and plug type F is the plug which has two round pins with two earth clips on the side. Germany operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.

You should bring a travel adaptor to make sure that your laptop and phone chargers are compatible when you first arrive. 

Planning your expenses

Leipzig, when compared to other German cities such as Berlin, Munich, or Frankfurt, is much more affordable when it comes to cost of living (accommodation, food shopping, going out etc.). You can enjoy your student life here without having to miss out on any of the buzz or culture.  Find more information on estimated student expenses.

Paying by card or in cash?

While you can pay by card in various shops, restaurants and coffee shops, you will  need cash when visiting  places like Farmer's Market,  buying a famous 'bratwurst' on the street or a coffee in the park. It is always good to have some cash on you. There is a cash machine on the ground floor in Strohsack Passage. 

Mobile Phones

Keeping in contact with your family and friends back home as well as with your classmates and new friends here in Germany is important and most easily achieved with the help of a mobile phone. It is also the fastest way for Lancaster University Leipzig to contact you which is why we urge you to tell us your phone number as soon as you have one.

There are two options you can choose from in purchasing a local German SIM card: you can sign a phone contract or purchase a pre-paid card.

There is a variety of telephone providers in Germany. Among them are Telekom, Vodafone, 1&1, O2/E-Plus and Base. Contracts are usually one or two years in duration depending on the mobile phone provider and are paid in monthly instalments. Making sure you understand the conditions of the contract and reading the small print is essential.

Throughout the city, there are several telephone stores where you can ask about the offers. Prepaid sim cards do not require a contract and are easy to set up, however they are often a bit pricier. They can be purchased online, at newspaper stands, in drug stores such as DM or Rossmann, as well as in sorted grocery stores or petrol stations.

Opening a Bank Account

Once you have arrived in Leipzig and registered with the City of Leipzig, we would advise you to open a German bank account (Girokonto). In Germany, it is common to use your debit card as not all stores or companies will accept a Visa or Master card. Once you have opened a German bank account, you will be able to withdraw money from your banks’ ATMs (Geldautomat) without being charged. You can also perform other monetary transactions after you have opened your account. Especially in small restaurants or for daily purchases (bakeries, supermarkets etc.) only cash and on occasion debit cards are accepted in Germany. Transportation tickets can be purchased using cash or your debit card. A German bank account will also be needed as some health insurance companies or landlords may insist on the direct withdrawal of payments from your German bank account.

Opening a bank account in Leipzig can be done either online or in person (usually by appointment). There are many different banks in Leipzig to choose from among them Deutsche Bank, Sparkasse, Commerzbank and many more. There are also online bank providers such as DKB, comdirect, N26 and ING DiBa which usually offer phone support only. One advantage is that they offer free cash withdrawals from other banks’ ATMs as well.

If you have only limited knowledge of German or an English description is not available, it might be advisable to open an account in person. While not all bank employees will be comfortable conversing in English, bigger banks usually have at least some employees fluent in English, so asking for an English-speaking employee is recommendable.

Documents you will need include:

  • passport/ visa
  • city registration document
  • Lancaster University Acceptance Letter

As a Lancaster University Leipzig student, you might qualify for a student bank account, so make sure you will bring your Lancaster University Acceptance Letter with you when opening a bank account. Two aspects you should pay attention to before signing a contract is whether there is a minimum amount that needs to be deposited into your account every month and whether the bank allows overdrafts.

In case you misplace your bank card, or it gets stolen, make sure you call your bank immediately and report your loss. Every bank also has a 24-hour emergency number for an incident like this.