Information for first semesters at HPI

Start of studies April 2022 (summer semester, master's only)

Official introduction at HPI

Date: 07.04.2022, 9:00 to 17:30, Meeting point: L-Building Foyer (Campus II) or alternatively on Zoom.

  • During the introduction days you will learn everything you need to know for your first semester at HPI: It will take place all day; please do not make any other plans.
  • You will get a campus tour around the three campuses of HPI, you will get to know all contact persons for the beginning of your studies, you will get your HPI account as well as your access chip for the internal areas and a technological introduction. In addition, there are testimonials from students.
  • For the technological introduction we recommend to bring your private laptop in order to be able to make all settings relevant for the beginning of your studies directly.

Additional Date: 19.04.2022, 15:00 to 17:00, Meeting Point: Lecture Hall Foyer (Campus I).

  • This date does not replace the first one, but is to be considered as an additional offer for people who could not be there on 04/07.
  • Content: Receipt of your access chip, campus tour.

You should attend the introduction on 07.04. in any case! Please let us know by email to if you cannot attend (parts of) the introduction. Further information will be published here in due time. Until then you can always ask us questions via email.

Lecture start

  • The lecture period of the summer semester 2022 begins on 19.04.2022 and ends on 29.07.2022.

Start of studies October 2022 (winter semester 2022/23)

Maths course [for Bachelors only]

Date: TBA

  • Goal: Refresh your knowledge from school, close knowledge gaps so that the introduction to the math lectures is easier.
  • The course is a good opportunity to get to know fellow students - without the stress of exams, fees etc.
  • The lecturer of the course is Dr. F. Börner from the University of Potsdam.
  • A registration is not necessary.
  • The start is currently planned for Monday (date still to be published) at 9:00 in Lecture Hall 1 (HS 1)
  • The duration is 3 weeks: Monday to Friday 09:15-10:45, 11:00-12:30 and 13:30-15:00. This corresponds to the normal lecture times at the HPI, differing from those of the University of Potsdam.
  • On the first day a barbecue is planned to get to know each other.

Official introduction at HPI (first days)

Date Bachelor: 11.10.2022 to 14.10.2022, from approx. 9:45 to 17:30
Date Master: 13.10.2022 and 14.10.2022, from approx. 8:45 to 17:00

  • During the introduction days, you learn everything you need to know for your first year at HPI: They take palce the the whole day. Please do not have any other plans on these days.
  • You are going to get a tour over the campus and a presentation of the different research groups, get to know the important contacts for your studies as well as get a technical introduction including receiving the access token for the campus buildings.
  • We recommend to bring your private laptop for the technical introduction to be able to make all settings relevant for the start of the studies directly.

  • Please inform us by e-mail to if you cannot attend (parts of) the introduction in person.

First's trip [for Bachelors only, German only]

Date: TBA

  • Traditionally, a First's trip for all students in the first semester is offered. This is a great way to get to know each other.
  • Participation in the First's trip is of course not a prerequisite for a successful start to your studies, but an optional offer from your new fellow students.
  • You will receive further information and an application form via e-mail in time.

Lecture start

  • The lecture period of the winter semester 2022/23 begins on 17.10.2022 and ends on 10.02.2023.
  • Typically, the winter semester starts on Monday at 09:00 with an HPI General Assembly.

Welcome event at the University of Potsdam

  • At the beginning of the semester, the official welcome event of all students in first semester of the University of Potsdam usually takes place in the Nikolaisaal. This year, the event is being planned to be held in a hybrid format with online and face-to-face offers.
  • In the first week of lectures, the WarmUP! usually takes place in the Schiffbauergasse, where a cultural programme is offered. This semester, the programme will be offered at all sites of the UP.
  • Find more information on (StudiUP and WarmUP!)( here (German only as of now).

University websites


The university websites offer useful tips for starting your studies. You will only have to deal with the PULS (online enrolment system of the University of Potsdam) in exceptional cases. You will be informed about everything important regarding the enrolment during the first days and via e-mail during the first week of the semester.

Leisure time and additional offers

Potsdam, the university and the HPI offer a wide range of opportunities for your studies and leisure time. You will get to know most of them in time during your studies. Here we would like to briefly describe the most relevant ones.

University sport

Website: (German only as of now)

  • The offers of the Hochschulsport are very diverse and often very cheap.
  • They offer a good opportunity to get to know students from other subjects.
  • The enrolment begins early in the semester and some offers are often fully booked after a few minutes, so it's worthwhile to informa yourself early and be quick!

Center for Languages


  • The Center for Languages of the University of Potsdam (ZESSKO) offers various courses in which you can enrol online only.
  • The exact enrollment period is noted on the ZESSKO website.
  • If you would like to improve your English skills, the HPI also offers its own English courses in its Soft Skills Program (Specialized English I and II).


  • All HPI courses take place at the Griebnitzsee campus, right next to the "Griebnitzsee" S-Bahn station.
  • Language courses at the University of Potsdam take place at the Language Center on the Griebnitzsee campus.
  • Other courses at the University of Potsdam take place at different locations.


  • Just as it is not compulsory to have a pen with you when studying mathematics, it is not compulsory to have a laptop. But it is much easier with.
  • It doesn't matter whether you buy a Windows, Apple or Linux laptop. If you can handle your current operating system and are satisfied with it, then there is a lot to be said for sticking with it for the time being. Then you can use your usual programs in your private life.
  • In exceptional cases, a course may require a Linux or Windows installation. But virtual machines are easily created for this purpose and these two operating systems are also installed on the numerous pool computers.
  • Finally, it should be noted that students at Lenovo and Apple get some laptops at a discount in exchange for a student certificate. You should also look out for student discounts at other providers.

Public transportation

The HPI is located right next to the Griebnitzsee S-Bahn station in Potsdam, making it easy to reach from Berlin. In addition, the RB 21 and RB 22 (partly) go via Griebnitzsee. For connections see

  • for Potsdam, Berlin and all of Brandenburg
  • and
  • Network plans for bus, tram, S-Bahn
  • The student ticket, which you already pay with your semester fee, covers the area of Berlin and Brandenburg including S-Bahn, bus, tram, regional train, regional express, ferry and selected IC/ICE
  • Semester tickets at Berlin universities often do not cover the whole of Brandenburg, but only Berlin AB(C).
  • In the fare zones Potsdam ABC and Berlin ABC you can take bicycles with you for free with the semester ticket. (More info)

It is worth living close to the Griebnitzsee.

For example, use Mapnificent to see where you can live to take X minutes to get to the HPI.)


  • The Studentenwerk makes studying easier.
  • The services include: student residences, BAföG administration, refectories and cafeterias, job placement and various advisory services.


Student housing is offered by the Studentenwerk Potsdam.

General Advantages

  • relatively cheap
  • Contact to many students
  • Furniture (kitchen, bed, desk, shelf, cupboard, chairs) and washing machines/dryers (in the laundry cellar) available
  • Proximity to the campus

Dormitory Griebnitzsee/Stahnsdorfer Straße

  • Costs: 270 to 330 €
  • mainly two-bed apartments, few single apartments and three-bedroom apartments
  • is right next to the HPI (highly recommended)
  • Attention: Very popular, therefore long waiting times! Apply early! (This is also possible, even if you do not yet have a certificate of enrolment)
  • more information on the website of the Studentenwerk
Dormitory Park Babelsberg
  • Costs: 220 to 240 €.
  • 3, 4 and 5-bed shared flats
  • about 2,5 km away from HPI.
  • Disadvantages: Poor transport connections (especially at night): conditionally recommended, but can be reached by bicycle within 10 - 15 minutes.
  • the apartments are slightly smaller than those on Griebnitzsee Campus
  • more information on the website of the Studentenwerk
Dormitory Breite Straße
  • 1- to 2,5-room apartments
  • directly in the city, 10 minutes from the main station (recommended)
  • Disadvantage: big street in front of the door
  • more information on the website of the Studentenwerk
Dormitory Rosenstraße
  • 1-room flats
  • Advantages: Some of the apartments have a balcony, the apartments do not have such a "dormitory character".
  • Disadvantages: The Studentenwerk Potsdam (or the University of Potsdam's "ZIM") cannot provide internet access here, unlike the other apartments. This means that you have to take care of this yourself.
  • More information on the website of the Studentenwerk Potsdam

The other Potsdam residences are only conditionally recommended due to the distance to the Griebnitzsee location. More information about these halls of residence can be found on the website of the Studentenwerk.

Important: Places in student residences are assigned according to the order in which applications are received. You can apply without being enrolled. Since you are reading this page, you seem to be interested in studying at HPI. Therefore, if you would like to live in a student residence, we would advise you to apply as soon as possible! In order to actually get a place in a hall of residence, you have to submit your certificate of enrolment.

If you have signed a tenancy agreement for a room in Stahnsdorfer Straße starting in October, but would like to move in earlier for the mathematics preliminary course, you can ask Mrs. Schwanke (schwanke [at] if the room might become available earlier. In addition, you can find a group of students from the "Wohnanlage Potsdam Stahnsdorfer Straße" on Facebook, where you can search for your previous tenant and perhaps arrange an earlier move-in. Since the residence halls are social housing, there is no second residence tax. In any case you have to register at the office.

Private living

General tips

  • pay attention to the transport connection to the HPI
  • Attention: "Neubau" = Plattenbau (prefabricated building)
  • Nightlife in Potsdam is limited: make sure you have a good connection to Berlin
  • In addition to the usual web portals, the telegram group WG und Wohnung Potsdam is also suitable for flat hunting.

Living in Potsdam

  • Babelsberg district
    • Distance to HPI: varies, 4 minutes by S-Bahn from Babelsberg S-Bahn station
    • Living atmosphere: almost only old building, altogether quite nice
    • near the S-Bahn station Babelsberg there are very nice renovated apartments in old buildings
    • Costs: single flats (rather seldom) from 250 € warm, shared flats for two: e.g. 60m² for 500 to 600 € warm. Attention: Pay attention to the type of heating: Coal heating is extremely stressful
  • Am Stern district
    • Distance to HPI: by bus about 10 to 15 minutes, by bike usually faster
    • Living atmosphere: Almost only prefabricated concrete slab buildings (mainly renovated); half as bad; very cheap
    • Costs: two-person flat 60m² from 300 €, three-person flat 80m² from 400 €
  • District Am Schlaatz
    • Distance to HPI: about 15 to 30 minutes by bus/train or bike
    • Living atmosphere: almost only prefabricated housing
    • extremely favourable; at the northern end (Sperberhorst, Falkenhorst) quite ok, further south not recommendable
    • most favourable district of Potsdam
  • Other districts
    • partly very nice districts (e.g. Berlin suburb, Potsdam West). Closer to Potsdam city center, but usually further away from HPI and Berlin.


Any questions? You can check the FAQ for HPI studies and send any questions to the Student Representative Group We'll be happy to help you!