Information for first semesters at HPI

Start of Studies in October 2022 (winter semester, bachelor and master)

Maths Course [for bachelor only]

Date: from September 19, 2022, to October 7, 2022 in Lecture Hall 1 (HS1) at HPI Campus 1.

  • 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 your fellow students - without the stress of exams, time pressure etc.
  • The lecturer of the course is Dr. F. Börner from the University of Potsdam.
  • Signing up 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 course lasts 3 weeks: Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM.
  • On the first day a barbecue is planned to get to know each other better.

Official Introduction at HPI [for bachelor and master]

Date for bachelor: from October 11, 2022, to October 14, 2022. The event starts at 9:45 AM in the lounge of the HPI lecture hall building (Hörsaalgebäude).

Date for master: from October 13, 2022, to October 14, 2022. The event starts at 8:45 AM in the lounge of the HPI lecture hall building (Hörsaalgebäude).

The event will be conducted in presence and, wherever possible, streamed on Zoom. We strongly recommend you to participate in presence.

  • 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 technology introduction. In addition, there will be experience reports from students.
  • For the technology 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.

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

Freshman Trip [for bachelor only]

Date: TBA

  • Traditionally, a Freshman trip for all students in the first semester is offered. This is a great way to get to know each other.
  • Participation in the Freshman 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 good time.

Lecture Start

  • The lecture period of the winter semester 2022/2023 starts on October 17, 2022, and ends on February 10, 2023.
  • Typically, the winter semester starts on Monday at 9 AM 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. 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, where a cultural programme is offered. This semester, the programme will be offered at all campuses of the UP.
  • Find more information on (StudiUP and WarmUP!)(https://www.uni-potsdam.de/en/explore-the-up/experience-the-up/warm-up) here.

University websites

Website: https://www.uni-potsdam.de/en/studium/studying/information-on-starting-your-studies

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 introduction days and via e-mail during the first week of the semester.

Start of Studies in April 2023 (summrt semester, master only)

Official Introduction at HPI

Date: TBA

  • During the introduction day 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 technology introduction. In addition, there will be experience reports from students.
  • For the technology 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.

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

Lecture Start

  • The lecture period of the summer semester 2023 starts on April 17, 2023, and ends on July 28, 2023.

University websites

Website: https://www.uni-potsdam.de/en/studium/studying/information-on-starting-your-studies

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 introduction day 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: https://www.uni-potsdam.de/de/hochschulsport

  • The offers of the Hochschulsport are very diverse and often very cheap.
  • They offer a good opportunity to get to know students from other academic courses.
  • The enrolment begins early in the semester and some offers are often booked out after a few minutes, so it's worth informing yourself early and being quick!

Center for Languages

Website: https://www.uni-potsdam.de/en/zessko/

  • 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 Professional Skills Program (Specialized English I and II).

Education

  • 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 may take place at different locations.

Laptops

  • Just as it is not compulsory to have a pen with you when studying mathematics, it is not compulsory to have a laptop at HPI. But it is much easier if you have one.
  • It doesn't matter whether you use a Windows, Apple or Linux laptop. If you can feel comfortable with your current operating system, then there is no reason to switch. This way you can continue using the applications you already used before.
  • 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 can buy laptops from Lenovo and Apple for a lowered price in exchange for a student certificate. You should also look out for student discounts from 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 by taking the S7 train. In addition, the RB 21 and RB 22 go via Griebnitzsee. For information on connections have a look at

  • Website of the VBB for Potsdam, Berlin and the rest of Brandenburg State
  • Website of the S-Bahn Berlin und Website of the BVG for Berlin and areas around Berlin
  • Network plans for bus, tram, S-Bahn
  • The semester ticket, which you already pay with your semester fee, covers the area of Berlin and Brandenburg including S-Bahn, bus, tram, regional train (RB), regional express (RE), selected ferries and selected IC/ICE (available in German only)
  • Semester tickets at Berlin universities often do not cover the entire area of Brandenburg, but only the fare zones of 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 - English version at the bottom of the page)

It is worth living close to the Griebnitzsee.

You can use Mapnificent to check where you can live if you want to get in X minutes or less to the HPI.

Studentenwerk

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

Dormitories

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 room) available
  • proximity to the campus

Dormitory Stahnsdorfer Straße

  • Costs: 300 € to 360 €
  • mainly two-bed apartments, few single apartments and three-bedroom apartments
  • is right next to the HPI (highly recommended)
  • Note: 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 can be found on the website of the Studentenwerk
Dormitory Park Babelsberg
  • Costs: 250 € to 270 €
  • 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 5 - 10 minutes
  • The apartments are slightly smaller than those in Stahnsdorfer Straße
  • More information on the website of the Studentenwerk
Dormitory Breite Straße
  • Costs: 250 € to 380 €
  • predominantly single flats, a couple 2-bed shared flats and family appartments
  • central location in the city, 10 minutes away from the main station (recommendable)
  • Disadvantage: large street in front of the door
  • more information on the website of the Studentenwerk here and here
Dormitory Rosenstraße
  • Costs: 305 € to 325 €
  • single 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 (significantly more expensive)
  • More information on the website of the Studentenwerk Potsdam

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

Please note: Places in student residences are assigned according to the order in which applications are received. You can apply without being enrolled at the university. 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 highly advise you to apply as soon as possible! In order to actually get a place in a dormitory, you have to submit your certificate of enrolment subsequently.

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 math course, you can ask Mrs. Schwanke schwanke@studentenwerk-potsdam.de if the room might become available earlier. In addition, you can try to contact your previous tenant and find out whether moving in earlier is an option. Since the residence halls are social housing, there is no second home tax. In any case you have to register your new residence at the municipal office.

Private dormatories

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

Living in Potsdam

  • Babelsberg district
    • Distance to HPI varies, 4 minutes by S-Bahn from Babelsberg S-Bahn station
    • Living atmosphere: almost only old buildings, altogether quite nice
    • near the S-Bahn station Babelsberg there are very nice renovated apartments in old buildings
  • 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); not too bad; very cheap
  • District Am Schlaatz
    • Distance to HPI: about 15 to 30 minutes by bus/train or bike
    • Living atmosphere: almost only prefabricated housing
    • cheapest 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

Contact

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