Bank account and insurances
You will need a European bank account to receive your salary. This should be one of the first things you do upon arrival at the MPIIB. As bank services and fees can vary, it is worth comparing different banks and offers. In order to open a bank account in Berlin, you will need to provide the following documents: copies of the registration in Berlin, the passport, and the visa (if applicable). Cash is still popular in Germany, but in most (but not all) places it is possible to pay by card.
In Germany, we have a system of compulsory health insurance. This means that everyone living in Germany must have either statutory or private health insurance. PhD Candidates, Students, and most employees are required to have statutory health insurance. Anyone working in Germany for the first time and earning more than a certain monthly salary can choose between private and statutory health insurance.
Statutory health insurance works as follows. Half of all contributions are paid by the employer and the rest by the employee. The employee's share of contributions and supplementary contributions are deducted directly from the gross salary. The German health insurance system is unique and - at first glance - a bit complicated. To get an overview of the system and the implications of the different types of health insurance (statutory vs. private health insurance), please visit this web portal on health insurance.
The same portal also provides a lot of information and lists of health insurance companies.
Personal liability insurance
Personal liability insurance is not compulsory, but it is highly recommended in case you accidentally cause damage to another person or property. Information on useful and recommended additional insurance can be found here.