Facing challenges?

We offer individual social counselling services

Your student days are a very significant episode in your life. What are the challenges that await you? A new city, your own apartment, strangers, little money. And you are expected to cope with all this alone? You don't have to! We offer guidance, we support you in making decisions and we promote your independence. In emergency situations we are able to help you with free meals and financial aid.

Please feel free to ask us anything! Our social counselling services are confidential, free of charge and – if needed – in English (via videocall, telephone, e-mail or in person).

We are there for you:

You will get a refund if you withdraw or revoke your enrolment before the semester, for which the contribution has already been paid, begins. To get the refund you need to fill in, print and sign the form below and submit it to the Studentenwerk. Your entitlement to refund ceases if the form is not submitted until the end of the semester for which the contribution has been paid. You are not entitled to partial repayments.

Please note:
The submission necessarily must include the respective proof for the reason for exemption.

Application form for the refund of the semester contribution

There is the possibility to exempt you from the obligation to pay contributions for one or more semesters. However, this only applies to students who are on leave due to: completing the federal voluntary service, illnesss, sudying abroad or staying abroad to promote their studies (this only applies if the stay abroad is proven to last at least 5 months during a regular semester).

You must submit the application to us in writing before the amount is due. The application must include the proof that no social services by the Studentenwerk will be made use of during the requested period. In case you are to be exempted due to illness, the inability to study must additionally be proven by submitting a medical certificate.

Please note: The submission necessarily must include the respective proof for the reason for exemption.

Application form for the exemption from the obligation to pay the semester contribution

Admission to a university depends on more than just grades. We want people with disabilities and chronic illnesses to have easier access to university. Please contact us!

Studying with Disabilities – Information and Advice Center
Where can people with restricted mobility live without restricted access? What forms of academic adjustment are available? The "Studying with Disabilities" Information and Advice Centre of the German Studentenwerk e.V. (Deutsches Studierendenwerk - DSW) provides comprehensive information about studying with disabilities in Germany. A great deal of information is so far only available in German.

best2 - studying with impairments
Information brochure of the DSW with data on the situation of students with disabilities and chronic illness (2019 | English).

Representatives of the universities for students with disabilities

University of Potsdam
University of Applied Sciences Potsdam
Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF
Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences
Technical University of Applied Science Wildau

Job gone? No BAföG entitlement (anymore)? It is not always possible to secure your livelihood until the end of your studies. For these situations, we have compiled an overview of financial aid for students.

What kind of aid is available?

  • Scholarships
  • One-time aid from the emergency fund of Studentenwerk Potsdam
  • Aid from the loan fund of the Studentenwerk Potsdam
  • Other Loans

Who is eligible?
The housing benefit is a state aid granted for the payment of the rent. It does not contribute to the subsistence. Therefore you have to substantiate that you have a regular income.

Students with funding under the Federal Training Assistance Act (BAföG)
Under certain circumstances the housing benefit may be claimed by students who are not entitled to BAföG payments, if they for example have already exceeded the maximum funding period, receive BAföG as fully loan-based financing or if children that are living in the same household were included in the calculation. Please also read the information on the "BAföG” web page.

Note: You may not claim the housing benefit without having applied for BAföG funding first, as BAföG has precedence over the housing benefit. In case the application finds that your parents’ income is too high or you, as a student, are too wealthy, no housing benefit will be granted.

How is the housing benefit calculated?
The number of household members, the size of the apartment, the gross rent without utility costs, the incomes of the household members and the regional rental level are important components for the calculation. You can non-bindingly calculate the estimated housing benefit with the housing benefit calculator.

How is your income taken into account?
The income covers all positive earnings within the meaning of the German Income Tax Act.  Student loans or other loans are NOT

considered as income. But child benefits, which the parents pass on to their children, are taken into account. The situation is different, if the students have children living in their household: In this case, the child benefits are not taken into account.

Note: The extent to which the income or the money received are taken into account may affect the decision on the application for a housing benefit. In case the application for a housing benefit was rejected because the income is too low, it is recommended to specify all earnings in the course of the plausibility check. In this part of the proceedings loans may for example be recognized or financial autonomy can be substantiated.

Apply for the housing benefit online
You can fill in and print the application form for the housing benefit by the state of Brandenburg online. In case a housing benefit has already been granted, you can also find subsequent applications (applications for continued payment or increase of the housing benefit) on the website of the Brandenburg Ministry of Infrastructure and Agriculture. The following documents are required for the application:

  • Identity card/passport
  • Negative decision on BAföG OR
  • Proof of fully loan-based financing under BAföG
  • Rental agreement, rent receipts and special charges
  • Income tax card or income tax compensation from the previous year
  • Certificate of enrolment

We recommend a personal appointment at our social counselling service for detailed advice regarding the housing benefit.

Do you face a difficult social situation? Then apply for a certificate of eligibility to public housing (WBS) at your local city administration. This gives you the opportunity to find an affordable apartment which is supported by public funds. 

The WBS depends on the income; but child benefit does not count as income. With the application you must submit the following documents regarding your personal life situation:

  • Proof of income covering the last 12 months
  • Approval decision on unemployment benefit or social benefit
  • Approval decision on BAföG or rejection
  • Current certificate of enrolment
  • Proof of maintenance
  • Decision on parental benefit
  • Proof of health, care or pension insurance coverage
  • Pregnancy record booklet, if required
  • Marriage, if applicable (and if the marriage took place in the past five years)
  • Proof of legal separation, if applicable (e.g. amended income tax card, informal confirmation by both partners, application for divorce)

You can find application forms at your local city administration or in the Internet. 

Stadtverwaltung der Landeshauptstadt Potsdam
Stadtverwaltung Brandenburg an der Havel
Stadtverwaltung Wildau

Health insurance
Each student is obliged to prove that he or she is covered by health insurance before the enrolment at the university. Your health insurance issues such a certificate without problems.
The most favourable form of insurance is the family insurance. As a student you receive the services of the health insurance for free, if one parent or your spouse is a member of a statutory health insurance. Students that cannot be covered by a family insurance are obliged to take out a student health insurance, because such an insurance is compulsory until the 14th Semester and at the latest until you reach the age of 30.

Care insurance
The care insurance, which was set up under the umbrella of the statutory health insurance, serves the purpose of hedging risks when long-time care is needed. Usually you are also included in your parents’ family insurance for free up to the age of 25 (plus the time of military and civilian service). After this time, you will have to take out an insurance yourself.

Accident insurance
If you study at a university in the area of competence of the Studentenwerk Potsdam and you have paid your semester fees, you are insured against accidents.

Liability insurance
You are included in your parents’ family liability insurance if you started your studies immediately after your school education and were not employed in between. Please note that military and civilian service are not regarded as employment in this respect. Otherwise you have the possibility to be re-included in your parents’ liability insurance with a 50% surcharge only. There is no need to take on your own liability insurance in these cases.

Home content insurance
Usually you are included in your parents’ home content insurance and do not have to take out your own insurance. However, this only applies if you have an accommodation in the residential halls at the location of the university or have a secondary residence. If you live in your own apartment (principal place of residence) at the location of the university, you should seek to obtain a corresponding insurance coverage.

If you study at a university in the area of competence of the Studentenwerk Potsdam and you have paid your semester fees, you are insured against accidents. This is because the semester fee also includes a leisure time accident insurance for students.

This insurance covers accidents that occur outside of the university, including accidents that occur abroad. Accidents that are not covered by the statutory accident insurance are insured.
For detailed information, please refer to our information sheet on leisure time accident insurance for students.

Privacy Policy Social Counselling

We take the protection of your private data very seriously, i.e. we treat the data entrusted to us in strict confidence in accordance with the applicable data protection regulations and handle it responsibly. Therefore, we would like to inform you here about how we implement data protection regulations at the Studentenwerk Potsdam and which personal data we process for the services in the social counselling.

1. Name and contact details of the data controller and the company data protection officer

The Studentenwerk Potsdam, Babelsberger Straße 02, 14473 Potsdam (referred to as “we” in the text), is the controller in the sense of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Our company data protection officer can be contacted at the above address or can be reached at datenschutz@studentenwerk-potsdam.de.

2. Collection and storage of personal data and the nature, purpose and use thereof

We process personal data related to our social counselling services. This may be general data about you (such as name, address, contact details, family status), information about your biography or professional qualifications, or other information that you provide to us in connection with your request for services and advice.

We only process your personal data for the fulfilment of the public tasks assigned to us in accordance with § 81 Para. 3 of the Brandenburg Higher Education Act (BbgHG) for preventive health care, care or treatment in the health or social sector and for general advice and information. The processing is based on the following legal grounds:

The legal basis for the processing of your personal data is Art. 6 Para. 1 lit e) GDPR. According to this provision, the processing of personal data by public bodies is permissible if it is necessary for the performance of the task covered by the competence of the controller or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller. Furthermore, data processing is carried out on the basis of your consent (Art. 6 Para. 1 a) GDPR) in the context of preventive health care or care or treatment in the health and social sector (§ 22 Para. 1 No. 1 b) Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG)) or to fulfil a legal obligation (Art. 6 Para. 1 c) GDPR).

Should the data be required for any legal action after the conclusion of the procedures, data processing may be carried out on the basis of the requirements of Art. 6 GDPR, in particular to safeguard legitimate interests pursuant to Art. 6 Para. 1 lit. f) GDPR. Our interest then consists of asserting or defending claims.

According to Art. 6 Para. 1 P. 1 lit. c GDPR, we may store your data for up to 10 years due to tax and commercial law retention and documentation obligations as well as professional retention periods.

To conduct social counseling and psychosocial counseling via video telephony, we use the tool "Red Connect". This tool is a service of RED Medical Systems GmbH for online meetings. In addition to that we use the tool "DFNsync" to contduct webinars and online-events. This tool is hosted by Deutsches Forschungsnetz e.V. (DNF). During video counseling, in addition to the above-mentioned personal data (name, e-mail), the IP address and metadata of the meeting (appointments, resources (device information), access code) are processed. Image and telephone data are optional. Audio and video content are only processed during the respective online meeting. Date, time and duration of the video consultation are not stored by us but only locally at your site. Recordings do not take place unless you were actively informed of this before the start of the video consultation and have agreed to this in writing.

3.  Passing on data

Your personal data will not be transferred to third parties. Internal bodies shall only be granted access to data for which they are responsible for processing or within the scope of their tasks. Furthermore, personal data is processed on our behalf on the basis of contracts pursuant to Art. 28 GDPR, which ensure that the data processing is carried out in a permissible manner. A transfer to a third country does not take place and is not intended.

4. Your rights

You have the right

  • Pursuant to Art. 7 (3) DSGVO, to revoke your consent once given to us at any time. This has the consequence that we may no longer continue the data processing, which was based on this consent, for the future;
  • in accordance with Art. 15 DSGVO, to request information about your personal data processed by us;
  •  pursuant to Art. 16 DSGVO, to request without undue delay the rectification of inaccurate or incomplete personal data held by us;
  • pursuant to Art. 17 DSGVO, to request the erasure of your personal data stored by us, unless the processing is necessary for the exercise of the right to freedom of expression and information, for compliance with a legal obligation, for reasons of public interest, or for the establishment, exercise or defense of legal claims;
  • pursuant to Art. 18 DSGVO, to request the restriction of the processing of your personal data, insofar as the accuracy of the data is disputed by you, the processing is unlawful, but you object to its erasure and we no longer require the data, but you need it for the assertion, exercise or defense of legal claims or you have objected to the processing pursuant to Art. 21 DSGVO;
  • pursuant to Art. 20 DSGVO, to receive your personal data that you have provided to us in a structured, common and machine-readable format or to request the transfer to another controller; and
  • complain to a supervisory authority in accordance with Art. 77 DSGVO. As a rule, you can contact the supervisory authority of your usual place of residence or workplace or our company headquarters for this purpose
  • object to the processing of your personal data in accordance with 21 DSGVO, provided that your personal data is processed on the basis of legitimate interests in accordance with Art. 6 (1) p. 1 lit. f DSGVO and there are grounds for your objection that arise from your particular situation.

5. Necessity of providing personal data.

The provision of personal data is neither mandatory nor are you obliged to provide it. However, the provision of your data is necessary for comprehensive psychosocial counseling tailored to you. This means that unless you provide us with personal data for counseling, your service request cannot be properly processed.

6. No automated decision making

There is no automated decision-making in individual cases within the meaning of Art. 22 DSGVO.


Your contact

Karolin Behrens-Kozur
Social counsellor
room: 4.19
+49 331 3706-254
Babelsberger Straße 2
Katrin Steffen
Social counsellor
room: 4.21
+49 331 3706-251
Babelsberger Straße 2
Holger Schmidt
Residence worker
room: 4.04
+49 331 3706-256
Babelsberger Straße 2