Moving to a new city and starting education at a university level can be physically and mentally challenging. We advise students to listen to their bodies and make sure to get enough sleep, follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Particularly in the winter months, students should dress according to the climate.
The Akademie offers Alexander Technique for all students free of charge to help maintain physical well-being.
For mental health resources, the Akademie offers a Counselling Service free of charge to students. This service is provided by a certified mediator and a psychotherapist offering coaching, counselling, and advice. Students are informed of the Counselling Service hours at the beginning of every semester, and appointments can be made directly with the counsellor. The Counselling Service aims to provide students with the opportunity to speak confidentially about any personal difficulties and to get referrals to other specialists or sources of support.
A valid health insurance policy is mandatory for all students for the duration of their enrollment at the Barenboim-Said Akademie. All students enrolled at the Barenboim-Said Akademie are entitled to receive comprehensive health insurance as part of their scholarship. This Akademie-sponsored health insurance policy provides access to all doctors in Germany.
Visiting a Doctor
When seeking medical care in Germany, it is advised to visit a general practitioner (Hausarzt) first. A general practitioner will then refer you to an appropriate specialist, if necessary. Most doctors’ offices prefer that you make an appointment to be seen – this is particularly true if you are a new patient – but in urgent cases, you can visit during normal office hours, and in most offices, you can expect to be seen the same day.
When visiting a doctor, students must bring their health insurance policy information (Versicherungsausweis) and a form of identification. As mentioned above, most general practitioners hold walk-in hours during which you may see a doctor without an appointment (though be advised that waiting times for walk-ins may be quite long). If you need to see a specialist directly, we recommend that you choose a doctor and call to make an appointment. Please note that some specialists will only see you if you have an appointment.
Generally speaking, you should only go straight to a hospital in very urgent or emergency cases outside of normal operating hours (i.e. on weekends). However, always use your best judgment and seek appropriate, urgent medical attention when necessary.
Medicine and Prescriptions
Please be aware that medicine is only sold in pharmacies (Apotheken) in Germany, regardless of whether the medicine requires a prescription from a doctor or is available over the counter.
Most pharmacies in Berlin operate during normal business hours, closing on Sundays and for public holidays, but a select number of pharmacies remain open 24 hours, 7 days a week (the pharmacy at the main train station (Hauptbahnhof) is one example). Additionally, some pharmacies are on a rotational schedule of emergency 24-hour service (Apotheken-Notdienst). If you need to receive a prescription from an emergency pharmacy after normal operating hours, the normal procedure is to ring a bell at the storefront and the medicine will be delivered through a window. Here is a list of emergency pharmacies.