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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Department of Social Sciences

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1 Libraries

Jacob-und-Wilhelm-Grimm-Zentrum (Central Library)

The Central Library, the Jacob-und-Wilhelm-Grimm-Zentrum, is located on Geschwister-Scholl-Straße 3. With around 2 million freely available volumes, it has one of the largest collections in the German-speaking world and can be accessed by all HU students. Your student ID also serves as your library card.

The Grimm-Zentrum is a lending library where you can generally borrow items for up to 84 days. To do this you must scan your student ID at one of the lending machines and then confirm the loan by entering the password for your user account. This user account is not the same as your HU account, and is automatically created when you enrol. By default, the password is the postal code in your home address.

The Primus search portal helps you to find the books you are looking for. You can perform a “simple” search or an “advanced” search for more precise results. The university library also offers training courses and tours covering scientific research in libraries.

Branch libraries

In addition to the Central Library, there are also branch libraries where books are available for loan. They are spread across the entire campus and work in the same way as the Central Library.

Berlin State Library

The Berlin State Library is located right by Humboldt-Universität. In order to use this library, advance registration is required and a fee of €30 per year has to be paid.

2 Student cafeterias

Student Services operate numerous cafeterias and canteens throughout Berlin all of which students and non-students alike can frequent. The nearest cafeteria to the Department of Social Sciences is the HU South cafeteria in the main building.

You can view the menus for all cafeterias online (and as an app). In the cafeteria you can pay electronically using a cafeteria card, which is available from all checkouts and can be loaded  at various card loading machines. This cafeteria card can also be used for some library lockers.

3 Orbis Humboldtianus

Many of Humboldt-Universität’s international activities convene at the  Orbis Humboldtianus. This is a place where foreign and German students can meet and make contacts. It also offers the opportunity to register for various support activities such as the “studis4studis” mentoring programme, intercultural training programmes, a language forum and other activities.

A calendar with all Orbis programmes and dates is available online!

4 Sport and Recreation


Humboldt-Universität offers a comprehensive programme of sports that covers almost all areas of physical activity from aerobics to zumba. Registration is done online via the Sport and Recreation website. Like the language courses, these programmes also fill up quickly. Please note the date when registration begins! Students spending the summer in Berlin can also take advantage of sailing and surfing trips!

5 Accommodation

There are various ways to find accommodation in Berlin:

Accommodation in student dormitories

Berlin Student Services offer various dormitories in and around Berlin which are also open to exchange students. You can use the online application system to book a room in a student dormitory. For information on dormitories, their locations and prices, visit the Student Services website or the Student Services information stands on campus. Humboldt-Universität exchange students are generally allocated accommodation in dormitories located in the eastern part of the city in the districts of Lichtenberg, Marzahn and Hohenschönhausen (e.g., dormitories on Storckower Straße, Sewanstraße, Allee der Kosmonauten, Werneuchener Straße, Oberfeldstraße and Franz-Mehring-Platz). Unfortunately, you cannot choose your dormitory!

Private housing/living in a shared apartment

You can also try to find an apartment on the private housing market. The best online portals offering apartments and rooms in shared apartments are:






If you are already in Berlin, have a look at the bulletin boards in the various departments. Here you will often find offers for temporary rental accommodation.



We hope that you have a wonderful time in Berlin, at Humboldt-Universität and at the Department of Social Sciences!