Berlin is a haven for students. As a city rich in history, culture, and art, Berlin has attracted many students from far and wide. It’s this that has transformed the age-old city into one of the most vibrant locations in Europe, making for ample student deals across the country. Today, it boasts a diverse multicultural community, a year-long calendar of events, and a booming economy that’s an ideal springboard for any student looking to begin their career.
If you’ve chosen to pursue your education at a university in Berlin, you should take advantage of one of the best student deals the city has to offer: access to a host of academic, entertainment, and digital resources through Berlin’s association of public libraries — for a fee as low as five Euros per year!
Launched as part of a joint project of the 12 Berlin districts, the Association of Public Libraries in Berlin (VÖBB) is offering students unlimited access to a wide range of resources shared across various libraries throughout the city. Here, students can tap into a large collection of books, music, and movies, alongside more educational pursuits such as online courses and university resources.
Some of the resources students have access to include:
- Streaming platforms such as AVA and Filmfriends
- Streaming platforms for recorded classical music performances
- Online books from OverDrive, e-books, international magazines, dictionaries, and more
- Music streaming services such as Freegal and Naxos
- Online courses ranging across learning languages, university guides, and more
- Statista, where users can access market and consumer data
The participating library institutions span across a multitude of different libraries, all of which are known for various areas of expertise.
This includes the Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin (ZLB), which is the largest public library in Germany with over 3.4 million different media available for public perusal. Here, students will find items relating to the humanities and fine arts, and fiction, to the natural sciences, medicine, economics, urban studies, and law. As Berlin’s state library, the ZLB collects all printed works, data, and sound carries published in the country, alongside official state publications.
More than that, students can borrow artwork free of charge with a VÖBB membership. Choose from around 1,900 original works, comprising over 6,000 works of modern and contemporary art from the 20th and 21st centuries. This includes paintings, sculptures, watercolours, collages, gouaches, drawings, prints and photographs.
Students can loan these items for a period of three months, with a possible extension to this deadline. A maximum of 10 graphics, 10 oil paintings, five sculptures and five photographs can be loaned at the same time.
On top of that, students can access the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) — the only research institution in Germany that deals with the Middle East, Africa, Eurasia, South and Southeast Asia in an interdisciplinary and historically comparative perspective. The focus of research is the interaction of predominantly Muslim societies and their relationships with non-Muslim neighbouring regions.
Of course, that’s not to forget members’ access to the libraries themselves — vast, spacious rooms and halls that foster creativity, productivity, and inspiration.
This is a welcome move in Europe after reports show that the region is becoming less affordable for international students due to soaring rent prices.
Berlin student deals: How do I register for a VÖBB membership?
Registering for a membership is easy. All you need to do is visit a library in Berlin and bring your identification card, passport, and registration certificate. You may be required to present any residence permits, as well.
Make sure to bring proof of your student status to ensure that you’re able to access the reduced student price — though if you forget, you’ll only be required to add an extra €5 to your current registration fee. (It’s an incredibly affordable amount, only adding up to around 0.027 Euros per day!)
Your library card will be valid for one year from the date of registration. You can use it in all VÖBB institutions, and access all digital offers on voebb.de.