Welcome Services – Before you leave

Before you leave

It is always sad to say goodbye, but we want to make the transition to the next step in your career as easy as pos­si­ble. Apart from packing your bags, you will be busy with lots of things when you planning to leave the Institute and Germany. The MPI-CSL is happy to assist you if you have any questions. The following list is a guide of issues you should think of before you leave.

Please bear in mind that you will have to deal with some organisational matters before you leave the Institute, the city of Freiburg and the country. It is usually advisable to start planning your move about three months in advance. The fol­low­ing timetable will help you to save time and avoid extra stress.

Canceling accounts 3 to 6 months in advance

Leaving your flat

  • Cancel your rental contract in good time by written notice (e-mail or fax are not considered as written notice). Usually, a rental contract requires a period of notice of three months before you leave. Sometimes landlords or landladies agree to a shorter period if you present them a new tenant.
  • If you paid a security deposit, make sure that you get it back. Important: If you do not leave the apartment in good condition, costs for repairs or renovation may be deducted from your security deposit. Discuss with your landlord or landlady whether you have to do any painting, repairs etc. before leaving your accommodation.
  • You can sell your furniture via blackboard at the MPI-CSL, the university or most supermarkets or simply use www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de.

Landline phone, mobile phone and internet contracts etc.

Make sure that you cancel contracts for telephone and internet. Cancelling these contracts can become quite difficult because most of the typical 2-year contracts must be cancelled with a 3-month notice prior to the last day of your agree­ment. Otherwise your contract is automatically renewed for another two years with the same 3-month notice period.


If you have memberships such as fitness or sport clubs, cable TV, newspaper or magazine subscriptions, please check the respective contracts in advance for the period of notice.

Public transportation tickets

If you are a BahnCard owner or own a public transportation season ticket by the VAG/RVF make sure to cancel them ahead of time.


Do not forget to cancel Third Party Liability Insurances or other private insurances. Most of them need to be canceled three months ahead.

NOTE: If you go abroad, you are most likely subject to a special right of determination (“Sonderkündigungsrecht”). Often you have to prove that you are moving abroad by sending in a certificate/contract of your next employer or your de-registration from the city of Freiburg.

Canceling accounts 1 month to 2 weeks in advance

Utilities (electricity, gas, water, waste)

If you had additional contracts for utilities such as water, electricity, heating, gas and waste, cancel them accordingly and organize, if needed, a final meter reading.

De-registration from Germany and Freiburg

When you moved to Freiburg, you had to register with the Residents’ Registration Office (“Bürgeramt” or “Einwohner­melde­amt”). You are also required to de-register when you leave Freiburg to move abroad. This is not necessary if you move within Germany. Note: A de-registration is possible one week before you leave. It is also recommendable that you inform the immigration office (“Amt für Migration und Integration”) that issued your residence permit.

Broadcasting fee

To cancel your broadcasting fee you can use an online form available on www.rundfunkbeitrag.de. If you have already confirmation of de-registering with the city, you can upload this document on the website. You can cancel the contract at any time for the end of the month.

Health insurance

Some health insurance providers (statutory and private) offer forms to cancel their services. Generally speaking, a letter of cancellation must be submitted in written form and should include your de-registration from Germany (!) and, occa­sion­ally, a proof of your new health insurance. Get in touch with your health insurance provider or visit one of their branches to get assistance.

Tax and pension

Most likely you have been contributing to the social security system in Germany. Especially in the case of pension in­sur­ance, it is possible that the pension rights you acquired in Germany remain valid after you leave the country. As every case is different, no general advice can be given here. Please check with the Human Resources Department or arrange an appointment with an adviser at the pension fund directly to discuss your pension entitlements. It is possible that you still owe taxes (income tax) in Germany or are entitled to a refund. For further and more specific questions about your situation, please ask the tax office or a tax adviser.

Bank account

If you want to cancel your German bank account, you should inform the bank via a formless letter or e-mail including your name, address and bank details of your new bank for the remaining balance (most banks offer specific forms). Make sure to have no outstanding debts or standing orders while or after closing the account. Important: It can be pos­sible that you need your German bank account beyond your departure in Germany as some companies or institutions pay fees back (security deposit, taxes, payback of additional charges etc.).

School and child care facility

If you have children, please inform the school or the childcare facility that you are leaving. Do not forget to give notice to the supplier of lunch as well. Furthermore, please inform, if applicable, the Family Benefits Office that you will be leaving Germany.

Mail forwarding

You can have your mail forwarded/redirected to your new postal address abroad. Deutsche Post offers a service called “Nachsendeservice”: shop.deutschepost.de.

Alumni network

We would be very pleased if you stay in touch with us. If you are interested in continuing to be informed about developments and activities at the MPI-CSL, you can join our alumni network free of charge.

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