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General College Regulations and Policies


Required Books

All students may buy or borrow required texts from ECLA. Borrowed books and book packs remain the property of ECLA and must be returned at the conclusion of the programme in the same condition as received, that is, with no notes or highlighting. Students will be billed for any lost or damaged books.

ECLA Library

Students are encouraged to use the ECLA library which is situated in Kuckhoffstrasse 41. The library comprises a small, but carefully selected collection of primary and secondary literature, videos, DVDs and CDs. All students may check out library items during library opening hours. Please be aware that the library hours may change from term to term, according to the academic schedule. The ECLA library is closed during winter, spring and summer breaks (consult Academic Calendar for exact dates).

ECLA's library catalogue is available online (from on campus facilities) at:

ECLA library books, videos and DVDs remain the property of ECLA and must be returned in the same condition as received. Students will be billed for any lost or damaged books, videos, DVDs or CDs. This includes library books that are ordered specifically for PY students undertaking independent projects.

Students are required to adhere to the library policy, which includes returning library items on time. The library policy is included in your welcome package and is also available in the library.

Electronic Resources

ECLA provides access to JSTOR - an online database that maintains an archive of important scholarly journals. Students may visit JSTOR from the dorms at For more information on JSTOR and on the terms and conditions of its use, please see one of the JSTOR handbooks available in the computer labs and in the library.

Libraries in Berlin

Students who seek further library resources are encouraged to use the Berlin public library (Staatsbibliothek), which is one of the largest libraries in Germany and has a collection of over nine million books and periodicals, including rare manuscripts. Students may also use any of Berlin's public university libraries.

Information Technology

Computers in the computer lab and in the workstations in student residences are maintained to support the programme of teaching and learning that is the mission of the college. Using college-owned facilities establishes a contract between the college and the student to use them legally, ethically, in accordance with their educational purposes, and with civil regard for other members of the campus community. College-owned computer facilities (including the campus network and internet connection), whether accessed remotely or locally, should not be used for commercial purposes, nor in any way that infringes German state and federal laws or international laws with regard to libel or copyright.

Computer programs and electronic files belong to the owner. They are private, confidential and protected by copyright; only the owner can explicitly give permission for another user to access them.

Individual usernames and passwords belong solely to the owner of the account.

Students are responsible for the storage of their work. Students should note that individual student files, student logins and student projects will be deleted two weeks after the official end of the programme.

ECLA is not responsible for material found, posted, sent or published from personal computer accounts, personal file servers or personal Web pages that may be traced back to this campus.

Students are responsible for keeping their personal computers updated and virus-free whenever connected to the ECLA campus network.

The following are forbidden uses of ECLA IT facilities.  This list is intended as an illustration of the kind of activities forbidden and is non-exhaustive:

  • Unauthorised access or attempts to gain unauthorised access, to confidential information.
  • The use of file-sharing tools to access peer-to-peer networks is prohibited, as is use of tools designed to circumvent the blocking.
  • Altering or tampering with the configuration of computers in student labs and other common areas, or installing unauthorised games or other programs on their hard disks, or on the shared-files area of the file servers.
  • The unauthorised physical or virtual extension, or re-configuration, of any portion of the campus network, by such means as include routers (wired or wireless), wireless access points, network wiring, or other methods.
  • The download and storage of unlicensed copyrighted files (music, movies, software, etc.) on ECLA servers and computers.

Any violation of IT policies may result in the suspension or revocation of use privileges and/or the blocking of network access until final resolution of the matter.

Residential Policies

Community Ethos

ECLA life is demanding in many ways. ECLA students are members of an intellectual community and as such they are expected to take responsibility for that community, both within and outside the class room.

ECLA is a residential college. Living closely together on a small campus can often require good social skills and a certain level of maturity. ECLA is first and foremost an intellectual community, and the entire campus should be treated as a learning environment. We expect from everyone the respect, generosity and tolerance necessary for such a close-knit community to function well. The minimal requirements include:

  • Respect for property, both for what belongs to fellow students and for what belongs to the college.
  • Use of common facilities - like telephones, garden furniture, computers, laundry facilities etc - as common: do not privatise or monopolise what doesn't belong to you! Making personal property of what is intended as common is a form of theft.  
  • Respect for quiet hours and quiet spaces (reading rooms and the library). Give others a chance to sleep and work in peace. The basic rules are secured by German Law, according to which there can be no loud noise in public spaces between 22.00 and 7.00, and between 12.00 and 15.00.
  • Keeping common living areas clean and tidy - past experience has shown that failure to keep to this can be a great source of friction among students!
  • Respect for safety regulations, including instructions concerning placement of bicycles and furniture.
  • Respect for guest and party policies.
  • Respect for instructors, staff and fellow-students

Failure to comply with any of the above rules will jeopardize a student's status in the programme and in severe cases may result in probation, suspension, or expulsion.

The minimal requirements are just the starting point, of course. Social life on a residential campus can only be as good as its residents make it, and generally reflects the energy, imagination and generosity they bring to it. The college provides a framework for residential life, but it is up to students to make something out of it. The best social events, artistic projects, study groups, sports games, etc. at ECLA have come about because students made them happen. The non-residential members of the ECLA community (i.e. faculty and administrators) are always happy to be invited along to parties, dinners, poetry evenings, football games and so on - they even take the initiative to get things going once in a while - but experience shows that social life works best when the students see themselves as leading the way.


Your friends and siblings are welcome to visit ECLA and to stay with you in your room free of charge. For the sake of the community's safety and for issues of liability guests who will be staying for more than a single night must be registered with the Residential Life Coordinator. Unregistered guests will be considered as trespassers.

We ask for your understanding that parents and other older relatives cannot stay in the student dorms. However, we may be able to provide other accommodations on campus. Please inquire with the Residential Life Coordinator if such accommodations can be made.

ECLA's houses are designed to be healthy living and working environments for the students enrolled at ECLA. By a 'guest', we understand a friend or relative who visits ECLA for a specified, short period of time. ECLA's houses are not hostels. "Couch-surfing" is not permitted. We are also unable to make accommodation for live-in partners, or visitors who stay much longer than a week. It is especially important that roommates agree with each other concerning what constitutes a fair use of shared space. In addition, the common areas of student houses must always be available for socialisation or study.  No one - overnight guests and students alike - is permitted to sleep in common areas. 

ECLA staff reserve the right to terminate the stay of any non-resident who violates community rules or policies, or causes a disturbance of any kind.


Students may host parties in their residences or rooms. After 22:00 parties are only allowed in the Party Room in Kuckhoffstrasse 24. Students must at all times obey the rules of the ECLA community regarding smoking, alcohol use, illegal substances, noise and guests. Failure to observe these rules may jeopardise their enrolment status. Students are responsible for cleaning up after parties.

Residence Damage

Students are subject to disciplinary action and full financial responsibility for any damage they cause to ECLA property, including their own rooms.


Smoking is strictly prohibited in all college buildings. Students who smoke outside the buildings dispose of cigarette butts etc. in the ashtrays provided.

Violation of this smoking policy will jeopardise the student's residential privileges, and may therefore endanger the student's enrolment in the programme.


Students who drink must do so responsibly. Destructive behaviour associated with alcohol consumption may jeopardise the student's residential privileges and enrolment in the programme.

Illegal Substances

The possession and use of illegal substances by ECLA students are strictly prohibited. The normal penalty for violation of this prohibition is dismissal.

Any student who distributes illegal substances will be immediately dismissed from the programme.

Harassment, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Assault

It is the policy of ECLA to provide a working and learning environment free from harassment of any kind.  In a close residential community it is imperative that all its members feel not only safe and secure, but also comfortable.  Any behaviour which jeopardises this is totally unacceptable and will be dealt with severely.

Harassment is defined as unwelcome and unauthorised incidents and/or patterns of conduct and/or speech that are severe, pervasive or persistent, which render the college environment hostile, intimidating or demeaning to the victim.

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests and other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature where:

  • submitting to such conduct is made, either expressly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual's employment or education; or
  • submitting to or rejecting such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or educational decisions affecting the individual; or
  • such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's academic, or professional performance or of creating an intimidating, hostile or demeaning employment or educational environment.

Sexual assault: Absent consent, sexual activity is exploitative, coercive and/or violent and may constitute sexual harassment, sexual assault or rape. Any behaviour on the part of a member of the college community, its guests or its visitors that constitutes a sexual offence is a violation of college regulations. It will not be tolerated and may be subject to prosecution. A member of the college community who believes he or she may have been subjected to harassment, sexual harassment or any other sexual offence should file a complaint with the Administration of the College. (In some cases it may be necessary to do so immediately after the incident.

Any incident of harassment, sexual harassment or sexual assault thought to constitute a criminal offence under German law will be handed over to the police, and is likely to result in dismissal.

Medical Emergencies

In case of emergency, always contact the Residential Life Coordinator (0157 7149 3481).

The emergency number in Germany is 112. Please note that the use of this number if you are not in an emergency situation is prohibited and not covered by ECLA's insurance policy.  Having a temperature does not constitute an emergency. Students who use the number in non-emergency situations will be required to take financial responsibility themselves and should note that the cost runs into hundreds of Euros.

Visa, Residence Permit, and Insurance


As an international student you need to check if you need a German student visa from a German Embassy PRIOR to entering Germany. The visa regulations for the different countries can be found on the webpage of the Auswärtiges Amt:

IMPORTANT: Please note that, if you come to Germany with a visitor visa, this cannot be exchanged for a student visa! By government legislation, you will be required to return home in order to apply for a valid student visa. There are no exceptions to this regulation. Only a German embassy or consulate can issue a student visa.

For the visa you will usually need to present the following documents:

  • a valid passport, with two biometric (passport) photos
  • ECLA acceptance letter
  • Acceptance form
  • ECLA letter addressed to the German consulate, which contains information on your insurance and (where necessary) your financial aid package.

Please allow six to eight weeks (sometimes even longer) for your visa application to be approved.

Local Registration

Every person living in Germany needs to register at the local authorities. ECLA provides you with a registration sheet which you need to fill out and submit to the College Secretary who will, in turn, submit it to local authorities on your behalf. At the end of your stay you need to deregister. The procedure will be the same as for the registration.

Residence Permit

As soon as you arrive at ECLA you need to apply for a residence permit (Aufenthaltstitel) at the Foreigners' Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde). You will need the same documents as for the visa application. ECLA will administrate the procedure. For further details contact the College Secretary upon your arrival at ECLA.

Medical Insurance

Students studying at a state-recognized college or university in Germany are legally required to have health insurance. ECLA offers student health insurance coverage through one of the best statutory health insurance providers (Krankenkasse), Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), for its students as part of the comprehensive fee.

There are different requirements you must meet in order to waive the TK Health Insurance provided by ECLA depending on your country of origin. Please see the relevant section below to determine what requirements apply to you. In case your request to waive the health insurance by TK is approved, your comprehensive fee for the given academic year will be reduced by the amount of the health insurance as described in the Health Insurance Information Sheet for the given academic year.

German Students:

Students from Germany, who are insured through their families, can waive the TK health insurance coverage offered by ECLA by submitting the health insurance waiver with the copy of their Krankenversicherungsnachweis at the same time the application for admission is submitted to the Admissions Office or with the financial aid application if applying for financial aid.

Students from Germany with private health insurance can waive the TK health insurance coverage offered by ECLA by submitting the health insurance waiver with the copy of Bescheinigung über die Befreiung von der Versicherungspflicht at the same time the application for admission is submitted to the Admissions Office or with the financial aid application if applying for financial aid.

Non-German Students:

Students from other EU countries who are already insured in their country of origin are not required by German law to insure themselves in Germany. You can waive the TK health insurance coverage offered by ECLA by submitting the health insurance waiver with the copy of your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to the ECLA Financial Aid Office at the same time the application for admission is submitted to the Admissions Office or with the financial aid application if applying for financial aid.

Students from non-EU countries who wish to waive the TK health insurance coverage offered by ECLA should contact a statutory health insurance provider (Krankenkasse) in Germany to:

a.  have their own health insurance coverage approved. Please note that an exemption from statutory coverage (Befreiung von der Versicherungspflicht) may be granted in such cases. It should be carefully considered, however, that this exemption is irreversible during your stay of study in Germany.


b.  to arrange for health insurance coverage by another statutory health insurance provider in Germany.

To waive the TK health insurance, students from non-EU countries must submit the health insurance waiver to the ECLA Financial Aid Office (FAO) with the copy of the Befreiung von der Versicherungspflicht or with the copy of the confirmation of statutory coverage (Krankenversicherungsnachweis) received from the Krankenkasse they contacted.  The health insurance waiver must be submitted to the FAO at the same time the application for admission is submitted to the Admissions Office or with the financial aid application if applying for financial aid.

Please note that in addition to the health insurance that is covered by the ECLA comprehensive fee, there are certain fees you will have to pay directly to the medical service providers when you seek medical treatment. These fees are (for students covered by the student health insurance through TK or any other statutory health insurance provider in Germany):

Practice Charge (Praxisgebühr) - you will be charged 10 Euros for your first visit to a doctor and for your first visit to a dentist. Your subsequent visits to the same doctor or the same dentist in the same quarter will be free of charge. You may also subsequently visit other doctors in the same quarter without paying the practice charge again using a referral (Überweisung).  You will also be charged this fee again if you go to the emergency room.

Prescription Charges - when buying prescription drugs, please note that there is a minimum charge of 5 Euros and a maximum charge of 10 Euros you have to co-pay.

Hospital Treatment - for each day in hospital (no more than 28 days per year) you will be charged 10 Euros.

Please note that if you don't need health insurance through ECLA, you have to provide an insurance certificate upon arrival.

The health insurance comes to effect upon arrival. It is important to note that once per quarter you have to pay 10 Euros "Praxisgebühr" (charge for medical registration) for seeing a doctor and/or dentist. You will also have to pay a small percentage of the prescribed medication. Please see further information about the health insurance conditions in the college's main office.

ECLA recommends you to make sure that you have a valid liability insurance in Germany (Haftpflichtversicherung, app. 80 Euros/year).

Health Services


Once a week, a physician is on campus to attend to routine medical consultation. The physician's office hours on and off-campus are available on the ECLA website.


Students have access to the services of a professional counsellor. All aspects of the counselling are strictly confidential. Further details and on campus office hours for each term are announced by the Residential Life Coordinator at the beginning of each term and posted on the ECLA website. To contact the counsellor, students should email to

Dining Services

Breakfast, lunch and supper will be served on weekdays in the dining hall at Waldstrasse 70. Brunch and supper will be served on weekends and on other days when regular classes are not scheduled. Vegetarian options are included in everyday menus. Students with special dietary needs should inform ECLA in writing before the beginning of the programme. Medical conditions can be accommodated, provided a student presents a doctor's certification in writing to the ECLA administration before the beginning of the programme.

Campus Facilities

Reading Room

The Reading Room is located in the student house of Kuckhoffstrasse 24. It contains carrels, tables and comfortable sofas for reading and for doing academic work. No food or drinks are allowed in the reading room, and absolute quiet is requested of all who use the room. Reference materials and periodicals are also kept in the room. No reference materials or periodicals may be removed from the room at any time.

Media Lab

The student Media Lab is located in the student house at Waldstrasse 16 and offers ECLA students excellent facilities for creative endeavours.  It is set up for digital artwork and contains computers with software and hardware enabling students to edit video, sound and images.

Sport and Fitness

ECLA students, faculty and staff have free access to the SPOK Fitness Centre which is located at Nordendstrasse 56, about fifteen minutes walking distance from the student houses. ECLA students must show their ECLA ID at the reception counter in order to use the facility.  The Centre offers:

  • Fitness centre with exercise machines
  • Fitness courses (yoga, etc.)
  • Tennis (indoor and outdoor courts)
  • Volleyball
  • Badminton (indoor courts)
  • Running track
  • Sauna
  • Basketball court
  • Table tennis
  • Football (soccer) field

All fitness activities except tennis lessons are free of charge. Details about court reservations and opening times can be obtained from the Residential Life Coordinator.


In 2008, ECLA acquired 19 bikes through a student project. Usage of an ECLA bike is optional. To use one of the bikes, a student must agree to abide by the general terms of use and provide 50 Euro bike security deposit. Students can co-use a bike if there are not enough bikes for all interested students. To check out a bike, contact the Residential Life Coordinator.

Transportation Tickets

ECLA provides two transportation options in the city. Those students who think they travel a lot are offered to buy a monthly pass (Monatskarte) that costs 52 Euros. ECLA reimburses 50 Euros. The other option is for those who travel less. They can get 4 free single tickets per week. See the RLC for both the reimbursement and the distribution of the single tickets. The free tickets and the monthly passes are valid for all trams, buses, S-Bahns and U-Bahns within the AB zone of Berlin. The C zone is not included.