Since yesterday, I have been an official student of Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg. It took me two days to matriculate, one day (or maybe a few hours) longer than what I expected it to take. After spending only one hour to register in the city and extend my visa at the Foreign Authority which was a seamless transaction, matriculating almost brought back memories of nightmare lines back in the University of the Philippines (UP for short, which also jokingly means University of Pila, or queues).
I excused myself from my German class 30 minutes after it started to join Omar and Billy, my gracious hosts in Tuebingen, at the Rektorat to matriculate right on the very first day. The registration form we had to accomplish was a small booklet of about six pages. I thought I would whistle my way through registration being a scholar of the German government. The trouble started when I showed my health insurance document to the clerk behind the counter. The document I had was given by my scholarship provided wasn’t enough according to the lady, and she was looking for an insurance certificate which I could get from God-knows-where.
I tried going to a public insurance company strategically located just across the Rektorat where everyone does there matriculation. I spoke to the agent in English, who then responded in good English, although his explanation was just too complicated to comprehend. I thought I was being convinced to move over to their company, given the fact that I have a “private” insurance pre-arranged by my scholarship. Billy clarified that the German insurance system is indeed complicated. With Omar and Billy’s help, we decided to visit my private insurance provider, who made a few calls, and in turn directed us back to the public company. I ended up getting the much-needed certificate in the public company, where I had to sign a waiver stating that I could not get into any public insurance company ever. For whatever reason, I wouldn’t dare ask. Ignorance is bliss.