Go to a bank (preferably one near your future place of residence, or in the middle of the city). You need to open a so-called “Giro-Konto”, from where your regular payments will later be deduced (rent, telephone-bill, electricity and water, etc.).
It is helpful to have a reference from your home bank. Make a deposit to this account with your traveller checks or your extra cash.
We advise all students to open an account (type giro account) as soon as possible after arriving at their place of study. An account can be opened at all commercial banks and “Sparkassen” (the latter are trustee savings banks). A giro account is necessary for transfers, for example paying the rent to Student Services, and for direct debit. Direct debit allows you to have monthly sums automatically deducted from your account free of charge.
Banks usually offer students in comparision to employed people better rates for their services. Every city has a large number of commercial banks and “Sparkassen”. The biggest banks in Germany are the Dresdner Bank, Hypo-Vereinsbank, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Sparkassen etc.
In order to open an account students will need proof of their enrolment. In some cases and subject to prior agreement with the bank a letter of acceptance and confirmation by the faculty may suffice.
A good survey is provided by banken.de