My girlfriend and I are both US citizens, and she was recently awarded a Fulbright that will pay for her to do research in Konstanze Germany for 10 months.

Going with her sounds like an amazing opportunity to learn more about Germany and to practice my German, but I have a few questions.

  1. Would it be a bad idea for me to just go with a tourist visa and then apply for a work or study visa? The german consulate says Americans can do this.

  2. Would taking classes in German in Konstanze constitute studying in Germany? How hard is it to get a study visa?

  3. If my girlfriend is able to pay most of our living expenses, what would I need to qualify for a work visa? What sort of employment could I look for before or after I arrive in Konstanze? How hard is it to get a work visa?

  4. Will I need to buy health insurance while I am living in Germany?

closed as too broad by Giorgio, Scott Earle, StrongBad Apr 13 '17 at 18:28

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    With respect to (1), it's fine: you likely won't be able to get a long-term visa outside Germany because they'll just tell you to enter visa-free and apply for the residence permit there. (As a US citizen, you can't get a tourist visa.) But you really ought to do everything possible to line up some employment or a program of study before you go there. I'm unsure of the answers to your other questions, I'm afraid. – phoog Apr 9 '17 at 15:08
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    You really must splitt this question up into multiple questions. You can have each one of them link to the others if you like, but StackExchange questions are not "multiple questions in one". – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Apr 13 '17 at 13:24
  • You can likely go for language classes. There are a lot of people taking language classes for 6 months or a year (e.g. in Heidelberg) before they apply and enrol in German universities AFAIK and they don't have any problems obtaining visas with that. I think there is a section about student visa especially dealing with such situation. Just ensure you get a good, credible one and sort the visa arrangements out with them. Of course then you'll have to pay a bit of tuition fee, but they're not that outrageous. – xji Apr 13 '17 at 22:13