Germany is known as a great place to study abroad because its universities offer excellent education. Students who choose Germany have many advantages that make their experience unique. One important factor students think about when deciding where to study is the cost. In this article, we will give you all the information you need about the cost of studying and living in Germany as an international student.
What is the cost of studying in Germany?
When applying to universities worldwide, the registration process typically involves various fees such as tuition fees, enrollment and confirmation fees, and administration fees.
While some countries offer free education, it’s important to note that this typically refers to exemption from tuition fees, but there may still be other fees to consider, which are usually relatively low.
Germany is known for providing free education to students from any country around the world. This means that international students can study in Germany without paying tuition fees. However, there are two crucial factors to keep in mind:
- Free education is limited to public universities.
- Free education is available for programs taught in German.
It’s worth mentioning that the state of Baden-Württemberg in Germany introduced tuition fees for foreign students starting in 2017. The average tuition fees fir international students range from 2000 to 3000 euros per academic year in universities within the state of Baden-Württemberg.
It’s important to note that these fees do not apply to doctoral students but are applicable to bachelor’s, master’s, or diploma students. If you’re seeking tuition-free study opportunities, it’s advisable to consider other states in Germany.
Tuition fees at German universities
The cost of studying in Germany, in terms of tuition fees, is theoretically free (it doesn’t include tuition fees). However, students enrolled in higher education institutions in Germany are still required to administration fees each semester, for the services and benefits they receive. These fees vary depending on the university and the region in Germany.
Typically, students need to pay semester fees ranging from 100-300 euros for a full semester (the academic year consists of two semesters).
According to German universities, administration fees primarily go towards financing student cafeterias, residential and sports facilities, and covering a significant portion of administrative services provided by the university.
One of the notable advantages that international students receive in return for these fees is the student card in Germany. This card allows holders to use public transportation in their area of residence for free for a period of six months. As long as you continue paying the administrative fees each semester, the student card will be renewed every six months.
Cost of studying in Germany in English
International students considering studying in Germany in English need to pay tuition fees. The cost of studying in Germany in English can range from 3,000 to 10,000 euros per year, and in some cases, it may even reach up to 20,000 euros annually!
For private German universities, tuition fees vary greatly. Yearly tuition fees may start from 1,400 euros and go up to 32,000 euros.
Germany is home to over 120 private educational institutions that provide state-accredited degrees. A significant number of these private universities specialize in applied sciences.
The cost of student housing in Germany
Housing is the biggest expense when studying and living in Germany. There are different types of housing available, such as university housing and private housing. It’s best to find suitable housing before you travel to Germany. Take the time to explore your options and make a decision beforehand.
Keep in mind that finding housing in Germany can be difficult, and it may take several weeks to find a place to live. It’s recommended to actively search for housing that suits your needs, whether it’s on-campus or in student housing complexes nearby.
The cost of university housing in Germany
Finding a place to live as an international student in German universities can be difficult due to high demand. To secure a spot on campus, it’s important to apply early and pay the housing reservation fee.
On-campus housing in Germany has the advantage of being more affordable than off-campus options. The organization Studentenwerk (Student Services Organization) manages residence halls and handles applications and room assignments.
The cost of on-campus housing in Germany varies depending on the type of accommodation, city, and university, typically ranging from 150 to 400 euros per month.
To find suitable university housing, students often use the Accommodation Finder, a helpful tool that provides information about available options in their university city. It allows you to check prices and apply for a room through Studentenwerk in apartment buildings.
For instance, in Göttingen, Germany, you can reserve university housing in AKADEMISCHE BURSE. You can choose to rent a small-sized apartment for yourself, with prices ranging from 200 to 350 euros per month, or rent a single room in a shared apartment for 150 to 280 euros per month. There are other options available at higher prices.
The cost of off-campus housing in Germany
You have different off-campus housing options as an international student in Germany, such as renting a single room in a shared apartment or an entirely furnished or unfurnished apartment. In a shared apartment, each student has their own bedroom but shares the kitchen, bathrooms, and living room with other students.
Living in a shared apartment with other students is popular in Germany. Each student pays rent for their own room, and they split the costs of electricity, water, and other bills among themselves. This will help you to reduce the cost of studying in Germany.
Finding and renting a room or apartment in Germany can be difficult if you’re not physically there.
Students often need to put in a lot of effort to secure accommodation. It’s common for people already living in an apartment to interview potential roommates, getting to know them before deciding if they can move in.
The city you choose in Germany greatly affects housing prices. Munich is the most expensive city, with room rents starting at around 400 euros per month. Berlin also has higher prices, with rents starting at around 300 euros per month. In other cities like Bremen, you can find rooms starting from 150 euros per month.
Housing during your first days as an international student in Germany
If you can’t find a place to live before coming to Germany, you’ll need to find accommodation when you arrive. This is especially important when applying for a German student visa because you have to provide the address where you’ll be staying.
But don’t worry, there are temporary options to help you. You can ask the university for help in finding temporary housing, or you can book a hotel. This temporary arrangement can be used for your visa application and give you a place to stay for the first few days until you find permanent accommodation.
Cost of Living in Germany for international students
Living in Germany is affordable compared to other European countries. According to the German DADD organization, the average monthly cost of living in Germany for international students is 850 euros.
However, it’s important to know that living costs vary across different German cities. Munich is the most expensive city, followed by Frankfurt. On the other hand, Leipzig is the cheapest city to live in as an international student in Germany, followed by Bochum and Kiel.
The average cost of living in Germany covers all necessary expenses during the study period, including accommodation, food, drinks, insurance, and more.
In order to apply for a German student visa, the German embassy requires international students to prove they have enough money to support themselves. This is usually done through a closed bank account.
Let’s now explore the specific expenses that international students in Germany should consider in more detail.
Transportation costs in Germany
Germany has a great transportation system that offers international students various options to travel between different places. You can ride a bike for short trips in your city or take buses, trains, trams, or metros for longer journeys.
With so many affordable options available, students can easily explore nearby areas, visit other cities in Germany, and even travel to neighboring European countries.
Using bicycles to get around
Cycling is a favorite activity among international students in Germany. It’s cheap, keeps you fit, and helps protect the environment.
A lot of students find that cycling is the quickest way to get around. There are special bike lanes and parking areas just for bikes.
When it comes to cost, you can buy your own bike or use public bikes found at different stations in the city. To use public bikes, you usually need to get an annual card, which costs around 30 to 60 euros per year.
Using buses and trains
If you live in big cities in Germany, you’ll probably use buses, trains, trams, and metros to get around, especially if your home is far from your university.
Public transportation is great because they have schedules that tell you when the next vehicle will come, where it’s going, and how long the trip will take. Most of the time, public transportation is on time, so you can be sure to reach your destination when expected.
International students at German universities often get a student card that lets them use public transportation for free, so they don’t have to spend extra money on transportation in their city.
On average, a monthly pass for public transportation costs between 50 and 150 euros, depending on your age and the german city you live in.
Moving by taxis
Taxis in Germany can be expensive, and the prices vary depending on the city. On average, you can expect to pay between 1.50 and 3 euros for each kilometer traveled.
It’s important to note that taxi companies usually have a minimum charge of €2.50 to €3.50, even for short distances. However, if you’re able to split the fare with friends, taking a taxi could be a viable option, especially if you miss the night bus or the last tram.
Cost of communication and Internet
University housing, including on-campus and off-campus residences, usually offers free internet access. However, there might be situations where you have to split the internet bill with your roommates or housemates.
When you’re outside your residence, you can get a SIM card or a data plan for personal use. You can opt for a prepaid card or a monthly plan based on your internet and communication needs. Prepaid cards, for instance, can cost between 10-20 euros per month, depending on how much you use them.
Cost of health insurance for international students in Germany
Foreign students studying in Germany must have health insurance while they are in the country. If you are under 30 years old, the cost of health insurance is around 80-100 EUR per month. However, if you are older than 30, the cost increases to at least 160 euros per month.
Having valid health insurance is a crucial requirement for obtaining your German student visa and residency in Germany. If you need help getting German health insurance, you can ask the university you will be attending, and they will assist you in finding the right insurance provider.
According to the study-in-Germany website, here are the average monthly expenses that students usually have while studying in Germany:
Average monthly Costs for Students in Germany (in Euros)
If you want to know more about the cost of studying and living in Germany, you can visit the official DAAD website or check out Numbeo website. Numbeo is a big database that has information about the cost of living in different countries.
|Food & Drinks
|sports or other social activities
Working as an international student during your studies in Germany
International students in Germany have various ways to earn money and support themselves financially while studying. One option is to work part-time during the academic term, with a maximum of 20 hours per week as allowed by German law.
However, this limit doesn’t apply to international students working as academic assistants or known as Hiwis (Hilfswissenschaftler) at the university, as they have more flexibility in their working hours.
International students can find job opportunities either within their own university or in the city they live in. It’s common to find work that aligns with your field of study. For instance, if you’re pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in education, you might offer private lessons, and students studying art history could find temporary positions in museums.
Having a good command of the German language is often important for securing a student job quickly. Student services at universities and the local branch of the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) can provide helpful information and guidance to students about available job opportunities.
How much money can international students make from working in Germany?
The amount of money you can earn from part-time work as an international student depends on a few things. These include your work experience, the area where you work, and the field you work in.
The cost of living also affects how much you can make. For example, in Munich, you might earn more money, but you’ll also have to spend more on living expenses.
On average, part-time wages for international students in Germany range from 400 to 700 euros per month. If you earn up to 450 euros per month, you don’t have to pay taxes in Germany. But if you earn more than that, you’ll need a tax number, and some money will be taken out of your earnings each month.
After you finish studying, you can choose to stay in Germany and try to find a permanent job.
These are the important things to know about the costs of studying and living in Germany as an international student. If you’re considering studying in Germany, it might be helpful to do some calculations to see if it’s a good fit for you!
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