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Cost of living: Around 850 euros a month for living expenses

Compared to other European countries, the cost of living in Germany is quite reasonable. The prices for food, accommodation, clothing, cultural events, etc. are basically in line with the EU average. You will need around 850 euros a month to cover your living expenses. The largest expense is your monthly rent.

by the Editors

Euro bills © Public Domain Pictures/pixabay
Euro bills . © Public Domain Pictures/pixabay

You should expect to pay the following expenses during your stay in Germany:

Students require around 850 euros per month to cover the cost of living in Germany. In large cities, costs can vary considerably depending on where you live. You should plan on spending more on living and studying in Munich than in Leipzig, for example. As a rule, students can live on less money in smaller cities than in larger ones. Naturally, the amount of money you need will ultimately depend on how economically you live.

At the student residence hall © DAAD
At the student residence hall . © DAAD

Flat rental comprises the largest portion of one’s monthly expenditures. However, rental prices in Germany vary greatly. Depending on where your university is located, you will pay between 210 and 360 euros per month for an accommodation. The rental prices in some large cities, such as Cologne, Munich, Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt am Main, are much higher in comparison. If you are looking to live cheaply, it might be a good idea to take a room in a student hall of residence or a shared flat (WG).

Students are eligible for numerous price concessions. By presenting your student ID at the ticket counter, you can receive concessions on entrance fees to theatres, museums, opera houses, cinemas, public swimming pools and other cultural venues.

Semester contribution

All university students are required to pay a “semester contribution”. It costs about 250 euros on average, but can vary depending on the university and the services it includes.

One part of the semester contribution covers social services and fees. This helps finance, for example, the student dining halls, student halls of residence, athletic facilities and administrative services. This social contribution can cost up to 100 euros.

Student calculating © Ziegert/DAAD
Student calculating . © Ziegert/DAAD

In some states students are charged an extra administrative fee which can range from 50 to 75 euros per semester.

The semester contribution at many universities also includes the cost of a public transport ticket. With your “semester ticket”, you can use all modes of public transportation in and around your university town for half a year at no charge. Depending on the city and the range of the ticket, the ticket can cost between 25 and 160 euros per semester.

Tuition Fees

The majority of higher education institutions in Germany is financed by the state. As a rule, fees do not apply to Bachelor's courses or to most Master's courses offered at state higher education institutions. Study fees may apply to specific continuing education Master's programmes, which are not, however, particularly high when compared with other countries. Higher fees may be charged for studies completed at private higher education institutions.

However, the Federal State of Baden-Wuerttemberg has decided to charge non-EU citizens study fees amounting to €1,500 per semester for study courses (Bachelor's, Master's, Diplom, state examination) with effect from the winter semester 2017/18. Doctoral students are not affected by these fees. Students who have already embarked on their studies in Baden-Wuerttemberg but who will not have completed their courses by the WS 2017/18 will not be subject to the above-mentioned fees.

Health insurance

If your health insurance cover at home is not recognised in Germany, you will have to take out an insurance policy here. Public health insurance providers offer policies to students for around 80 euros a month – that is, as long as you are still under 30 and haven’t studied longer than 14 semesters. After that, your premium automatically increases to 160 euros per month or more.

average
Students' monthly expenses
Rent and utilities € 323
Food and drink € 168
Clothing € 42
Learning materials € 20
Car and public transportation € 94
Health insurance, medical costs, medicine € 80
Telephone, internet, TV € 31
Recreation, culture, sports € 61
Total € 819