Cost – Tuition/Living/Transportation and other costs
Public universities from Germany do not charge tuition fees for Bachelor and Master programmes.(except if you plan to pursue a Master’s degree that focuses on a different subject than the one you studied as a Bachelor student).
Most of the German universities are public, so you will only have to pay an administration fee which usually costs around 100 – 200 EUR/year. This fee covers the Student Organisation services and your enrolment. Also, you will have to re-enrol every semester and pay this tax.
There are exceptions to this rule, however. If you don’t finish your degree course on time and you study in Bremen, Lower Saxony, Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt or Turingia, you may have to pay tuition fees. Also, private universities from Germany are financed from tuition fees, so some international students will have to pay up to 20,000 EUR/year.
Germany is a pretty accessible country where you will need around 800 EUR/month, including accommodation, which also is the largest expense you will have.
Larger cities, such as Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt or Dusseldorf require total living costs of 800 – 950 EUR/month while smaller cities are cheaper. If you will study in Oldenburg, Siegen or Duisburg, you will need 500 – 650 EUR/month. The most expensive study destination is Tarnow (950 – 1,050 EUR/month) and the cheapest is Wolfsburg (350 – 450 EUR/month).
Housing is the highest monthly expense you will have and it represents 34% of the total budget. Cheaper options for international students are in residence halls or in shared private rental apartments. You can also rent a single apartment. Below you will find the average accommodation costs for a student in Germany:
- Living alone: 363 EUR/month
- Living with partner/child: 351/month
- Living on-campus: 237 EUR/month
However, rooms in student residence halls are pretty difficult to secure, since only 11% of the international students find on-campus accommodation, according to a European study. Also, 55% of the students are satisfied with the accommodation in student halls.
Other costs associated with accommodation
During your stay in Germany, you will have to pay for utilities such as electricity, heating, garbage and water. These usually cost 218 EUR/month. Also, an internet pass (10 Mbps, unlimited data) is around 24 EUR/month.
As a student in Germany, you will pay a bit below 100 EUR/month on food. The price varies on the circumstances – you can either share it with your colleagues or decide to cook and shop from grocery stores. Some of the cheapest supermarkets you will find around the country are Aldi, Lidl and Netto.
If you wish to have dinner in a restaurant once in a while you will pay 10 EUR for food in a cheap one. A three-course meal for two in an average restaurant costs 40 EUR and an additional light drink will be 3 EUR.
According to a DAAD study, around 10% of the total monthly student budget is spent on transport. Students, visitors and locals mostly use bicycles, buses or rails, especially for travelling outside the city they live in. The public transport pass costs around 70 EUR/month.
Bicycles are not expensive in Germany. However, you will also find many stores that include used bicycles for sale.
Extra study materials
Throughout your university degree course, you will need additional materials such as books, research magazines and other products. You are advised to purchase them from bookstores that also sell old or used products.
Funding & student support
The German state strongly supports higher education. It finances the universities by covering the tuition fees and it also includes programmes of financial support for students.
- The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is a programme of financial aid that focuses on German and international students.
- Awards of 300 EUR/month for talented students given by the government. Read more here!
- Scholarships for researchers and targeted fellowships