Cost of Living in Germany
What is the cost of living in Germany for students? This issue concern parents and students themselves. The answers to these questions can be found in the article below.

Various experts have already estimated that the average cost of living in Germany for international students in 2020 is about 850 euros per month. At first glance, it may seem too expensive. But believe me, this amount is less than living, for example, in the UK, Switzerland or Denmark. That is, parents need to focus on the amount of 10,000 euros per year to ensure that the child has a normal standard of living for the period of study at a German University. At the same time, the largest item of expenditure will be the monthly rental fee for housing.

Cost of Living in Germany As a student 2020


After entering a German University and obtaining a residence permit in Germany on the basis of studying, the biggest expenses will be the payment for housing. But it also depends on the organization of student accommodation.

The student can choose the following accommodation options:

  • Wohngemeinschaft – rental apartments for shared living with other tenants.
  • Wohnheim is a student hostel.
  • Rent a separate apartment for yourself alone.
  • Wohnen für Hilfe — free accommodation for elderly people who need help or housing in exchange for care.

Let’s look at these options in more detail.

Rent an apartment for shared living

Often, students from the 1st year cooperate and rent one apartment together. Each of them lives in a separate room, only the bathroom and kitchen are shared. Thanks to this, they can split the monthly rent for all residents. Accordingly, one student will pay from 150 euros per month, while a three-bedroom apartment, for example, in Leipzig, can cost 800 euros per month. Experts estimate that one-fourth of all international students prefer this accommodation option.

Cost of Living in Germany

Student residence

By the standards of our countries, the monthly fee for living in a hostel for students is quite expensive. It is 200 euros. This is the same amount as it costs to rent an apartment for cohabitation for one person. Accordingly, the foreigner has an alternative. The area of one room in dormitories is on average 13 square meters. They are combined into blocks of 3-4 rooms. The facilities are shared by all. If the Dorm is a corridor type, each room will have a sink, and showers and toilets are shared on the floor.

In Germany, there is a shortage of places in student dormitories. There is more demand for them than there are available rooms. Therefore, it makes whole waiting lists, in German Warteliste. You must sign up for them in advance. Therefore, foreigners often choose to live together in one rented apartment.

Rent a separate apartment

A separate apartment for a foreign student is considered a luxury. In the West, parents do not help their children as much as we do, so students cannot afford a separate rented apartment with their own money. Our compatriots, when planning their children’s studies in Germany, necessarily consider the option of renting a separate apartment, taking care of security. In Berlin, a Studio apartment will cost 500 euros per month. In the province, prices start from 250 euros.

Wohnen für Hilfe

In recent years, a pressing problem in Western European countries is the shortage of nurses to care for the elderly. Therefore, international students are joining this program. They agree to live with elderly people for free and help them with household chores: clean their apartment or house, mow lawns, buy food and cook food. Even the following unspoken rates are set. For each square meter of living space provided, the student is required to work one hour per month. If he is allocated a room with an area of 20 square meters, then he must work 20 hours a month for the owners.

Now you can compare the costs of all four options of living in provincial student German cities, such as Heidelberg, Aachen, Dresden and others.

Type of accommodation Per month, Euro In the year, the Euro
Rent an apartment for shared living 200 2400
Hostel 200 2400
Separate apartment 400 4800
Care for the elderly 0 0

Cost of living in Germany for students by region

The southern Federal States of Bavaria and Baden — württemberg are considered the most expensive by the cost of living in Germany. Accordingly, the most expensive cities are their capitals Munich and Stuttgart.

For example, a two-bedroom apartment in Stuttgart for rent will cost 850 euros per month, and somewhere in the provincial city of Heidelberg-twice as cheap. Even in Berlin, renting an apartment will be a little cheaper and is for such a living space – 750-800 euros per month.

According to experts, the most affordable German cities are located in the East of the country. Then there are the municipalities in the North of Germany. The regions in the West will be slightly more expensive, and the most expensive will be the southern cities lying at the foot of the Alps. Perhaps cities in the South of the country are more popular with rich tourists, so they are expensive.

We have information on average rents for one-bedroom apartments per month in different cities in Germany. It will be useful for you when choosing a German city for University admission.

City Average rental fee, Euro
Bochum 407
Essen 452
Dortmund 460
Leipzig 490
Paderborn 513
Dresden 533
Aachen 535
Bremen 560
Hannover 591
Augsburg 614
Bonn 654

Cost of living in Germany for students — how much does food cost in 2020

German restaurants will only be affordable for students from rich families. The rest of the middle class can not afford to eat daily in such institutions. The average check for lunch for one person can be 20 euros. Even half-liter glasses of German beer will cost from 3.5 euros. This is more than twice as high as cafes in our countries.

For those who do not find cooking so easy, there are student canteens on campuses. The student fee will allow you to get a solid discount on food in such canteens. As a result, one meal may cost less than 5 euros.

Cost of living in Germany for students — transport costs in 2020

Visiting student couples at the University is comparable to working. Students also need to take public transport to and from school every day. For this purpose, you will need a travel ticket for a month.

Fortunately, the student fee includes the purchase of a bus ticket that takes you to a particular University. However, there are cases when such public transport is not suitable for the student, since their place of residence does not coincide with the route. The best alternative for German cities may be a Bicycle. It allows you to get to your destination much faster during rush hour. Bike path networks are well developed in the vast majority of German cities.

Travel tickets for municipal buses cost an average of 70 euros per month. If you buy bus tickets separately for each trip, then you will have to pay from 2 euros for a one-way fare.

Cost of living in Germany for students — utilities and insurance

The next major item of expenditure after paying rent is utilities. The most expensive is electricity — 30 Euro cents per kWh. In our countries, the tariff is on average 2-3 times cheaper. The average utility bills in the country for an apartment with a total area of 85 square meters will start at 200 euros per month.

Medical insurance in Germany is mandatory. Until you get a residence permit ID card for studying, you will need to purchase travel health insurance, which is valid for up to six months. Then you can switch to standard health insurance — public or private.

The policy may have a different insurance plan depending on the risk coverage. The standard GKV government health insurance plan requires you to purchase an insurance policy worth about 70 euros per month. Private health insurance has the ability to include various health risks in the policy.

Germany’s cost of living for students — our savings tips

  1. If you have chosen a University in a major German city and want to live in a separate apartment, stay in a residential area on the outskirts. The cost of public transport is easily more than covered by the savings on rent.
  2. The most convenient and profitable type of accommodation for students will be the settlement in a dormitory at the University campus. In addition, you are guaranteed a fun life in the evenings after school.
  3. In many German cities, large universities with a large number of faculties and specialties are located on the outskirts of the urban area. In this case, it is worth considering renting an apartment in a residential area.

We hope that our article will help you decide on the choice of a city to study at a German University.

Alexey Astapov 


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