Studying & Living Expenses in Germany

How much will you spend if you study in Germany?

We can categorize the cost into 2: Studying Expenses and Living Expenses.

Studying Expenses

Previously, the higher education in Germany was free of charge. You just needed to pay a little amount for Student Union, Administration stuffs, etc. It was around € 50 a semester. But nowadays, the German government has already started to charge the university fee. The fee and the admission system are different from each state (Germany is a federal country and education is a state matter).  But there is still a state, which doesn’t charge a fee for its higher education: Berlin. But this will change in short time.

Roughly, you must prepare for around € 500 – 1000 pro semester for your university fee.

Living Expenses

Living expenses are very dependent on your life style, which city you stay and which university you are enrolled. For rough estimation, following expenses must be taken into consideration:

  • Insurance (compulsory): € 55 monthly
  • Living Place: € 200 – 300 monthly
  • Transportation: € 50 monthly or € 150 for semester ticket
  • Meal: € 150 monthly
  • Phone, internet and other communication: € 50 monthly
  • Entertainment: € 50 monthly

So basically, you must consider to spend around € 500 -600 every month.

For living place, there are many options. The first and more good one is if you can stay in university dormitory (Studentenwohnheim), because normally the fee is also subsidized by the government. But the places are limited. Other option is staying in apartment, which costs you more. Another option is living in apartment-sharing community (Wohngemeinschaft), where you share a big apartment together with some people and of course the expenses are also shared.

For Transportation expenses, some universities offer semester ticket, which normally paid every semester and is included in semester admission fee. With this semester ticket, your transportation cost is much less. If you stay in a small city, riding a bicycle can be an option.

Meal: The university normally has canteen (Mensa). The meal offered in Mensa is favourable price, compared having lunch in a restaurant or Imbiss (kind of snack bar). Another option is: cooking by your self.

Phone & internet: Fix phone and cellular phone are optional for your communication means. But I think, at least you must have one of them in order to communicate with other. There are many providers in Germany for this telecommunication matter. You must compare the price very carefully. And don’t forget to see the contract agreement, because normally it lasts for at least 2 years. And for student, there is also a promotional price. For internet, in some student dormitory this is already included. And in university area the internet connection is also widely available. If you take an internet connection for your own apartment, normally they offer it together in bundle with the phone connection.

Entertainment: This stuff is really based on your life style. Cinema, shopping, club etc mostly offer special price for students. Please open your eyes widely for such possibilities.

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66 Responses to Studying & Living Expenses in Germany

  1. Irwan says:

    thx for your information. but, are there any university which not charge university fee? I want to study there next year. but i still have less information. Under graduate programs. It’ll better if you reply to my e-mail. thank you. i’ll happy to accept every information.

  2. MGunawan says:

    There are 2 types of university: State owned University and private university. The private university of course from its nature, charge the studying fee from its students, or they can also fund their finance through scholarship from some foundations or companies.
    Meanwhile for state-owned University, the funding is coming from the state. But as my post above, the state budget allocation for university is limited. Therefore, there is change in the regulation right now, where the university can charge their students for the studying fee.
    Whether the state introduces the studying fee or not, is basically dependent on the political party which is ruling on that state. The social party normally denies to introduce the studying fee, meanwhile the conservative one agrees with the studying fee.

    Berlin is still being ruled by social party, therefore the Berlin state still doesn’t charge the studying fee and it is for all state-owned universities in Berlin, i.e.: TU Berlin, TFH Berlin, FU Berlin, HU Berlin, FHTW Berlin, etc, except for special programs.
    But, as long as I know, started next year, they will charge the studying fee. How much is the fee? I need further searching for that.

    If you want to go to Germany for studying, following stuffs are needed for preparation:
    * Language competency. Althouh there are many study programs in english, but still for communicating with commom people surrounding you in Germany, you need to speak in german, don’t you?
    * Which type higher education you want: University or Fachhochschule (like college)?
    * If you want to study in still-free-of-charge-university, I think currently better never think of that. Although there are still some universities free of studying fee, but you must prepare to pay that fee later on. Because the Higher Education System in Germany is directing to charge the studying fee.
    * Some amount of money for the living cost there: I think €500 monthly is fair enough.

    For further information you can access DAAD website: http://www.daad.de or just put your question on this post.
    Sorry I don’t respond directly to your email, as it is our policy to publish all that information on web, not person-to-person.
    Except for special case, you can contact us.

    • Winai says:

      Hi, thanks for your info. It helps much. Well, I once were given opportunity of 2010 to study MBA (European Management)at Europa Institut of Saarland University that so interesting for me. It’s so called “hardship case application”. But unfortunately, I had no fund for cost living over there; which I am thinking how to derive this. I do really want to recall that but I still not yet enable to have any solotion.

      please just come any sugestion or idea as your favor.

      Winai

  3. I enjoyed your writing style and I’ve added you to my Reader. Keep these posts coming.

  4. Shideh says:

    Hello there, What about doctorate programs, how much would i have to pay for that? I´m a PhD student of UB, Barcelona, Spain, and i was wondering if it´d be possible finding a scholarship somewhere in Berlin, still havent got a clue where exactly, but i appreciate any information about good public university with Fine Arts faculty, with or withought scholarship, is it very difficult to find student jobs over there ?
    Thanks a lot !

  5. MGunawan says:

    Normally, a PhD student does a research on specific topic. Therefore, attending classroom is very minor. You’re involved in research activities and then write you diss about it.
    What very essential is, you have contact to a professor, where your dissertation will be written.
    A very optimal option is where you are also working in an institute, where you are writing your dissertation. Because you’ve got paid! Of course, you need also to do some faculty tasks, such as: giving lecture, exercise, little administration work and so on. But all those activities will support your dissertation.
    But for getting this job/ researcher position, is not easy. You must look for every institute/ professor, whether there is a vacant position.
    Even if you have good contact with a professor, he/she will search for you a stipendium “scholarship” from third party.
    As long as I know, one of the famous Art University in Berlin is Universitaet der Kunste (UDK) http://www.udk-berlin.de. This a link to Faculty of Fine Arts “http://www.udk-berlin.de/sites/content/topics/colleges/fine_arts/index_eng.html”

  6. Shideh says:

    well, that´s exactly why i´m asking. I am already a student of doctorate, and if i choose a german tutor, i supose i will finally have to pay something to someone, somewhere in Germany as well, otherwise what benefit would that be to the tutor? .. how much will that be? Will the tutor be capable of helping me ask for a grant, or scholarship, or training or TA, or what ever that helps me go on with my expenses durig the investigation which normally takes from 2 to 5 years ?

    In UDK for a example, there´s a department for acostic comunication, which is related to the theme i have chosen for my dissertation, and i was wondering if i could put myself into contact with them, but i would i like to inform me of the term before applying for tutor, not to look like a monkey in the middle, as a doctorate student later on (lol)
    There´s a German PDF application form, on this dipartment´s page, which i´m still unable to underestand!
    But look basically, how does a PhD matriculation cost ( in case i want to basically change my faculty), i didnt find English information for that on internet !

    Another question is (i´m asking too many questions now !) how much does one pay for gas water and electricily, in case you rent a flat, is it included in the rent or it comes apart, cause that shoudnt be very cheap to keep yourself warm, during german winter time, and one last question: are the apartments furnished with basic stuff like bed, refrigerator, or things like that or you´ll have to buy them yourself?
    Thanks in advance, dude.

  7. MGunawan says:

    Well… I’m trying to answer as best as I can, as my studying background is not art university. Studying medical, art and law in Germany have different process and regulation, compared to Engineering/ Sciences/ Economics.

    1. You’re right in that point: if you get something from the tutor, the tutor must get something also. But in case, you can not give anything, there is opportunity that the fund is coming from other else, namely from scholarship or project. If a professor has a project, funded by an institute (government or private) or private company, you can be involved in that project. And by involving in that project, you’ve got paid.
    So is very common, for the people who are doing dissertation in engineering/ sciences background. Perhaps, while there are so many projects in engineering or sciences, so the university needs many research staff. While doing research, you are also writing your dissertation.

    2. English vs German: although most of the universities in Germany are toward being international or global, which means the information and communication in english are a “must”. But unfortunately, they are still very stong in keeping their language German “deutsch”. So don’t be surprised, if there are many information in german. So therefore, before moving and studying in Germany, please be assured that you have at least basic german knowledge which enables you communicate in a basic level.

    3. Regarding Acoustic Communication: I’ve already read the “german” info of this study. It’s a “gebührenpflichtige Masterstudiengang”, which means: A -not-free- master program. You have to pay for that. First of all, it is not for your level: It’s a master program level. Second, you have to pay for it.

    4. Living in Germany: cost and others
    I’ve found a good basic knowledge regarding this topic (and in english) from UDK site. You can take a look: http://www.udk-berlin.de/sites/content/e177/e88/e619/e621/e2721/infoboxContent2744/E-Allgemein-III_ger.pdf

  8. Kazi Amir Hosen says:

    Do i job in German , when study in full-time LL.M. program?

  9. zena says:

    Hallo MGunawan,

    I have been accepted for a masters program at FHTW, i am very confused when people say FH is the same as university but have different teaching styles in that its more practical oriented and you say FH are colleges? help me here. will my degree be less important, or recognised?

    another question,
    i would need some financial assistance to show as proof to the emabassy before they give me a visa, i have a friend in mind who is willing to help, i need more information about this, please advice me on where i could get it, the website, the downloads to this form for financial sponsorship from a person living in germany. is it a tasking process?

    on the German emassy site, it state:

    ‘The formal obligation from a person living inGermany should specifically state, that the sponsorship covers studies and mentionsthe duration of the intended sponsorship’

    thank you for providing all this useful information, keep it up.

    looking forward to hearing from you:-)

  10. MGunawan says:

    Regarding degree, I don’t think it will differentiate much between FH and University.
    Especially while you study a Master Program, i.e. by the end of your study, you will get Master of bla bla bla… not a normal FH program, for example Dipl. -Ing (FH). Where the people recognize it from the “(FH)”.

    But for sure, FH is more practical oriented, therefore I consider it as a college like in Anglo-Saxon Education Level but with a degree.
    Due to its practical orientation, the FH graduated normally do not continue until PhD. There is no PhD degree in FH. The PhD (or Dr in Germany) is only given by University. A FH graduated, if he wants to get PhD, normally needs additional requirement, and can only continue if the University Board accept it.

    Regarding financial assistance:
    Currently, the embassy is more strict regarding this. Before, we just showed a letter of financial support from the person who will support us. But currently, they requires us to show the money (which means in form of bank account, deposits, etc). But it’s not enough just showing them. The money must be locked and can not be withdrew for certain time.
    Where is your financial support living?
    If in Germany –> ask him/ her to go to Auslaenderbehoerde and tell them that he/she wants to support somebody from Indonesia. The Auslaenderbehoerde will tell him/ her, which documents are required.
    If in Indonesia –> Go together to embassy, and ask them how the process is
    I can’t tell you more details, as this matters always change, and I’m not updated with the current condition.

  11. Mohsin says:

    Thanks For Nice information

  12. zena says:

    Hey,

    Going to germany is hell hard, no wonder they dont have so many immigrants(a part from the turks) like france and beligum. if i get a visa, i will need one week of vacation just to catch my breath. i may even give myself an award. Thank you for the feedback and good info.

    best regards:-)

  13. MGunawan says:

    A couple years ago, it was not difficult to get a Germany Visa..
    But nowadays, and especially after Unification (West and East) which affect the economic situation in Germany overall, it was becoming difficult and more requirements to get it.

  14. zena says:

    Your right, so next time my German boyfriend proposes to me again, i wont even wait for him to finish, YES YES YES. Texas style, wedding the same night. lol no waiting this time.

    hey mcguan thanks alot, i hope to keep in touch incase i need more info, have a wonderful day:-)

  15. Casper says:

    My MOnthly budget:

    EUR 650 from parents
    EUR 300 earnings in job

    EUR 370: Rent in 21-square meter room in an apartment shared with three others (including heating, water, electricity, etc.)
    EUR 200: Groceries
    EUR 65: Electricity
    EUR 20 – 25: Cell phone (E-Plus student contract with EUR 5 monthly discount)
    EUR 15: Internet and fixed line (with NetCologne as cheaper and better service than Telekom)
    Laundry (at laundromat): EUR 10 (four times a month)
    Stationery (computer items, paper, printer cartridges, books): EUR 20 (more expensive at beginning of semester, often photocopies books in library to save buying them)

    Well you can go to
    http://getvisa.co.cc for further Details

  16. G.Soumya says:

    HI
    I am studying in 12 standard and I want to study architect engineering in Germany . Minimum how much will it cost for four years?

  17. Amir says:

    Thanks for the information which was provided by you guys. I’m also got an acceptance to a FH Offenburg and to Stuttgart University for a Master Degree, but I don’t know which Uni should I choose, FH is considered #1 with the DAAD and Suttgart uni is one of the best in Europe, any help?

    • MGunawan says:

      Actually, it depends on what you want to focus.

      FH is a practice oriented, meanwhile university is more on “science” side, i.e. more theory oriented.
      Therefore, if you want to study further until Phd, you just can do it at university.

      Theory oriented doesn’t mean that you just learn theory. But you will learn more on “why it happens like this, how it happens, which effect it gives if I change some factors, etc…”… You will of course have a practical experience in lab., or in company (in term of internship).

      But at FH, you learn more on “how to use this method, how I apply this knowledge on my work, etc….”
      Therefore, FH is sometimes translated as “University of Applied Sciences”.

      University of Stuttgart is one the famous university, especially in Mechanical Eng, as surrounding it many manufacturing companies reside, such as Bosch, Daimler, etc.

      I have little knowledge about FH Offenburg, but I guarantee you that the quality of all universities in Germany is almost same.

      Why DAAD considers more on FH? Because they want to promote this kind of FH to foreigners. Studying at FH takes normally shorter than at University. But as you want to take Master program, it is the same duration now.

  18. MGunawan says:

    G. Soumya:
    Answering you question: Studying architect for 4 years… will cost you about:
    500 x 4 x 12 = Eur 24000
    (With assumption monthly living cost around Eur 500).
    It omits the study fee, which differs in every university.

  19. vinod kumar says:

    Hi
    I just finished my B.E(mechanical) and i decided to do my master’s degree in germany. Could you tell me how approach universities and how to apply?

  20. srikanth says:

    Hello MGunawan iam Srikanth from India. I’v read the September 2007 post of yours, differentiating free universities and the universities that charge fee. My Question is, in 2007 Berlin is the only state offering free education, what about the present situation that is 2009 October.Is it still continuing free education or charging, Because here in India Some Consultancies are saying that free education in Germany. How true is this?

  21. jayaram says:

    i want to study MS in germany, i want to know about part time jobs n living expenses. Can u please help me.

    • MGunawan says:

      Dear Jayaram:
      Do you want to study or work in Germany?
      I’ve already stated the living expenses in my blog.

      Dear Srikanth:
      I think, it’s still free no in Berlin.

  22. linkolnza says:

    hi.I am a Bangladeshi student..I want to study in Berlin and bear my living expenses by myself. would u tell me the job condition in Berlin?? I mean, Is there enough availability of part time jobs for students?? how much i can get per hour??

  23. linkolnza says:

    Adding with srikanth i also want to say that there are some agencies in Bangladeh too..they also say study is free in Berlin.Is it true or false??

  24. MGunawan says:

    I’ve already left the germany since 2005, and I believe many changes happen currently.
    But I thinkg, there is always opportunity to get part time job there, especially if you have special ability, such as Programming in IT. But for job without any skill, the competition is very high.
    If you were working in IT, you’d get probably around EUR 10/ hr. But working unskilled, you just get around EUR 5/hr.

    It’s still free know to study in Berlin.

  25. garimudo says:

    hello, i am a student of biotechnology in india and want to pursue masters in nanotechnology (M.S)in germany. Can you help me out how to proceed.I am not much aware of the procedure and the admission criteria there.i would be grateful if you reply soon, as i am in urgent need of help.

    Thankyou

  26. garimudo says:

    how much is the expenses for learning martial arts, painting and violin in germany?

  27. garimudo says:

    For master degree, how many semesters are there?

  28. Naveen says:

    Hi. I have completed my b pharmacy in india, I like to do my masters in Germany. Please say me some good universites in Germany and their fees structure. I got 68% in my bpharmacy, is their any chance to get scholarships.

  29. hema says:

    your information abt living expences is good,but i need information about scholarships for m.s programms,sir and also i need information about for studying pyrpose germany is better one or sweden.

  30. hema says:

    sir, my friend completed his m.tech in telecommunications correspodence IN ANNAMALAI university in india and having 3 years experience in telecommunications, his doubt is he get the seat for ph.d in B.T.H or UNIVERSITY OF K.T.H

  31. Sandeep says:

    Hi all,
    I m planning to do MS in Germany, i have some queries please can any one of u suggest me the correct answer for these.
    1.Can we get Part time jobs, if so how much can we earn and the money we earn will it be enough for our living expense.
    2.Are Internships compulsory in Third semester.

    Thanks…..

  32. Kailash Raj says:

    Respected Sir

    One of my friend told me about the German Education. He provided me with a gist of the procedure and fundings etc. I am looking to pursue my B.Tech in Computer Science from US or Germany and need to know the approx amount i should be ready with for my 4-Year Degree and also about the Job Opportunities there. And If on later stage i wish to pursue my Masters from US would i be eligible to apply there?

    Thanks

    Regards,
    Kailash

  33. Mohsin Bhatti says:

    hello.
    i m a student of MSc BIO INFORAMTICS. i am interested in PhD, bioinformatics from germany.could u plz tell which institute is better for it? what about stipend during PhD ? what about latest living cost? is there any exam like IELTS/TOEFL NECESSARY? PLEASE REPLY

  34. Hana says:

    I got a scholarship to study in Germany, I will live in Saarbruecken , I will be granted 634 per month.
    The flat that I rent is 290 pr month, internet 13 per month,deposit for the flat 200, and insurance 55. How would I live?
    advice please

  35. Endry says:

    are all the fees that you had told us,still same until now? thanx

  36. anup says:

    hello guys. I wanna know practically how much euros are needed to live in Germany per month for a student for a simple living in a small city like ravensburg or weingarten. moreover, how much realistic is it to contribute on living expenses by working part time job as germna permits to work only 180 days for part time per year.

    Thank you.

  37. dsk says:

    Hello-looking to spend 5 days in Bavaria- living in German household while being tutored in the language/ total immersion.
    How do i go about finding this?
    Thank you

  38. I was suggested this blog by means of my bro. I am not sure whether or not this publish is written by means of him as no one else understand such precise about my problem. You’re wonderful! Thanks!

  39. solih says:

    hi
    im from Maldives i have great interest in going to germany for higher education. but i would like to know the following..the everage monthly cost…and whether home stay is an option for students aswel.
    please mail me the reply to solih.m@gmail.com

  40. sudhakar says:

    hello sir….im doing my final year b.e. civil engg….i have hope to do my M.S in germany…whether there any scope for civil in germany………..please p[ost your reply to my mail./……

  41. vishnu prasad says:

    I got good perccentage in my graduation, whether it will help me to get any fee concession in german universities.

  42. srini says:

    Hi MGunawan,

    I m planning to do MSc in embedded systems or VLSI designing can u please suggest me some of the good universities as i have less agree-gate in my BE. and i m getting totally confused what to do what not to do…. Please try to help me

    Thanks and Regards,
    Srini

  43. leni says:

    hello…I enjoy your posting. how much does it cost for taking medicine school in university?

  44. mahdi katiraei says:

    Hello i am studying dentistry second year ,also i am scholar .but i don’t know how can i get student visa? is it possible they give me visa for german language collage before studying in germany
    and which city has cheapest university for my coarse?
    thank you

  45. RCB says:

    Hi,

    I am from india. I have completed my BE in electronics and communication with 74%.I have 2 years of work exp. Im interested in pursuing my Masters in germany.I have heard living costs can come upto 650 euros in germany. I am not in a position to pay so much. What DAAD scholarships can I get? Please help me.

  46. sagar joshi says:

    can we apply for work visa after completion of masters degree in Germany? And can we work part time during our study?
    PLEASE CLEARIFY THE ABOVE QUERIES BY MAILING ME.
    THANK YOU.

  47. anup says:

    If you are spending about 450 euros per month in Germany then you can easily lead a good life unless you are not spending money on buying clothes or other things on that month. This is a case for almost every german cities except Munich, Konstanz and so on.

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  50. sathiya priya says:

    hello hai, i am a biotech student and i want to persue phd in germany please send me related informations. with great pleasure to recieve information…

  51. m ali says:

    hello there i wanna attend some studienkolleg for my bachelor studies in germany, though there is enough information on websites but i wanna learn from you which things i need especially to clear entraance test

  52. Mahabub says:

    Hi,i’m a bangladeshi student.i complete H.S.C in commerce.So I want to go in german for higher education.But I don’t know about studying and living cost of german.A part time job can manage the expanse.please help me to give me the answer.

  53. Mahabub says:

    Hi,i’m a bangladeshi student.i complete H.S.C in commerce.So I want to go in german for higher education.But I don’t know about studying and living cost of german.A part time job can manage the expanse.please help me to give the answer.

  54. samanth Jain says:

    Hi.,
    I’m Samanth Jain I completed my BE in Mechanical Stream, Now i’m planning to do MS in Germany. So how is the procedure to Join or to write any Entrance exam..????
    How much cost ll be required to do…????
    How much ll be the monthly Expenses…?????
    Which Exam Should we write to get the seat in University..??

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  57. Akshay says:

    I just finished my 12th and i want to take up bba in germany. How much will it cost me? I hear that the student dorms comparatively cost less. So around how much will i have to spend?

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