Living Cost

AROUND 800 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 800 Euros a month to cover your living expenses. The largest expense is your monthly rent.

You should expect to pay the following expenses during your stay in Germany:
  • Living expenses (rent, food, clothing, books, telephone)
  • Semester contribution
  • Health insurance
  • Possible tuition fees

Students require around 800 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.

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, Dusseldorf 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 domicile or a shared flat (WG). Students are qualified for various price allowance. By presenting your student ID at the ticket counter, you can receive allowance 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. 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.

HEALTH INSURANCE

If your health insurance cover at home is not recognized 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.

STUDENTS' MONTHLY EXPENSES Average
Rent and utilities 298
Food and drink 165
Clothing 52
Learning materials 30
Car and public transportation 82
Health insurance, medical costs, medicine 66
Telephone, internet, TV 33
Recreation, culture, Sports 68
Total 794


Money & Bank Accounts


KEEP TRACK OF EVERYTHING WITH A BANK ACCOUNT

Having a bank account in Germany is very practical. With a German bank account, you can transfer your semester contribution to the university electronically after enrolment, pay your monthly rent and receive your salary from a part-time job. You can also withdraw money from cash machines free of charge. Most banks offer students free current accounts which normally come with an EC card.

If you're planning on staying longer than a couple of weeks in Germany, you should open a current account here. They are usually free of charge for students. The formalities involved are not too complicated.

And the advantages certainly outweigh the disadvantages. For example, you can withdraw money free of charge from cash machines in Germany, make payments electronically, and set up "standing orders" for regular payments - like rent, health insurance or telephone bills - which ensures that the money is transferred automatically and on time every month. If you take a part-time job in Germany, you will need a current account to receive your pay.

There are numerous commercial and savings banks which operate branches in cities throughout Germany. There are also a number of online banks which offer the entire range of services via the Internet - from setting up the account to all necessary transactions. The International Office can help you select a bank which offers especially attractive conditions to students.

GETTING EVERYWHERE

Most students in Germany receive concession rates on monthly public transport tickets, e.g. for buses, subways and trams. If you like travelling, you can purchase a "Bankcard" at a reduced price. With this German railway card, you can save between 25 and 50 percent on normal ticket prices. Rental car companies also offer concession rates to students.

Admission fees to museums and theatres are especially reduced for students, and even zoos like the Tierpark Hellabrunn in Munich and the Leipzig Zoo offer student rebates.

REDUCE YOUR LIVING COSTS

Students frequently save money at stores and shops near the university. Some hairdressers offer special rates for students on "Student Days". Repayments are also available in the area of sports and fitness. For example, students can participate in the university sports programme at basic or no cost, and even commercial fitness studios offer student rates. And if you enjoy reading newspapers and magazines, you can receive a reduced contributed rate by providing proof of enrolment. You can also save money if you want to open a bank account. Again, by presenting acceptance of enrolment, banks frequently waive the service charges for students.

Football fans have a reason to cheer; students can purchase cheap tickets to their team's home games, for example, the football club Alemannia Aachen.

YOUR STUDENT ID IS THE KEY

It almost always pays off to take your student ID with you wherever you go. Even if you don't see a reduced rate on the price chart, it never hurts to ask whether students are eligible for a concession. The International Student Identity Card is another way to save money when traveling abroad, purchasing plane tickets, booking overnight accommodation or shopping. Last but not least, members of certain student clubs are also entitled to rebates, but you generally have to pay a small membership fee first.

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