Living as a Student in Germany: Costs, Accommodation, and Budgeting

May 23,2024 ByUni-Access 4

International students looking for a top-notch education at comparatively low expenses have always embraced Germany. In addition to its institutions' reputation for intellectual brilliance, the nation is known for its gorgeous scenery, rich cultural history, and high standard of living. However, for aspiring students who are thinking of studying in Germany, knowing how much it would cost to live there, locating appropriate housing, and managing their money well are essential for a happy and successful stay. Seeking advice from a study abroad consultant for Germany can be very helpful in negotiating these issues and ensuring that you get the most out of your time studying overseas.

Costs of Living

Before you start your academic career in Germany, it's critical to comprehend what the average cost of living is. Depending on your personal spending patterns, lifestyle choices, and city of residence, the expenses may change. According to current statistics, a student's monthly living expenses in Germany typically fall between the range of €700 and €1000.

Here's a breakdown of the typical costs:

  • Accommodation: For students, housing is frequently the biggest outlay of costs. Cities have very different rent pricing. For example, lodging expenses in larger cities like Munich or Frankfurt may be much more than in smaller ones like Hanover or Leipzig. A room in a dorm for students or a shared apartment (WG) will typically cost you between €300 and €600 a month. Private flats may cost more, depending on location and size, anywhere from €400 to €800 or more.
  • Food and Groceries: There are several inexpensive food purchasing options available in Germany. Comparing the cost of cooking at home to eating out, the savings might be substantial. Students often spend between €150 and €250 a month on groceries.
  • Health Insurance: All German students are required to get health insurance. The monthly cost of health insurance normally runs from €80 to €100, depending on the provider and coverage.
  • Transportation: The public transit network in Germany, which consists of buses, trams, trains, and subways, operates effectively. Student transit passes can be purchased for between €30 and €60 per month in many cities.
  • Utilities: If you're renting an apartment, you might have to pay extra for things like internet, heating, electricity, and water. Allocate between €100 to €150 per month for utilities, contingent upon usage and the dimensions of your lodging.
  • Miscellaneous Expenses: These consist of entertainment costs, cell phone bills, textbooks, and sporadic travel expenses. It's best to set aside between €100 and €150 per month for ancillary costs. 


One of the first challenges students face upon arriving in Germany is finding suitable accommodation. There are several options to consider:

  • Student Dormitories (Studentenwohnheim): For international students, student residence halls are a popular choice due to their convenient location and price. Common spaces like kitchens and bathrooms are typically found in these hallways, which might have single or shared rooms. Since rooms in student residence halls may fill up rapidly, it's crucial to start the application process as soon as possible.
  • Shared Apartments (Wohngemeinschaften or WG): Sharing an apartment with other students, known as a WG, is another common option in Germany. This arrangement allows students to split rent and utilities, making it more budget-friendly. Websites like WG-Gesucht and ImmobilienScout24 are useful resources for finding available rooms in shared apartments.
  • Private Apartments: Although renting a private apartment tends to be more expensive than other lodging alternatives, it does give greater privacy. Students might use real estate brokers, internet directories, and local newspapers to look for suitable flats. Remember that renting a private flat sometimes necessitates paying a deposit (Kaution) that is equal to many months' worth of rent.
  • Homestays: Living with a host family can provide a unique cultural experience, although it's less common among university students.

When searching for accommodation, consider factors such as location, proximity to your university, transportation links, and amenities.

Budgeting Tips

As a student in Germany, you must manage your expenses well by budgeting. The following advice will help you stick to your spending plan:

  • Track Your Expenses: Keep tabs on your expenditures to find places where you may save money and change your budget appropriately.
  • Cook at Home: Preparing food on your own is not only more cost-effective but also healthier. Make a meal plan, shop in bulk for goods, and try to limit how often you eat out.
  • Take Advantage of Student Discounts: Students can receive discounts from a wide range of stores, eateries, and cultural organizations. No matter where you go, always have your student ID card on you, and ask about discounts.
  • Use Public Transportation: Invest in a monthly or semester transportation pass, which is often much cheaper than buying individual tickets. Consider biking or walking for shorter distances.
  • Limit Unnecessary Expenses: Prioritize your spending and avoid impulse purchases. Consider whether you really need something before making a purchase.
  • Part-Time Employment: If your visa allows, consider taking up part-time employment to supplement your income. Many universities offer job opportunities for students within the campus.

Studying in Germany provides a special combination of outstanding academic performance, cultural exposure, and lifelong memories. You may make the most of your time as a student in this dynamic and friendly nation by learning about living expenses, locating appropriate housing, and managing your money wisely. When managing these factors, a study abroad consultant for Germany can offer insightful advice and support. Your trip across Germany can be both financially feasible and pleasant if you practice good planning and financial discipline.