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The Financial Costs of University Study in Germany

The financial cost of studying in Germany is, in comparison with other European countries, quite reasonable. Living costs are comparable to EU averages, equating to a monthly expenditure of around 800 euros, with rent forming the largest expense. A student should be prepared to meet the costs for:

  • Living expenses (rent, food, clothing, books etc)
  • Semester contribution
  • Health insurance
  • Potential tuition fees

While 800 euros per month is a general figure, costs will vary depending on the chosen location of study. For example, Munich living expenses will be higher than those found in Leipzig, with a general increase relating to more urban and popular areas and a reduction in more rural and less densely populated areas. Students should be aware of this trend and plan accordingly based on their university choice, though personal expenses can be limited to a degree based on lifestyle choices.

Renting accommodation will be the largest expense encountered while studying. Costs across Germany will vary greatly, with a flat costing in the region of 210-360 euros per month. Higher prices will be common in cities such as Cologne, Munich, Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt am Main. Students wishing to reduce the cost of renting may wish to investigate student hall of residences or a shared flat (WG).

Students are offered a number of price concessions. Student IDs can be used to gain reductions in the price of admission for theatres, museums, opera houses, cinemas, swimming pools and other activities.

Semester Contribution

University students are required to pay a semester contribution of around 250 euros. This fee, which will vary depending on the university and the services it includes, covers a wide range of elements. The social contribution element of the fee, of around 100 euros, helps to finance dining halls, student residences, athletic facilities and administrative services. In some states, students will be asked to pay an additional administrative fee of around 50 to 75 euros per semester.

The semester contribution for many universities includes the cost of a public transport ticket. This allows a student to travel for free around the local area during the 6 months the semester lasts with a pass that can cost between 25 and 160 euros.

Health Insurance

Health insurance policies are mandatory for all foreign students studying in Germany. If a student’s domestic policy does not cover their time abroad, a new German policy costing around 80 euros monthly will be necessary, for those under 30 who have not studied longer than 14 semesters. For those outside these boundaries, a premium will automatically increase to around 160 euros per month.

Average Student Monthly Expenses

  • Rent and utilities € 298
  • Food/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

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