Money and expenses

You should expect the following expenses during your period of study in Germany:

  •  Living expenses (rent, food, clothing, books, telephone, …),
  •  Semester fees
  •  Health insurance costs
  •  Possible university tuition fees

Living costs for students are on average 800 euros per month. There are significant differences in the costs between the large German cities. For example, you will need to allocate much more money for living and studying in Munich than in Leipzig. In general, it is possible to live on less money in smaller cities than in larger cities. The amount of money you require is naturally also dependent on how economically you live.

In student residences © DAAD 

The largest proportion of a student's monthly expenditure is accounted for by rent. However, rental prices vary greatly across the different German cities. Depending on the location of the university, students pay between 210 and 360 euros per month for accommodation. In some large cities such as Cologne, Munich, Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt am Main, the rental prices are much higher than average. If you want to save money, it is better to live in student residences or a shared flat. It is also important to budget for a security deposit for the room or flat at the beginning. The amount of the security deposit may vary quite a lot. It is usually necessary to pay the landlord a deposit of many hundreds of euros.

There are also lots of discounts available to students. Students are eligible for discounted entrance fees at theatres, museums, opera houses, cinemas, swimming baths and other (public) facilities. You simply need to show your student identity card.

Semester fees

All university students are required to pay semester fees. The amount differs from university to university and is also dependent on the different services that are covered by the fees. The average fees are around 250 euros per semester.

One part of the semester fees covers social contributions and fees. This finances, for example, student dining halls, student residences and sporting facilities, as well as covering the administration costs. This social contribution can cost up to 100 euros.

A student calculating his costs © Ziegert/DAAD A student calculating his costs © Ziegert/DAAD

There is also an additional administration fee in some German states: Depending on the university, this is around 50 and 75 euros per semester.

It is also necessary to pay a contribution for a semester travel ticket at many universities. This ticket enables you to travel free of charge on the public transport system for six months in the region around your university. Depending on the city and the distance covered by the ticket, it can cost between 25 and 160 euros.

Health insurance

If the health insurance you have in your home country is not valid in Germany, you are required to take out health insurance here. This costs around 80 euros per month in a statutory health insurance scheme – as long as you are not older than 30 and you haven't yet completed your 14th semester. Afterwards, the health insurance charges rise to at least 160 euros per month.

Average monthly expenses for students

Rent and utilities                                                            € 298.00

Provisions and food                                                      € 165.00

Clothing                                                                              € 52.00

Learning materials                                                         € 30.00

Car and public transport                                             € 82.00

Health insurance, medical costs, medicine          € 66.00

Telephone, Internet, television                                              € 33.00

Leisure activities, culture, sport                               € 68.00

Total                                                                                    € 794.00