Costs of education and living

Two students drink coffee at a table

Germany is not particularly expensive compared to other European countries. But if you want to successfully study abroad, you will have to correctly estimate the costs and ensure that you can cover them. This page will tell you what education and living costs to expect:

Financial security and tuition fees

Proof of financial resources

In order to receive a for Germany you will be required to present proof of financial resources. This serves as a guarantee that you can afford the cost of studying in Germany; from January 2020 you will be expected to demonstrate funds of 10,236 EUR). Proof of the amount must be provided for visa applications submitted as of September 1st, 2019. Acceptable forms of proof include proof of parental income, an allocated amount on a blocked account (“Sperrkonto”) or proof of receipt of a recognised scholarship. For further information please contact the German Embassy or Consulate in your country.

Tuition fees

The majority of higher education institutions in Germany are financed by the state. There are generally no fees for Bachelor's courses or most Master's courses at state higher education institutions. Tuition fees may have to be paid for certain continuing education Master's programmes, but they are not particularly high compared to other countries. Private higher education institutions may demand more substantial fees for their degree programmes.

The Federal State of Baden-Württemberg has however decided to charge non-EU citizens tuition fees of EUR 1,500 per semester for (Bachelor's, Master's, Diplom and state examination) degree programmes from the 2017/18 winter semester onwards. These fees do not apply to doctoral students. Students who have already begun a degree programme in Baden-Württemberg but did not graduate by the 2017/18 WS will not be subject to the aforementioned fees.

Semester contribution

In Germany, all students at all higher education institutions must pay a semester contribution. This payment has nothing to do with tuition fees; rather, it covers your contributions to student services and the student government (AStA). At many higher education institutions it also includes a semester ticket that allows you to use public transport in the region. The semester contribution varies between higher education institutions and comes to between 100 and 350 EUR. It has to be paid when you enrol and before the start of every new semester. Whether you incur further costs relating to your studies, for example for materials such as specialist books and copies, depends on your subject.

Living costs

The expenses that arise in the course of leading a normal life, i.e. for accommodation, food, clothing and recreational activities, are called living costs. They are about average in Germany compared to other European countries, that is to say they are significantly lower than in countries like Denmark, Luxembourg or Switzerland, but rather high compared to countries like Poland, the Czech Republic or Italy.

On average, a German student has expenses of EUR 819 per month. That includes , travel expenses, expenditures for food, clothing, learning materials, , telephone, Internet, radio and TV licence fees, and recreational activities. (Added to this is the semester contribution, which varies between higher education institutions.) International students usually have less money at their disposal than their German fellow students: on average, they can spend EUR 725 per month. If you have affordable accommodation and are careful with your money you will manage easily with this sum.

TIP: There are a number of discounts for students. If you can show valid student ID, you will often pay less for tickets to the theatre, museums, opera houses, cinemas and other cultural institutions. If you are more the sporty type, you should take a look at the sports programmes at your higher education institution: with a few exceptions, they are free for students.

Financing options

Once you are aware of the cost of studying in Germany, you can start thinking about how to fund your degree. International students do not have unlimited permission to work in Germany. A can increase your budget, but it's very hard to fund your entire living costs this way. It is therefore a good idea to scholarship. Many institutions, for example the DAAD, party-related foundations, and business-affiliated organisations offer support for international students. Everything you need to know about financial support for your studies can be found .

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