Educational and Living Expenses

Germany is relatively affordable compared to other European nations. However, for a successful study abroad experience, it's crucial to accurately assess the associated costs and ensure that you have the means to cover them. This page provides insights into the anticipated education and living expenses:

Financial security and tuition fees

Verification of Financial Means

To obtain a study visa for Germany, you must provide evidence of financial resources, assuring that you can afford the cost of studying there. Since January 2023, applicants are required to demonstrate funds amounting to 934 EUR per month or 11,208 EUR per year.

Proof of financial means is essential for visa applications submitted from September 1st, 2019 onwards. Acceptable forms of proof include evidence of parental income, a designated sum in a blocked account ("Sperrkonto"), or confirmation of receiving a recognized scholarship. For more details, please contact the German Embassy or Consulate in your country.


Many international students utilize a blocked account to finance their studies in Germany. The funds deposited in a blocked account are inaccessible until your arrival in the country. It's crucial to initiate the necessary documentation early. Completed forms, along with a copy of your passport, must be certified by a German diplomatic mission in your home country before submission to the chosen bank. Banks typically charge a setup fee ranging from 50 to 150 EUR for a blocked account. Upon arrival in Germany, you'll receive an EC card to access the funds, with monthly withdrawals limited (currently 934 euros for students). For further information, please visit the Federal Foreign Office website.

Tuition Fees

The majority of German higher education institutions receive state funding, resulting in no tuition fees for Bachelor's and most Master's programs at state institutions. Certain continuing education Master's programs may entail tuition fees, but they are comparatively low. Private institutions might have higher fees for their programs.

However, the state of Baden-Württemberg decided to impose tuition fees of EUR 1,500 per semester on non-EU citizens for Bachelor's, Master's, Diplom, and state examination programs starting from the winter semester of 2017/18. These fees do not apply to doctoral students. Students who commenced their studies in Baden-Württemberg but did not complete them by the 2017/18 winter semester are exempt from these fees.

Semester Contribution

In Germany, all students at higher education institutions are required to pay a semester contribution. This fee is unrelated to tuition and covers student services and the student government (AStA). In many cases, it includes a semester ticket for regional public transport. The amount varies between institutions, ranging from 100 to 350 EUR, and must be paid during enrollment and before the start of each semester. Additional study-related costs, such as materials or books, depend on your chosen subject.

Breakdown of a semester contribution

Costs of Living

Living costs encompass the expenses associated with maintaining a standard lifestyle, covering accommodation, food, clothing, and recreational activities. In Germany, these costs are relatively average compared to other European countries. While they are notably lower than countries like Denmark, Luxembourg, or Switzerland, they are relatively higher than those in countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic, or Italy.

On average, a German student incurs monthly expenses of EUR 842, which includes rent, travel, food, clothing, learning materials, health insurance, telephone, internet, radio and TV license fees, and recreational activities. (In addition, the semester contribution varies among higher education institutions.)

TIP: Student discounts are available for various cultural institutions, including theaters, museums, opera houses, cinemas, and more, upon presenting a valid student ID.

For those inclined toward sports, many higher education institutions offer free or reasonably priced sports programs.

Average Expenses of a German Student

  • Rent (including utility costs): EUR 410
  • Food: EUR 198
  • Health insurance, doctor's fees, medications: EUR 100
  • Transportation costs (car/public transport): EUR 89
  • Tuition fees: EUR 76
  • Recreation, culture, and sports: EUR 65
  • Clothing: EUR 46
  • Semester contribution: EUR 36
  • Working materials (books, etc.): EUR 31
  • Telephone/Internet/radio and TV license, postage: EUR 32
  • Other expenses: EUR 144

Source: German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW): 22nd Social Survey, 2023

Average Everyday Prices

  • 1 loaf of bread (approx. 500g): EUR 2
  • 1 kilogram of potatoes: EUR 0.99
  • 1 liter of milk: EUR 0.90
  • 1 bottle of mineral water (0.75 liters): EUR 0.80
  • 1 cup of coffee (in a café): EUR 2.50
  • 1 glass of beer (in a pub): EUR 3
  • 1 pizza (in a restaurant): EUR 7
  • 1 lunch (in the cafeteria): EUR 2.50
  • 1 T-shirt: EUR 10-50
  • 1 pair of trousers: EUR 30 to EUR 100
  • 1 cinema ticket (with student discount): EUR 6
  • 1 theatre ticket (with student discount): EUR 6-30
  • 1 museum ticket (with student discount): EUR 2-8

Health Insurance

Enrolling in a German higher education institution requires health insurance, applicable to students from other EU countries as well. EU citizens, however, need to demonstrate public health insurance in their home countries. If not valid in Germany, they must acquire insurance here, costing around 110 euros per month for those aged 30 or under, or with fewer than 14 study semesters. Afterward, contributions rise to at least 166 euros per month.

Financing Options

Once aware of the study costs in Germany, consider financing options. While international students have limited work permissions, a part-time job can contribute to your budget. However, it may not cover all living costs, making scholarships a viable option. Various institutions, such as the DAAD, party-related foundations, and business-affiliated organizations, offer support for international students.

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