Studying abroad is a dream for many students; but often, the kind of investment it requires makes it an unrealistic dream for some students. The more popular the study destination, the higher will be the cost of education. Germany however, is an exemption to this. Despite the fact that the country ranks among the top five study destinations in the world, for students who dream to study abroad, the cost of studying in Germany is relatively affordable.
Though Germany is not as expensive as other European countries, but to successfully study in Germany, you need to correctly estimate the budget to ensure that you can cover the cost of studying in Germany. To do so, you must keep the following things in mind:
Proof of Financial Resources
This is the first thing to keep in your checklist to prepare your study abroad budget. To obtain a study visa for Germany, you need to showcase a proof of financial resources which will testify that you can afford the studying costs in Germany. From January 2020 onwards, students are expected to demonstrate funds of 10,236 EUR. For detailed information about the amount of funds you need to show in order to safeguard your chances of attaining visa, you can get in touch with expert study abroad counselling consultants or directly contact the German Embassy/Consulate in your region.
16 states in Germany made the tuition fees for undergraduate courses free in the year 2014. Currently domestic as well as international UG students at public universities can study for free, with just a small fee to cover administration and other costs each semester. Therefore, undergraduate courses in Germany for Indian students are practically free (Note: you need to have 13 years of education to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Germany).
Since a large number of higher education institutions are financed by the state, even most Master’s courses can be budgeted without the burden of high fees. Tuition fees may have to be paid for certain Master’s programmes, but they are not as high as other European countries. However, private higher education institutions may mandate higher fees for their degree programmes.
As per the DAAD’s website, the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg has decided to charge non-EU citizens tuition fees of EUR 1,500 per semester for (Bachelor’s, Master’s, Diploma and state examination) degree programmes from the 2017/18 winter semester onwards. The fees do not apply to doctoral students.
As mentioned above, students at all higher education establishments must pay a semester contribution. This payment is not related with tuition fees in any way; it covers your contribution to student services and the student government (AStA). If you are planning for a Master’s in Germany or wish to study MBA in Germany, you need to pay the semester contribution as per the institution’s requirement.
Many institutions also include a semester ticket that allows students to use public transport in the region. The semester contribution differs between higher education institutions and usually falls between the slab of 100 and 350 EUR. It has to be paid at the time of enrolment and before the start of every new semester.
Breakdown of a semester contribution (University of Cologne, 2019/20 winter semester)
- Semester ticket: EUR 185,60
- Student welfare contribution for student service: EUR 75,00
- Student government (AStA): EUR 11,50
- Student sports: EUR 1,75
- Faculties/departmental student organisations: EUR 2,10
- Administrative fee: EUR 1,10
- Total: EUR 277,05
To contribute towards covering the above mentioned costs, students from the European Union, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland enjoy unrestricted access to the German labour market and have the same rights as German students. However, just like German students, if they work more than 20 hours a week, they need to pay certain insurance contributions. For students from other countries, the following regulations apply:
- Students from other countries are allowed to work 120 full days or 240 half days per year. They are not allowed to be self-employed or do freelance jobs.
- Students who want to work extra should seek approval from the Agentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency) and the Ausländerbehörde (foreigners’ office).
An exception to this is working as an academic assistant. There is no limit as to how many days an academic assistant may work. However, they still need to inform the foreigners’ office. Abroad education consultants can assist you to understand the ideal part-time job for you.
The expenses that are incurred to sustain a normal life in Germany, i.e. accommodation, food, clothing and recreational activities, are average as compared to other European countries. They are significantly lower than countries like Luxembourg, Denmark or Switzerland, but rather high compared to countries like Poland, the Czech Republic or Italy.
A German student has expenses of about EUR 819 per month. These include rent, travel expenses, clothing, food, learning materials, phone bill, internet, health insurance, radio and TV fees, and recreational activities. International students’ budget is usually tight. On an average, they can spend EUR 725 per month. There are a number of student discounts that you can avail just by showing your student ID. Students often pay less for tickets to the theatre, museums, cinemas and other cultural institutions.
Average everyday prices*
- 1 loaf of bread (approx. 500g): EUR 2
- 1 kilogramme of potatoes: EUR 0.99
- 1 litre of milk: EUR 0.90
- 1 bottle of mineral water (0.75 litres): 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
- Trousers (a pair): 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
If you have decided to opt for Germany as your higher education destination, then you have made an excellent choice. German universities offer students exceptional teaching and research options that rank among the best in the world. The study programs, in terms of their structure and delivery, are designed to meet the most up-to-date scientific developments out in the world. Education consultants at Manya can guide you in realising your study abroad journey. Get in touch with us today.