The cost of studying in Germany

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Ready to undertake a new journey and fly to Germany to pursue higher studies? Make sure you have estimated the cost of studying in Germany so that you don’t face a last-minute financial crush.

Cost of Studying in Germany - don´t skip this important topic

If you’re an international student looking forward to pursuing higher studies from Germany, the cost of studying abroad is also a critical factor that can affect your decision. It’s just not about a degree; even one term can include costs that maybe three to four times higher than your home country. So, the cost of studying in Germany is something that worries all your parents out there. Through this article, we’ll try to answer several questions that parents have in mind regarding the cost of studying in Germany. Keep reading to know more.

First things first – let’s talk about the tuition fees

Whenever someone talks about the cost of a study course, the first thing that strikes the mind is the tuition fees. However, if you’re planning to study in Germany, there’s some good news for you. The tuition fee is not charged for undergraduate students in all German universities that are public (as of October 2014). A majority of the German universities are funded by the government and the state and tuition fee forms only a small portion of their incoming funds. In the last two to three years, based on the location, students in some German provinces were required to pay the tuition fees.

Based on a new rule announced in October 2014, every state and province has been instructed to discontinue the tuition fees and provide free higher education to foreign and native students. Niedersachsen, Hamburg, Bayern, and Nordrhein-Westfalen were some federal states that were charging tuition fees until October 2014. However, tuition fees have now been abolished, and universities in these federal states offer tuition fee-free education.

The students are now utilizing the tuition fees, which used to cost approximately 500 Euros every semester for their living costs.

Post-graduate degrees – are they tuition fee-free too?

No, the rule does not apply to post-graduate degrees such as Ph.D. and master’s degree. Universities still charge tuition fees in both cases.

Tuition fee in private universities

If you wish to study at a private university, prepare yourself for high tuition fees. The only sources of funding for private universities are the tuition fees, and it is because of this that the fees are higher. Students studying in private universities generally end up paying approximately 20000 Euros per year.

Semester contribution

Since the discontinuation of the tuition fees in public universities in Germany since October 2014, every student is required to pay a small fee known as the semester contribution. Each student has to pay the semester contribution fee which covers the cost of food, administration, residency, and sports. It also includes the bus ticket fare. Most of the universities allow you to use your student’s card as a bus ride or train ride pass.

The semester contribution varies across universities and can cost you anything between 150-250 Euros.

Cost of living in Germany

If you do not own a house in Germany, prep up yourself for high living costs which vary based on the area. Your cost of living will be different if you’re planning to live in an industrial area, university area, or a small town. In areas with a shortage of houses, students form communities and share apartments and living costs.

Sharing an apartment is an affordable alternative to owning an apartment. Some universities also provide students with residential homes which are easily affordable. In a majority of the cases, the kitchen area is shared among the students and a single room each is available for stay. Remember, it is a good idea to apply for a resident as early as possible, as there is a strong demand for student homes.

For residential homes, you will be required to pay anywhere between 200-500 Euros, and for an apartment, you’ll be required to pay anywhere between 300-500 Euros. A single apartment will cost anywhere above 400 Euros.

Cost of other basic necessities

Apart from a room to stay, you’ll have to ensure funds for other important things such as food items, university books, and stationery, depending on your choice of subject. This cost can go up to 50 Euros every semester. Other than that, separate funds for entertainment, food and leisure activities shall also be maintained.

The cost of food will depend on whether you are buying it from a cafeteria or cooking yourself at home. Apart from food, there is an additional cost that you may incur for entertainment activities that you may indulge in during your free time. This can be a sports club membership or an evening well-spent at the amusement park with friends. So, for all you need around 200 Euros for food and leisure expenses.

And, if you are homesick or wish to visit your family during the Christmas holidays, there’ll be additional travel cost which may require massive funds.


In this article, we’ve given you a gist of different costs you may incur during your stay in Germany for higher studies. However, based on individual requirements and lifestyle, the costs may vary across individuals. Make sure your finances are sorted to secure your study period in Germany.

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