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What is the cost of studying in Germany?

Planning to study in Germany in the coming year? Read this article to learn about the total cost of studying (plus living) in Germany

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Most German institutions are autonomous and are funded by the government so the public institutions charge very less to absolutely no tuition fees whereas private institutions charge nearly €20,000 per year.

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Germany, undoubtedly, is the most sought after study destination. The reason is the quality of education and out and out opportunities provided to international students by German institutions.

Below we give you a detailed info on various costs involved while staying in Germany for your higher studies, which include study costs, living costs, transportation costs, etc.

We talk about the average cost of studying in Germany which encompasses the following:

1. Tuition fees

German institutions have comparatively lower education costs. According to the DAAD, the average cost of studying in Germany is €9,170 per year. The figure varies depending on the programme you choose and what type of institution (public or private) you are enrolled at.

Majority of German institutions are autonomous and are funded by the government so the public institutions charge very less to absolutely no tuition fees (depending on select conditions) whereas private institutions charge nearly €20,000 per year.

Undergraduate tuition fees:

Undergraduate tuition fees are nil to minimal (please cross-check further with the institution you apply at). Irrespective of tuition fees (depending on the institution) you are liable to pay a charge per semester for enrolment, confirmation and administration which is nearly €150–250.

A semester ticket will cost you nearly €100 which will cover the transport costs for 6 months.

Besides, if your stay exceeds four semesters than the usual study period, then you are liable to pay a long-term fee charge of €800 per semester.

As already discussed, private institutions charge a little more than the public ones, but there are a number of funding options available  from the government for students. You need to visit the website of DAAD to learn more about the norms of studying in Germany.

If you are planning to study in Germany, you should know about BAföG which refers to the ‘Federal Student Financial Aid Programme and is open to foreign nationals but under certain conditions. This aid comprises basic living and training costs and provides opportunities to take up a low-interest loan.

Postgraduate tuition fees:

There are two categories of PG degrees available in Germany –

  1. Consecutive – which is the continuation of a bachelors degree at the same institution; usually it involves no or minimal tuition fees for masters.
  2. Non-consecutive – if you have completed your bachelors elsewhere and apply for your masters at some other institute in Germany, then you will be pursuing a non-consecutive masters degree for which you should be paying nearly €10,000 at public universities and nearly €30,000 at private German universities, per year.

For PhD:

The highest form of formal education, a PhD is dependent more on grants and funding provided to you for your work. The cost of studying a PhD is almost nil to minimal at German varsities, but a semester contribution of €150–200 might be involved.

2. Living costs

Well, living costs are unavoidable. Carefully choose your accommodation since some cities tend to be very expensive such as Munich and cities across Western Germany, where a simple accommodation may cost nearly €350–1000 per month. The most expensive study destination in Germany is Tarnow (€950–1,050 per month) and the cheapest is Wolfsburg (€350–450 per month).

You can save money on rent if you stay in a shared apartment or on-campus which will cost nearly €298 or 240 per month, respectively.

Accommodation costs may vary depending on whether you live alone or with a family.

3. Additional costs

Some additional expenses need to be considered while studying in Germany. According to the DAAD, the average cost for food in Germany is nearly €165 (unless you learn to cook), for clothes = €52, for transport = €82, telephone and Internet = €33, study materials, including books and other stationery items = €30 and leisure = €68. To dine out in a restaurant (a cheap one) once in a while will cost you around €10.

According to the DAAD, you will be spending 10% of your budget towards transport. You can probably buy a bicycle for your daily use and try to cut down your expenses.

Other secondary, but equally important, costs which should be considered include the cost of applying for a German visa. The best source of information on German visas is the German Embassy whom you can call and find out what the procedure of applying for a visa is and how much you will need to pay. You can read this article to know about how to apply for a German student visa.

Occasionally, you might be asked to study German (depends on the universitӓt) in which case you will have to pay an extra sum of money for the course duration.

Majority of students studying in Germany are expected to pay health insurance; expect to pay between €80 and 160 to cover your insurance, if it is invalid in Germany.

Scholarships available to study in Germany:

  1. Scholarships can be categorised into government-funded and non-government scholarships. Some of the government-funded scholarships include the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholarships for international students and Erasmus+. Non-government scholarships include Heinrich Böll scholarships for international students, Kurt Hansen Science scholarships, Mawista scholarships, etc. Read more about scholarships to study in Germany.
  2. Government awards for talented students which do not depend on your personal or parent’s income, neither on nationality or gender.
  3. Fellowships for researchers who have applied for a PhD in Germany. 

On the periphery, you may want to calculate the cost of travelling to your home during holidays, if you are from some other country. Even though the cost of visiting your family is priceless, you might want to plan ahead of time considering this fact.

Read this piece of news here if you still have more questions. Our team of expert counsellors will help you with your doubts pertaining to admissions, so please feel free to chat with them before you plan your budget because they will give you a clear idea on how much money you need for the entire journey.

Facts credit: the QS University Rankings

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