Are you planning on studying in Germany? Have you already received an admission letter from a German university, and now you want to know exactly how much it will cost to live in Germany as an international student? Then you have come to the right place. It’s always a good idea to have accurate expectations about the living expenses in a foreign country before you move there. It can help you successfully plan and prepare for the move.
However, the good news is that the cost of living in Germany in 2021 is not as high as many people would expect. In fact, it is cheaper to live in Germany than it is in many other EU countries. On average, you will need around 861 euros or $1,002 US dollars to cover expenses like food, accommodation, transportation, utilities, etc.
In this blog, we will discuss everything you need to know about the average living expenses in Germany in 2021. We will tell you what factors affect the cost of living in Germany most and what to expect while you are living in this country. Knowing these things will help you better deal with the challenges associated with studying abroad. So, let’s get started.
Average Monthly Rent Costs in Germany
The rent cost is the largest expense a student will have in Germany. You may find it difficult to find a perfect place to rent. You need to know that rents in the cities in Germany vary widely. Downtown areas usually have higher rent costs than other cities. For instance, cities like Hamburg, Munich, and Cologne are more expensive than Leipzig, Karlsruhe, etc. It’s always best to find someone and share the apartment with him when you are living in Germany as a student.
The average monthly rent of an apartment with one bedroom in the centre of the city is around €700. However, if you rent a one-bedroom apartment in a peripheral area, you can expect the monthly rent cost to be around €500. If you want a fully furnished large apartment, it will cost you around €1,000 – €1,500 per month. Listed below are the average rent costs for a one-bedroom apartment in the popular cities in Germany:
Hamburg – 838.94 €
Munich – 1,094.30€
Aachen – 534.65 €
Cologne – 727.14€
Dusseldorf – 672.22€
Augsburg – 613.57€
Berlin – 795.90€
Leipzig – 490.80€
Stuttgart – 846.43€
Frankfurt – 868.91€
Hannover – 591€
Bochum – 406.67€
Food and Drink Costs
Cooking your own food will help you save money. Eating at restaurants on a regular basis can be expensive. Here’s a chart that shows the average costs of some of the basic food and drinks products in Germany:
Water (0.33-liter bottle) – 1.77 euros
Soda – 2.17 euros
White bread (500g) – 1.24 euros
Potato (1kg) – 1.06 euros
Chicken (1kg) – 7.53 euros
White Rice (1kg) – 2.03 euros
Beef (1kg) – 11.65 euros
Fruits (1kg) – Apples – 2.22 €, Banana – 1.58 €, Oranges – 2.29 €
German Domestic Beer – 3.50 euros
German universities also have cafeterias within their campus. Here you can get quality food at a low cost. You can expect a meal at the university cafeteria to cost you less than 5 euros. However, it’s still a good idea to learn how to cook on your own.
The transportation costs are one of the important things that must be there on your list when you are calculating the cost of living in Germany as an international student. Germany has an efficient public transportation system, incorporating taxis, buses, trams, metro systems, and high-speed trains. You can use public transportation when going to the university, coming back to your apartment, or going to meet a friend. You can also use a bicycle to travel to nearby destinations.
Here are some useful figures regarding transportation costs in Germany:
Average Local Public Transport One-Way Ticket – 2.00 €
A Monthly Ticket – Around 70€
Average Initial Taxi’s Cost – 3.50€
Gasoline – 1.25€ – 1.49€
Utilities and Bills
Monthly bills for heating, water, and electricity are something you must take into consideration when planning to live in Germany. In many cases, your landlord will include these expenses in your rent. Otherwise, you and your roommate can share these expenses.
Electricity Cost – 29.42 cents per kilowatt-hour (CT/kWh)
The Cost of Other Amenities (For an 85 m2 apartment) – 215.21 €.
The best thing about German universities is that most of them offer free-tuition higher education to students from all across the world. You just need to take care of the semester contribution, which every university student pays for university services like sports facilities, administrative assistance, dining halls, etc. Please note that there are some universities in Germany that have recently introduced tuition fees for international students.
You need to know that no matter the residence status or income of a person, health insurance is mandatory for everyone living in Germany. You have two options when it comes to getting a health insurance plan in Germany –
- Public Health Insurance
- Private Health Insurance
You can choose a plan according to your preferences and budget. Health insurance costs can vary depending on the type of plan you choose. The public health insurance will cost you less as the premiums for it are low. The monthly premium rate for this health insurance plan is 70 – 80 euros. You can also consider getting a private health insurance plan if there are more medical needs that need to be covered. However, remember that monthly premiums for a private health insurance plan in Germany are usually high. Health insurance providers offer many different packages for different needs. You can choose a package that best meets your needs.
Other Costs To Consider When Living in Germany
Apart from the costs mentioned above, there are a few other expenses that you need to take into consideration when going to study in Germany. These include clothes, shoes, etc. Here’s a chart that shows the average costs of these products:
- A Pair Of Jeans – 50 – 100 euros
- A Pair Of Normal Running Shoes – 60 – 120 euros
- A Pair Of Business Shoes – 70 – 150 euros
Which Part of the Country Has the Highest Cost of Living?
The most expensive German cities to live in are Munich and Stuttgart. The rent cost for an apartment with one bedroom in Stuttgart is around 846.43€. Similarly, the rent cost for a one-bedroom apartment in Munich is around 1,094.30€. Renting a similar apartment in a Northern German city is much cheaper than in Munich or Stuttgart.
Here’s a chart that shows the costs and prices of different items in different German cities:
Rent Costs – 1,094.30€
Milk (1liter) – 0.84€
White Rice (1kg) – 2.14€
Restaurant Meal – 12.25€
Tomato (1kg) – 2.82€
Beer (0.5liter) – 3.80€
White bread (500g) – 1.43€
Taxi 1km – 1.90€
Rent Costs – 795.90€
Milk (1liter) – 0.79€
White Rice (1kg) – 1.79€
Restaurant Meal – 8.00€
Tomato (1kg) – 2.62€
Beer (0.5liter) – 3.50€
White bread (500g) – 1.27€
Taxi 1km – 2.00€
Rent Costs – 838.94€
Milk (1liter) – 0.71€
White Rice (1kg) – 2.15€
Restaurant Meal – 10€
Tomato (1kg) – 2.61€
Beer (0.5liter) – 4.00€
White bread (500g) – 1.27€
Taxi 1km – 2.00€
Rent Costs – 868.91€
Milk (1liter) – 0.77€
White Rice (1kg) – 1.97€
Restaurant Meal – 12€
Tomato (1kg) – 2.64€
Beer (0.5liter) – 4.00€
White bread (500g) – 1.29€
Taxi 1km – 2.00€
So, one thing is clear that the cities in the South of Germany are more expensive to live in compared to the cities of North or East.
Tips On How You Can Reduce The Cost Of Living in Germany
Here are a few tips that will help you save money when living in Germany as an international student:
- Try to avoid renting an apartment in the centre of the city. Instead, look for affordable living places in a large perimeter around your university campus.
- If your university is in cities like Munich or Hamburg, search for a rental apartment in the suburb areas of these cities. It will help you save money.
- Try to share the apartment with others. It will help you save a significant amount of money on the room rent costs.
- Try to gather as much information as you can about the German city you are going to live in. It will help you create a perfect plan to save money.
I hope you have got a clear idea about the cost of living in Germany as an international student. If you are going to Germany for the first time, there may be some other additional costs you need to take care of.