Studying abroad in Germany: Living costs
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Did you just receive an admission letter from a university in Germany? Congratulations, you must be thrilled! But also concerned. The excitement starts to wear off as you realise you’ll have to deal with all the responsibilities and challenges of studying abroad.


We know it can be scary moving to another country, but there’s no reason for your excitement to diminish. The main problem you’re facing now is not having enough information on what to expect while living in Germany. To help you better understand what awaits you when studying abroad in Germany, we’re going to discuss the living costs, one of the most important information you’ll need.


When you compare Germany to other European countries, you’ll find that it’s not very expensive. The living costs are just slightly higher than the EU average, with rent being the largest expense. On average, students in Germany spend around 850 EUR per month (750 EUR in Göttingen for the management degrees, 700 EUR in Stade for the composites degree).


Rent and utilities

The most affordable accommodation for students are the Student Residence Halls, or dormitories. There are a lot of them across Germany and they’re almost always located near a university campus. Depending on what the city’s student union has to offer, there are different types of accommodation in each hall of residence (single room, single room with bathroom, apartment, etc.). Renting a room will cost you around 250 EUR per month.


The second most affordable option is flat share (WG, or Wohngemeinschaft). Monthly rent for a flat in Germany is divided into two parts: Kaltmiete and Warmmiete. Kaltmiete, or basic rent, is the part that covers the cost to use one or several rooms. Adding the costs of utilities (electricity, water, heating, gas, waste collection), Nebenkosten, gives you the Warmmiete, or total rent. When renting a flat, you’ll be required to pay a Kaution, or deposit, of up to three months in advance that serves as insurance for your landlord that you won’t leave. Your deposit will be returned to you when you move out, if the flat is in good condition. Renting a flat costs around 300-700 EUR per month.


Health insurance

If your health insurance cover at home isn’t valid in Germany, you’ll have to take out an insurance policy here. Health insurance in Germany is mandatory by law, regardless of your residence status or your income. There are two types of health insurance plans: public health insurance and private health insurance. The cost depends on the type of insurance plan you choose.


Public health insurance charges lower premiums. The rate of payment you have to pay is regulated by the government. Currently, the monthly premium rate for public health insurance is 80 EUR. If you want to cover more medical needs, you’ll need to get the private health insurance plan. There are no standard premiums for private health insurance since there are many different packages for different individual needs.You can agree to a specific monthly premium before the company starts to cover your health.



Transportation will be a big part of your daily routine. Whether it’s going to classes, getting back to your apartment, meeting other students on the other side of the city, going shopping, you’ll be moving around all the time. The best method of transportation is the bicycle, especially in overcrowded cities during rush hour. You can rent a bicycle, buy a used one or buy a new one.


Public transport is the cheapest. A one-way ticket costs 2 EUR on average. If you’re a regular traveller on the same line, you can purchase a monthly ticket which costs 70 EUR on average. If you’re travelling somewhere by taxi, the price per kilometre varies between 1.55 EUR and 2.50 EUR.


Food and drinks

If you don’t want to spend too much money eating out, cooking by yourself or eating at the university canteen can be very inexpensive.


Prices at the supermarket


Average price

Price range

Milk (1L)


0.62 - 1.00

Loaf of bread (500g)


0.99 - 2.00

Eggs (12)


1.40 - 2.50

Cheese (1kg)


6.00 - 12.00

Chicken (1kg)


5.60 - 9.99

Apples (1kg)


1.99 - 2.69

Bananas (1kg)


1.20 - 1.99

Oranges (1kg)


1.33 - 2.69

Tomato (1kg)


2.00 - 3.06

Potato (1kg)


0.72 - 2.00

Lettuce (1 head)


0.49 - 1.00

Water (1.5L)


0.19 - 0.70

Wine (mid-range)


3.99 - 6.00

Domestic beer (0.5L)


0.34 - 1.00

Imported beer (0.33L)


0.92 - 1.49

Cigarettes (i.e. Marlboro, 20 pack)


6.30 - 6.50


At a smaller restaurant, the price for a meal varies between 8 and 15 EUR. Meal for two at a mid-range restaurant will cost you an average of 45 EUR.


Prices at the restaurant


Average price

Price range

Meal, inexpensive restaurant


8.00 - 15.00

Meal for 2, mid-range restaurant, three-course


30.00 - 60.00

Fast food meal, e.g. McMeal


6.50 - 8.00

Domestic beer (0.5L draught)


3.00 - 4.00

Imported beer (0.33L)


2.50 - 4.00



2.00 - 3.00

Coke/Pepsi (0.33L)


1.25 - 3.00

Water (0.33L)


1.00 - 2.60


Other expenses to consider

Apart from the above mentioned expenses, here are a few other to take into consideration.


Other expenses


Average price

Price range

Internet (50 Mbps or more, unlimited data, cable/ADSL)


20.00 - 40.00

Pair of jeans (Levis 501 or similar)


50.00 - 100.00

Summer dress from a chain store (H&M, Zara, etc.)


20.00 - 50.00

Pair of Nike Running Shoes (mid-range)


60.00 - 110.00

Fitness club, monthly fee for 1 adult


20.00 - 50.00

Cinema ticket, international release, 1 seat


8.50 - 13.00



Thanks for taking the time to read our blog post about the living costs of studying abroad in Germany. We hope we addressed your concerns. If you’ve received an admissions letter from our university, or are planning to apply to study at PFH, feel free to reach out to our International Office at any time. At PFH we make sure you enjoy your study abroad experience to the fullest!