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By Vishnu TG
Studying abroad is a dream for many, and Germany is a vibrant, culturally rich country that offers an excellent opportunity for pursuing higher education. The good news is that Germany is a budget-friendly destination compared to other European countries. With a vast majority of its higher education institutions being state-financed public universities, students can breathe a sigh of relief as they won't have to face hefty tuition fees for most Bachelor's and many Master's courses. But what about the cost of living?
However, to ensure a successful study abroad experience, it's important to accurately estimate your living expenses. In this article, we'll provide a breakdown of living expenses in Germany for an average Indian student so that you will get a clear picture of the expenses you will have to meet in Germany.
This is one of the main expenses that you will have to manage if you are looking to study in Germany. To obtain a student visa, you are required to present proof of adequate financial resources. As of January 2023, you need to demonstrate funds of €934 per month or €11,208 per year, which is considered the average monthly cost of living for a student by the German government. Once you have arranged this amount, you can rest assured that not a lot more financing will be required down the road.
Watch our video on the cost of living in Germany for an Indian student.
Many international students opt for a blocked account in Germany to prove they have the necessary funds. This account locks away your money until you arrive in the country. If you are not familiar with the process, it can be quite difficult to set up a blocked account in Germany. Check out our detailed guide to find out how to open a Fintiba blocked account in Germany. Once you arrive in Germany, you can start withdrawing €934 per month from this account to meet your living expenses. If you can find a part-time job, you can meet your expenses through that and leave your blocked account untouched.
A blocked account ensures that you will have enough funds available to meet living expenses.
Ensure you request the required documents early in the process, as you'll need to have them certified by a German diplomatic mission in your home country before submitting them to your chosen bank. Setting up a blocked account typically comes with a fee of €50 to €150. Once in Germany, you'll receive an EC card to access your funds.
Living costs encompass all the expenses required for a student to lead a normal life in Germany. Thankfully, these costs are relatively average compared to other European countries.
On average, a German student's monthly expenses add up to €867. This includes rent, travel expenses, food, clothing, study materials, health insurance, communication services, internet, and recreational activities. With affordable accommodation and prudent spending, you can comfortably manage within this budget. Since this total is well within your blocked account's monthly withdrawal limit, you will not have to worry about finding additional funds to deal with your living expenses.
Finding permanent accommodation is one of the immediate things that you have to take care of after arriving in Germany as an international student. Many of the other formalities that you have to complete in Germany are dependent on you having a permanent housing option. Hence the expenses for accommodation are something that you can't avoid.
International students' monthly budget is mostly spent on housing. In Germany, the monthly rent for a flat can be categorized into Kaltmiete (basic rent) and Warmmiete (total rent). Kaltmiete refers to the rent for rooms, while additional expenses like water, gas, heating, waste collection, and amenities are included in the side costs of the rental contract, which make up the total rent. A deposit equal to three months' basic rent is typically required upfront, which is returned when you move out.
For most foreign students in Germany, rent will take up the majority of monthly expenses.
For international students in Germany, the average monthly rent, including the side costs, is approximately €332. However, this can vary significantly, ranging from €300 to €1200. Your rent depends on factors like the type of accommodation and the city you choose to live in. University facilities and Studierendenwerk accommodations are more budget-friendly, with rents around €300. If you were to opt for private housing, the expenses will be higher. In cities like Munich and Stuttgart, the accommodation costs are very high, while Dortmund offers relatively affordable housing.
German universities usually have a summer intake and an autumn/winter intake. If you are going to join a course starting in the summer semester, finding accommodation will be comparatively easier, as the number of students joining is significantly lower compared to the winter semester.
Apart from rent, your monthly living expenses will include food and drinks, health insurance, transportation, utilities, and personal expenditures. Here's a breakdown of these expenses:
|Health insurance & medications
|€95 to €115
|€100 to €150
|Books & Stationery
|Recreation & Entertainment
Additional personal expenses may range from €50 to €200, depending on your lifestyle. Also, depending on your state, the price of items can vary slightly. This is only an average estimate meant to provide you with a rough overview of the expenses that you can expect if you were to move to Germany for higher studies.
Apart from your rent, food & groceries will make up the most of monthly expenses.
In total, you can anticipate monthly expenses of approximately €900. While the blocked account allows for withdrawals of up to €934 per month, international students are also allowed to work for a maximum of 240 half-days per year. A part-time job can significantly ease the financial burden.
Studying in Germany can be an exciting adventure, and understanding the cost of living is crucial for a smooth experience. By carefully planning and budgeting, Indian students can comfortably cover their expenses and make the most of their time in this beautiful and culturally diverse country. So, go ahead, chase your dreams, and embark on a memorable educational journey in Germany!
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