When it comes to studying abroad, Germany offers a checkmark against almost all parameters. An excellent world-class education system, low or no tuition fees and a conducive environment for research all make it a preferred choice of many international students. So much so, that it is the top non-Anglophone (English speaking) study abroad destinations and lags behind only USA, UK, and Australia in the number of international students. The Universities in Germany are rather selective in their students as well and matching the eligibility requirements for its Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses is often challenging. So if you have made it to the universities in Germany, a big congratulations. But be aware…you might have won a battle but the war is still on. And finding accommodation in Germany is your next challenge.
We do not wish to alarm you but the fact remains that finding accommodation in Germany is a challenge unto itself. There are options but Germany can be a very expensive place to stay. Hence, to revise it, the challenge is not to find a place to stay but to find an economical place to stay. Rentals can go really high and statistically, students spend almost 50% of their monthly expenditure on rent. Many factors determine the kind of costs you can expect but they would largely vary on the city. The more popular student cities, expectedly, have higher rentals as compared to the lesser-known. For example, finding economical accommodation in most of the famous cities (Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt) as well as the famous university cities like Heidelberg, Tubingen or Freiburg is a challenge which would make seeking admission seem easy. But students from all over the world travel to this country and must have places to live. So you shall have one too. The idea is…start early. Shiksha Study Abroad recommends that you should start searching for suitable accommodation the moment you get a nod from a University in Germany.
Types & Costs of Student
- Student Halls of Residences
A Hall of Residence or a Hostel is usually the most preferred mode of accommodation for first-year international students for many reasons. The fact that they offer the cheapest options also adds to the many advantages of staying in student halls. However, the challenge is finding a room in one. Like many international universities, German Universities do not promise you accommodation and it is available on strictly first come first serve basis. Usually, there is a waiting list and you might be offered a Temporary Residence (read below).
As per costs, they cost on an average around €220 - €240 per month. You can always get in touch with the International Office or the Student Council of the University you have applied to. Another thing to keep in mind is that most of the students start their studies in the Summer Session and the rooms are accordingly taken. So, in case you are planning to start your studies from the Winter Session, we still advise you to start searching for accommodation during the summer session and register a room. You can search for them at the DAAD’s Accommodation Finder.
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- Shared Accommodation
Every student appreciates the experience of staying in a student hostel and then every student also understands and appreciates the many advantages of staying in private and shared accommodations. While the former offers affordability, prudent search and good company can also make shared accommodations rather fun. And with the shortage of rooms in halls of residence, they are also a more convenient and economical accommodation option.
These apartments usually have 2 – 3 rooms and are shared by different students. The rentals are split and so are the usual utilities like internet, power, etc. On average, shared accommodation costs you around €280 a month. This again would depend on the location you choose. Since they are often free housing market, it is not really regulated and hence is rather high in rentals. There are many websites where you can search for some. Also, some social networks would also give you options. You can also get in touch with the student unions in the city you are planning to go for some assistance. Some helpful links would be www.wg-gesucht.de, www.studenten-wg.de, and www.wg-cast.de.
A lot of international students also prefer to stay along and apartments (one, two or three-room accommodations) are also famous. Especially, since a large number of students choose to do their PhD from Germany, the need for an apartment might be higher (considering you might wish to take your family along with you). With many Scholarships in Germany, offering to cover the accommodation of your spouse as well, it is also a rather effective option.
There are many options available for standalone apartments for international students and options at an average of €350 are not too difficult to come by. Usually, these places are advertised in the local newspapers on specific days. You can also search for special websites like www.immobilienscout24.de, www.immowelt.de, and www.immonet.de.
Often, a large waiting list necessitates the universities (mostly the big ones), to offer temporary accommodation to international students. These are just makeshift arrangements in the gymnasiums and as the name suggests, are only a temporary solution until you find one of the above. If you are truly unable to find a suitable option, you can get in touch with your universities’ international office to get some assistance in this regard.
So, take your pick, start your search and be prepared. You still might have months to go before you actually travel to Germany but even as you read, the options are being picked up. Happy Surfing!
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