Countries » Living Costs

Living Costs Germany

 

Cost of living

As a rule of thumb: around 660 euro per month is required for a course of study in Germany. The cost of living is relatively high in Germany – 660 euro allows a modest lifestyle and no more. The important aspect in any case is to maintain fixed costs, e.g. rent, as low as possible. Living in Germany is not cheap and an economically priced room, possibly in a student dormitory, can ease some of the financial strain.

Budgeting

Accommodation
Looking for accommodation costs much in terms of time and temper. And so it's a good idea to do this well in time. You should preferably obtain information before travel, in order to obtain cheap accommodation.
Living in Germany is expensive
A German ends up paying half of his wages towards rent. If you don't want to trust your luck, you can consider several possibilities in looking for accommodation. Newspapers and Notice-boards Offers of accommodation are available in local newspapers, usually in the Wednesday and weekend editions. You can also advertise that you're looking for a room. Classified newspapers specialize in advertisements. You could also find accommodation at your university. The “notice-boards” are usually crammed with offers of accommodation..
For those who arrive in Germany alone, flat sharing in so-called “WGs” (Wohngemeinschaften), is a good way to get to meet people.
Shared-living Centers, University residences, Estate agents Many university cities have shared-living centers (Mitwohnzentrale) which help you find accommodation for limited periods on a commission basis. University residences also provide accommodation. Anyone looking for a flat through an estate agent must bear one thing in mind: two months’ rent as advance is usually required. That is a lot of money and is not worthwhile, particularly for a short stay. But if you'd rather deal with an an estate agent, it's important to remember that the agent should be a member of the Ring of German Estate Agents (RDM). Student Dormitories The rooms here are indeed often very small, but on the other hand the cheapest available. Many dormitories now have bigger rooms and even offers for couples. The student services furnish addresses and information on the admission procedure for the student dormitories.

Shopping

On average German students have about 812 Euro at their disposal (source: 19. Sozialerhebung, 2009):

Monthly expenses

 

Rent (incl. additional charges)

281,- Euro

Food

159,- Euro

Clothing

51,- Euro

Transport (car/public transport)

81,- Euro

Health insurance

59,- Euro

Telephone/internet/radio & TV licence

35,- Euro

Work/study materials

33,- Euro

Leisure activities

63,- Euro

Total

762,- Euro

Not included here are term fees which have to be paid on receipt of confirmation of admission. So, especially at the beginning of term you will have more expenses than usual. In many locations you may have to reckon with much higher rents. Rents across Germany differ greatly!
Mostly, international students have less money than their German counterparts and must manage on an average of 725 Euro per month.

Prices

 

1 loaf of bread

2,- Euro

1 kg apples

1,99 Euro

1 kg potatoes

0,99 Euro

1 litre milk

0,90 Euro

1 bottle of mineral water (0,75 Liter)

0,80 Euro

1 cup of coffee (at a café)

2,50 Euro

1 glas of beer (at a bar)

3,- Euro

1 pizza (at a restaurant)

4,- to 6,- Euro

1 pair of shoes

30,- to 100.- Euro

1 t-shirt

10,- to 50,- Euro

1 pair of jeans

30,- to 100,- Euro

1 ticket for the movies (reduced fare)

6,- Euro

1 ticket for the theatre (reduced fare)

6,- to 30,- Euro

1 entrance into a museum (reduced fare)

2,- to 8,- Euro

 

Lots of special rates for students

Tips and Info: Save money here

Check out the following websites for information on special deals for students: 
http://www.allstudents.de/studentenrabatte.php/action/static/filename/shopping
http://www.studentenpreise.de/
http://www.studentenpilot.de/studentenleben/studentenrabatte/student life /
http://www.unimall.de/
http://www.studentenaktion.de/

Money ShrinksWill I be able to make ends meet at the end of the month with my budget? - Ourscout Tomás  regularly asks himself this question. And by no means is Tomás alone. His German university friend Mark shares the experience. The only difference is that Tomás, like most international students, has less money available to him than many of this German fellow students.The Association of German Student Services Organisations (Deutsches Student) found out that German students have an average of 770 euros per month available to them, while foreign students only have around 630 euros.This means that Tomás basically has to budget with 140 euros per month less than his friend Mark.

Clothing

Comparing prices is worthwhile: "I was a bit concerned at first The cost of living is noticeably higher in Germany than in the Czech Republic back home." reports Tomás. However, a Europe-wide cost-of-living ranking shows (see chart: International Cost of Living Table) that the cost of living in Germany is often cheaper than in Scandinavian countries or in France or Britain, for example. Our scout Mai saw this, along with the high quality of academic training, as a further argument for choosing Germany. "If you budget carefully and are a bit clever, then you can not even afford a couple of little extras every now and." For May this means going to a concert in the Berlin Philharmonic with Sir Simon Rattle conducting rail or weekend trips to other towns. To be able to afford this, Mai uses lots of special offers, above those offered by the large discount stores ( Life in Germany: Eating and Shopping ). "I've become a real bargain hunter. I know exactly where what can be bought at particularly good prices. And it's always worth comparing prices carefully. You can always save a couple of euros," is Mai's tip.

Advantages of the International Student Identity Card:  Besides bargains, May So many uses the special rates offered for students. Whether tickets for the theater, museum or cinema, or newspaper subscriptions, train or flight tickets.Students who present their student ID card can get a discount. Asking Whether there are any special rates for students is definitely worthwhile. Moreover, May herself then got an "International Student Identity Card" (ISIC). This international ID card ( www.isic.de ) is Recognised worldwide and earns students price reductions and discounts in more than countries 110th It costs 10 euros, is valid for 16 months and is available from student travel agents, student councils or from the student services organization at university .

Insurance

Health Insurance

It is mandatory to be medical insured if working and receives salary less then certain threshold (Approx Euro 50,000)

Salient features of Govt. Insurance
  1. Salaried people with salary less than Approx Euro 50000 are required to be have medical insurance from Govt.
  2. German public insurance computes the monthly premium based on income only. The public system disregards age, gender as well as pre-existing conditions.
  3. Public insurance in Germany is a family insurance. Which means all members of the family without their own source of income (and therefore own health insurance) are covered under the umbrella of one public insurance.
  4. With public insurance you have good coverage for all major treatment and medical emergencies. In comparison with lots of other countries, the German public health system is still quite good. It is therefore impossible to describe all the treatments etc. that are covered with pubic insurance.
  5. Each quarter of a year you have to pay a fee of €10 if you go to the doctor.

Choosing between Govt and Private Insurance
For a family public insurance is cheaper, as in private each individual is insured separately. 

Facts about private insurance:

  1. It enables to get better services and better medicines.
  2. One doesn't have to pay quarterly fee.
  3. Mostly medicines are also 100% covered.
  4. Company also contributes upto certain amount. It is not exactly 50% but max something around Euro 300
  5. Once switched to private one can not go back to public one.
  6. If both partners are working, one can go for public and other for private.
  7. Private insurances usually offer good premiums for not using it the whole year.
  8. One is not forced for generally required regular procedures, e.g. visiting to dentist regularly is mandatory under public but not under private.
  9. There is more work under private as one receives the invoices from doctors and the person has to send them to the insurance company for the claims. There is usually enough time, to claim and then pay the invoices.
  10. You may opt to get different treatment for each individual. Usually people sign for best conditions for kids as they need more visits to doctor and medicines.
  11. At most practices, waiting time for private patients is also shorter.
  12. One also gets more tax benefits. So one gets some money back from finanzamt when declaring tax.

So take your decision carefully.
Things to remember

  1. If you are under compulsorily insurance then do it at the earliest. The premium payment starts from the day you enter into Germany. So even if you have insurance from India, it is wise to get your health insurance at the earliest, so that you can get its benefit.

Travel Insurance

ou have worked so hard for that opportunity to study abroad. You need to be able to focus on your mission and not worry about any unexpected hurdles that come your way, which is why you need student travel insurance. Tata AIG presents Student Guard Plus, a student insurance policy to help you achieve your dreams. We assist you in case of health risks, accidents, loss of sponsorship and also family emergencies back home.

Student Guard Plus product is designed keeping in mind the student going abroad to pursue higher studies as well as the University insurance requirements for such courses.

  • Choose from 3 Plan options – Plan A, Plan B and Ultimate with Accident & Sickness Reimbursement limits of $50,000, $100,000 and $250,000 respectively
  • Cover includes Study Interruption, Sponsor Protection, Compassionate Visit (2-way) apart from Accident & Sickness Reimbursement and Personal Accident.
  • More comprehensive cover including Maternity Benefits for Pregnancy Termination, Cover for Mental and Nervous Disorders, Cancer Screening and Mammography.
  • Unique Global Security Service by Red24 providing advice on personal risks across all plans.
  • Relocation Support Program for the 365 day (including Americas) plan option.

Other form of Insurance
Student Guard Plus product is designed keeping in mind the student going abroad to pursue higher studies as well as the University insurance requirements for such courses.

  • Choose from 3 Plan options – Plan A, Plan B and Ultimate with Accident & Sickness Reimbursement limits of $50,000, $100,000 and $250,000 respectively
  • Cover includes Study Interruption, Sponsor Protection, Compassionate Visit (2-way) apart from Accident & Sickness Reimbursement and Personal Accident.
  • More comprehensive cover including Maternity Benefits for Pregnancy Termination, Cover for Mental and Nervous Disorders, Cancer Screening and Mammography.
  • Unique Global Security Service by Red24 providing advice on personal risks across all plans.
  • Relocation Support Program for the 365 day (including Americas) plan option.