Accommodation in Germany for foreign students
Updated on Jul 7, 2016 - 3:21 p.m. IST by Manashjyoti



Accommodation in Germany for foreign students:
The third-most popular study destination in the world, Germany is famous as a technology hub that presents countless opportunities for research and education for budding students. But there is another very unique aspect about the country that has international students queuing up to study in Germany: abolition of tuition fee at undergraduate level for both national and international students at public schools (barring a few courses, even postgraduate students aren’t required to pay any fees). So, if you too are one of those students who are head over heels in love with Germany, it is understandable. But this article doesn’t seek to extol the virtues of studying in Germany, but rather tries to decode the puzzle of student accommodation in Germany.

Now, accommodation in Germany for international students isn’t easy to come by, and leaving it too late in the day may force you to stay somewhere far away from the university and at an exorbitant price. The best thing to do is to start looking for accommodation in Germany well in advance.

Accommodation in Germany for international students: Solving the riddle

When planning to study in Germany, you have to take into account that Germany is a different kettle of fish altogether. Dormitories in Germany aren’t administered by the universities themselves. Instead most universities in the country work closely with different housing providers to house the students. Freie Universitaet Berlin (Free University Berlin), for one, works closely with four different housing providers (landlords), including

  • Studentenwerk Berlin

  • Studentendorf Schlachtensee

  • TWENTY FIRST Student Living Apartments  

  • Dahlem-Apartments for Freie Universität Berlin-Academics   

Studentenwerk Berlin, in fact, is the Berlin wing of the German National Association for Student Affairs, an umbrella organization of more than 50 local student organizations in Germany. Studentenwerk Berlin is in charge of all public dormitories in Berlin, and also performs a number of other public services for the well-being and security of international students in Germany,

including running university cafeteria and counselling.

On-campus accommodation isn’t available in most public universities

A corollary of German universities not administering dormitories is that it isn’t easy to find on-campus accommodation for students in Germany. But on the brighter side, housing providers frequently have their accommodations pretty close to the universities; in case of Freie Universitaet Berlin, for example, all accommodation options are within a travel distance of about 40 minutes if you travel by public transport.

 

First let’s take a look at accommodation in Germany for foreign students at residences administered by Studentenwerk Berlin, which is responsible for administering all public dormitories in the Berlin region:

 

Studentenwerk Residences

Dormitory

Rent/month

Minimum Rental Time

Distance to main FU campus (Dahlem)

Dormitory Goerzallee

240€

6 months

About 30-45 minutes by public transportation

Dormitory Halbauer Weg

200€

Facilities at the dormitories:

Items

Facilities

Bathroom

Shared facilities, 2-6 students

Internet

Students need to buy their own surf sticks

TV access

TV line is available, but no TV included

Bedding, bed linen

Blanket, pillow and bed linen are not included. Studentenwerk offers a Starter-Set for about 50€.

Kitchen

Shared kitchen

Now let’s see how the picture looks in the other housing options at Freie Universitaet Berlin for a student studying in Germany:

Studentendorf Schlachtensee:

 

Accommodation Type (Single room)

Rent

Minimum rental time

Distance to the main FU campus (Berlin-Dahlem)

Studentendorf Schlachtensee

 

(Single room)in dorm building with bathroom and shared kitchen

 370 €

one semester (5 or 6 months, depending on start of the rental period)

about 30 minutes with public transportation

in shared apartment, without cleaning service

370 €

in shared apartment, inclusive weekly cleaning service of the common areas

400 €

in shared apartment, without cleaning service

290 €

in shared apartment, inclusive weekly cleaning service of the common areas

310 €

Facilities available:

Items

Facilities

Bathroom

Shared

Internet

  • WLAN-access via Eduroam-network available.

  • Two computer rooms on premises

laundry room

On premises, against payment of a fee

Bedding, bed linen

Inclusive

Kitchen

Shared kitchen (fully equipped)

TWENTY FIRST Student Living Apartments

 

Accommodation Type

Rent (per month)

Minimum Rental time

TWENTY FIRST Student Living Apartments

 

Single occupancy

545 EUR single occupancy

6 months

Double occupancy

650 EUR

Facilities at TWENTY FIRST:

Items

Facilities

Bathroom

Own bathroom (shower, sink, WC)

Internet

High speed internet access + Wi-Fi are included in the rent

Facilities nearby

grocery store, bakery, restaurants within walking distance

Bedding, bed linen

included in monthly rent

Kitchen

own kitchen (fully equipped)

Distance to the main FU campus

about 15-20 minutes with public transportation

Dahlem-Apartments for Freie Universität Berlin-Academics

 

Accommodation type

Rent (per month)

Minimum rental time

Dahlem Apartment

1-Room Apartment

 520 €

one semester (6 months)

Items

Facilities

Bathroom

own bathroom (shower, sink, WC)

Internet

Internet access is not included but can be booked for 10€/month. Free WLAN access at the university.

Facilities nearby

grocery store, bakery, restaurants within walking distance

Bedding, bed linen

included in monthly rent

Kitchen

own kitchen (fully equipped)

Distance to the main FU campus

about 10 minutes with public transportation

If you compare the four options, it becomes quite evident that public dormitories administered by Studentenwerk Berlin are the cheapest, and consequently are also the most in-demand.

The second best option for students studying in Germany, from a monetary point of view is Studentendorf Schlachtensees, which is actually a Student Village (consisting of two student villages) with modern amenities and lovely ambience. Since it isn’t your typical private enterprise, seats are available at affordable prices, and you also have a set of options –with or without cleaning service, dorm or apartment, etc. –to choose from.

Meanwhile, the remaining two options in comparison are on the costlier side, with rents on average more than double of what you pay for an accommodation by Studentenwerk. The upside is they are located nearby the university campus and include the basic facilities you may need when studying in Germany. However, given the disparity in rents, it won’t be surprising if you would like to take up part-time work opportunities when studying in Germany. If you already have a scholarship, it can supplement the income.

 

Coming back to our discussion, another observation is all four accommodation options have long waiting periods, which tells you about the state of accommodation in Germany for international students in general: it is scarce. So, once you have made up your mind to study in Germany, you must start looking for the right student accommodation in Germany. Also, on-campus accommodation in Germany being not an option, you have to prepare for off-campus accommodation and be ready to accept everything that comes with it.

 

The state of student accommodation in Munich  

If by chance you end up in Munich, the student body there is known as Studentenwerk München. Here we bring you sample rates and types of dormitories run by Studentenwerk München.

Dormitory 1

Dwelling type

No. of places

Basic rent incl. overheads (per month)

Waiting time

 

 

Agnes-/ Adelheidstraße

Single room in group of 3/6

206

280,70 – 305,70 €

3 semesters

Single room in group of 2

44

296,60 – 319,90 €

3-4 semesters

Shared apartment

96

308,90 – 333,10 €

3 semesters

Single apartment

31

351,30 – 398,60 €

4 semesters

Apartment for disabled person

3

435,10 €

Upon request

Mother-child-apartment

7

477,10 €

Upon request

Couple apartment

1

591,30 €

Upon request

 

Dormitory 2

Dwelling type

No. of places

Basic rent incl. overheads (per month)

Waiting time

Kreittmayerstraße 14

Single apartment

39

264,20 – 319,00 €

4 semesters

Couple apartment

1

554,10 €

Upon request

Mother-child-apartment

3

409,00 €

Upon request

A typical Private Accommodation in Munich area:

 

 

Rent

Facilities

Ingeborg van Calker Foundation Home

 

Single room

€297

Internet connection, kitchen

Double room

€586

One observation from the charts is unless you want to be at the mercy of private housing service providers, it is prudent to apply early; and it is true of most cities in Germany. As for the rates, they are below the ones advertised by private parties (yes, there are some private operators that may advertise comparable rates, but if one compares the facilities and security, it is actually a no brainer). 

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