Cost of Studying in Germany for International Students
Updated on Feb 26, 2016 - 5:29 p.m. IST by Manashjyoti
Applications Open Now
Arden University, Berlin
Study Abroad Opportunities with IELTS

Cost of studying in Germany: With more than ten percent of its student community made up of international students, Germany is a favorite haunt of international students, and especially those who want to pursue STEM courses. One obvious reason why students want to study in Germany is because its higher education is highly subsidized. Also, Germany is known for its research-oriented education, with the thriving automotive industry among the biggest employers in the country.

Public universities in Germany don’t charge tuition fees


One element that sets Germany apart from many of its counterparts is that it offers tertiary education free for both national and international students in its public universities. For students who are anxious about tuition fees in Germany, or for that matter the cost of studying in Germany, there can be no better news, because tuition fee makes up a major chunk of study abroad expenses.  Also, even when the tertiary education wasn’t free, public universities in Germany used to charge only around EUR 500 per semester, which was still moderate compared to  universities in the UK and the US.

With tuition fee gone, cost of studying in Germany for international students comes down automatically

Minus tuition fees, education bills come down drastically in Germany. Universities do charge a certain fees in the name of union fee, administrative costs and semester ticket, but they tend to be mostly moderate. Take for example Freie Universität Berlin, which doesn’t charge its students any tuition fees, except in the case of continuing education.  So, the major expense that remains is related to cost of living in Germany.

Tuition fee at top public universities in Germany:


Amount per semester


Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

EUR 300

University registration fee

Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

EUR 290

Administration and student union expense

Universität Bonn 

EUR 250

Social service fee

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

EUR 142

Administrative and student activity fee

Universität Rostock

EUR 131

Student services, student body and semester ticket

Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

EUR 130

Student union fee for common facilities

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

EUR 111

Student union and semester fee

It is important to note here that many of the public universities listed in the chart above are among the top universities in Germany. So you needn’t worry that just because they are public funded, they are poor cousins of private universities.

What about private universities in Germany?

Unlike public universities, if you get admission in a private university in Germany you have to pay the customary tuition fees. For example, if you take admission in Jacobs University, the annual undergraduate tuition for all the Bachelor programs is €20,000. Meanwhile, graduate tuition fee at the university varies from program to program, like while the tuition fee for MSc Computational Life Science, MSc Data Engineering and MSc Supply Chain Engineering & Management is € 20,000 per year; it is € 10,000 for MSc Psychologie (bilingual).

How to cut costs and finance your studies?

The cost of studying in Germany is much more if studying in a private university than at a public university. To cope with the additional expenses, students can look for scholarships and grants; there are many scholarships like DAAD scholarships which help meritorious but financially weak international students pursue their dreams. Keep a close eye on them.

Cost of living in Germany

A clear picture about the total cost of study will emerge only if we start taking into account the living cost in Germany. There are several components like accommodation, transportation, clothing and health related expenses.

Monthly living expenses in Germany for international students:  


Average cost


€ 165


€ 52

Learning materials

€ 30

Car and public transportation

€ 82

Telephone, internet, TV

€ 33

Recreation, culture, sports

€ 68

Rent and utilities

€ 298


€ 728

As you move from one city to another, the average monthly expenses may vary, like it is much more expensive in places like Munich than, say, in Leipzig. So, the monthly living cost in Germany will to a large extent be determined where you take up residence, or in simple terms where you study.

Sometimes even your discipline of study influences your living cost, like if you choose courses like MBA and Engineering, some of the best courses in Germany, you may have to take up rigorous internship or practical classes which in turn may prompt you to stay close to the university. Accommodation cost in Germany, as it is elsewhere, is typically more near the university than those far away from it.

Choosing an accommodation:  

You will spend most of your time at your chosen accommodation, outside the class room. Therefore, make a wise decision while zeroeing in on accommodation. Students often get confused whether to go for on-campus or off-campus accommodation. If you want privacy and independence, off-campus accommodation will suit you, but the university will not be responsible for your wellbeing in such cases. But if you go for on-campus accommodation, the university will look after your wellbeing and you will get to stay in a close community.

In Munich, around 13% students stay in student housing, a majority of which are managed by the “Studentenwerk München.” The rest put up in private rooms, flats and apartments.

Students are also suggested to check out homestay accommodation, as they allow students a great opportunity to improve their knowledge about the locality and its culture, apart from providing the safety of staying in a family environment.

Remember, accommodation cost in Germany can be kept to a bare minimum with the right amount of research; so don’t shy away from doing the requisite homework.

Admission requirements that contribute to cost of studying in Germany

Eligibility criteria for MBA aspirants include GMAT or in some cases GRE test scores. GMAT is costlier at US $250, while you can sit at GRE for US $205. If you want to reschedule the exam date, be ready to pay US $50, the same for each exam.

Insurance-related expenses

Whether you are studying in the USA, Canada, Australia, or for that matter Germany, you will have to produce evidence of sufficient health insurance coverage. Most universities in Germany, public universities included, require students to submit certificates detailing their medical cover at the time of enrollment, or before the commencement of classes. So, it is important to find an affordable health insurance.

Students in Germany have the option of choosing between a Statutory Health Insurance Plan and Private Insurance Plan. The former costs around 80 euros per month and is meant for students who aren’t covered by their local insurance taken in their home country. Instead of the statutory insurance, the alternative is a private insurance plan with comparable coverage. But for private insurance plan to be accepted by your university it has to be approved by public insurer in Germany and the plan itself may cost more than public insurance plans.

Also, studying abroad means you will be doing some serious travelling which would mandate a travel insurance plan to cover exigencies like baggage loss, ticket cancellation and medical emergencies. It isn’t a mandatory admission requirement though.


Stay tuned to for more stories on Germany


Also read: 

Germany’s Free Education: Myths and Realities

Go to Germany for cost advantage on education





Applications Open Now

Arden University, Berlin
Arden University, Berlin
Study Abroad Opportunities with IELTS
Study Abroad Opportunities wi...
PTE- Pearson Test of English
PTE- Pearson Test of English
View All Application Forms
Never miss exam and college updates Login
The question have been saved in answer later, you can access it from your profile anytime. Access now

Download the Careers360 App on your Android phone

Regular exam updates, QnA, Predictors, College Applications & E-books now on your Mobile

Careers360 App
150M+ Students
24,000+ Colleges
500+ Exams
1500+ E-books