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When a student plans to move out of his home country to pursue higher education in another country then the first that should be kept in mind is the cost of living in the aspired country. Many people fail to realize that the cost seems overbearing if the budgeting and planning is not done properly. Germany is one of the popular destinations for students from a technical or automobile back ground or those who wish to pursue higher education in the same or any other field. In this article we shall cover the topic of Cost Of Living as a Student in Germany, this means that planning a residence private/shared/dormitory, food bills, transportation, fashion (clothes and shoes basically).
The foremost thing to understand here is that the cost of living in Germany highly depends on the city you choose for yourself. The cities like Hamburg and Munich are expensive as compared to Wernigerode or Kiel which have much lower cost of living. Since October 2014, Germany has finally approved the abolition of tuition fees in the country.
1. Food/ Groceries
Before anything else one needs food to keep their soul in their bodies. Here is a list of estimated cost of kitchen items one needs - Milk (liter) – 0.69 €, Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) – 1.25 €, Rice (1kg) – 1.70 €, Eggs (12) – 2.00 €, Local Cheese (1kg) – 8.00 €, Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless) (1kg) – 7.00 €, Apples (1kg) – 2.00 €, Oranges (1kg) – 2.00 €,Tomato (1kg) – 2.00 €, Potato (1kg) – 1.00 €, Lettuce (1 head) – 0.99 €, Water (1.5 liter bottle) – 0.55 €, Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) – 5.00 €, Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) – 0.80 €. It is advised to mostly cook your own food rather than eating out daily and this will give you a kitchen budget of 100-150 euro per month. This is the healthier choice and will eventually help you in saving up cash.
2. Living (apartment or dormitory)
Being new to the town living alone might get on your nerves and you may look out for a roommate, given that you choose to live in an apartment. In most German cities rent share per person is approximately 300 EUR even cheaper, tax included. The biggest disadvantage for students about renting on your own is the deposition of approximately 1500 EUR in case any damage is done. Dormitories and student residences are another option for the ones looking for a cheaper alternative. Cities like Leipzig are attractive for students because of relatively low rents.
Yes, Universities in Germany are free of tuition fee but you have “Semesterbeitrag” to watch out for. It is a mandatory semester contribution ranging between 250 to several hundreds of Euros depending on the University. The benefits of this contribution is the access to free public transport in and around the city area which in long-term saves money for you. Public transport in Germany is comfortable, fast and efficient. Bahn- Card is a wonderful option for students who like or have to travel, this card offers discounts ranging from 25%, 50% and 100%.
4. Fashion and cosmetics
If you are the good lad who only buys essentials like soap, shampoo and toilet paper, you have to spend only 10-15 euros per month. But if you are into shopping and upping your fashion game then this cost rockets to nearly 200 EUR and may differ depending where you shop from (a flea market, regular retail outlets or brands).
5. Weekend parties
Now this is entirely optional affair depending on the student himself. Apart from your regular kitchen money you need approximately 50-70 EUR for buying drinks and snacks for your guests. Half a liter of beer in a bar costs between 3 and 4 euros, shots go between 1 and 2,50, long drinks and cocktails are 5 to 10 euros, and the number of people you dare to pay for.
It does not at all mean that the student should survive only on the essentials because of the tight fist. There should be some universities that have special programs for international students which can assist you with finding a flat, administrative things etc. There are also possibilities to work as a student in Germany - most universities have special service offices to help you to get hourly jobs over the year, however competition between students is often very tight, too. Use your free time in doing odd jobs like being a waiter/waitress, the tip would help you to get more money. Keeping in mind the expenses a student can draw a rough idea of the amount of money he needs to save/ earn extra. You don’t have to live on the edge if you manage your finances and your time smartly, regardless of the technicality of your opted course and the pressure to be on the top of your student game. As an Indian student studying in Germany you can avail Weizmann Forex’s services like Travel Card, Foreign Currency, Remittance from India, College Fees remittance, Student Insurances, Student Loans etc. at very reasonable rates.