Needs money for rental costs
When deciding to study, many new students choose a new hometown. But if you leave your home country, you have to deal with the issue of rental costs. How much rent you actually pay depends primarily on the city you choose. But hardly any student decides solely on the basis of the square meter price, and the attractiveness and quality of the teaching are also decisive for the choice. It is therefore hardly surprising that Munich has been number 1 in Germany’s most popular study cities for years. At the Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) alone, around 51,000 students from all over the world studied in the 2017/2018 winter semester.
If you decide to study in the Bavarian capital, you have to dig deeper into your pocket. Because the living space is not only very popular, but also scarce and accordingly expensive. The same applies to Hamburg, Frankfurt or Cologne, which are also among the most popular German study cities. However, Stuttgart has recently replaced Munich as the city with the most expensive rents in Germany. So that you can plan your finances in the best possible way, we recommend that you take a look at the rent index of your new home. It is a little cheaper to live in and around the Ruhr area. Leipzig and Dresden in particular are very popular among aspiring academics due to the unbeatable rental prices. But smaller cities such as the bicycle city of Münster, Bochum or Aachen are also among the students’ favorites.
How much money you actually have to plan for renting your new student apartment or your new flat share is difficult to say due to the large differences between the individual cities. If you choose one of the more expensive cities, we recommend that you choose a room in a shared apartment or even one of the student dormitories. But please keep in mind that affordable housing is very popular among students. In Munich you therefore have to plan up to four semesters of waiting for a place in the dormitory.
Cost of living for students
The cost of living for students in Germany varies greatly depending on the city. For example, rents in the capital Berlin have risen sharply in recent years. According to the 21st Social Survey of the Deutsches Studentenwerk, rents rose from an average of $ 317 per month in 2012 to $ 372 in 2016. Berlin thus ranks 5th behind Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt and Hamburg in a city comparison. In 2016, students in Berlin had an average income of $ 1,015. This means that the increase in income (approx. 13%) cannot quite keep up with the increase in rent (approx. 17%) (comparative years 2016/2012). In contrast, things were more balanced in Hamburg. Here, the increase in income was almost 9% compared to a rent increase of just over 8%.
Popular student strongholds are expensive
Munich, on the other hand, is – not only for students – an expensive city when it comes to the cost of living. The rental prices in particular are very high here. With an average of $ 378, students don’t pay as much more rent than in Berlin, but especially in recent years, rental prices have skyrocketed, so someone who is moving to Munich should expect to pay around $ 500.
Hamburg is also one of the more expensive cities in Germany. As a student, you have to expect to pay an average of $ 373 in rent. And the cost of living should not be underestimated either.
Lower living costs in the new federal states
If you want to save on rent, you should consider studying in the new federal states. In Leipzig, for example, as a student you only pay an average rent of $ 264. The costs for food, leisure time and the like are also a lot lower in Leipzig than for example in Munich or Hamburg. As a student, you only have to expect average expenses of $ 319 (excluding rent and car). And what about student living costs in a typical student city like Tübingen?
Here, students have an average income of $ 832 (2012) and can expect to spend $ 759. The average rent is $ 323, the diet $ 162 and for leisure activities, students from Tübingen spend an average of $ 61 per month (source: 20th Social Survey of the Studentenwerk, published 2014).
All in all, there are very strong differences between the individual student cities in Germany in terms of study costs. Especially when it comes to living costs and especially rent, you can make huge savings if you are flexible about where you study. However, course costs should of course not be the only decisive factor when it comes to where you want to study.
How much money does a student need?
In 2016, the “typical student” needed an average of $ 819 a month to finance his studies. Most students are in a range between $ 600 and $ 1,000 living costs per month. Most of this amount (approx. 51%) continues to be contributed by the parents, followed by their own earnings (approx. 26%) from activities during their studies. The parents’ high share of funding raises a number of socio-political questions that German state funding funding cannot answer conclusively. Only about 12% of all university students receive German state funding funding. Fell by 5 percentage points or 30% in 2012.
Income & expenses as a student
This means that only around 10% of all students receive the maximum German state funding amount. German state funding therefore remains a gap funding for a few, based on the socio-political aspect of a student’s “need”. So most students only have the opportunity to earn some extra money in addition to their studies. The problem with this is that the curricula of most universities have become even more compact due to the changeover to the Bachelor and Master systems.
A student from the Ländle recently showed me the tasks of the mathematics lecture for the (old) diploma course and the new bachelor’s course. They were absolutely the same, only that one semester had three semesters and now only two. Now we do not want to say that a concentration of knowledge and an increase in requirements would not be possible or even sensible – only one thing is certain: If the framework conditions at the universities change so significantly, this will also have consequences for the framework conditions of the academic environment.
less time for studying and part-time jobs
Today, students mostly have less time than before. And therefore less time to finance your studies through part-time jobs. The financial situation is exacerbated if you want to deviate somewhat from the standard course, for example by gaining experience abroad through internships or semesters abroad. A year abroad, however, easily costs $ 10,000 or more: tuition fees at foreign universities, travel expenses and increased living expenses add up. In addition, it is often necessary to complete valuable internships that promote the course of the study – but are paid poorly or not at all. This situation has two dangers:
The often non-specialist activities in part-time jobs eat up almost a fifth of the total weekly time budget of the students. Due to the need for part-time work, the course can be much slower than if there were no “financial gap”. Or else: Since the learning material has to be internalized in the remaining time, it can only be processed superficially – the grade point then drops. In the worst case, the course is stopped altogether because the different time requirements (learning and working) cannot be permanently reconciled.
The alternative to this is that the financial burden on the parents from studying continues to increase. The financial share of parents, which is already very high today, cannot be increased arbitrarily – especially not if the qualification of broad sections is to be considered a social goal – and not only the children of wealthy parents should be able to study.
the need for private forms of student finance
The study finance gives the students both the necessary time and the internal independence from their parents’ home. Student funding gives everyone the chance to face the challenges of studying without financial worries. The most important forms of student finance are discussed below. A distinction is made between state-funded funding commitments, student finance based on classic loans and newer forms, the so-called education funds.