Useful Tips For Future Students in Germany

May 20, 2020

By Bretton Love

Many want to study in Germany, but do not know what to do. Many people ask themselves questions, the answers to which you will find in this article.

Which university should you choose?

Dig in the search engines. There is a lot of information on this subject. In fact, the choice of universities in Germany is huge. There are liberal arts universities, there are technical universities. Read more if you want to get your diploma remotely. Everything has to be based on what you want to study.  I went to the University of Augsburg. I’m satisfied. The quality of education is the highest.

Tip: Try to choose the university according to your financial possibilities. Let me explain: Studying (including housing) in Munich or Hamburg, for example, is definitely more expensive than studying in Augsburg. Although work is probably better there.

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What shall I begin with?

So, you chose the university. Now, I suggest you dig through its website on the Internet. It’s a sea of information! The main thing is not to get lost.  In the search engine of the university, the site finds the above “Office for Foreigners” (Auslandsamt or Akademisches Auslandsamt) and writes there. You will definitely get an answer. Ask any questions you may have by browsing the site and searching for the information you need. And only if you have not found anything, then safely ask questions. Otherwise, just get a link to the page with the information you are interested in.

Tip: Add Mit freundlichen Grüßen and your name at the end of the letter.  The Germans love it.

How much does it cost to study at a university?

University education itself is officially free! You only pay the so-called student fees (Studienbeiträge). The amount of these varies, but only slightly. Last time I paid 540 euros per semester (6 months). Studying at German universities is divided into 2 semesters – summer (Sommersemester) and winter (Wintersemester). This amount includes the study itself and the cost of travel for students. With these passes you can travel around the city all day, which is very advantageous! In addition, by paying these fees, you get a discount on meals in the student dining room. Lunch in this cafeteria costs from 2 to 3 Euros, which is much cheaper than lunch elsewhere.

Tip: I don’t advise you to go without tickets. I’ve met the supervisors very often. Fines for fare-dodging are quite high.

Where does a student live? How much does it cost to live?

There are no problems with housing in Germany. You can choose for yourself one of the 3 main options:

The private sector. Its advantages: You are independent, no one makes noise under windows or in the hallway. Its disadvantages: You have to buy your own furniture. When you leave, you must take this very piece of furniture with you! And the owners of the private sector are often very demanding of their tenants.

The hostel. Its advantages: relatively low cost, turbulent student life. Its disadvantages: 1) the noise during this most turbulent student life (I myself used to think that in Germany at night is quiet: nothing like that!). But, if you decided to become a student in Germany, it’s all small things. 2) Often the waiting list for a dorm is very long and you will have to sign up on a so-called waiting list (Warteliste) to get the coveted place in the dorm.

There are basically a lot of other options for living, such as overnight stays, shared accommodation with several students, etc. But in my opinion, this is not very convenient. It’s up to you, though. It’s probably the cheapest option out of three.

Tip: If you choose to stay in a dormitory, ask if your university has the option of buying a so-called service package (Servicepaket). In this case, you, as a foreigner, receive accommodation in a hostel out of turn. However, you will have to pay the price for the semester at the same time. A special service of the university, Studentenwerk, deals with accommodation issues. This service also includes the Wohnheimverwaltung (hostel management).

Photo credit: Wikipedia, Laufenburg, Germany.

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