Cost of living in Germany
  • Eduzeit
  • 7 months ago

The Secrets to Cost of living in Germany: The Ultimate Guide!

“It is necessary to find ways of solving problems at the expense of available resources” - Sunday Adelaja

This quote is applicable to everyone as it is the easiest way to save money. But this quote can become the "mantra" for those living abroad- especially for the students. Now if you are a student who is planning to study abroad - let’s say in Germany, you would need to save energy resources you can to manage the cost of living in Germany. 

This is exactly what we are going to be talking about here. Germany is becoming one of the most popular education destinations for students. Due to this, many students are flocking to study at this amazing study destination. But while Germany is an amazing educational destination, many people tend to ignore the cost of living in Germany for International Students. Especially if the student is from a country like Nepal whose currency is not highly valid internationally.

But, what is the exact cost of living in Germany for Nepalese Students? For that, we first need to know the difference in currency between Nepal and Germany to get a rough estimation of our own currency. 

 

Value of German Currency Vs Nepalese Currency

german-currency-vs-nepalese-currency

 

Germany uses Euro (€) as its national currency along with 19 other members states of the European Union. While the exchange rate between Euro and Nepalese Rupees is constantly changing, Nepali Rupees is still valued way less than the Euro. At the date of this writing, one euro is equivalent to 134.58 Nepalese Rupees. 

Due to this huge gap between the Nepalese currency and Euro, the living expense of Germany is quite high - at least when compared to Nepal. Now with the difference between the currency cleared, we can finally move on to the cost of living in Germany.

Cost of Living in Germany

 

cost-of-living-in-germany

What is the cost of living in Germany for International Students?

The simple answer is it depends on where you are living in Germany, what university you are studying in, and what you are doing there. While we give you a rough estimation, there is no way to determine the exact cost of living in Germany unless we know each and every detail of what you will do there. That being said, we can give you a general outline. To do this, we have segmented the cost of living in Germany into 7 segments. 

Let’s see what they are.

1) Tuition Fees

cost-living-germany-international-students-tution-fees

This is the first thing that most international students are curious about. Since their primary purpose of going to Germany is for education, it is sensible that the students will be concerned about the education fees. The good news is that a lot of Public German Universities provide free education for the bachelor’s and Masters’s courses. 

But there are exceptions. While the Bachelors's is free, you will be charged if you study master's in a different field from your Bachelor’s. At the same time, the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg started a public university that will charge non-EU/EEA students a fee of € 3000. This amount is equivalent to Npr 403746.47 which can be rounded off to Npr 40,4000.

But despite most public universities being free for international students they still do need to pay the administration fee ranging from €100- €350 per semester. It will cover student organization, services, and enrollment. 

Side note* this amount is equivalent to the range of Npr 13,456 to Npr 47,095.

Along with this, if you don't finish the degree course on time and if you study in Bremen, Lower Saxony, Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, or Thuringia, you may be required to pay some tuition fees. The amount of tuition fee depends on the universities you are enrolled in.

Tuition Fee for Private Universities

Needless to say, unlike public universities, you will be charged quite a bit if you choose to study at a private German University. The general price for private universities in Germany is €26,000 for Bachelors’s Degree and €40,000 for a Master’s Degree which is expensive, even by some German standards. 

If you are wondering how much this amounts to in Nepalese Rupees they are:

  • Npr 34,98,512 for Bachelors

  • Npr 53,82,326 for Masters

This is a huge amount for most of the Nepalese which is why a lot of Nepalese who go to Germany Study in Public Universities. But if you are among those who can afford the price we would recommend the following Universities. 

  • Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich – average tuition fees 258 EUR/year (34716.01 Nrs)

  • Heidelberg University – average tuition fees 20,000 EUR/year  (2691163.28 NRs) 

  • Technical University of Munich – average tuition fees 258 EUR/year  (34716.01 Nrs) 

2) Rent

cost-living-germany-rent

The next thing that comes to our mind when we think about the cost of living in Germany for International students is the rent. While the primary reason why you go to Germany is for Education, you cannot study it you don't have a place to live. Thankfully the rent of an average flat in Germany is not that different from the average apartments with similar facilities in Nepal.

The average rent for a single bedroom flat in Germany is around €323 which is just a bit over Npr 43,000. While this may seem expensive, you do have to remember that you get all the basic facilities including electricity, running water and gas for this price range. But if you share a privately rented flat, with someone else (a double bedroom flat) the price can rise up to €365 or Npr 49,133. On the other hand, if you are living in a student residence, you can get by paying as little as € 250 or just over 33,000 in Npr. 

To represent this via single sentences, the average cost of living in Germany for international students when looking purely at rent are:

  • General rent for single bedroom apartment - €323 (Npr 43,000)

  • Two-Bedroom shared apartment - €360 (Npr 49,133)

  • Student Resident - €250 (Npr 33,639)

As a side note, it would be helpful to know that the rooms in student residence halls are one of the most popular housing options for international students in Germany because it can save a lot of expenses on the cost of living in Germany.

3) Food and Drink

cost-living-germany-foods-drinks

You cannot talk about the cost of living in Germany without mentioning Food and Drinks. A person cannot survive without these after all. But The good news is that unless you go out to restaurants, you can cover a general healthy 3-course meal for yourself within €170 per month - which is around Npr. 22,874.

But unless you are someone who can cook well, eating daily food will get boring. In this case, let’s assume that you go out and eat at a restaurant every once a month. How much would it increase the cost of living in Germany for international students if you add this into account? 

If you chose to eat at a cheap restaurant, you will need to pay €10 (Npr 1345) for a single course meal. If you are opting for a full three-course meal, the price will increase to €45, equivalent to Npr 6,055. This price is purely for the meal and doesn't cover any beverages. But if you want to add a general beverage say tea, coffee, or a cold drink into the mix, you will need to pay an extra €3 or Npr 403. 

So the cost of living in Germany will increase by €208 or roughly around Npr 28,000 per month if you add the cost of general meals three times a day. This also includes the additional cost of one three-course meal and a beverage at a cheap restaurant once per month. 

If not, you can get by with €170 per month. So it is necessary to learn how to cook if you want to decrease your cost of living in Germany, especially as a Nepalese student. After all, why would anyone even need to eat at a restaurant if you can cook a delicious meal at home?

4) Clothes

cost-living-germany-clothes

Since we are talking about clothes, let’s be honest here. While we can manage with just about two pairs of clothes for a few months, the chances are, as students, we would want to blend in. At the same time, we admit that you don't need to buy clothes every month. But since they are perishable goods, it would be helpful for us if we separate some budget for clothes regardless. 

Here, when we say clothes, we include shoes and any other accessories as well. And when we add the accessories and shoes into the mix, the risk of them being damaged increases. For instance, your shirt can be snagged in a wrongly placed hook and tear, your shoe may wear off, your tie may get lost, and let’s not talk about the missing socks. 

So, in consideration of all of these little incidents that may rack up your bills, it is a good idea to separate an average of €42 per month for your clothes. This amount to Npr 5651 per month is not that different from what we usually spend here in Nepal. But you have better options in Germany when compared to Nepal. While thrift stores are a relatively new concept here, you can find them quite easily in Germany. So if you can manage to find a thrift store nearby your residence, you can save a few more euros. 

All this will lead to decreasing your cost of living in Germany. And as we said at the start, it is necessary to find ways of solving problems at the expense of available resources, if you want to minimize the cost of living in Germany. 

5) Health Insurance

cost-living-germany-health-insurance

On the topic of Health Insurance, you first would want to know about how the entire system of Health insurance for international students in Germany works. So before we begin, why don't you check out the "Health Insurance in Germany for Students" by following the link. We will wait for you.

It is mandatory for international students to have health insurance in Germany. But, if you cannot get Public Health Insurance, you will have to apply for Private Health Insurance. For this, you will have to pay installments and it depends from company to company. The average installment price of Private Health Insurance in Germany is €110 or Npr 14801. But this can easily increase depending on your company.

6) Travel Costs

cost-living-germany-travel-costs

Germany is a big place so regardless of what you do, you will need to add some travel expenses to the total cost of living in Germany. But this will depend on how you chose to travel. If you chose to commute via public transport, you will need to separate an average of €25 to €200 or Npr 3363 to Npr 36,911 per month. The rate depends on how often and how far you travel. 

On the other hand, you can rent a bicycle if you are not comfortable with public vehicles as some of us have motion sickness. Do note that if you just plan on renting a bicycle, your monthly budget will increase by a lot. This is because the average cost of renting a bicycle per day is €15 or Npr 2000.

To avoid this, you can purchase a used bicycle. If you are lucky enough, you can find a relatively decent one for as little as €10 or Npr 2018. But in general, the best rates you will get range somewhere between €20 - €50 (Npr 2691 - Npr 6727). While this may seem expensive, do remember that it is a one-time investment. 

If you need to travel across cities, you can use Germany's Deutsche Bahn train system for a price range of €20-€70 to travel (Npr 2691 - Npr 9419). This will indeed raise the cost of living in Germany by a bit. So, if you can find a dealer, it is a good idea to purchase a used bicycle.

7) Miscellaneous Expenses (Books. Photocopies, Papers, Phone, internet, TV Fees, Leisure, Culture, and Sports)

miscellaneous-expenses

These are the hidden expenses that people generally ignore. But they silently add a significant amount to the cost of living in Germany. Since you are a student, you will need to pay for the books, photocopies, and papers for the education. On top of that, phones and the internet are necessary for our survival in any major city. Besides this, since you are a human being, you will need some entertainment as well.

Let’s say, you will spend an average of €40 on educational materials, €35 on network and cables, and €61 on entertainment. When we add up all of these, the cost of, giving in Germany will increase by an average of €136 or Npr 18303.13.

While you can decrease this amount by reducing your networking and entertainment bills, you should still spend some on them if you want to enjoy your student life. 

The Average Cost of living in Germany for International Students

average-cost-living-international-students

Now that we have gone in-depth about the cost of living in Germany, let’s get the average amount. This amount should enable you to live a rather good life without compromising education, rent, transport, and entertainment. So, let’s tally the average amount by assuming that you will need:

Activity

Cost

Rent

€323

Food and Drink

€168

Health Insurance

€80

Clothes

€42

Travel

€94

Miscellaneous

€136

Total

€843 (Npr 1,13,452.50)

As per this estimation of the average cost of living in Germany, you will need  €843 (Npr 1,13,452.50) per month excluding tuition fees. 

Conclusion

cost-of-living-germany

Germany is by far not a cheap country to live in. But the cost of living in Germany for International students is still cheaper than in a lot of other countries. The primary reason for this is their free public universities. But as you may have seen, you will need an average of 1.1 lakhs per month in Nepali rupees if you want to live a comfortable life in Germany as an international Student.

Of course, you can reduce this cost by purchasing from thrift stores, making your own meal, finding a cheap apartment to stay in, and investing in used bicycles for commuting. If you do all of these, the cost of living in Germany can decrease by a hundred or so Euros which will be a huge relief. 

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