Student Accommodation in Germany for International Students
One should start looking for student accommodation in Germany as soon as they are accepted to a university. The affordable accommodation facilities for students in Germany are booked quickly. Thus, any delays may compel you to book expensive accommodation that won’t fit within your budget. This is particularly valid if you enroll during the winter semester, as 90% of students take courses in the winter semester. Only 10% of incoming students start in the summer. Therefore, students have less trouble finding lodging during the summer semester.
The “university international office” at any higher education institution in Germany is the best source to search for housing. Students can also search online for student housing, but they should be wary of scammers. In general, there are two housing options for international students in Germany: student residence and private accommodation. Let’s talk about student housing in Germany in detail. We have also listed some helpful tips on how to pick suitable accommodation in Germany.
Highlights of student accommodation in Germany
|Type||Student residence||Private accommodation|
|Source||University international office||Rental housing agencies||Rental housing agencies|
|Level of privacy||Low privacy||Moderate privacy||High privacy|
Moving to Germany for higher education? This guide to student accommodation in Germany might come in handy
Types of student accommodation in Germany
The demand for student accommodation is high in Germany. Hence, it is advisable that students apply as early as possible to avoid missing out on affordable options. The following student accommodations are available for international students in Germany.
Student residence halls account for 40% of student accommodation in Germany. If you are looking for inexpensive and simple accommodation, then these are your best options. Many German universities have multiple residence halls, but their demand outstrips their supply. You can contact student services or Studentenwerk of your chosen university to register for a spot in a residence hall. Due to safety and convenience, many international students prefer staying in student halls. Since many student halls are located close to campuses, the commute is also short. There are different residence halls, like
- Single rooms
- Single or shared apartments
- Single-parent household rooms
Typically, they cost 246 Euros a month (2,952 Euros a year). The cost varies depending upon the university, location, size, and amenities offered. DAAD student residence hall database lists almost all student residencies available in Germany.
Note: A German university does not automatically provide housing to accepted students. You have to register with Studentenwerk to book university accommodation in Germany.
As per Project Atlas, 2020, Germany ranks third among the “top hot destinations” for international students. Due to high demand, it can be quite difficult to get affordable housing in Germany. Universities soon run out of places, thus many foreign students choose private housing in Germany. But private accommodations are more expensive than university dormitories. Some German universities also assist students in finding private accommodations. They can be of two types: Flatshares and own flats.
In a flatshare system, several students live together in a privately rented flat or apartment. The kitchen, bathroom, and sometimes a living room are used communally, but each flatmate has his or her own room. They split the costs for rent, electricity, and other utilities. Over 30% of students in Germany live in flat shares, making it one of the most common forms of cohabitation. On average, students pay 363 EUR per month (4,356 Euros a year) for a room in a shared flat.
Own a flat/apartment
If you are looking for a little privacy, you can rent a flat. Although there is a lot of freedom, the rent is somewhat high. You can get in touch with rental housing organizations or housing corporations via their websites to lease a flat. Some tenants also post advertisements on social media and the internet to lease their apartments. Depending on your budget, you can choose furnished studios, and one- or multi-room apartments. Germany’s flat rents start from 389 Euros a month (4,668 Euros a year).
Are you visiting Germany for a short course? Or do you wish to tour the area before making a reservation? Then you can opt for a temporary accommodation like
- Youth hostels
- Guest houses
These can be booked online well in advance of your arrival date in Germany. Several students who travel overseas to finish their exchange year also sublet their accommodation.
Budget accommodations in Germany
The following housing alternatives are available in Germany for students who are on a very tight budget.
Wohnen für Hilfe: Living for Help project launched by the German Student Union allows students to live with elderly people for free. In return, students have to help them with everyday activities such as shopping, gardening, or cooking.
Living with a host family: Students can choose to live with host families. You can contact associations like International Youth Work and HESTIA to help you find one. Students are given a private room. Living with a German family will help acquaint you with the German language and culture. Their rent includes all amenities, including dining.
Rent basics in Germany
The German word for rent that includes utilities like gas, heating, and water is “Warmmiete rent.” And when you pay your rent and utility bills separately, it is referred to as “Kaltmiete rent.” During the start of their tenancy, students should pay a deposit/kaution equal to 2-3 times their base rent per month. If you leave the apartment in good condition, it is returned to you in full. If not, your landlord or university may deduct payment for the damage from your deposit.
Cost of student accommodation in popular German cities
Finding a place can be tricky in certain cities in Germany. In larger and more popular German cities like Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, and Frankfurt affordable accommodation are so scarce. In Frankfurt, a studio flat rents for 595 Euros a month (7,140 Euros per year). Traditional towns like Freiburg or Tübingen are also expensive. Eastern German cities are affordable to live in as compared to western ones. For example, eastern city Leipzig is an affordable option where you can rent an apartment for 379 euros per month (4,548 Euros per year).
Tips on renting for international students in Germany
Rent makes up the largest portion of your living expenses in Germany. Students should, therefore, choose their accommodation carefully. Here are some tips to help you find affordable accommodation in Germany.
- Apply for accommodation in time, do not wait for the last moment
- Keep deposit money ready in your bank account
- Contact your university international office to inquire about university housing options
- Networking with other students will make it easier to find accommodation in Germany
- You can even post an advertisement on online platforms for accommodation
- Try to stay in student residencies in the first year for safety and comfort issues
- If choosing a private accommodation then try to choose the nearest one to your university
- Read your rental contract thoroughly before signing
- Check lease terms for details on the length of the lease, utilities included, additional charges, etc.
- Do pay any money upfront, wait to see the property before signing the contract
- Beware of scammers and frauds
As an international student in a new country, shared accommodation like student halls, flat shares, or host families are your best choices. They provide you with the chance to meet new people and make transitioning into a new environment easier. Contact us to know more about accommodation in Germany.