• Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Edinburgh Featured Masters Courses
  • FindA University Ltd Featured Masters Courses
  • Swansea University Featured Masters Courses
  • Ulster University Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Leeds Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Cambridge Featured Masters Courses
  • Jacobs University Featured Masters Courses
University of London International Programmes Featured Masters Courses
Cass Business School Featured Masters Courses
University of Manchester Featured Masters Courses
Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh Featured Masters Courses
FindA University Ltd Featured Masters Courses

Living in Germany - A Guide for Students

by Dr Nathalie Mather-L’Huillier

What's it like to study abroad in Germany?

Germany is well connected to major cities elsewhere in Europe amd around the world and benefits from an excellent transport network. With its central location in Europe, it is easy to get access to neighbouring countries. Add to that a culturally-dynamic country, a famously friendly and tolerant population and it's no wonder Germany is today one of the 10 most popular study abroad destinations in the world!

Key facts for Masters students in Germany

  • The academic year in Germany usually runs from October to the following September.
  • Around 207,000 foreign students study at German universities.
  • Germany spends approximately 5.1% of GDP on education.
  • The language of Germany is German, which is the most widely spoken language in the EU.
  • The German term for a Masters degree is 'Master-Abschluss'.
  • The German currency is the Euro (€).
  • Germany has a population of around 81 million, about 3.5 million of whom live in and around the capital, Berlin.
  • Germany is a federal republic, made up of sixteen states with a central represenative parliament.
  • Christianity is the most popular religion in Germany, but other faiths are freely practised.

Culture, leisure and everyday life for Masters students in Germany

One of the stereotypes of life in Germany is that everything is quite orderly, from clean streets and efficient train networks to strict administrative procedures. Indeed if you come from a country where things are less structured, you may well experience a small “culture shock”. However, as a newcomer, these organised aspects of life can make things much easier (as long as you follow the rules!) and you’ll have more time to enjoy your time in Germany!

A better description of Germany is multi-ethnic, open and friendly. Its population of 82 million includes around 9% of foreigners. Traditions and modernity are perfectly integrated and its inhabitants are fun-loving people. Many of its cities still proudly bare the historic scars of war but places, like the capital Berlin, have seen a cultural, economic and architectural renaissance while other have retained their original charm. In fact, all of the German cities have something amazing to offer, from museums, festivals and historic buildings (fairytale castles included) to fashionable shopping districts, vibrant music scenes and clubs. Food in Germany can be hearty but it is not limited to traditional heavy fare and you’ll find good produce to suit all tastes. The food scene is varied and multi-cultural with most cuisines represented: Turkish, Greek, Chinese, Thai…

Getting around in German cities is easy thanks to efficient and inexpensive public transport networks. Some cities boasts trams and underground networks; buses and trains are widely available. Taxis are more expensive of course but all are regulated and will have visible meters which display the fare.

Germany is highly urbanised but the varied countryside is within easy-reach and if outdoor activities are what you enjoy, you won’t be disappointed: skiing, hill-walking, cycling and water sports are all available. With 9 direct neighbours (Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, and Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands), it is also easy to travel from Germany to other European countries, by bus, by train or by air. Most of Germany’s neighbouring countries are part of the Schengen agreement which allows unrestricted travel within its members (if you are a non-EU citizen your visa will be a “Schengen” visa). This is particularly useful for tourism purposes and also when attending conferences or visiting research labs across continental Europe.

Accommodation and living costs for Masters students in Germany


Students in Germany either live in halls of residence or in private accommodation. In contrast to many other countries, Germany's universities do not automatically allocate a room when you register for your course. If you're looking in major cities such as Munich, Cologne or Hamburg, you should allow yourself enough time to find accommodation, starting before you leave home.

Accommodation options include:

  • Halls of residence (or dormitory)
    A room in a dormitory can cost between approx. €160 ($202) and €360 ($456) per month. Depending on the university, this can include health insurance and a Semesterticket for using local public transport. The Studentenwerk of your university can help you find a room in a dormitory.
  • Wohngemeinschaften, referred simply as WG (private shared flats) which are the most popular form of accommodation. Depending on where you study, you should budget €150 ($190) to €350 ($444) per month.
  • Living in a flat of your own
    This is the most expensive option and can cost anything from €400 ($508) upwards.

Living costs

Compared to other European countries, Germany is not overly expensive. Cost of living (including food, accommodation, clothing, entertainment) is on par with the EU average and relatively low compared to Scandinavian countries.

Apart from the Semesterbeitrag (and tuition fees if your institution does charge them), you will need around €750 ($952) per month for subsistence. This amount can vary from city to city, and depending on your lifestyle! Student discounts and deals are widely available. These can be helpful of you are on a budget. The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is also handy as it can offer a wide range of useful discounts while you’re studying in Germany.

If you need a bank account (not compulsory for masters students) to pay for your fees and other expenses, you can open one at any bank in Germany – and usually at no charge.

This article is the property of FindAMasters.com and may not be reproduced without permission.

Click here to search our database of Masters courses

Share this page:

Cookie Policy    X