Normally in your early twenties you think that you know roughly how expensive everyday life is. So, without much thought, you will fall into the student lifestyle and quickly stumble into unimagined costs.

In order to provide a brief overview, the Studentenwerk regularly presents a so-called Social Examination, which presents the economic and social situation of students. This study is a useful source of information, especially in view of the serious reforms of the higher education system. For example in the calculation of the BAföG amount.

The 20th Social Exchanges of 2012 is currently the most recent and lists amongst others the average cost of students per month. First of all, it is necessary to be aware of the fact that the figures are from 2012 and are not representative of the current situation at all. The 21st Social Exhortation is due to be published in the middle of 2017.

From the 20th, the following values ​​can be found:

Rent incl. Additional costs                                                                                                                              300.00 €

Nutrition                                                                                                                                                           165.00 €

Clothing                                                                                                                                                              52.00 €

Means of study                                                                                                                                                  30.00 €

Car and / or public transport                                                                                                          20.00 € / 40.00 €

Medical insurance, medical expenses, medication                                                                                       60.00 €

Communication                                                                                                                                                 33.00 €

Leisure, culture and sport                                                                                                                                68.00 €

Study and other fees                                                                                                                                        56.00 €

Total                                                                                                                                                                                    846.00 €



This is only the average value, the actual cost differ from  570.00 € – 1.100.00 €.

A decisive factor for this high cost frame is the different rent levels in the different cities. A more up-to-date source from the year 2015 lists the room prices for room prices from 65 cities in Germany and shows as the top rider with € 492.00 per room Munich, followed by Frankfurt am Main (€ 425.00), Hamburg (413.00 €) and Cologne (390.00 €). It is also to be assumed with these values ​​that they have increased again in the last 2 years. Even if you get the full BAföG amount it becomes very difficult in the “Top” cities to get a decent place that is affordable and in an acceptable environment. As a general rule, it should apply that about 35% of the total budget should be used for your rental.


Nutritional costs

To determine the nutritional costs properly is very difficult, as there are many different factors that are very crucial to the final costs. It starts with whether you share the household with others, or you live alone, like in a student residence or student apartment. The advantage of living alone is, with certain exercise, to reduce the risk of food spoilage to a minimum. This might sound a bit banal now, but it is hard for many students in the early days to buy the right quantities. Also, you have to decide if you want to cook yourself or would prefer to eat in the cafeteria. According to the Social Examination the total costs range between 152,00 € and 167,00 €, with the authors pointing out that many students had great problems explaining their actual consumption. That is why the authors estimate the actual consumption to be 80.00 € – 250.00 €, where the region is very important for the food prices and 80.00 € does not have to mean that you live at a subsistence level, but you optimized your purchase and  perfectly matched purchasing coordination on the basis of price offers in respective of discounters or supermarkets. And last but not least, the amount of food you consume per day is crucial.



Costs of clothing move in a rather manageable area and have only increased by 1.00 € since the last social increase in 2009. Many students were adequately equipped by their parents shortly before their departure, and they always see shopping as the first cut when the money is scarce during their studies


Means of Study

How much you spend on your teaching material is heavily dependent on the subject. Therefore, from the beginning, you should be aware of how much your course of study requires of you, in the field of expenditure. Fortunately, this is quite predictable, whereby the top are dental medical studies with an average of € 65.00 per month, which for many was not directly obvious. But especially in medicine and law, it is compellingly necessary to constantly obtain new editions in order to always have the most up-to-date knowledge available. Thus, in these areas costs range between € 40.00 – € 65.00 per month. The courses for Fine Arts and Architecture closely following with € 49.00 – € 52.00 per month. In these cases the costs are not to be measured by means of expensive books, but by the constant need for materials from the stationery stores. The lowest is spent on budget studies, physics, astronomy, mathematics, computer science, and electrical engineering with an average of € 18.00 – € 22.00 per month. If you started your studies now and are realizing that you spend much less than is stated here, you have to keep in mind, that just before the exams the expenses for materials are going to increase rapidly. So you should always get a small buffer from the beginning.



To determine the actual travel costs difficult, since only 4 out of 5 respondents indicated costs in this area. They probably underestimate or forget the costs because the semester contribution, which often includes the ticket for the public transport, is no longer in the back of their head after the payment. If you have to pay your semester contribution in by yourself, you should always be aware that you pay about 40.00 € per month for public transport.

It is different if you have your own car, the monthly expenses can be on average over 120,00 €.



As a student, under certain conditions, you can be insured by your parents until the age of  25, which means, that the costs in this area can run against 0.00 €. If, however, you are older than 25, the costs rise very quickly to a significant amount per month. It is possible that as a 30-year-old student you have to pay up to € 128.00 a month for the health insurance alone.


Nowadays, you cannot imagine an everyday life without smartphones and the constantly being online is a vital part of your life. You are growing up with this technology, but usually only knows how expensive your own mobile phone contract is. And by the whole “Kombi” possibilities one loses relatively quickly the overview, of how much the individual services cost. If you do have the possibility to share the Internet and Rundfunkbeitrag costs, if necessary, with your roommates. On average, students pay about € 33.00 per month; A value most likely to continue to decline as a result of persistently high competition in the market.

Small tip: Always pay attention to the average value that you have to pay during the contract period per month. Often, for example, it is advertised to have a DSL connection set up for only 9.95 € per month, but in the small print it is written that one must pay from the 13th month of the month then 44.95 €. So you get quickly to a median of 27.45 €, which you have to pay during the contract period.



A student uses a little less than 10% of the budget for his leisure activities. There are differences, especially among the different sexes, because men (74.00 €) spent  an average of almost 10.00 € more than the women (63.00 €). But most of all, the number of inhabitants of the student’s place of residence determines for how much he spends every month for his fun. Due to the high availability, students in cities with more than 500,000 inhabitants tend to spend about € 77.00 a month, while students in small towns with a maximum of 50,000 inhabitants just spend € 57.00.


Study and other fees

And, last but not least, you must never lose sight of the semester contribution. Otherwise it can happen that you are in the last month of your semester, that BAföG just freshly entered the account and then you have to spend everything again for the semester contribution. For this reason, you should be informed of the extent to which the contribution is made in your state or county, and share the monthly rate accordingly. If you are not a beginner or a senior, you may also have to pay tuition fees. You can find more information in the links below.


To summarize everything once:

Studying is not a cheap affair. If you look at it, we are really lucky here, because we have to pay “only” the semester contribution and not as in other countries the complete tuition. This overview also includes only everyday life and does not include costs such as The move, a new PC, holidays etc. But do not let any of them deter you, because there are many different ways to get money that is not from your parents during your studies. On our website we have a lot of information about it.

It is also important to remember that there are special tariffs for students, or the possibility living in a student apartment, that provides you with a fully furnished living space, where you save the costs of an expensive move and various acquisition costs.

You will always have a chance to study at your dream destination!



What is Rundfunkbeitrag?



Where do I have to pay which study fees?




Due to the restricted admission of many German universities, it is not possible for everyone to study their desired major at their desired location. If this is a problem that you are facing, a study plaintiff is a possibility for you. But what exactly is to be considered? Many potential students think that winning a student lawsuit is as simple as just handing in a form. But realistically, it is a lot more than that. Being a plaintiff does not guarantee you a spot in any university; it’s not as simple as you may imagine.

What happens in a lawsuit?

One possible starting point is the so-called “capacity” suit. Legally, universities are required to accept their full capacity of students, because, according to basic law in Germany, everyone has the right to pursue the profession of his or her choice. A capacity suit accuses the university of not taking in their maximum amount of students. First of all, you need to be aware that if you do not want to deal with this whole thing by yourself, you should hire a lawyer. Keep in mind that this, of course, causes costs to be born in (almost) every case.

The process is as follows: First, the capacity lawsuit must be submitted by you or your lawyer to the court. The university may then submit a contradiction in which will attempt to prove that it has already given all possible spots to other students. If you have a successful capacity suit, in most cases the university grants additional spots, which are shared among all plaintiffs. If this number is larger than the number of plaintiffs who are complaining, it is solved.

But, particularly in the case of popular subjects, such as medicine, or in popular regions such as Berlin, Hamburg or Munich, the success rate is rather low. This is precisely the problem. Applying to a University or major which has a high number of applicants, results in a lower chance of you getting in.

What does it cost you?

Depending on the chosen process and whether or not you involve an attorney, the costs are very different. 50 euros, however, is the sum of the application of a procedure. Many lawyers also make special offers to study plaintiffs. For example, such that you agree to a success bonus, which means that you only have to pay if your argument is successful. This will save you any fees if the lawsuit does not suceed.You should always try to be aware of the charges incurred in advance. If you are not aware of these conditions, and you decide to file a lawsuit and it does not succeed after several legal steps, you could still have to pay the entire cost. The total cost in the end could very well exceed 1,000 euros.

What are the alternative options?

For one thing, you should consider whether or not it really is worth spending the money. In particularly difficult cases, it can easily become very expensive, and may go on for weeks. You should also ask yourself whether this university or subject is absolutely worth it. Maybe there are other cities that you would also like to study in, and that have enough space for you.

One option is just waiting one or two semesters and applying again (and having a higher chance of getting in). You can instead use this time to do something different before you start your studies. You could travel, do an FSJ or even do an internship in your desired area of study. For more ideas and suggestions, check out the gap-year article on our site. No matter what you decide, you should carefully consider all of your many different options before diving into one. Ask your parents and friends for advice, and discuss what might be the best fit for you. Sometimes you can get so lost in something, and that you can’t see the forest behind the trees.

So, do not rush into anything, because clearly, there are many different paths of action!

Stress is terrible! It ruins your time with friends and family, because you just can’t really get rid of it. Since we don’t want you to go to the hospital with a stomach ulcer this semester, we have put together a short list of the best tips and tricks for you.

  • Meditation: You can not imagine the difference it will make. It doesn’t even have to be yoga. Just simply focus on breathing, and relax both mentally and physically. The term “meditation” tends to bring a floating old man to mind, but it is really just a question of collecting yourself.
  • Music: It is scientifically proven that music is an effective remedy for stress. Calming sounds help to relax the body and the brain.
  • Friends: A quick chat with friends can do miracles for the soul. To laugh together, relax and simply forget all worries, makes life much more jovial.
  • An important point was just mentioned: Laugh! Through the laughter and joy, endorphins pour out, which make you feel much more positive and as a result everything does not seem so bad.
  • Green Tea or Matcha: Caffeine causes a temporary energy boost. When you drink coffee, your blood pressure is briefly raised and you experience a surge of energy, but after a short time you feel worse than before. Therefore, we would advise you to drink green tea or matcha. Matcha and green tea need a little longer to work, but they last much longer and are better for you.
  • Exercise: Exercise, even for 5 minutes, is a very good remedy for stress. Jogging and over exercise can help clear your mind. Even going once around the block helps you to collect your thoughts. Take your time for yourself! If you play sports often, you know that you really do feel a thousand times better after a run or a good workout. You don’t even have to go out, doing a few exercises at home still does the trick.
  • Organization: As you know, the Germans tend to be very structured and organized anyways, but we all know that things can get chaotic and last minute every once-and-awhile. As they say; “A little structure never hurt nobody”. We suggest that you make a to-do list for each day. It shouldn’t have too many points, remember to be realistic.

As you can see, it is not difficult to relieve your stress. No matter how you deal with your stress, it’s a good idea to regularly take a quick timeout.


Putting aside the option of doing a gap year and moving on to the question: ”Should I do vocational training, a dual course of study or just the classical approach?”

All of these three options have pros and cons, so you should primarily analyze your own learning methods and how you study the best. Is it best for me to study in a really structured and school like environment? Do I achieve better results, when I get to learn in a more practical way? Or do I thrive on a symbiosis on those both paths and want to further educate myself with theoretical knowledge, but also get to experience the real work life? One of the positive aspects of doing vocational training or a dual course of study is the financial independence. As a student you are always financially dependent on either your parents or a scholar ship program, but as a vocational trainee or a dual course of study student, you receive a monthly salary and are able to afford your own student apartment. If you do not need your own apartment because you still live at home, you have the opportunity of putting some money aside and saving it for a new car or your first apartment, when you are down with your training. Assuming that you work hard and do your job well, the chances of being hired by the company, that is doing your training, after you are done, are pretty good. Therefore, vocational training and a dual course of study seem to be a bit more safe than studying the classical/old school way. The pro-arguments of the classical approach mostly coincide with the negative aspects of the other two possibilities, because, statistically speaking, people that have a “Hochschulabschluss” tend to have more chances of being promoted throughout their career. Furthermore, less academics are jobless than none academics (only 2,5% of all academics were without a job in 2005), so as a trainee you may have a more secure path, but probably not as many prospects. Additionally there are a lot of private universities in Germany that offer the classical course of study, but with a focus on practical learning as well. So after having analyzed the pros and cons of the various educational paths, it might be a tad bit easier to decide which way to go.

After having assembled an inner pro-con-list and having silenced the nervous and slightly paranoid voice inside your head, you can ask yourself:” Is it really a matter of life and death to decide what educational path you want to choose?” There is a famous saying:” Every way leads to Rome.”, which applies in this scenario, because it isn’t as important anymore what you study or that you study at all. That a man cannot be successful without having studied law, business or medicine and a woman has to study history and then find herself a nice lawyer, is as ancient as can be. The true problem nowadays is the incredible amount of competition on the job market, due to the fact that 60% of a year finish with a high school diploma and 77% of all those go to university to further their studies. 25 years ago only 32% finished with a high school diploma and 70% went on to universities. In addition to that, we don’t only have to compete with all of Germany, but also the whole world. Therefore my advice to you is: Do something you love or at least really like, so you can stick out of the mass of people doing the same thing you are. This is only possible, when you are truly passionate about what you do and have fun doing it. Of course, when looking at the statistics a lawyer earns more than a yoga teacher, but if yoga is totally your thing and you manage to make it your own, then by all means go ahead and do it, because in the end you might get a lot more out of it. All in all it is not only about the material aspects, but that you manage to spend 50 years working in your job without having a heart-attack or an ulcerated stomach.

Exams are done, you survived and got your high school diploma, but what now?

18.044, the amount of courses of studies during the winter semester of 2015/2016. This number contains 8.298 Bachelor and 8.099 Master programs. Those numbers only reflect one small area of possibilities though and leaves out the variety of other options one is confronted with, when having finished High School. One of those possibilities is the Gap Year, which is something especially German students like to partake in after having passed their Abitur successfully. You will find links on how to plan such a journey at the end of this article.

Simply sitting at home for an entire year and just letting time pass by does not seem very pragmatic and one is also more than overdue to get away from hotel Mama and live in their own student apartment. Obtaining new experiences on an unknown continent, getting to know other cultures, learning a new language and possibly also gain work experience, are all possibilities that sound more than thrilling after having been in school for 12 years. Finally one is able to reach out of their comfort zone and take their first step towards independence.

Furthermore, in today’s job market it is really important that you speak English well, which can be learned easily throughout work and travel in Australia, for example. This does not only give you the opportunity to get to know a new country, but also new and interesting people. Taking on a big trip like that all by yourself might seem intimidating at first, but there are always tons of people travelling along the with you. Consequently you are never going to be alone and will most definitely find yourself a travel group. Additionally it is proven that you learn a language better and faster when being surrounded by people who actually speak and live the language rather than taking a course in your hometown. Concerning the work component of work and travel you have to be super careful, because a lot of organizations that you can find on the internet exploit you and let you work under horrible circumstances. So here’s some advice: Try getting a job through friends of friends of friends or check the website as thoroughly as possible beforehand. You don’t want to be surprised by the horrible work conditions and end up wishing you had your own apartment.

All in all, a Gap Year can be an amazing opportunity, especially for all those that are infected by the Wanderlust sickness and have no clue what to do right after High School. If you decide to take advantage of the year off, make sure you really make the best of it. Carpe Diem- Seize the day! See as many things as you can, learn as many new things as humanly possible, seize the opportunity at hand and broaden your horizon. You can live in your own comfy student apartment when you are back, but during that year eat Scorpios, sleep on the floor and so on….

Tipp: I strongly advise you to plan your year of backpacking, travelling and working yourself, because you pay an organization a lot of money that you could just as easily save for your trip. Here you can find a few good links that will help you with your planning!


As a student it definitely does not hurt to earn a bit of extra cash, even if it is only about gaining a little independence from your parents. The following question presents itself though: “ When looking for a part-time job, what do I have to be aware off?”

Really important is that you keep count of how much you earn, because if you don’t, you may have to pay a lot of taxes and will end up with less money than you would’ve earned initially. Furthermore your Bafög loan or child support money might be affected as well, if you earn more than you should, according to those organizations. A few rules that you have to follow:

  • As a student you’re not allowed to work for more than 20 hours, because then it is not a part-time job anymore
  • Students that receive Bafög are not allowed to earn more than 400€ a month otherwise they are going to receive less money
  • You shouldn’t earn more than 8.354€ per year since you have to pay taxes otherwise

Unlike Bafög you are always able to receive your child support money until you are 25 years old. It does not matter how old you are, only that you are still in training. If you have to do an internship as part of your training, the money you receive is tax free. If you are interning voluntarily though, you do have to pay taxes and the amount depends in how much you receive at your internship. Having all those criteria in mind you are going to ask yourself:” What kind of job is best for me?”

The best kind of job would be a sort of mini-job, that doesn’t exceed 20 hours per week, so you do not earn more than 400 or 450 euros, depending on you receiving BaföG or not. Good examples would be working as a waitress, at a fair, as a babysitter, as a tutor, as a promoter and so on and so forth. All those little part-time jobs have their pros and cons and you should choose one taking your own talents into consideration. If you are good with children and have a lot of patience, maybe you should consider being a babysitter. If you are friendly, open minded and have an incredible talent for stacking dishes, maybe you should work as a waitress. You will always be able to find one or another opportunity to earn extra money, but as I said before, it is really important that you don’t lose track of what you earn, because you want to be able to keep all that pretty money without having to give anything away.

Links and tips for finding a job:

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