Germany’s best kept secret is perhaps the free (almost) higher education. Few international students know about it and even fewer are able to take advantage of the same. Assuming, you have secured an admission to a university of your liking in Germany to do a Master, and your program is an average two years long, you can keep reading to find out what to expect when it comes to financing two years in Germany.
As you already perhaps know, the German Embassy requires you to show a minimum of €8640 for one year to apply for your student visa that can later be converted into a permit. At the onset, it looks like a huge amount but when you break it down, it is quite reasonable. Given that you will face one-time costs as well especially in the first few months of your arrival, its safe to keep a surplus of 200-300€ preferably in cash when you arrive.
Bank accounts take forever in Germany. Especially if you plan to use Deutsche Bank which in my opinion is the slowest bank I have ever come across. I personally prefer using a local bank simply because its quick, accessible and I really like the lady who manages my account (detailed post on that later).
The table above can give you a quick overview of what it would cost you per year with a rough break-down of month-wise and semester wise costs. Needless to say, the city where you live will have a major say in your rent contribution. Add to that the luxury of your space, amenities/furniture, proximity to city center will additionally be a variable, but that is true no matter where you live.
Depending on the university and the program, your tuition fee per semester could range from 100-400 euros or more for special professional programs. I believe you would already have kept this into consideration while applying for the programs, unless of course you get into a DAAD Master which then makes it entirely tuition free.
Rent and insurance would make up your fixed costs every month. Roughly about 50% of your budget as a student would go into this given that neither of those two things are optional unless you plan to be a homeless uninsured student in Germany in which case you will find your ass deported pretty fast.
One can safely assume this would be the next big chunk of your costs. It highly depends on whether you cook at home often or eat outside often (usually limited on a student budget). Your weekly expenses could range from 20-50 euros per week depending on what you eat and where you shop from.
I’ve taken the liberty to add miscellaneous costs in my overview since I believe there are many small expenses that would not necessarily be fixed or recurring each month. These could involve eating out, drinking at pubs, traveling for leisure, haircuts, gym fees etc. This is a highly personal and highly varied cost-head. Needless to say, its estimated best at your own end.
Overall, you can expect to spend on average about €9000/year to live a comfortable life as a student in Germany. It will definitely not be luxurious, but it will certainly be manageable. Start saving up!
If you’d like to read similar posts, feel free to check out: 5 ways to save money as a foreign student