Germany is one of the most popular countries for international students to study. This is because many learners find that the country’s education system meets their academic needs. Aside from that, Germany is centrally located in Europe and has a robust economy with many job opportunities.

However, many international students are concerned that the cost of living and studying in Germany may be beyond their budget. Thus, this article covers everything you need to know about the cost of studying and living in Germany. Be sure to read this article till the end for all the details.

Is it Expensive to Study in Germany for International Students?

Studying and living in Germany is generally affordable. International students interested in going to a public university will either enjoy free tuition or pay a tuition fee between €3,000 to €7,000 yearly. The free tuition benefit depends on the region, as some areas in Germany, like Baden-Württemberg, have been charging international students with tuition. However, if you have an EU or EEA citizenship, you will enjoy free tuition.

On the other hand, international students who wish to apply to a private university will pay a tuition fee of €10,000 to €20,000 yearly. Exact figures depend on the degree level and program. However, the tuition for a bachelor’s degree is usually lower than a master’s degree.

Costs of Studying in Germany

Academic Costs / Tuition Fees

The tuition fee for undergraduate and graduate programs in Germany depends on the university and the program the student will be studying. That said, these are the tuition fee ranges for universities in Germany that are popular among international students:

Technical University of Munich Undergraduate: €2,000 to €3,000 per semester
Master’s: €4,000 to €6,000 per semester
Doctoral (Ph.D.): Free Tuition
University of Heidelberg Undergraduate: €1,500 per semester
Master’s: €1,500 per semester
Freie Universität Berlin Undergraduate: Free Tuition
Master’s: Free Tuition
Doctoral (Ph.D.): Free Tuition
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Undergraduate: €1,500 per semester
Master’s: €1,500 per semester
Doctoral (Ph.D.): Free Tuition
RWTH Aachen University Undergraduate: Free Tuition
Master’s: Free Tuition
Doctoral (Ph.D.): Free Tuition

Other Student Fees

Whether the university in Germany offers free tuition fees or not, there are student fees that international students will need to cover. These include registration fees, student union fees, application fees, healthcare, transportation, and accommodation.

Collectively, these charges are known as semester fees. They typically cost more than €300 per semester, depending on the school or region.

Costs of Living in Germany

When calculating the cost of living and studying in Germany as an international student, there are several factors to take into consideration, such as the city, your lifestyle, transportation, accommodation, and other leisure activities. However, Germany is known to offer a high quality of life and is relatively affordable compared to other parts of Europe.

But if you must get a general idea of the cost of living in Germany, it will be around €850 per month and almost €10,236 per year. However, in a city like Berlin, which is very popular, you might be spending between €1,778 to €1,848 per month, compared to Dresden, whose cost of living would be between €600 to €700 per month.

These are some of the top cities in Germany that offer excellent living experiences for students:

1. Berlin

Given that Berlin is one of the most popular cities in Germany, the cost of living is on the high side compared to other cities. Monthly expenses in the city can range from €1,778 to €1,848. Such high costs may be attributed to rent.

Typically, a shared apartment in Berlin costs between €400 and €600 per month, but if you prefer a one-bedroom apartment, be ready to pay between €700 and €1,200 per month. Meanwhile, on-campus accommodation is around €600. The cost of transportation in this city is around $85, food and groceries cost about €588. Miscellaneous fees, books, and other student-related expenses can add up to €200 monthly.

2. Munich

Munch is another popular city to live in, and the cost of living and studying here is just as high as that of Berlin, with students spending over €1,300 monthly. Like in Berlin, accommodation in Munch is quite expensive, with on-campus accommodation costing €800 per month and off-campus accommodation costing €370 per month.

On the other hand, transportation will most likely cost €59, food costs €540, while clothing and other student-related expenses go as high as €2,000.

3. Frankfurt

The cost of living and studying in Frankfurt is around €950 a month, which is less when compared to other popular cities like Munich and Berlin. This amount will cover transportation, food, and other expenses. It does not include rent, though.

4. Hamburg

Staying in Hamburg can be expensive, with the cost of living being as high as $1,245. Still, it can be one of the most cost-friendly cities in Germany to live in as a student, depending on your lifestyle and spending habits. Typically, students pay semester fees to the school, which may give them access to public transport, thus, reducing costs.

5. Dresden

Dresden is the most cost-friendly city in Germany for international students. This is because the cost of living here ranges from only €600 to €700 per month.

Expenses are low because transportation costs will be covered by semester fees. Then, the cost of food and groceries is only around €200 per month, rent starts from €60 for a student apartment, and other miscellaneous and student expenses in a month are about €250.

Scholarships for International Students

Receiving scholarships is a good way to reduce the cost of living and studying in Germany, as several offers can help you cover tuition costs and other living expenses that come with being an international student. These scholarships include the Baden-Württemberg-Scholarship and Heinrich Boll Scholarships in Germany for International Students.


Germany’s cost of studying and living is generally suitable for international students, especially if you live within your means and choose the right city. There are also tuition-free institutions that you can attend to cut the cost of studying, as well as several scholarship opportunities.


We hope you make use of this article once you decide to Study in Germany. If you would like to know the academic and living expenses of different countries, go visit our Cost of Studying and Living by Country page to compare and contrast the countries of your choice! Also, go over our list of Available Programs in Germany for more study options!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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