Studyıng ın Germany

My Personal Research and Experıences

Is university in Germany free for international students?

“Free education in Germany” has become a slogan that many consulting companies try to promote and attract clients. “Nothing is free

Before we get into the common problems of why students are hesitant to choose Germany as a study destination, here is the main thing that no one will tell you until you arrive in Germany:

Just like the myth that “there are no speed limits on autobahns” (by the way, there really are no speed limits in some areas, albeit intermittently ☺ ), the myth of free education is not true: “Yes, it is free, but it is still expensive”.

How much does it cost to study in Germany university?

German public universities are free for foreign students (except in Baden-Württemberg, where you have to pay 1500 euros per semester). In fact, studying in Germany can be one of the best decisions you can make for your future. In my article “Is Germany the right choice for university?” I tried to explain why Germany might be the right choice, but there are some costs you should be aware of beforehand.

Some of the master’s programs in Germany are fee-based:

At some universities in Germany, some master’s programs are fee-based (mostly in English). Not only for foreign students, but also for German students. You should also examine the program you are applying for from this point of view.

The most serious cost of living in Germany is rent:

From a minimum of €260 in small towns to €850 in big cities, this is what you will pay every month. This is a common cost for Western countries and big cities in South Asia. For those from countries like Turkey, it’s still a lot of money, unless you work part-time.

Compulsory health insurance in Germany can be a serious cost:

As a student you have to pay a minimum health insurance, which can become a serious cost if your parents are not in the pension fund. The bad ones start at €40 per month and the good ones at €90. If you are over 30, it will cost more than €125. You can find my detailed article on this subject here.

In Germany, even if you don’t have a TV, you pay 18€ a month “Radio Tax”:

Even Germans don’t understand this tax, most Germans say “I don’t watch ZDF, why do I pay tax?”. Don’t say what will happen from 18 Euros, it means a week’s shopping expenses for most students who don’t work. On top of that, deal with the bureaucracy.

In Germany taxes take away a significant proportion of earnings:

If you finish your studies and remain a full-time employee, you will contribute at least 30% of your salary to Germany in taxes. If you earn €4000 a month, at the end of the day you will receive €2400-€2500. Do you understand why the training is free?

Despite all this, to be fair, Germany is still one of the most affordable countries. Apart from the big metropolises, small towns are still very affordable.

I don’t mean to say that the slogan “free university” is fraudulent, but when the word “free” is increasingly used everywhere, people tend to think that everything is free. I just want to point out that there are costs.

The costs for food, housing and health care will be around €750 – €1,000, depending on the city. This does not include clothing and travel costs to and from your country.

Almanyada yaşam masrafları içinde en fazla para kiraya gidecek
Approximate cost of rent in a shared flat or dormitory

For this reason, the German government requires a student visa to be obtained by opening a blocked account in a German bank and depositing the student’s living expenses for one year in advance. For 2021, this amount is set at €10,332. Every month while the student is studying in Germany, €861 of this account is released and the student can withdraw this money from the account. These upfront living costs are the most important factor that makes Germany unattractive for many people. You can read my article on “Germany Blocked Account” about the blocked account.

Learning German!

I may not have emphasized this enough in my previous articles, but if you want to study here, have a stable job, in short, integrate into this culture, you must be able to speak German very well. You can read my article “Is German compulsory to study in Germany?” about this. A disadvantage for many people is the language barrier. Language is the first condition for integration into society and culture. German is a very difficult language and has many rules. You may not need it during your studies and in your city, but trying to learn and speak it will open different doors for you after a while.

Did I help you? If you have any questions, you will probably find the answer on these pages, but you can still contact me at recep[at] and on my social media accounts. I try to improve my articles according to your feedback, so please send me your comments. Thank you in advance.

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