24 February 2024

Studyıng ın Germany

My Personal Research and Experıences

How To Find Student Housing In Germany


Is housing the hardest part for students?

For many students going to Germany, one of the biggest problems will be finding a clean and affordable place to stay close to the school. When choosing your school, keep in mind that your housing needs will be perhaps the most important and costly thing. We did serious research on housing in all the cities we visited in Germany. I tried to give information about dormitories, rents and neighborhoods in my articles about the cities.

It is difficult for students to find accommodation

Whether you are a new student in Germany, moving for your internship or job, or simply want to change your current environment. You should know that “finding a place to stay in Germany is not easy”!

In contrast to Germany’s efforts and success in making its Universities respected all over the world, it is quite surprising to see how they fail to accommodate new students coming to Germany. Despite the many troubles and difficulties I have heard about, I can say that we were very lucky to manage our son’s accommodation needs in Hannover without any problems.

However, you should know that most students are not as lucky as we were. Since about 60 of my son’s friends from the same semester went to university in Germany, I can easily say this as we listened to many first-hand experiences. If you want to study in Germany, you are expected to handle almost everything with little or no guidance from the school, regardless of the university you are going to. In fact, this is not only the case for students from abroad, but also for German students from other cities in Germany. At the beginning of each winter semester, the anxiety of moving and finding a place has become a fearful process for all new students. If you remember, we experienced this troublesome process every year in Germany with the transition of schools to face-to-face education after the pandemic in Turkey and the issue occupied the agenda for a long time.

Your biggest problem in Germany will be finding a place to live.
Foto von Ketut Subiyanto

In this article I will try to explain some popular and some not so popular ways of finding accommodation in Germany.

Temporary Accommodation

As I mentioned above, finding permanent accommodation in Germany is the most tiring process. If you have not yet found an option for permanent accommodation or if you have an idea to evaluate and increase your options when you arrive in Germany. It is normal to need temporary accommodation when you arrive in Germany.

If you are traveling with your family when you arrive in Germany or if you prefer a comfortable and economical accommodation until you find your permanent accommodation. Apartments will be the most logical choice. However, if you leave it until the last minute, you will have less chance of finding a suitable place, especially at the beginning of the semester, as these types of accommodation are very popular. Therefore, I recommend booking a fully cancelable apartment at the earliest possible date. I try to share these types of accommodation options in my city introductions, but if you want, you can see the apartment options according to the city you are going to at https://www.booking.com/apartments/index.html?aid=7990791*.

If you are traveling alone and want to find temporary accommodation options with the lowest possible budget, I can recommend hostels. Again, as I mentioned above, book as early as possible for the most plentiful and economical option.

Permanent Housing Options for Students in Germany

Application for Studentenwerk Dormitories

First of all, I think it is necessary to mention the dormitories of the Student Unions (Studentenwerk or Studierendenwerk in some states). Because the most economical accommodation will be in these dormitories. I share the website addresses of these dormitories in my article introducing each university city. I recommend that every student who will go to university in Germany should first apply to these dormitories. However, the number of beds in the dormitories is very limited compared to the number of students and students can wait for 6 months to 1 year after applying. However, I also know students who were accepted immediately or in some cities they did not receive a response to their dormitory application for 2 years.

Since you do not have to pay a fee for applying to these dormitories and in some cities you do not even have to wait for the results of the school application, apply to the studentenwerk dormitories of the universities you are applying to as much as possible. In the dormitories you apply to, you will be asked for your preferences regarding room options. You will have the choice of shared rooms (shared bathroom and kitchen), rooms with a bathroom but shared kitchen, or rooms with bathroom and kitchen in the room. Of course, this last option has a much more limited number of rooms, so if you prefer this option, your waiting time will be much longer. I have shared the accommodation fees in these dormitories on the introduction pages of the cities, but you should check the most up-to-date information on the relevant studentenwerk site. You can find the links on the introduction pages of the relevant cities. ( See Germany University Cities )

In the “wohnen” (accommodation) section of these websites you will find links to portals where you can make an online “bewerbung” (application). After filling in the necessary forms online, you will receive a confirmation e-mail. Do not forget to check your e-mail from time to time, because you will be notified by e-mail when a place opens up and if you do not return within a certain period of time, you will lose your right. If you do not return in time, you may have to reapply from the beginning.

In Germany, private dormitories usually have modern buildings of this type.
Foto von Shivam ‎

Private and Foundation Dormitories in Germany

As I mentioned in the introduction to this article, student housing is one of the most problematic issues in Germany, so private dormitories and dormitories owned by churches and foundations have become widespread as an alternative to student union dormitories. Especially in cities with a high number of students and limited housing opportunities, these options are more common. Again, in my university city articles, I try to share the private and other foundation dormitories that provide accommodation in the city.

Speaking of church dormitories, do not think that only Christian students can stay. Although these dormitories are under church management, they do not exhibit any religious approach. In such dormitories, accommodation fees are kept as low as possible (in some cases even lower than studentenwerk), but students are expected to contribute a certain number of hours per week (4-6 hours) to certain jobs in the common areas (gardening, cleaning, etc.).  

In private dormitories, prices can be double or even triple the studentenwerk fees in cities like Munich. However, these dormitories consist of very comfortable, small but well-equipped studio apartments.

Private Housing and Apartment Rentals

If you are not interested in or cannot find a place in the Studentenwerk dormitories or other dormitory options, it is always possible to rent a place in a shared apartment or rent an apartment of your own. Since 90% of the people living in Germany’s big cities are renters, there are a lot of options and the renting process is followed with procedures.  

If we are talking about private accommodation, another concept you should be aware of is WG. In Germany, WG is the abbreviation for the concept of living together, which is similar to the concept of a few friends renting a house together in Turkey. However, there is a difference. In Germany, you do not have to meet your roommate beforehand. In other words, WG means that you share your room/house with a person or people from a completely different school, department or class (and may not even be students). 

There are 4 different options for private housing.

  • WG-Zimmer : This option means that you will have your own room in a shared apartment. This means you will share the kitchen and bathroom with others.
  • 1-Zimmer-Wohnung : This is a studio apartment with your own kitchen/bathroom.
  • Wohnung : An apartment consisting of 2+ rooms. (They count the living room as a room, please be informed)
  • Haus : Independent detached house.

wg-gesucht.de is a site where you can search through a lot of options, especially for WG.

Rental agreements and tenants’ rights in Germany

First of all, you need to know that in order to rent a property in Germany you need to have a valid SEPA payment account in the European Union. You have to have a bank account, but you also have to have a residence document to open a bank account. It is a vicious circle that I always emphasize. I had a lot of problems with this. Since Wise, which I use for money transfer, has a simple solution to this, I felt the need to share it with you immediately. You can open a Belgian account through Wise and you can give SEPA instructions from there. I explained this very simple process in my Wise account opening and advantages article. For now, it is the easiest option.

Now that we have taken care of the SEPA side, let’s see how the rental contract works in Germany and what your rights are.

First of all, rental agreements in Germany are in principle in favor of the tenant, just like in our country. However, since the rights and obligations set out in a rental contract legally bind you, there are a few points to be considered before signing any contract.

Types of rental contracts in Germany

In Germany, rental agreements (Mietverträge) are usually concluded with a written contract, which is the same for all the different types of housing mentioned above. The forms are usually available on the websites of the respective city administration. This means that they usually do not contain any special provisions against you, but you should read your contract carefully before signing it to make sure you understand all its terms. 

Caution! Always keep in mind the possibility of being scammed when looking for an apartment for rent. Stay away from very tempting offers. Remember that if there is one thing that is impossible to find in Germany, it is a cheap but nice apartment for rent. Do not make a deposit for any apartment without seeing it! Try to work with corporate real estate companies as much as possible. While verbal agreements are legally binding, they are much harder to prove. Therefore, put every contract in writing.

Foto von Kindel Media

In Germany, there are two types of rental agreements: fixed-term (befristet) and indefinite-term (unbefristet).

Fixed-term (befristet) rental agreements

Fixed-term rental agreements are lease agreements that are valid for a specified period of time. This date range is predetermined by the tenant and the landlord and the contract automatically expires at the end of it. It is the type of contract you will often encounter, especially in annual or half-term dormitory rents. 

Fixed-term rental contracts usually expire on a specific date and can be renewed if the parties agree. A new contract must be signed for renewal. However, if either the tenant or the owner wishes to terminate the contract before the expiration date, the provisions specified in the contract must be followed.

Indefinite (unbefristet) rental contracts

These rental agreements do not have an end date. They are similar to rental agreements in our country. While tenants have the right to terminate indefinite contracts by giving notice, landlords are very limited and cannot terminate indefinite contracts without reasonable cause.

Searching for a Rental Property

ebay-kleinanzeigen.de

Kleinanzeigen stands for classified ads. If you have something to sell locally and want to avoid the 10% ebay commission, this is the place to advertise. As such, people advertise all kinds of things on this site. From second-hand goods, cars, services, materials and of course real estate ads. You will understand like the “sahibinden site” in our country. Here you can search by changing the city you are moving to and selecting the category as one of the following. change to one of the two.

Auf Zeit & WG: Temporary and permanent WG for rent

Mietwohnungen : Apartments for rent

Facebook

One of the places you can use to find a place to stay is undoubtedly Facebook. In addition to many Turkish students studying in Germany, there are many groups established by our citizens living there. You can become a member of these groups and share your search for accommodation. The support that our own citizens will be willing to offer will be many times more than foreigners.

and last but not least, “Mensa billboards”

In the cafeteria (mensa) of every university there are bulletin boards with many announcements, as well as advertisements for roommates. On these boards, you will find many advertisements such as those looking for a roommate, those who want to transfer their dormitory room, etc. Take a look.

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]recepdayi.com.tr 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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