Costs of moving to Germany as a student


Dear young dreamer that I am, 

To embrace adulthood life, finish your studies, start a full-time voluntary internship in Germany and move abroad are easy only when you dream of your journey before falling asleep.

There are plenty of things to consider, but there is one that can transform the linear experience into a rollercoaster: renting my home.

When you are young, moving for the first time is more than a quest, it is an adventure. In this game of finding your home away from home, the Monster of Worry is present and has to be defeated. 

In my case, it is staying in the corner of my mind, waiting for me to be overwhelmed and then to ask me: How much renting an apartment in Germany will cost you as a foreign student or young professional? Do I need a relocation agent or not?

I am financially independent now, I have a paid internship abroad (1,500 euro/month gross, economy budget) and I am also a student in this new country. What is there to be afraid of costs of moving to Germany?

The rent is not the only cost when you are moving abroad. There are some things that we usually think about and take into consideration (I understand more about this after reading this book) and some things we are not aware of. What are the expenditures that we might not be aware of from the beginning? 

It depends of what I am looking for. If I were a dwarf, I would have dream of a 6 square meters for just 400 euro/month! But I am not, hence I need space to stretch, breathe and eat, and because I do not live in a fantasy, I have to be realistic. 

I really enjoy quiet environments and long walks, therefore I opt to rent a room in an apartment one hour away from the university; and the price is 500 euro/month. A room in a shared apartment, much closer to the university campus, would have to cost around 600-700 euro/month. Relocation, relocation, relocation.

Knowing this information, can I say I have enough money to rent an apartment in Germany?

Yes, but actually no. The answer is still unclear, a mystery, and for a lot of foreign students and young professionals, a nightmare… There are a lot of things that I need to invest in my daily life.  

If I rent a room in a shared apartment one hour away from the university, I will also have to invest in a public transport card. The most popular route in Munich is for zone M; it costs around 56 euro/month. Lucky me that I want to buy a card for the entire year and if I buy it physically, from a ticket window, it will cost just 532 euros (the equivalent of 9.5 months); what a blessing to enjoy walking and save 137 euros!

What else do I need to survive? Patience in public transport? Maybe. Understanding for the people I live with? Maybe once more. However, there is something more than those external stimulants; the real battle is inside us.We all require food.

Taking into consideration that I already paid for transport, how much will I have to pay? For a single person, the estimated monthly costs of moving to Germany are at least 200 euros without rent and public transport card. What an amount of money! And, of course, paying is not stopping here. 

One of my monsters whispers to me giggling: health insurance, health insurance… It costs 14.6% of the gross salary, but the employee pays just 6.65% of it; I can calculate it here. More than that, in Germany, exists a Long-term care insurance (Pflegeversicherung), that costs me 1.525% of my gross salary; for this one, people over 22 years old without children have to pay 0.25% more of their gross salary. What a good time to be younger!

Let’s take a look at everything:

  • Rent & utilities: 500-700 euro/month;
  • Public transport card: 56 euro/month;
  • Food: at least 200 euro/month;

Total: aprox. 956 euro = the student is broke!