Student Hostels in Germany: Types, Amenities, Cost, and More

Looking for affordable accommodation options as an international student in Germany? Check out our comprehensive guide to student hostels in Germany, including types, amenities, cost, payment options, and more. Find the perfect student hostel for your needs and budget.

Student Hostels in Germany: Types, Amenities, Cost, and More
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Apr 17, 2023 07:15 AM
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Studying abroad is an exciting opportunity to explore new cultures and gain valuable life experiences. Germany is a popular destination for students from around the world, known for its excellent universities, high-quality education, and vibrant student life. As an international student in Germany, finding affordable and comfortable accommodation is a top priority. Finding the right place to live is crucial for students planning to study in Germany. This guide covers various types of student accommodations, their costs, advantages, disadvantages, and how to book them.

Types of Student Accommodation

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In Germany, you generally have three main types of student accommodation to choose from: student residences (dormitories), flatshares (Wohngemeinschaft or WG), and private apartments. Each option comes with its own set of perks and challenges, so let’s break them down to help you decide which one fits you best. Here are the three main types of student accommodations in Germany:

Student Halls of Residence

Student halls of residence are budget-friendly options typically located close to universities. They come with essential furniture and shared amenities such as kitchens, bathrooms, and study rooms. Staying here gives you a chance to make friends with other students and enjoy the student life.

Private Apartments

If you like your own space and independence, renting a private apartment might be right for you. You can find apartments of different sizes, from small studios to larger ones with multiple rooms. Costs for private apartments are generally higher than student halls and you might need to buy your own furniture.

Shared Apartments (Wohngemeinschaft or WG)

In a WG, you share an apartment with other students. You have your own room but share common areas like the kitchen and bathroom. This option is popular because it’s cheaper than a private apartment and offers a sense of community.

Key Features of Different Types of Student Accommodation in Germany

1. Student Dormitories

Cost:
  • Monthly Rent: Approximately €300
  • Deposit: One to three months' rent, refundable after inspection
Advantages:
  • Affordable and cost-effective
  • Proximity to universities
  • Free internet access and use of student equipment
  • Opportunities for socialising and improving German language skills
Disadvantages:
  • High demand, making it difficult to secure a spot
  • Shared facilities may lack privacy
How to Book:
  1. Obtain admission to a German university.
  1. Apply through the local Student Union (Studentenwerk) in your university city.
  1. Submit necessary documents and wait for allocation (typically 4-8 weeks).
Facilities:
  • Common facilities include a refrigerator, freezer, kitchen cabinets, bedroom furniture, internet, and telephone connections. Some dormitories also offer larger rooms for families.

How to Secure a Spot in a Student Residence

Apply through your university's Studentenwerk (Student Union) as soon as you receive your acceptance letter. Check their websites for application deadlines and procedures. Remember, securing a spot in these dorms can be competitive, so the earlier you apply, the better.
Booking Tips:
  • Start the application process early due to high demand.
  • Utilise university international offices and local Student Union offices for guidance.

2. Shared Apartments (WG)

Cost:
  • Monthly Rent: Varies by location, typically €200-€500 per person
  • Utilities: Shared among tenants, averaging €50-€100 per month
Advantages:
  • More privacy than dormitories
  • Shared rent and utility costs reduce individual expenses
  • Opportunity to make friends and practice German
Disadvantages:
  • May be located far from universities
  • Potential for conflicts with roommates
How to Book:
  1. Search on websites like WG-Gesucht, Immobilienscout24, or local university notice boards.
  1. Contact potential roommates or landlords to arrange viewings.
  1. Sign a rental contract after agreeing on terms.
Facilities:
  • Typically includes shared kitchen, bathroom, and living room.
  • Some WGs come furnished, while others require you to bring your own furniture.

How to Find a Flatshare

Websites like WG-Gesucht, WG-Suche, and Uniplaces are great for finding flatshare opportunities. Also, keep an eye on your university's notice boards and online student forums.
Booking Tips:
  • Look for WGs near public transportation to ease commuting.
  • Meet potential roommates to ensure compatibility.

3. Private Apartments

Cost:
  • Monthly Rent: €500-€1,000+ depending on location and size
  • Deposit: Usually three months' rent
  • Utilities: €100-€200 per month
Advantages:
  • Complete privacy and independence
  • Flexibility in choosing the apartment's location and size
Disadvantages:
  • Higher costs compared to dormitories and shared apartments
  • Responsibility for all utility bills and maintenance
How to Book:
  1. Search for listings on websites like Immobilienscout24, WG-Gesucht, or local real estate agencies.
  1. Schedule viewings and inspect the apartment.
  1. Sign a rental contract and pay the deposit.
Facilities:
  • Often unfurnished, requiring you to buy or rent furniture.
  • Apartments may come with basic kitchen and bathroom fixtures.

How to Rent a Private Apartment

Look for rental listings on websites like ImmobilienScout24, HousingAnywhere, or directly through local real estate agents. Be prepared to provide proof of income or a guarantor, and always read the lease carefully before signing.
Booking Tips:
  • Budget for initial setup costs, including furniture and utilities.
  • Consider location carefully, balancing rent costs with proximity to university and amenities.
 

Things to Consider While Booking Student Accommodation in Germany

Amenities and Facilities

One of the key aspect of staying as a student in Germany is the wide range of amenities and facilities that are available. Most student accommodations provide a safe and comfortable living environment that is designed to make students feel at home.
Here's a table comparing the key amenities and facilities that you must consider while staying in Germany:
Amenity/Facility
Description
Furnished rooms
Equipped with a bed, desk, and closet
Shared kitchens
Equipped with appliances and utensils for cooking and dining
Laundry rooms
Equipped with washing machines and dryers
Study rooms
Designated quiet spaces for studying
Recreational areas
Common rooms, game rooms, and TV lounges for relaxation and socialising
Gym facilities
Basic workout equipment for staying fit
Internet access
Provides connectivity for staying connected with friends and family
Quick Tip: While all these facilities might not be available while opting for private rentals or flatshares, you may consider the relevant location and surroundings, to get access to these facilities.

Location and Surroundings

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Location is a critical factor to consider when selecting a student accommodation in Germany. Choosing a place that is located in a safe and convenient area will make your stay in Germany comfortable and enjoyable. Here are some of the factors to consider when it comes to the location of an accommodation:
  1. Proximity to the university: It is important to choose an accommodation that is located near the university you will be attending. This will make it easy for you to attend classes, participate in campus activities, and connect with other students. You can save time and money on transportation by choosing an accommodation that is within walking distance or a short bus or train ride away from the university.
  1. Proximity to public transportation: If you choose an accommodation that is located further away from the university, it is important to consider the proximity to public transportation. This will make it easy for you to get to classes and explore the city. The public transportation system in Germany is efficient and reliable, so choosing an accommodation that is close to a bus stop, train station or tram line will make your stay in Germany more comfortable.
  1. Safety of the area: It is important to choose an accommodation that is located in a safe area. You can research the safety of different neighbourhoods in Germany online or by talking to locals. Choosing an accommodation that is located in a safe area will give you peace of mind and make your stay in Germany more comfortable.
  1. Facilities and amenities nearby: When choosing an accommodation, it is important to consider the facilities and amenities that are available nearby. Are there grocery stores, restaurants, and other essential facilities nearby? This will make it easy for you to purchase food and other essentials without having to travel far from your accommodation. Additionally, are there parks or other recreational areas where you can relax and unwind? Choosing an accommodation that is located near parks or other recreational areas will give you a space to unwind and enjoy the outdoors.

Cost and Payment Options

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One of the main benefits of staying in a student accommodation in Germany is the affordability of accommodation options. The cost of staying can vary depending on the location, type of accommodation, and amenities provided. Here's what you need to know about the cost of staying in a student accommodation in Germany:

Cost of Living: Rent Breakdown

Understanding the costs associated with different types of student accommodation can help you budget better.
A room in a student hall can cost anywhere from 200 to 350 euros per month, while a private apartment can cost anywhere from 500 to 1,000 euros per month or more. These prices are just estimates, and actual prices may differ. Here’s a quick overview of what you might expect to pay:
Accommodation Type
Average Monthly Rent
Student Residence
€250
Flatshare (WG)
€430
Private Apartment (City Center)
€750

Rent in Major Student Cities

Living costs in Germany can greatly vary based on the type of accommodation, location, and size. Big cities like Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt are generally more expensive than smaller towns. The cost of rent can vary significantly depending on the city. Here’s a comparison of average rents in some of the top student cities in Germany:
City
1-Bedroom (City Center)
1-Bedroom (Periphery)
Berlin
€925
€657
Hamburg
€963
€681
Munich
€1,311
€1,004
Frankfurt
€1,049
€808
Stuttgart
€928
€765
Besides rent, you also need to think about other costs like utility bills (water, gas, electricity), internet, and building maintenance fees. Make sure to check with your landlord about what costs are covered in the rent and what aren’t.

Rental Contracts and Other Considerations

When you rent a place in Germany, you’ll have to sign a rental contract (Mietvertrag). This document outlines the rules of your stay, including how long the contract lasts, how much the rent is, how much notice you need to give if you want to leave, and other responsibilities.
Before moving in, you might have to pay a security deposit (Kaution), which is usually one to three months’ worth of rent. This deposit is given back to you when you move out, as long as you leave the place in the same condition as when you moved in.
It’s very important to read and understand the rental contract before signing. It’s also a good idea to have a friend who speaks German or a legal advisor look over the contract. Here are some useful German words related to housing:
  • Miete (Rent)
  • Nebenkosten (Additional costs/Utilities)
  • Kaution (Security deposit)
  • Kündigungsfrist (Notice period)
  • Wohngemeinschaft (Shared apartment)
  • Mietvertrag (Rental contract)
  • Maklerprovision (Brokerage fee)
Living in Germany offers a fantastic chance to experience a new culture, get a top-quality education, and make friends that last a lifetime. With some careful planning and thought, finding the right accommodation can make your study abroad experience even better. Remember, city life can be a bit pricey, but it also offers more opportunities.

Prominent Student Dormitory Providers in Germany

1. Studentenwerk

Studentenwerk provides housing for students in Germany. They offer furnished rooms and apartments in various cities. All their accommodations come with modern facilities to make sure you’re comfortable.
Website: Studentenwerk

2. Uninest

Uninest operates several student residences across Germany. They offer affordable and comfortable accommodations that are also conveniently located.
Website: Uninest

3. The Fizz

The Fizz runs student residences in various German cities including Berlin, Frankfurt, and Munich. Their places are modern, safe, and designed to help you study. They offer both single and shared rooms, equipped with high-speed internet and other necessary facilities.
Website: The Fizz

4. Youniq

Youniq is a company that operates student residences in several German cities. They provide affordable housing for students and offer a variety of room types. Their residences are centrally located and come with shared areas like kitchens, study rooms, and recreational facilities.
Website: Youniq

5. BaseCamp

BaseCamp offers premium student apartments. While their places are a bit more expensive, they provide a high standard of living with services and facilities like fitness rooms, study lounges, and even event spaces.
Website: BaseCamp
It’s important to research thoroughly and choose the housing option that suits your needs and budget. Remember that these providers are often in high demand, so apply early.

Tips Before Signing a Rental Contract in Germany

Before you sign a rental contract, it’s important to consider a few things:

Understand the Cancellation Policy

Before signing the contract, always check the cancellation policy. Some rental agreements may be strict and require you to pay for a certain period even if you cancel the contract early.

Additional Charges

Rent usually doesn’t cover all expenses. You might need to pay extra for utilities, internet, building maintenance fees, and sometimes even administrative charges. Make sure you understand all the costs involved before signing the contract.

Payment Start Date

Some rental contracts might ask you to start paying rent from the contract start date, even if you haven’t moved in yet. This could happen even if you’re still waiting for your visa. Be sure to understand the payment start date and negotiate if you need to.

Support for Student Accommodation in Germany

Consider getting help from a mentor or support organization, especially if you’re not familiar with German or the German legal system. They can help review the contract, make sure there are no hidden costs or unfair terms, and negotiate with the landlord or rental institution if needed.

Guest Policy

If you plan to have friends or family visit during your stay, make sure the rental agreement allows for occasional guests. Some contracts might have strict rules about guests, so it’s important to clarify this beforehand.

Other Tips

  • Rental Duration: Understand the minimum and maximum rental duration. Some contracts might require a minimum stay of one year.
  • Damage Deposit: You’ll probably need to pay a damage deposit (Kaution) which is usually one to three months’ rent. Make sure you have this amount saved up.
  • Insurance: Check if the contract requires you to have liability insurance (Haftpflichtversicherung) which covers accidental damage to the property.
  • Condition of the Property: If possible, inspect the property before moving in. Note down any pre-existing damages to make sure you’re not held responsible later.
Remember, it’s essential to read and understand all parts of the rental contract before signing. If you’re unsure about anything, don’t hesitate to ask questions or get legal advice. It’s better to take the time to understand the contract now than to face misunderstandings or problems later.

Conclusion

Finding the right student accommodation in Germany is a crucial step in ensuring a smooth and enjoyable study experience. Whether you choose a student residence, a flatshare, or a private apartment, each option has its unique benefits. By starting your search early and utilizing available resources, you'll be well on your way to securing the perfect home away from home. Enjoy your time in Germany and make the most of this exciting chapter in your life!

FAQs

1. What are the types of student hostels available in Germany?
There are three main types of student hostels in Germany: university-managed hostels, private hostels, and non-profit hostels. University-managed hostels are owned and managed by universities, private hostels are privately owned and operated, and non-profit hostels are run by non-profit organizations.
2. What amenities and facilities can I expect in a student hostel in Germany?
Most student hostels in Germany offer furnished rooms with basic amenities such as a bed, a desk, and a closet. Shared kitchens, laundry rooms, and study rooms are also available in most hostels. Some hostels may also offer additional amenities such as gym facilities, recreational areas, and internet access.
3. What factors should I consider when choosing a student hostel in Germany?
When choosing a student hostel in Germany, it is important to consider the location, surroundings, cost, and payment options. It is important to choose a hostel that is located in a safe and convenient area, near to the university or public transportation, and has nearby facilities and amenities. The cost of staying in a student hostel can differ depending on the location, type of hostel, and amenities provided. Most student hostels offer flexible payment plans.
4. How much does it cost to stay in a student hostel in Germany?
On average, the cost of staying in a student hostel in Germany can range from €200 to €500 per month. However, this can differ depending on the location, type of hostel, and amenities provided.
5. Are there any rules and regulations I should be aware of when staying in a student hostel in Germany?
Yes, most student hostels in Germany have rules and regulations that residents are expected to follow. These may include restrictions on visitors, quiet hours, and cleanliness standards. It is important to read and follow these rules to ensure a safe and comfortable.
6. How do I book a student hostel in Germany?
You can book a student hostel in Germany through the hostel's website, or through a third-party booking website. It is important to read the payment and refund policies carefully before booking a hostel to avoid any surprises later on.
7. Can international students stay in student hostels in Germany?
Yes, international students are welcome to stay in student hostels in Germany. In fact, many hostels are designed to cater specifically to international students, providing them with a safe and comfortable living environment.

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MS in Germany
MS in Germany

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