It’s already mid into the first quarter of 2020. No doubt, by now thousands of Nigerians have set their travel plans in motion and are ready to hit the shores of Germany this year. Unfortunately, only a few of them take out time to research the cost of living in Germany.
This isn’t entirely surprising. From the experience Travelwahala consultants have had with Nigerian travel-hopefuls, they hardly do personal research about their travel destinations. Many of them rely on hearsay or the tales of visa agents in Nigeria – which, in most cases, are half-truths.
Germany is a developed European country while Nigeria is developing and rests in the Sub-Saharan desert. So, it’s normal that the two countries share huge dissimilarities. One such very obvious differences are the costs of living in both countries.
In Nigeria, life is relatively cheap round. With little value placed on human lives, it isn’t surprising that the standard of living in the country is low. This impacts the cost of living – which is lowly cheap compared to developed countries.
It is the opposite in Germany where “premium” value is placed on human lives. The standard of living in the country is quality and high. So also is the cost of living in comparison with Nigeria’s.
However, compared to other European countries, Germany offers a fair share of the cost of living. From transportation to feeding, housing to accommodation, doing business to schooling, Germany is relatively cheaper than some of the big countries in Europe.
Cost of Living in Germany for Nigerian Students
You’ve gained admission into a German university and have received your German student visa in Nigeria. Congratulations to you!
But don’t think that all is set. Your journey has just begun. A more serious thing to do is to have a full grasp of what it takes to live in Germany as a foreign student. The first step is to know the cost of living in Germany.
One major benefit of knowing how much it costs to live in Germany is that it helps you to plan well, especially financially. If you don’t do this, you may just be stranded and frustrated after your first few months in Germany. While you’d hope to land a job as soon as you arrive in Germany, it doesn’t always come that easy and soon. So, you’d need some financial backup to survive.
Already, the German authorities have made provision to ensure that foreign students have a means of sustenance in the country pending when they get a job. There’s the Blocked Account for international students. You will pay €8k into the account before you apply for a German visa in Nigeria. The idea is that you’ll withdraw from the account at intervals to sort personal needs while you live in Germany. However, not many Nigerians who plan to travel to Germany can afford such a high amount. Hence, many find other alternatives such as sponsorship letters and scholarships.
Regardless of the option you choose, you must have a basic knowledge of the cost of living in Germany. If not for anything, it will help you make enough provisions and save you from the financial crisis most immigrants suffer.
What’s the Cost of Living in Germany?
According to research by Study in Germany, living expenses in Germany average about €850 per month. In this figure, Germany is less expensive compared to some European countries. However, some basic costs like housing, feeding, clothing and other cultural and extracurricular activities are nearly higher than the average cost of living in the EU. Rent bears the highest cost in Germany.
As a Nigerian student living in Germany, expect the following expenses in Germany:
* Partial or Complete Tuition fees (i.e. if your school isn’t tuition-free)
* Semester Contributions (fees you pay each Semester)
* Living expenses (these include clothing, accommodation or rent, telephone, outings, etc.)
* Health Insurance
Statistics prove that the average living expenses of students in Germany hit 850 euros per month. However, this amount is just an estimation. This is so because many factors influence the cost of living in Germany. More so, the cost of living varies according to cities in Germany.
In Nigeria, the cost of living in a state like Lagos differs significantly from the cost of living in Benue state. The same applies to Germany. For instance, it costs much higher to live and study in Munich than in Leipzig. So, your location determines how much you’d cough out to live comfortably.
More so, how frugal or extravagant you are, largely influences how much money you will need to live in Germany. If you’re wise enough to know that you need to live within your means and cut costs, you’ll spend less. But if you seek to live the flamboyant lifestyle you see in Nigeria, then, good luck to you on your spending spree.
What Costs Most in Germany?
Unarguably, rent is the hugest cost for most Nigerian students living in Germany. It’s slightly higher than it is in the most expensive cities in Nigeria. However, the price of accommodation in Germany varies. On average, students pay between 290 and 560 euros monthly. This largely depends on the location of the school.
In big cities like Munich, Hamburg, Cologne, Frankfurt am Main, rent costs more.
At Travelwahala, we strongly advise Nigerian students in Germany to find accommodation in the student hall of residence. Better still, you can live in a shared flat (WG). The reason is that it’s very expensive to rent a personal flat in Germany. But if you want your own flat or space, make an initial deposit. The amount of deposit varies, sometimes running into 100s of euros.
What is the Cost of Semester Contribution in Germany?
You must pay the Semester fee when you resume in any German university. Mind you, this is not school fees. Each school has a different amount it charges. This is because each school includes different services in the contribution. For instance, most of the schools offer students’ welfare packages. They use the money to take care of housing, cafes, sports facilities, extracurricular activities, and administrative costs.
The average cost of the semester contribution in German universities is €250 for each semester.
More so, some of the federal state schools add administrative fees in the semester contribution. This is usually between €50 and €75. Also, there’s the “semester ticket.” It is called the public transport pass. For 6 months you can use public transport within the locality of your school – free of charge. You just need to have the semester ticket. Normally, the ticket costs between €25 and €200 depending on the travel distance. But once you pay your semester contribution, it’s free.
Nevertheless, you may have to pay both the semester ticket and semester contributions in some cases. This is usually in some schools where it is optional. So, you can decide not to pay for the semester ticket if you live close to your school.
What’s the Cost of School Fees in Germany?
It’s a law in Germany that states higher education institutions are tuition-free for all Bachelor’s degrees and most Master’s programmes.
However, there’s a twist in the 2017/2018 winter semester. The federal state of Baden-Württemberg charged students from non-EU countries tuition fees of €1,500 per semester. The fee included Master’s, Bachelor’s and German “Diploma” degrees as well as state examination.
Secondly, personal Master’s and online courses require you to pay. The fees are usually very high, sometimes more than €10,000 for each semester. But in general, students in higher education institutions pay high fees.
Fortunately, there’s a way out if your school charges tuition fees. You can apply for the financial aid programmeas a Nigerian student in Germany. If your application is successful you will get a waiver and you’ll not have to pay the expensive school fees. Sometimes, you’ll get a huge reduction in the school fees and you’ll only pay a very small fee.
What is the cost of Health Insurance in Germany?
Another cost to consider before you travel to Germany for your studies is health insurance. The health insurance you do in Nigeria is not valid in Germany. You must enroll in the health insurance scheme in Germany.
If you are less than 30 years of age, or you are yet to conclude the 14th subject-related semester, you’ll have to pay €80 monthly. Afterward, you will pay €160 per month.
Average Monthly Cost of Living in Germany for Students
See the chart below for the average cost of living in Germany in both Euros and Naira.
Euros and Naira
Rent and other Utilities
Food and Drink
Travel costs (car and public transport)
Health insurance, medical costs, medicine
Phone, internet, TV
Leisure, culture, sports
You can afford the cost of living in Germany. You must have a good source of income as a student in Germany. Germany offers a wide range of job opportunities even to immigrants. Find a good paying job immediately you arrive in the country.
While you earn, don’t just save money, invest your priority. Turn your eyes away from a flamboyant lifestyle if you want to escape the huge expenses in major cities of the country.
At Travelwahala, we often encourage Nigerians traveling to Germany to be smart in booking accommodation spaces.