The financing of studies is one of the most difficult and important subjects that international students have to deal with. As early on as when you apply for a visa and a residence permit you must prove that you have enough financial means to finance your studies in Germany. At the moment the German authorities require proof that you have 8,040 Euro for one year of studies. Starting from autumn 2016 this figure will rise up to 8,820 Euro per academic year. This proof of financing is meant to ensure that international students can finance their studies themselves since they do not normally qualify for state help in Germany.
Even if you provide evidence of financing your financial worries are not yet over. In Germany, a budget of around 8,000 Euro per year will only allow you to lead a very modest lifestyle!
International students often have to go to work in order to finance their cost of living, but the amount of work they are allowed to do is restricted! Unfortunately financial difficulties are part of many international students' lives.
How do German students finance their studies?
In order to understand the German system it is important to know how German students finance their studies. In Germany, parents have to pay for student education. The German Studentenwerk has published a study on the economic situation of students; on average students receive roughly half their money from their parents. A quarter of their budget they earn themselves. The state financial assistance for education makes up about one seventh of their budget. Only three percent of German students receive a grant. Major grant donors are foundations and organisations sponsoring talented students.
On average German students have over 812 Euro per month at their disposal, however a quarter of all students have to make do with less than 640 Euro per month.
Planning reliability: the Servicepaket of the Studentenwerke
If you do not know Germany very well, it is difficult to guess how much money you will really need here. That is why many Studentenwerke offer Servicepakete. These give first year students from abroad more planning reliability for their first year of studies. They can be arranged from your homeland and for a fixed price they contain accommodation, meals and health insurance. Some Servicepakete also contain leisure activities and help you to settle in to life in Germany.