Cheap accommodation relieves the strain on your student budget enormously. The rent is the largest monthly expense for students you have to afford. However, the amount of rent differs and depends mainly on the type of accommodation and the place of study. In a student residence, the average rents are lower and a room is also cheaper (on average around 260 Euro per month) than a room or a flat on the independent housing market.
In urban areas and the classic university towns, there is very little cheap accommodation. Especially at the beginning of term, it is often difficult to find cheap rooms and flats. Begin as soon as you can with your flat search!
Student accommodation is the cheapest form of housing for students. The Studierendenwerke offer around 195,000 places in student accommodation all over Germany.
The possibilities are varied and range from simple rooms to flats for couples, for students with children and also for students with disabilities. The facilities of such housing differ, but in general they are of a good standard.
There are often communal rooms such as cafés, cellars for bicycles are almost always available and mostly washing machines are provided, too.
In some Studierendenwerke, tutors are available in student accommodation to help international students. They advise and support international students at the beginning of their stay in Germany.
Types of accommodation in residential housing:
- Single room on one floor
Several rooms on one floor sharing the kitchen, bath/shower and WC.
- Single room in a flat share / community
Self-contained housing with between two and seven single rooms, mostly with shared kitchen, bath/shower and WC.
Single or double apartments are available. A single apartment is a self-contained unit comprising one room with kitchenette, bathroom and WC. Double apartments with two rooms are usually rented to student couples. Most Studentenwerke also offer special accommodation for students with children and for students with disabilities or chronic disease.
- Guest houses / student hotels
Some Studentenwerke have guest houses or student hotels. They are open to students who need accommodation only for one or several days. First-year students, who only need a room temporarily, can lodge in the guest houses.
If you would like to register for a room or an apartment in student accommodation, you should contact your local Studierendenwerk directly! Your contact at the Studierendenwerk is the housing administration.
On the website of the Studierendenwerke, you will find specific information about actual offers of accommodation, registration deadlines and procedures.
- Start your search for accommodation early.
- Ask whether the room is furnished or unfurnished.
- Ask about bedding and towels.
- If possible, do not arrive at the weekend or late at night. If you have no other choice, inform your Studentenwerk/ place of accommodation in advance so that they can arrange for you to receive the keys.
- If, on arrival, you still do not have any accommodation, go to your Studentenwerk as quickly as possible. They often have emergency accommodation available at the beginning of term.
Magdalena, Studierendenwerk Berlin
Common hobbies connect people – look for neighbors with similar interests in the dormitory group and create an initative together, for instance board games club, gardening project or guitar enthusiasts groupmore
Whoever does not wish to live in student accommodation or does not get the offer of a room will have to search on the independent housing market.
As a rule, accommodation on the independent housing market is more expensive than student accommodation. Moreover, flats and rooms in Germany are almost always unfurnished. In addition, landlords demand a rent guarantee/ deposit of three months' rent at the beginning of the move in. The deposit is returned to you when you move out of the flat providing you leave it in an orderly condition.
Offers of flats and rooms can be found, for example, on notice boards at the universities and on online accommodation markets.
Nearly all Studierendenwerke act as an agent for flats or rooms on the free housing market, so it's well worth paying them a visit!
You will also find commercial accommodation agents. But they do charge a fee.