What is the cost to study in Germany?

The cost to study abroad is the sum of the tuition fee and living expenses. Since many German universities do not charge a tuition fee, the total cost to study in Germany will just be the living expenses. For a typical Bachelor’s degree (7 semesters), that sum will be roughly €37,000 or about RM180,000. However, this is a simplified calculation. Read more below to understand how we work the numbers.

Is it really free to study in Germany?

We get asked this question over and over again – “what is the cost to study in Germany?”. While it seems difficult to believe, it really is possible for Malaysians to study in Germany without paying tuition fees. In fact, this applies to all international students and it’s true for most public universities in Germany. Only the state of Baden-Württemberg charges non-EU international students a €1500 semester fee. There are two semesters in a year so that adds up to €3000 or about RM15000 yearly.

A typical Bachelor’s degree will take between 6 to 7 semesters. That means a student will need to set aside €9000 to €10500 (about RM45000 to RM52500) for their tuition fees to study in Baden-Württemberg. Luckily, other states including Berlin, Hamburg and Bavaria (where Munich is located) still offer courses to international students without charging a tuition fee.

Semester Contribution

All students, including German students, will have to pay a semester contribution to their respective university. This is not to be confused with tuition fees. The semester contribution will be used for student services and students will also receive a semester ticket. The semester ticket allows students to use public transportation within the region. This fee has to be paid at the beginning of each semester and will cost between €100 to €350 depending on the university. Students are advised to check the area which is covered by their semester ticket.

Cost of Living

Apart from the tuition fee (only if you decide to study in Baden-Württemberg) and the semester contribution, students will have to take the living expenses in Germany into consideration as well as the fee for German language classes when comparing other study destinations.

The actual cost to study in Germany will depend on the student’s lifestyle as well as the city the student is studying in. Accommodations will cost more in larger cities compared to smaller towns. In some cities, the monthly expenses can go up to €900 monthly. The example below shows the living expenses of three American students in different cities in Germany.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32821678

Students are advised to budget €861 monthly for their living expenses. This includes rent, food, health insurance as well as personal use. Based on this recommendation, students will need €10,332 yearly, which is close to RM50,000 per year. Taking into account all other fees and expenses, the total cost of studying in Germany is way lower compared to other popular study destinations like Australia, the US, and the UK. 

education cost comparison

Source: https://www.businessinsider.com.au/the-cost-of-getting-a-university-degree-in-australia-is-about-to-change-heres-what-you-need-to-know-2014-6

Learning the German Language

Depending on the course’s language of instruction, it is not compulsory for students to learn German prior to studying in Germany. For example, if the student is enrolled in a course taught in English, he or she is not required to sit for the DSH or TestDaF exam. However, it’s still highly recommended for a student to learn some German so that he or she can communicate with other students. In addition, there are many Bachelor’s degree courses offered in the German language and not as many international students are competing for those courses.

German Educare offers a full-time program for students who are interested to master German up to level C1 within 15 months. Students will learn German for 9 months in Malaysia, followed by a further 6 months in Germany.

Learn more about the University Preparation Program now!

So in conclusion, how much does it cost to study in Germany?

Taking all of the above points into consideration, it costs around RM180,000 to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Germany. However, it’s possible for students to earn some allowance by working part-time. Students from Malaysia are allowed to work 120 full days or 240 half days yearly. Most students are also required to do industrial training with a company for up to 6 months. Interns will be receiving an internship allowance and it should be able to cover their living expenses during the duration of their internship.

We hope that this article sheds some light so that students (and parents) are able to understand how much money to set aside to study in Germany.