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How much does studying in Germany cost for foreigners?

Can you study for free in Germany?

Many foreign students have heard that you can study for free in Germany. But many wonder if this is really true. After all, tuition fees are (very) high in many countries.

Free attendance at courses

And yes, it is indeed the case that studying in Germany, or more precisely attending courses at universities, is free of charge – at least at all public universities there are no tuition fees – with the exception of the federal state of Baden-Württemberg*.

What costs do you have as a student in Germany?

But that doesn’t mean you don’t need any money to study. In contrast to many countries where, for example, housing and food are included in the tuition fees, in Germany you have to pay for your own living expenses.

In addition, you have to pay a semester fee to the Studierendenwerk (student union) and, in some federal states, an administrative fee, which is sometimes also called an enrolment or re-enrolment fee. There are differences in the amount of these fees, but they are usually between 200 and 400 euros per semester, whereby the higher fees usually include a semester ticket for public transport.

Special case: Master’s programmes

What was said above about tuition fees does not necessarily apply to all Master’s programmes. At German universities, for example, more and more English-language Master’s programmes are being set up, which are particularly aimed at foreign students and which are subject to fees.

Private universities

And of course, tuition fees are also charged at non-state, private universities in Germany. However, most universities in Germany are still public (state), i.e. tuition-free universities.

*In Baden-Württemberg, foreign students currently have to pay a tuition fee of 1500 euros per semester. However, the abolition of tuition fees is being discussed. So this could change soon.