Student Housing In Germany – Find Student Accommodations

Once your place is confirmed at a German university, the next thing in line is finding a place to call home. There are plenty of student housing options to choose from in Germany. Sure, it can get competitive at times, but with the right approach and by being well-informed of your options, you will find a great place to live.

If you鈥檙e still new to this finding accommodation abroad thing, we鈥檙e here to help you get all the information you need. Keep reading for a simplified guide to German student housing types, their cost, how to apply, how to read a rental contract, and more.

Types of Student Accommodation in Germany

There are two main types of student accommodation in Germany. There is the economical option鈥搒tudent dormitories, and the pricier option鈥損rivate accommodation (but that鈥檚 not always the case!).

You can find, of course, plenty of options within options 馃槉. Some are cheaper, some offer more independence, but the beauty of it is that there鈥檚 something for everyone.

These are the most common housing types for international students in Germany:

Student Halls of Residence (Dormitories)

Student halls of residence or student dormitories (Studentenwohnheim) are residential complexes shared by students. They鈥檙e a hit among international students since they鈥檙e usually the most affordable option.

The majority of dormitories in Germany are managed by local student unions like “Studentenwerk” or “Studierendenwerk”. There are over 196,000 spots nationwide, most often assigned on a first-come-first-served basis.

The most common arrangement in dormitories is a single furnished room, within an apartment shared by two or more students. The kitchen, bathroom, and common area you usually share with other students.

Here are some of the pros and cons of living in student dormitories in Germany:聽

Student Halls of Residence in Germany Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Cheaper. Dorms are the most affordable student housing option. The average gross rent of a room is around 266 euros per month.

Closer to campus. Dormitories are strategically located near universities, meaning less time and money spent commuting.

Socializing is easier. Student dormitories are a great way to meet new people. Many students host small parties in their dorms or the building鈥檚 common areas.

Great amenities. Student halls are well-designed and modern. Apart from the basic amenities, they have communal spaces, laundry facilities, and kitchens with utensils.

High demand. Around 40% of international students choose student halls of residence, so finding a room can be highly competitive, especially in bigger university cities.

Shared spaces. Facilities like the kitchen and bathroom are shared. This requires adjustment for some students.

Early application. Spots are limited so you have to apply as early as possible once you are admitted to the university. Some students find it challenging to plan so far in advance.

You can鈥檛 choose your dorm mates. Dorm rooms are usually assigned randomly. While you can make specifications (e.g. girl鈥檚 only dorms), doing so can lower your chances, since most dorms are mixed-gender.

How to Find and Apply for Student Dorms in Germany

To apply for a student dorm in Germany, first, get in touch with the local . They usually list registration deadlines and conditions on their websites, or you can contact them via email. Your university’s International Office can also assist you with this. to look up dormitories as well.

Most dormitories have an online application form, that you can send up to six months in advance. All you have to do is choose the type of room you want, submit personal information (such as full name, date of birth, and passport details), and tick boxes with any specifications you may have (e.g. wheelchair access).

Many dorms only accept students who are enrolled in nearby or partner universities, so you will likely need to submit proof of acceptance/enrollment to the university.

What Is the Quick Accommodation Offer (Schnellanschreiben)?

Rooms can occasionally become available at short notice. When this happens, the union sends an email with payment details to everyone on the waiting list. The first to reply to the email with a payment confirmation gets the room.听

Shared Apartments (WG)

WGs (Wohngemeinschafts) are private flats or houses shared by several people, often students or young professionals. In this type of accommodation, it is typical to have a private bedroom and share common spaces like the living room, kitchen, and bathroom.

Thanks to online portals and worth of mouth, you can people with whom you can share an apartment even if you don鈥檛 know each other.

Some of the pros and cons of living in a WGs in Germany are:

Shared Apartments (WG) in Germany Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Splitting living costs. Sharing the rent and utilities reduces your monthly housing costs. You can also create a household budget for things such as food, cleaning supplies, etc.

Bonding with someone is easier. Student WGs are ideal for social interaction. For many, this is the best way to make lasting friendships as an international in Germany.

Ready-made support. Whether it鈥檚 sharing a meal, solving household issues, or simply having someone to talk to, WGs offer built-in support when you need it.

Sharing common spaces. While you have your own room, you will share common areas like the kitchen and bathroom. This can lead to schedule clashes and reduced privacy.

Language barriers. International WGs are prone to occasional language barriers and communication challenges among flatmates.

Different lifestyles and habits. Your living habits may be incompatible with the people you live with. Your housemate may be a slop and you a clean freak, they can be an early bird and you a night owl, and so on.

How to Find a Student WG in Germany

If you think living in a shared apartment (WG) is a better option for you, you can start your search before arriving in Germany. Use online platforms like , , and local Facebook groups.听

Posters can receive a lot of responses due to , so don鈥檛 be discouraged if you don鈥檛 get an answer or the listing is removed quickly. This is quite common, so apply to as many listings as you can and refresh the website to apply as soon as new listings are posted.

When writing to ask about a room, include a brief introduction about yourself to stand out. Once someone replies, arrange a visit or a video call to talk more about the WG. When you agree to live together, review the rental agreement carefully and sign it.

Private Rentals

Renting a private apartment is not the most common type of accommodation for young students on a limited budget. But, if you prefer privacy, comfort, and having the whole place to yourself despite the higher cost, this is a great option. Apartments obviously come in all sizes, styles, and different neighborhoods, so you can pick what鈥檚 convenient for you.

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of renting a private apartment in Germany:

Private Student Apartments in Germany Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
You can recreate 鈥淗ome Alone鈥. Renting an apartment means you鈥檒l have complete control over your living space. You can have your own routine and lifestyle without compromises.

Customizing it to your liking. You can decorate and furnish your apartment to match your personal style. Talk about feeling like a true adult!

Choosing the lease terms. Private apartments often have flexible lease terms, so you can negotiate with the landlord to choose a duration that suits your academic or work plans.

Not so budget-friendly. Private apartments are pricier than student halls or shared apartments. Most students (especially those who are not working) can鈥檛 afford this.

Extra documents and requirements. You need to submit more documents than usual when renting an apartment. These can include proof of income and having a guarantor. Language barriers can also make it difficult to deal with rental agreements and landlords.

More responsibilities. You are the only person responsible for all household tasks, maintenance, and utility bills. This can at times be overwhelming for some students.

How to Find a Private Apartment for Students in Germany

To start your search for a private apartment, look up platforms like , , and . After finding a potential place, arrange a viewing with the owner or agent and express your interest.

If you鈥檙e selected, you will receive a rental contract to sign, so make sure to read it carefully before doing so. Next, comes the apartment handover (Wohnungs眉bergabe)鈥攖o receive the keys and talk about any issues.

*Note: Most rental properties in Germany are unfurnished, so you will likely need to do this yourself.

How to Find Student Accommodation in Germany

Finding a place to stay in Germany is difficult before actually arriving in the country. That鈥檚 why many international students opt for short-term accommodation before looking for private accommodation once they arrive. However, you can apply for student residence halls and many WGs online, as soon as you鈥檙e accepted in a university.

Here are some key tips on finding accommodation in Germany for students:

  • Start early. Begin your accommodation search well in advance to secure the best options.
  • Consider budget and preferences. Consider your budget and whether you prefer communal living in student residence halls or more private options.
  • Search online. Use reputable websites and platforms such as WG-Gesucht and ImmobilienScout24 to search for available accommodations.
  • Review the application process. Be prepared to provide the necessary documents and meet any requirements during the application process, especially if you’re applying for student residence halls.

How Much Do Students in Germany Spend on Accommodation?

International students in Germany spend 鈧410 per month on average on rent. This excludes other living costs, therefore making accommodation one of the biggest expenses to plan for.听

Researching ahead of coming to Germany and knowing what you鈥檙e in for when it comes to accommodation costs will save you a lot of headaches. Here is what each type of accommodation may cost you:

Rent prices tend to be higher in the following bigger cities compared to others in Germany:

Cost of Student Accommodation in Germany

Cost of Student Halls of Residence

Student housing is the most budget-friendly choice. On average, the monthly rent for a student dorm in Germany managed by Studierendenwerke is approximately 鈧266.83.听

The cost of student dormitory accommodation will, however, vary depending on the location, room type, and the amenities available. While in smaller university towns you can find rooms as affordable as 鈧180 per month, pricier cities or or larger rooms can set you back as high as 鈧500 per month.

Cost of Shared Apartments

WGs are generally quite affordable for international students. According to DAAD, the average monthly cost of this type of accommodation is 鈧363 per month.听

Rents typically range from 鈧300 to 鈧650, higher prices being more common in larger cities. Prices can fluctuate due to high demand, so it鈥檚 not surprising to see listings in Berlin or Munich that are even more expensive. However, with proper research and planning, you can still find cheaper options. That鈥檚 why around 30% of students in Germany prefer this housing option.

Cost of Private Apartments

On average, renting a one-bedroom apartment in Germany costs about 鈧820 per month. As with any other accommodation, prices will vary by location. In city centers, rent is between 鈧600 and 鈧1,500 per month, averaging around 鈧940. Outside city centers the monthly rents range from 鈧450 to 鈧1,200, averaging about 鈧700 monthly.听

> See how one-bedroom apartment rentals cost vary across Germany.

Avoiding Surprises Before Signing Your Lease

To avoid potential surprises like a lack of furniture, a broken sink, or any other details, it鈥檚 best to visit the property in person or at least have them send recent pictures of the place.

Here are some things to keep in mind before renting in Germany:

  • Lack of furniture. When you鈥檙e searching for rentals in Germany, don鈥檛 be surprised when you鈥檙e shown a totally empty space with only floorboards in place. This is typical with private apartments, but not so typical with student dorms. The latter usually have a bed frame with a mattress, a small desk, and a closet where you can put your clothing.听
  • Limited furnished apartments. Fully furnished private rentals are rare and more expensive than unfurnished ones. A good way to go around this is to find someone who is subletting their room.
  • Long-term contracts. Landlords prefer long-term contracts as they don鈥檛 want to deal with changing tenants too often. But, some are open to negotiation so it doesn鈥檛 hurt to ask.
  • Potential rent increases. Some landlords may include clauses that allow them to raise the rent over time. If you have an Indexmiete (Index rent), your landlord can increase the rent price once a year to adjust for inflation. If you have a Staffelmiete (Graduated rent), there will be a pre-determined amount (usually 2-4%) increase per year. Make sure to understand all terms of your contract before signing.
  • Language barriers in contracts. Lease contracts are usually in German, and landlords may include conditions you don鈥檛 understand. Bring a translator to help you understand everything.

Where to Stay During Your First Days in Germany as a Student

Many international students in Germany choose to stay in temporary accommodation while they鈥檙e searching for a more permanent place to stay.

These are the most common temporary accommodation options for international students in Germany:

  • Affordable hotels
  • Low-cost hostels
  • Youth hostels (membership required)
  • Private bed and breakfast (B&B) accommodations (search for 鈥淧rivatzimmer鈥 + location online)
  • Guest houses (pensions)

You can find the most options in, Hostelworld, and Airbnb. The German Youth Hostel Association (DJH) also lists youth hostels in Germany.听

Student Services (Studentenwerke), local classified websites like WG-Gesucht, and university recommendations are some other additional resources for temporary lodgings.

Tip: Make sure to book your accommodation online well in advance of your travel date.听

Explaining Key Terms About Renting in Germany

Here are some key terms and practices to know so you don鈥檛 get lost in rent-speak when finding accommodation in Germany:

Cold and Warm Rent

Renting a place in Germany typically involves two key monthly rent categories: “Kaltmiete” and “Warmmiete.” The “Kaltmiete” (cold rent) stands for the basic rent for the room or apartment without any additional costs, such as utilities (water, electricity, heating, internet, or cable).

When you add these utility costs to the basic rent, you get the “Warmmiete,” (warm rent) which is the total amount tenants typically pay the landlord each month.听


You may be required to pay a “Kaution” (deposit) at the beginning of the tenancy. The deposit will be refunded once you move out of the room/apartment if you leave it in good condition. If, however, you cause any damages and don鈥檛 repair them, the landlord can keep your deposit.


In most dorms, your rent will include utilities. But, if it doesn鈥檛 or if you鈥檙e living in another type of accommodation, you will usually have to pay extra each month for utilities (Nebenkosten) based on estimated usage.

At the end of the year, your landlord will reconcile the actual costs (Nebenkostenabrechnung) with the payments made. They will either issue a refund or bill you for any additional expenses, depending on your usage. Nebenkosten typically range from 15% to 30% on top of the Kaltmiete, but this can vary so it鈥檚 best to carefully review each rental listing.

Some costs like internet and phone bills are rarely included in Nebenkosten, so you need to sort this yourself and pay them separately.

Now that we鈥檝e gotten around the basics, here is an overview of useful terms and abbreviations related to housing in Germany:

Common Renting Terms and Abbreviations in Germany

  • Wohngemeinschaft (WG) – Shared Apartment: A living arrangement where multiple people live together in a shared space, each having their own room.
  • Wohnung (Whg.) – Apartment: A living space within a building.
  • Nebenkosten (NK) – Additional Costs: Expenses like heating, water, and garbage collection covered in rental agreements.
  • Kaltmiete (KM) – Cold Rent: The basic rent for the apartment, excluding additional costs like utilities (Nebenkosten).
  • Warmmiete (WM) – Warm Rent: The total rent, including basic rent and additional costs like utilities.
  • Kaution (KA) – Security Deposit: Payment made by tenants to cover potential damages or unpaid rent, refundable by the end of the lease if the place is left in good condition.
  • Zi or Zimmer – Room: Often seen in rental listings with numbers (e.g., 2 Zi, meaning a 2-room apartment).
  • WG-Zimmer – Room in a Shared Apartment: Refers to bedrooms in shared flats.
  • Zweck-WG/Keine Zweck-WG – Shared apartment to save money/to not solely save money: Zweck-WGs are common among working people who want to split the costs of living with someone out of necessity. If you see 鈥淜eine Zweck-WG鈥 in a listing, it means that your flatmate/s are interested in socializing and becoming friends with each other.
  • Schlafzimmer (SZ) – Bedroom
  • Wohnzimmer (WZ) – Living Room
  • Einzelzimmer (EZ) – Single Room
  • Mehrzimmer (MZ) – Multiple Rooms聽
  • Bad – Bathroom
  • 贰颈苍产补耻办眉肠丑别 – Fitted Kitchen: The apartment comes with a pre-installed kitchen.
  • Hausordnung – House Rules: Rules and regulations for residents in a building or apartment complex.
  • 碍眉苍诲颈驳耻苍驳蝉蹿谤颈蝉迟 – Notice Period: The advance notice required for ending a tenancy, stated in rental contracts.
  • M枚bliert (M枚bl.) – Furnished
  • Unm枚bliert (Unm枚bl.) – Unfurnished
  • Mieter – Tenant
  • Vermieter – Landlord

Additional Resources

For more information about living costs in Germany check out our guide on the Living Cost in Germany for International Students.

If you鈥檙e looking for general information on expenses in Germany, read our recently updated guide.

You can locate student services in the place where you鈥檙e going to stay .听