How to survive in Germany when you are a student?
Tips for cutting the expenses
Most people to the East and South from Germany will easily correlate with the issue I faced when I moved to Deutschland – No money! Everything is expensive! People from the West might just question it as Germany is considered one of the most loyal countries when it comes to life costs vs. salaries. However, when you are a student you are always broke, hungry and the last night party took the last cents from you. So how did I survive in this tough Bavarian world?
You will never be hungry in Germany!
Difficult to believe, but trust me – food is the most affordable thing in Germany. If you know the right places for shopping you will easily fulfill your stomach with only 20-30€.
Screenshot the list of the most budget supermarkets below
- Netto – always small, not the best ever quality, but lots of promotions for must-have products (eggs, milk, yogurts, cookies, liquors)
- Penny – I loved it! Great variety with the most affordable prices. (oat flakes for 0.59€, bread for 0.8€, 0,5 grapes – 1-2€)
- Lidl – best deals for typical German food. I always used to shop here before my trips to Ukraine. You can easily find Ritter Sport for 0,6€, the tastiest yogurts, and desserts for 1.5€, top quality wines for 2-3€, glüwein for 1€! Plus there is always one Lidl at railway stations that always works during Sundays. Be aware of the queues!
- Aldi Süd / Aldi Nord – a bit similar to Netto – has everything but far from good quality. Still amazing prices.
If you don’t even have 5€ in your pocket cause the electricity bill turned out to be too high last month, try Foodsharing! Every middle-sized city owns one or two stations where people bring raw food and anyone can just take it home.
- Dorms sometimes have their own Foodsharing initiatives. Subscribe to some FB dorm groups and wait patiently for notifications. But remember to take only as much food as you need.
- From time to time, a city or local churches might also organize food sharing for the citizens to follow their FB pages.
Fresh veggies you can buy at Turkish markets. Always cheap, always healthy, always good. Look for them at Turkish districts, not far from railway stations or just simply ask the locals. Prices most likely will be 1-3€ for a kg and in addition, they serve a good variety of exotic fruits.
Transportation. Such cities as Berlin, Munich or Hamburg are pretty big to walk.
Use city bikes (Stadtrad). Most of them offer the first 30 min for free. If you change a bike every 30 min, you still pay nothing. And Germany is just wonderful for cycling – bike paths and even streets or bridges are in every small village.
If you opt for buying a bike, a used one should be not more than 50€. Plus I wouldn’t recommend you to buy a fancy new one, as it will be stolen the very next day. Sad reality
Home! The toughest part of life in Germany!
The country lacks the accommodations for such dramatic number of immigrants. You have to start searching for a flat 3-4 months before coming to the city. And better you lose a bit of money later by withdrawing a rental contract than end up under a bridge during a cold fall night (remember, CS is also an option for the first 3-7 days)
Dorms (Studentenwohnenheim) are a perfect way to start your life in Germany, but take a look at the average prices – sometimes a shared room is even cheaper.
FB – it is the ultimate guide for you to find a shared ap. Search the groups “Wohnugen in Hamburg” Cooperate with people and post your findings so you find it faster and easier.
Gym! You gotta stay in shape, right?
For your first broke month, the ideal way will be to work out for free…in gyms!
90% of gyms offer the first visit for free. All you need to do is to register your email address (you can have several email addresses right? So several free entries, hm?) and go to the receptionist. You can easily find 7-10 fitness companies in your city and your first month will cost 0€!
Moreover, it is an ideal way to check their equipment before signing a year contract.
Still, one month should not cost you more than 20€. Remember, you pay extra for a membership as well.
Just drink it from the tap – quality checked!
Universities offer lots of courses for students even outside their institution. Just google the local Unis or email to the Foreign Office at the Uni.
Here are also some websites with FREE courses on business, languages, management, and science.
HubSpot Academy – certified business & marketing courses for the specialists and graduates.
Wish you a pleasant survival experience!