Tuition Free Universities in Germany and costs of Living

These are Tuition Free Universities In Germany for international students. Study for free in Germany, pay no fees. Check the cost of living in Germany below.  Germany is known for research and academic excellence, that is why it is called Land of Ideas. Germany Universities are internationally recognized.

List of Tuition free Universities in Germany for International Students

These are Tuition free Universities in Germany for International Students. These universities do not charge fees irrespective of your country.

Currently, University of Hamburg do not charge tuition fee for all international students. Students will only have to pay a semester contribution of 325 EUR/semester which cover public transportation, administrative cost, Students’ Union, Semester Ticket hardship fund etc.
The Hamburg University of Applied Sciences currently does not charge tuition fee for international students irrespective of your country except for few professional Master’s programmes. However, all students have to pay a semester contribution of 333.50 EUR/semester.
The University of Bremen do not charge tuition fee for all programs but students have to pay a semester contribution of 320 EUR/semester.
There are no tuition fee except for some masters programme. Students will pay semester contribution of 129.40 EUR
There are no tuition fee at the University of Humboldt for Germans, nor for EU students nor for international students. Students will pay a semester fee of 300 EUR.
The Hamburg University of Technology do not charge tuition fee but students have to pay a semester fee of 316.30 EUR/semester.
No tuition fee at the University of Brandenburg. Students will pay a semester contribution of 270.73 EUR
The University of Applied Sciences in Brandenburg does not charge tuition fee but students will pay semester contribution of 225 EUR
The Freie University of Berlin does not charge tuition fees except for some graduate or postgraduate programs. Students will pay a semester contribution of 311.59 EUR.

There are no tuition fees at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich for any student. However, students have to pay semester fee of 128 EUR which is charged for all bachelor and master programs.

There are no tuition fee paid at the University of the Arts Bremen. students will pay a semester contribution of 196,92 EUR.

There are no tuition fee. Students will pay a semester contribution of 250 EUR
No tuition fees. students will pay a semester contribution of 257.90 EUR 
No tuition fee. Students will pay semester contribution of 240 EUR.
There are no tuition fee at the University of Gottingen. Students will however pay a semester contribution of 337 EUR


In the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) in 2008, 6 of the top 100 universities in the world are in Germany, and 18 of the top 200.

Germany institutions are categorized as Universities (reserved for institutions which have the right to confer doctorates.) and Universities of Applied Sciences. Germany institutions offer bachelor, masters and doctorate programmes. There are about 400 institutions in Germany including Universities. One fifth of this number are private institutions.

Common field of study in Germany

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A)
  • (B.Sc) Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A)
  • (B.Eng.) of Engineering
  • (B.Mus)Bachelor of Music
  • Master of Music (M.Mus)
  • (M.A)Master of Arts
  •  (M.Eng.) Master of Engineering
  • (M.Sc.) Master of Science
  • Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A)
  • Doctorate (PhD) 

Tuition fees in Germany

This is how the tuition free universities in Germany started

Tuition fees was removed from German state, Baden Wurttemberg in the year 2011, following that, all other public and state universities in Germany was declared free in the year 2014.

In the 2017, the government in Baden Wurttemberg has reinstated the tuition fee and most universities has follow suit. But students from the EU member states will still have the opportunity to attain universities in Germany for free.
The government reinstated the tuition fee because, they want to reduce some debt that has accrued due to the tuition fee waiver. The Education department must scrap the €48 million debt by 2018.
Therefore, tuition fees for international students (Non-EU) was reinstated from  2017.

However, the following group of people are exempted from paying tuition fee:

  • Foreign students who are considered to be part of the Erasmus states
  • Foreign students who obtained their high school certificate in Germany
  • Refugees who have the right to reside in the country.
  • Students who are not part of the EU community but have a permanent stay or citizen in any of the EU nations.

Currently, all non-EU students have to pay tuition fee of 1,500 EUR per semester and a reduced fee of 650 EUR per semester for a second degree. 
Notwithstanding, there are a number of Universities that does not charge tuition fee.

Germany is one of the countries that offer most scholarships for Masters and PhD students.
Currently, there are no tuition fee for PhD candidates. Therefore, anyone (including non-EU) have the opportunity to pursue PhD programmes for free in German public universities.

Tuition fees at Private Universities

Though there are tuition free universities in Germany but someone might want to attend a private university for his or her own reasons. Germany private universities charge tuition fees. International students will have to pay tuition fee of about 3000 EUR to 20,000 EUR per year.
Fees are determine depending on each university and field of study. Some degrees have higher tuition fee compared to others.

Living expenses in Germany

Even though you can get tuition free universities in Germany or study for free in Germany but you will have to consider the living expense. Comparing Germany to other European Nations, the living expenses in Germany is moderate.
Students are expected to spend about 800 EUR each month.  In bigger cities, living expenses can be different based on where you stay. Therefore, you will spend a lot on your daily expenses and studies in in the bigger cities than the smaller cities.  Obviously, your expenses will be determined by your life style.

Things to consider

  • Accommodation costs
  • Utilities
  • Transportation
  • Food costs
  • Internet

Accommodation cost in Germany

Accommodation is the highest expense you will have to consider and it is about 35% of the total expenses. On average, students pay 298 EUR each month for their room.  Accommodation in bigger cities, for instance, Hamburg, Munich or Frankfurt is expensive. A flat costs around 500 EUR in Frankfurt or Munich but 380 EUR in Berlin or as low as 300 EUR in Leipzig.

Most times, the number of students are more than the number of rooms available. This makes it difficulty finding accommodation but applying and settling earlier helps. As soon as you have been granted admission, you have to start looking for accommodation. It is estimated that about 11% of international students get accommodation on university campus.  Residential halls or shared private rental apartments are considered cheap for international students however, these are really difficult to find.
International offices can sometimes be of help in finding accommodation.Therefore,you can always contact the international office in your chosen university for assistance.

Averagely, accommodation in Germany is estimated as;

  • Living alone: 363 EUR/month
  • Staying with partner/child: 351/month
  • Staying on-campus: 237 EUR/month


If you rent a room, it is also required of you to pay utilities. Utilities of course cover water bills, electricity etc. Averagely, utilities cost around 200 EUR/month. For some apartments, utilities are covered in the rents. Most of the university accommodation fees includes utilities, so there is no obligation paying utilities again.


A review by DAAD saw that about 10% of student’s total monthly budget is spent on transport.

  • A public transport for students is between 30 and 60 EUR/month, depending on the city.
  • You can easily get around with a bicycle throughout any city in Germany.
  • You can use Germany’s train system and visit any German city you want. It cost between 20 to 70 EUR.

Food cost

Food is not expensive as you may think. Even though Germany is one of the great nations in Europe but food cost in Germany is not all that much. Averagely, one may spend 120 EUR/month on food.

Internet, Telephone and TV License

You will also have to pay internet and telephone cost which is around 24 EUR/month.

Other things to consider before going to Germany

  • Visa cost

Now that you have knowledge about the tuition fee and living expenses, you can go ahead and apply for a programme at your preferred university in Germany. But you have to also check the visa requirements for student from outside the EU/EEA. German student visa fee is 60 EUR.

Students from United States and other countries do not require a students visa however, they must pay for residence permit. When applying for a student visa, one important thing they require from you is for you to prove that you have 720 EUR/month for the number of years you will spend in Germany in your bank account or from an external source.

You should apply for the visa at least 3 months before your university degree programme starts. Students must also pay a residence permit fee of 110 EUR/year and a Plane ticket which depends on the country you are.

  • Health Insurance

All international students will have to get a health insurance before they can enroll in any German University. Proof of health insurance is a necessary condition for enrollment German’s tertiary institutions.

Funding and financial Support

There are a number of funding organizations that international students can apply for scholarships and financial aid.

  1. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Offers full scholarship to international students who want to study in Germany.
  2.  Deutschlandstipendium provides 300 EUR per month for talented students for at least two semesters.

Student work opportunities

Receiving a residence permit qualifies you to work as a student for up to 120 full days or 240 half days per year. If you take a job as a student assistant in the university, you can work for more than the 120 limit. Student worker in Germany can receive wages between 5 to 15 EUR per hour.

You can check for Tuition Free Universities in Norway, Living expenses and work opportunities  

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2 Comments on “Tuition Free Universities in Germany and costs of Living”

  1. In 2014, Germany’s 16 states abolished tuition fees for undergraduate students at all public German universities. This means that currently both domestic and international undergraduates at public universities in Germany can study for free, with just a small fee to cover administration and other costs per semester.
    Study in Germany

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