Munich, the heart of Bavaria is also the third largest city in Germany. Among the great study opportunities it offers the international students and national alike, it ranks as the best city to live in nation wise. Albeit its global recognition as the city of Oktoberfest, beer production and beer consumption, there is more to it than what appears; Munich is also a cultural hub that hosts numerous art museums, and alternative spaces where the youth gathers to celebrate beauty. The opera troupe operating in the National Theater is considered the Muenchener pride and glory.
Munich is inhabited by approximately a million citizens yet it operates more as a community where sharing is caring. Therefore the ambient is rather welcoming and lures the students to depart in their study abroad adventure in the city of Munich.
Local universities Technische Universität München and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München are among the best in continental Europe, ranking two and three in Germany, and 54 and 62 in the world respectively. Munich might not have a variety of universities to choose from, but it surely offers quality and openness toward all the students outside Germany who’d wish to obtain a degree in this country.
As at all German universities, tuition fees are extremely low for domestic and international students alike, and although living costs tend to be slightly higher in Munich than they are in the eastern Germany, this still makes it one of the most affordable student cities around.
Starting with winter term 2013/2014 there are no longer any tuition fees to be paid by students of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. There are, though, the following two fees to be paid per semester. These fees are charged for bachelor and master programs, for foreign and domestic students equally.
Basic Fee: 52 EUR – the administrative fee
Student Transit Pass: 59 EUR (Semesterticket, the ticket that allows you to use public transport throughout the year. Its mandatory, the basic fee and it covers certain areas around the University. In order to upgrade it to full use “IsarCard Semester” student are asked to pay the additional 141 EUR.
Munich is known to be an expensive city with a high standard of living. The basic living expenses reach and exceed 1000 Eur monthly which compared to e.g Berlin is quite a difference. Also, finding accommodation is of no ease, since the apartments usually are either expensive or too far away and inconvenient. Once you have are accepted to a university in Munich, it is essential to start your preparations as soon as possible, ideally at least 2 or 3 months before your arrival.
Student Resident Halls, run by the Studentenwerk are commonly the cheapest and smartest alternative. However the space is limited and in order to get one of the room students must apply months prior their departure. The rooms are furnished and cost EUR 200 – 280 with a deposit of EUR 300. As aforementioned, it is generally very hard to get because the demand is insane. Another suitable option would be sharing the apartment with other students or renting a room in commune residencies, very frequently seen in Munich. The rent covers all running costs of the accommodation. Rent is paid in advance, through the certain bank (never cash) including the deposit for any future damages.
If you are used to privacy and you want to rent a place on your own beware of some basics:
- Semester beginnings, especially winter semester, are tough times. Armies of other students are looking too. Start well before courses begin.
- A room in a private apartment or house can cost around EUR 350.
- Utilities for 1 month including heating, electricity and gas in 85m2 flat cost over 170 EUR
- Advertised prices are usually basic rent, without electricity, warm water and so on. This is called kaltmiete. Rent including everything is called warmmiete.
- Expect to pay a deposit, 1 to 3 months basic rent.
- I strongly lobby against agencies that charge an advance or monthly fee claiming they provide special offers. They usually just browse the same newspapers you would. If you want to pay for that, it’s your choice. Also they charge a provision of up to 2.3 months basic rent.
- Rooms are rented either in private homes or as part of what the Germans call a wohngemeinschaft or WG, apartments shared by roommates. It’s very likely for students to form groups and look for a larger place together to form their own WG.
- If you are looking for a whole flat, be aware that apartments don’t usually have the kitchen utilities.
- One has to be patient on the matter. If you don’t immediately find the perfect place, find a temporary solution until your eyes catch the dream place.
No University will accept you if you don’t have health insurance so count on another 33 EUR (if you choose Mawista Student) or more if you choose other companies for the students from non-European countries or from countries without social security agreement with Germany only.
The basic food supplies are rather cheap so cooking in will save you loads of money meanwhile basic dinner out for two in the neighborhood pub will cost around 35 EUR. Regarding entertainment, a ticket to the cinema starts from 8 EUR and up, in most of the clubs you pay an entry fee of 10 or more EUR and the cheapest beer you will get in a bar costs 4 EUR. However, looking in the bright side, most of the monumental and sentimental German venues, museums and tourist attraction charge very little or nothing at all therefore, you have to consider spending your free time in a truly Germanic embrace.