A 8. How much will my studies in Germany cost? What expenses will I have each month?
Living expenses in Germany are very dependent on your life style, in which city you stay and at which university you are enrolled. For Jena it is recommended to have at least 650-750 Euro available per month. For a rough estimation, the following expenses must be taken into consideration:
Living expenses: When it comes to places to live, there are many options. The first and best option is to stay in a university dormitory (Studentenwohnheim), because the fee is also normally subsidized. Monthly rent will cost you approximately 150- 300 Euro. In addition, you will need money (at least 200 Euro / month) for food and drinks as well as other costs like laundry, clothing, phone, internet and other communication, entertainment, travel expenses etc. which will cost you around 100 - 300 Euro. The university normally has cafeterias and dining halls (Mensa). The meals offered in Mensa come at favorable price, compared to having lunch in a restaurant or Imbiss (kind of snack bar). Another option is: cooking at home (which is cheaper). A broadcasting fee has to be paid (follow the link for the details).
Semester contribution: While students do not have to pay any tuition fees, a semester contribution must be paid each semester in order to matriculate. The semester contribution is approximately 200 Euro. Covered by this amount are fees for the Student Government Body (Studentenschaft), Student Services (Studierendenwerk) and the Semester Ticket (JeNah and Deutsche Bahn). The Semester Ticket allows all students to travel with local transportation within Jena and the regional trains within Thuringia. First-semester students must pay an additional one-time fee of 20 Euro for the issue of their student ID card, called THOSKA.
Insurance: Health insurance costs ca. 105,- Euro/month for students (=85 Euro health insurance fee + compulsory long-term care insurance ca. 15 Euro + a small administrative fee of the health insurance, depending on the company ca. 4-6 Euro, for all students under the age of 30). The Abbe School of Photonics recommends students to organize their health insurance through the Abbe School of Photonics, rather than on their own. All students in Germany are required to have health insurance that meets the requirements of German law. Students are required to be insured starting from the first day of their first semester (i.e. beginning 1 October for winter term, regardless of date of arrival). This reduced student fee applies to all students under 29 years of age and if their home country has no bilateral agreements on recognition of local health insurance in Germany. For students over 30 years of age or with children, a different price rate applies. The university will not accept any private travel or emergency insurances as proof of insurance. The Abbe School of Photonics recommends, however, that students have travel insurance for travelling to Jena and for the time before the semester starts on Ocotber 1st).
Books and course materials: Many books and course materials can be borrowed at the university library. However, there will or may be additional materials that you need to purchase that cannot be found at the library. Calculate approximately 150 Euro (or more) per semester for these costs (copies, books, course material etc).