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anyone who has studied abroad or lived in germany?

anyone who has studied abroad or lived in germany?

Old Apr 19th, 2001, 08:03 PM
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anyone who has studied abroad or lived in germany?

I'm planning to study abroad in Germany next spring, and I'm trying to plan my budget in advance so I know how much to save. I'd appreciate it if you could tell me some information about the cost of living in Germany (especially southern Germany). For instance, What is the cost of an "average" day? What is the cost of the "average" mid-day meal? What is the cost of university course books and supplies? Can I get an estimate on bus/train expenses for traveling within a town/within Germany/outside of Germany? Thanks in advance for your help!
Old Apr 20th, 2001, 04:26 AM
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Enjoyed a year in Germany as an exchange student during college on an impossibly low budget - a virtual slave to academia. Others who were there with me spent 2-3 times as much over the course of the year. There are tourist budgets, and business per diems, but I don't know if you can say there is anything such as an average day for students. I used to eat a warm meal everday in the campus "Mensa", which cost nest to nothing, then get by on staples (fruit-cheese-bread) the rest of the time. There are "Monatskarten" for most bus and U-bahn systems, and possibly student discounts on these. Most areas of Germany have train daypasses available - you can take a daytrip from, say, Heidelberg to Koblenz on the same day and take 4 friends with you, and it'll cost you $14 round trip - for everyone!

For travel outside your town, plan where you'd like to go and look into train fares at the country websites you'll be travelling in. Also, if you're a matriculated student, there are usually some student group trips to different places offered through the university travel offices at very low prices. I think I spen a weekend in Nürnberg before Christmas for about $11, including train travel and accommodations. OK, so it's been a while. But you'll still find some good deals there and some companionship, too. If you'll have a residence permit, look into an Interail youth pass - like the Eurailpass, but cheaper - if you plan to see several different countries.

The exchange rate is excellent right now; Germany is very reasonably priced when it comes to everyday life items anyway, and I think you'll find you spend a lot less there than at home.

You can e-mail if you have any specific questions. What cities are you considering??

Old Apr 20th, 2001, 04:28 AM
Hans H
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Very difficult to answer since it obviously depends on your wishes. (I take the USD at 2 DM, in the moment it's actually more favourable for you.)

You can eat mid-day in a student dining hall for less than 5$, including drinks. If you go to a normal restaurant, dishes between 6-10$ are common, but drinks are expensive (1.50$ for a small coke, beer or a glass of water). You can buy some snack, as for example the universal Doener, for about 2.50$.

A lot of the expenses result from the rent but if you can stay in a student hall, it's quite cheap. Many universities include a ticket valid for the whole of the public transportation system into the inscription fee. This ticket is mandatory and costs in Bonn about 75$ for half a year and includes the use of buses, trains and trams in the region (including neighbouring towns). You should look up your university whether such a deal exists. I'm not up to the prices of other tickets but every city should offer monthly passes which aren't too expensive (my guess would be about 25$ a month or so).

Course books and supplies depend on your field of study and whether you have to buy at once several books which other students buy within a few years. Often the libraries haven't got sufficient books to go around and it is necessary to buy at least some of the core books for learning. But under normal circumstances, the costs of books and supplies aren't a very relevant factor within a few years of study. If I was you, I would send an e-mail to the student body of your intended field of study (just go to the webpage of the university, click on the department and there will be a link to the student representation, the Fachschaft.) They will know about the books you will need.

For train travel within Germany, you can go to http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/det...in/query.exe/d

Just click on the destinations and it will give you the price for train travel within Germany using the official price. But there are dozens of special deals, as for example the possibility to use only regional trains for a whole day within Germany, the ticket being valid for up to 5 persons and costing 35DM or so. That let's you travel slightly uncomfortably within Germany for 2.50$, if you go with four friends. If you go to www.bahn.de there's a large list of such deals.

If you intend to travel a lot within Germany and Europe, things obviously get more expensive. And if you move to a foreign place, there are always costs which one has to pay once (getting a telephone etc.) and it's difficult to estimate such costs. And of course you can go out in the evening and spend 20-30$ or you can stay home and make a frozen pizza for 2-3$.

To give you a rough impression, if a PhD student is employed by the university, he gets about 900$ a month. That's an improvement for most students in comparison to what they had before.
Old Apr 20th, 2001, 06:51 AM
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The answers above are good. I would add that depending on where your classes are, you could eat really cheap at the Marktplatz, or any bakery, they usually have something warm and good to offer. I agree, get a Monatskarte, or a Jahreskarte for the bus/s-bahn, and you might be eligible for a BahnCard for the rail, which offers significant savings. Are you living in a dorm? I did this just last year, so if you have any questions, you can e-mail me. Viel Spaß!
Old Apr 20th, 2001, 11:59 AM
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Several years ago (when the wall came down) I studied at the Uni in Konstanz. We found that by either eating at the Mensa, or buying our own groceries we saved the most money - although to this day tuna caserole, and ravioli are not my favorite foods! My two roomates and I also went in together and bought a bike, which saved us some $ in the long run (and we were able to resale it after our year was up). We also bought month long passes for the bus system and got used to walking a lot. The other good thing is that once you have lived in Germany for one year you can get a Interrail pass, which is kind of like a Eurrail pass. You pay half price for travel within the country that you buy it in, but travel outside your country is free or reduced considerably and they last a month. If I remember correctly they weren't very expensive either.

Where are you going to study? Please feel free to e-mail me with any questions. And have fun! That year abroad was one of the best experiences ever - and I had lived there before.

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