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Finances

Finanzierung

Cash and Bank Account

Germany is part of the Euro zone, in which European countries use the euro as their common currency. Ask your bank about the exchange rate, international transfers, use and fees of ATMs abroad and the required four-digit PIN.

Get enough cash in Euros for daily expenses during the first days after your arrival in Germany (local transport, food, small purchases, first rent and deposit if necessary).

We advise international students who stay longer than a few weeks in Siegen to open a bank account in Germany. You also need a German bank account for a part-time job. Banks often offer free current accounts for students under 30 years of age.

  

Costs and Expenses

Budgeting for living costs is an important part of planning for your studies in Siegen. Often you will need to provide evidence of sufficient funds for the duration of study even before your enrollment, when applying for a visa.

Living Expenses

Living costs can very greatly depending on lifestyle and spending habit. According to the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) monthly living costs for students in Germany amount to approx. EUR 800. We advise students to prepare for monthly expenses of approx. EUR 700 – 800:

Rent and Utilities approx. EUR 200 – 300
Food approx. EUR 165
Clothing approx. EUR 42
Public Transportation approx. EUR 94
Health Insurance, Medication approx. EUR 80
Learning Materials approx. EUR 20
Phone, Internet, TV* approx. EUR 45
Recreation, Culture, Sports approx. EUR 61

The law, that requires the TV and radio license of currently EUR 17.50, applies to persons over 18 years of age. Students must register online on Rundfunkbeitrag - Online-Service. Check if your eligible for an exemption from the broadcasting receiving fee.

Initial One-Off Costs

After your arrival there will be inital one-off costs you need to consider where necessary when planning for your budget.

Semester Feeapprox. EUR 260
Residence Permitapprox. EUR 100
Depositapprox. EUR 400 - 600 (two months' rent)
FurnitureRooms in the student residences are funished. If you rent an unfurnished private accommodation you need to provide your own furniture.
Cook Ware and Dish Ware
One-bed apartments or single apartments as well as rooms in the student residences usually do not include cook ware or dish ware. You will need to provide your own equipment.
BeddingRemember to bring your bedding or buy blanket, pillow and bed linen after your arrival. Student residences of the Student Services Organization Siegen offer a bedding set (pillow, pillow case, blanket, blanket case, bed sheet) for approx. EUR 50.

  

Financing Your Studies

To finance your studies, you generally need either financial reserves or support, e.g. from your parents. But there are some additional opportunities which help you to improve your finances.

Part-Time Work

Many students in Germany work part-time during their studies or during lecture-free period. Remember that you will need a German bank account to receive your pay!

Foreign students who are not from EU or EEA countries may work only 120 full or 240 half days per calendar year (more than 4 hours = full day). This regulation does not apply for student assistant. Participants of the DSH Intensive Course are only allowed to work during the lecture-free period.

There are several service units at the University of Siegen providing help and support for students looking for a part time job or preparing their job applications.

Service Units of the University of Siegen

Scholarships

A scholarship is the most convenient way to finance your studies in whole or in part. In most cases, scholarships are awarded by religious or political organizations or foundations, as well as by companies.

Most scholarship applications include a motivation letter, curriculum vitae/resume, recommendation letter or report issued by a tutor, supervisor or professor, as well as certificates providing evidence of language proficiency, academic achievements or social commitment. Remember that motivation letter and recommendation letter are important for your application and allow you to present yourself, your commitment to and interest in your study program.

Scholarships for Degree-Students

Scholarships for Exchange Students (excl. Erasmus)

  • STIBET Contact Scholarships (DAAD): partial scholarships for undergraduate and graduate exchange students from partner universities
  • STIBET Matching Funds (DAAD): matching funds currently provided for scholarship holders of the VDAC and the German Department of the University of Gdansk in Poland
  • I.DEAR: scholarships for undergraduate students enrolled in engineering or computer science at the National University of San Juan in Argentina
  • UNIBRAL: scholarships for undergraduate students enrolled in education at the University of Campinas in Brasil

Scholarship Search Engines

  

Loans

For foreign students, it is rarely possible to get a loan. However, if you are married to a German partner, are a refugee, come from an EU or EEA country, or have a settlement permit, it is quite possible that you will receive a student loan (Studienkredit).

Under the German Federal Training Assistance Act (Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz), usually referred to as BAföG, students of universities and other secondory schools can receive financial aid for their education and training, which must be repaid proportionately after graduation. Only international students from an EU / EEA country are eligible.

  

Financial Hardship

Try to avoid getting into financial distress from the start. Plan your finances and, as far as possible, save money each month, in case you suddenly need a larger sum or you cannot work part-time.

It is also advisable to take out personal liability insurance. This insurance costs you only a few euros a month and helps you if you accidentally damage things belonging to others, or if you hurt somebody by accident.

If you, in spite of all precautions, unexpectedly and involuntarily get into financial difficulties, please contact us or one of the following places:

  • General Students’ Committee (AStA)
  • Congregation of Evangelical Students (ESG)
  • Catholic Congregation of Higher Education (KHG)

  

Saving Tips

Library

Generally, you need not buy all the books you need to study. In the Unibibliothek (Library [UB]) you can get most of the material, borrow the books and copy or scan them for your use. Books that are not available in the UB can be ordered by interlibrary loan.

Foodsharing

Foodsharing is an organization that cooperates with stores to pick up foodstuffs at the end of the business day that were not sold, to save them from being wasted. Everyone is allowed to use this saved food themselves, and everyone is invited to participate.

Second Hand Stores and Social Furniture Stores

In second hand stores, such as Kleiderladen, or social furniture stores you can get used furniture and clothing that is in good condition at a relatively low price.

Semester Ticket

With your semester ticket you can use the public transport throughout North Rhine-Westphalia free of charge. Therefore, a car is usually not necessary. If you want to travel cheaply outside of NRW, look for ticket offers for the train or use a ride-sharing service.

If you register your main residence in Siegen, you will receive a one-time refund of the fees for your semester ticket. Please contact the AStA for more information. Students in financial distress can apply for exemption from the semester ticket fees at the AStA. (Must be done every semester.)

Student Residence and Shared Apartments

Renting an apartment is relatively expensive. Try to get an accommodation for a more convenient rent in the student residence hall or find a shared Apartment WG).

Siegener Ausweis

With the Siegener Ausweis you get discounts on various offers in Siegen. You can apply for it at the Weidenau Town Hall in Department 5/2 Child, Youth and Family Support.

Siegener Tafel

People in financial need get very cheap food at the Siegener Tafel. Persons with the --> Siegener Ausweis can take advantage of this offer

Tax Declaration

It can also be worthwhile for students to prepare a tax declaration and file a tax return.