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 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|
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 Fee||approx. EUR 260|
|Residence Permit||approx. EUR 100|
|Deposit||approx. EUR 400 - 600 (two months' rent)|
|Furniture||Rooms 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.|
|Bedding||Remember 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.
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!
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
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
Studienförderfonds and Deutschlandstipendium: scholarships awarded to selected students of the University of Siegen
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD): scholarships for international degree students of all fields
STIBET Final Scholarships (DAAD): scholarship for foreign students who are in the final phase of their studies.
House of Young Talents: scholarships for Siegen Master and PhD 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
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.
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:
|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 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.|
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).|
|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.|
|People in financial need get very cheap food at the Siegener Tafel. Persons with the --> Siegener Ausweis can take advantage of this offer|
|It can also be worthwhile for students to prepare a tax declaration and file a tax return.|