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Costs at a Glance

Whenever you start studying at a university, you have to keep an eye on monthly expenses. The costs for studying at the University of Potsdam are comprised of semester fees and the cost of living. Monthly financial expenses vary among students depending upon your personal circumstances and standards. This page presents a few guidelines that should make financial planning easier for prospective students.

The cost of having your own apartment

The most important factor when making a financial plan is housing. The Potsdam Association for Student Affairs offers residential housing that is comparatively affordable for the Potsdam area. They are available as partially or fully furnished units. If you want to have your own apartment, you will have to anticipate higher costs. Furnishing a new apartment involves costs that are not included in this estimate. Apartment-sharing communities (WGs) are usually an affordable alternative that fall somewhere in the middle of the price spectrum. Such arrangements often involve the need for new purchases, though.

The Social Survey of the German Student Union

The following values are only guidelines. They are based on the results of the 21st Social Survey of the German Student Union, which was published in 2017. The results are published at Social Survey of the German Student Union (DSW) after evaluation. The survey focuses primarily on ‘normal students,’ meaning students who are studying for the first time at a public institution of higher education and do not live with their parents.

AVERAGE MONTHLY EXPENDITURES IN €
Rent including utilities (Potsdam area)314
Food168
Clothing42
Learning materials20
Public transportationincluded in semester fees (the semester ticket is for the Berlin-Brandenburg transportation region, VBB)
Health insurance, medical expenses, medications80
Communication (telephone, internet and more)31
Leisure time, culture and sports61
Semester fee at the University of Potsdam (currently a total of € 287)48
Total764

Additional expenses

Prospective students who are planning on using German financial aid (BAföG) should note that € 250 is the maximum rental cost considered as necessary. This will not fully cover the average rental costs for the Potsdam area.

You should also expect higher food costs; up to € 200 a month may be realistic. If you have a car, you must also plan for additional expenses for car taxes, insurance and fuel. Expenses for learning materials can vary greatly depending on the subjects you study. You ask about general rules of thumb at your Departmental Student Representative Committee (Fachschaft) or in your departmental advisory office.

Monthly costs overall, per student, varies between €500 and €1,000. Extraordinary expenses, such as buying a computer or paying for student excursions, are not included in the budget example.