International students who apply for a residence permit in Germany for the purpose of university study must prove they have sufficient financial resources.
You can also find information about the cost of living for students in Hamburg.
The Counselling Centre for Social and International Affairs, which is run by the student services provider Studierendenwerk Hamburg, also offers advice on financing your studies.
from Italy, enrolled in the Bachelor program Japanese Studies at Universität Hamburg
- "Luckily, as a European citizen, I did not have to struggle with visas or with proving that my financial situation is stable. From my experience, students that are planning to move to Hamburg should expect to pay around 300 EUR/month for rent and utilities, 150–200 EUR/month for the mandatory insurance (though you can keep your national European insurance if you earn less than 450 EUR a month) and around 150 EUR/month for food and basic needs. I manage to cover all of these expenses with my 2 mini-jobs, which are usually rather easy to come by if you’re a student, but by the law you cannot work more than 20 hours a week if you’re a full time student, which means the pay is going to be barely enough to stay afloat, so it’s important to look around for alternative ways to finance your studies."
- "Some scholarships are a lot easier to get than you might think, but you generally need to have some grades from your course, so you probably shouldn’t count on them for the first few semesters. I just recently found out that I could be eligible for Bafoeg and Wohngeld, and I wish I had known it long ago. That’s why it’s important that you consult different offices of the main organizations that can help you know what you are eligible for and help you sign up for it, in particular Studierendenwerk. The German system can be very daunting, but there is a great infrastructure to help you navigate it, so take advantage of it. Good luck with your studies!"
from the United States, academic tutor at PIASTA
- “My name is Angela Hudnell. I moved to Germany in 2015. Originally, I am from the United States. So far, I have funded my stay in Germany in a few ways. At the beginning, I lived with a host family, who helped me open a blocked bank account. I was required to pay €4,000 into the account to cover a period of six months, and I could withdraw €650 every month. Later, I worked and also received a Rotary Club scholarship from my home country. I had two jobs, English tutoring and waitressing, and worked around 19 to 20 hours a week. After my Rotary Club scholarship finished, I successfully applied for the Germany Scholarship. This gave me another EUR 300 per month. Unfortunately, I did not receive the scholarship again in the following year, but the privately funded half of the Germany Scholarship continued, worth €150 per month. In 2018, I got a job as a student tutor for PIASTA at Universität Hamburg. Once I completed my bachelor’s degree, I took a position as an academic tutor there, and my hourly wage increased. This allowed me to work fewer hours.”
- “At the moment, I only work 15 hours a week and earn enough. On average, rents in Hamburg are very high, but if you find an affordable flat or flat share (up to around €375), you can easily get by on around €800 per month. If you like to treat yourself every now and then or your rent is higher, it would be better to aim for €1,000.”