Banking and money
If you are planning to come to Germany as an international student different types of costs will incur.
We have made a rough overwiev which additional costs will arise apart from the tuition fees that vary depending on the type of your study program.
|Student service fee||~ 100 € per semester|
|Accommodation||~ 200-300 € per month|
|Food||~ 200 € per month|
|Recreational activities||~ 100 € per month|
|Personal expenses||~ 120 € per month|
|Health insurance||~ 90 € per month|
|Fees for residence permit*||~ 120 € single payment|
* only for non-EU countries
On the following page you can find information on financial support:
One-year scholarship program sponsored by the Free State of Bavaria for graduates of Central, Eastern and Southeastern European states:
The Free State of Bavaria offers one-year scholarships for graduates from Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, the Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine who plan to complete their postgraduate studies (i.e. Master's programs) at a Bavarian higher-education instiution. An avarage of 30 scholarships worth 735€ per month are awarded each year. They can be extended twice for up to 3 years. Application forms, deadlines and further information on the application procedure can be found here.
If you would like to work in Germany, there are certain rules you have to observe as an international student. A part-time job can provide some extra spending money, but it won't cover all your living expenses. More information on working in Germany: http://www.hof-university.com/international/incoming-students-and-faculty/practical-advice/working-in-germany.html
Proof of financial resources
If you want to study at a university in Germany you will have to prove that you have enough money to support yourself. When you apply for an entry visa you will be asked to present your proof of sufficient financial means:
In 2019: 735,00 € per month
In 2020: 853,00 € per month
Moreover, you have to present it when you apply for a residence permit in Germany (only non-EU students).
There are different ways to prove your financial resources:
- Your parents submit documents certifying their income and financial assets
- A person with a permanent residence in Germany can guarantee the Alien Registration Office to cover your expenses
- A security payment can be deposited into a blocked account
- You present a bank guarantee
- You present a scholarship award notification from a recognised scholarship provider.
Make sure to find out which form of financial proof you need at the German embassy in your country!
German bank account
You need to open a German bank account. This bank account is required for instance for the monthly payment of your rent or for transferring upcoming fees.
If you have not yet transferred the administrative fee for the first semester, you have to do so immediately. Please note that this payment cannot be made in cash at the university but always has to be done by bank transfer. It may take up to two weeks for us to receive the fee in our accounts. Your access to the university’s computers and your student ID card will only be activated after the university has received the fee.
How to open a German bank account?
In Germany, opening a bank account is a straightforward process. The most common form of account is the “Girokonto“ (checking or current account). Most financial transactions like receiving wages or paying rent are done with this type of account.
In general, a current account allows you to
- Withdraw money from your bank using an EC card (please note: this service is normally free of charge at your own bank’s ATMs; a fee of several Euros may be charged for withdrawing money from other banks’ ATMs);
- Transfer money to pay bills by the use of transfer forms or by online banking;
- Set up regular payments paid by direct debit (e.g. your rent, telephone bills and health insurance contributions)
To open a bank account in Germany, you need the following documents:
- Your passport
- Your student ID card
Any money or cheques you would like to put on your account
After you have filled in the necessary forms, your account will be activated and you can put in money or cheques. Most banks offer free bank accounts for students (normally, you would have to pay a monthly account management fee). After you have opened your bank account, you will receive a letter with your PIN code for the cash machine and your EC card. This card can be used to withdraw money from the bank account and to get account statements. The card can also be used for payment in most supermarkets and shops.
If you registered for online banking, the required codes and net keys will be sent to you as well. To activate your online banking, you need to go to the bank personally. They will check if you are the authorized user of the online account so do not forget to take your passport.
How to transfer money?
When making transactions from one German bank to another, you normally use a money transaction form. You need to fill in the following details:
- Last and first name of remittee
- Account number (IBAN) of remittee
- Bank code (BIC) of remittee
- Bank name of remittee
- Amount of transfer in €
- Reference for the payment (e.g. invoice number, customer number or key - words like rent)
- Last and first name of account holder
- Account number (IBAN) of account holder
- Name and bank code (BIC) of account holder
- Date and signature (very important)
For money transfer you need the IBAN number and the SWIFT code of your German bank account. You can find both numbers on your EC card or on your account statement. Within Germany, transferring money from one account to another takes about three to four working days. Please note that transferring money to the university’s account can take considerably longer (up to two weeks!). In Bavaria, all universities use the same bank account, and it may take a while to sort out the incoming payments and allot them to the respective university.