Costs & Funding

Before Coming to Lower Saxony

Even before you actually begin your studies in Lower Saxony, you will have certain expenses. This is especially relevant for applicants from Non-EU-countries. These are the most important costs you should expect:

When you apply to a university, you will usually have to pay processing fees for the evaluation of your application documents. The fee is determined by the university and depends also on the required application process:

If you can apply directly to the university, you should expect a processing fee of 40 to 75 Euro

If your university of choice cooperates with uni-assist, the evaluation of your application documents will cost 75 Euro. For each additional application via uni-assist in the same application semester, you will have to pay another 30 Euro.

In addition, you should expect possible fees for the notarisation and/or translation of your certificates and other documents.

For more detailed information on the application process, see Application (EU) or Application (Non-EU)

For the application to a university in Lower Saxony, you will usually have to prove that your German language skills are good enough to study in Germany. You can prove this e. g. by providing a Goethe-Zertifikat C2, the Deutsche Sprachdiplom II, or by passing the test TELC C1 Hochschule. Additionally, there are two German exams especially for university admission:

  • TestDaF
    The Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache ("Test for German as a Foreign Language, or "TestDaF" for short) can be taken in about 100 countries around the world. Exam fees in Germany are at least 210 Euro. (Last updated: March 2024)
  • DSH
    The Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang ("German language examination for university admission", or "DSH" for short) can be taken only in Germany. Exam fees are between 70 and 150 Euro. (Last updated: March 2024)

Find more information on language requirements and details about possible language certificates here.

If you are a citizen of a non-EU-country, you will probably need a visa to enter Germany. For the visa application, you should expect visa fees of up to 75 Euro. Additionally, you may have to pay fees for the notarisation and/or translation of your certificates and other documents. Please contact the German Foreign Office or the German Mission Abroad (Embassy/Consulate) in your home country for details. 

You will also find further information on visa requirements and the application process here.

To successfully apply for a visa or residence permit, you will need a proof of financial resources. With this, you guarantee that you have sufficient funds to pay for your studies in Germany.

For the first year of your studies, you must have at least 11.208 Euro at your disposal. For shorter stays, 1.027 Euro per month in Germany are required. (Last updated: March 2024)

As proof, you can e. g. put the required amount of money into a blocked account. You can then withdraw a fixed monthly rate from this account while you are in Germany. There is a fee for opening a blocked account. Find more information here.

To study in Lower Saxony, you will have to prove that you have health insurance that is valid in Germany for the duration of your stay. Should you need a visa to enter Germany, you will already need the certificate of insurance when applying for the visa. Otherwise, you will be required to provide a proof of your health insurance when you enrol at university.

Students from EU-countries as well as from several other countries will not need additional health insurance, since the insurance valid in their home country will also be accepted in Germany. Private health insurance may be recognised as well. Please contact your health insurance company at home, or the International Office of your university of choice to find out which options you have concerning health insurance.

Should your foreign health insurance not be recognised, or should you not have health insurance in your home country, you will have to take out statutory or private health insurance in Germany. We recommend statutory health insurance, if you qualify for it.

For students, the contribution for statutory health insurance is about 110 Euro per month, provided that you are under 30 years of age and have not studied more than 14 semesters yet. If you do not qualify for student health insurance, you will have to take out private health insurance. This will cost you at least 190 Euro per month. (Last update: March 2024)

Find more information on health insurance and medical care in Lower Saxony here.

Last updated: March 2024

During Your Studies

Which expenses should you expect during your studies? Get an overview with our list:

Generally, the state universities in Lower Saxony do not charge tuition fees. However, there are tuition fees for certain non-consecutive ("weiterbildende") Master's programmes, which provide further education in a different field of study and usually require at least one year of relevant job experience (often MBA programmes). 

Private universities will generally charge tuition fees for all of their study programmes. They vary from university to university, and from programme to programme, but you should expect tuition fees of several hundred Euro per month. Find out the exact costs in the description of your desired study programme in our Study Programme Search or on the university's website.

It is also important to note the distinction between tuition fees and the so-called "semester contribution" ("Semesterbeitrag"), which all students in Lower Saxony have to pay to their university each semester. For more information, see "Semester Contribution".

All university students have to pay a semester contribution when they first enrol at university, and before the start of each additional semester. This contribution usually includes administrative fees, a student union contribution, a social contribution, and the costs for a semester ticket, which allows students to use public transportation in the university town, and often also beyond, for the whole term. 

Depending on the university, semester contributions in Lower Saxony ranged from 185 to 430 Euro per semester in winter semester 2017/18. For the current amount, please check the website of your university of choice.

According to a Social Survey amongst students from 2016, conducted by the German National Association for Student Affairs ("Deutsches Studentenwerk" or "DSW" for short), students in Germany pay an average of 819 Euro per month on living expenses. This does not include possible tuition fees.

These costs are – on average – made up of the following components:

  • Rent and utilities: 323 Euro 
  • Food and drink: 168 Euro
  • Clothing: 42 Euro
  • Learning materials: 20 Euro
  • Car and/or public transportation: 94 Euro
  • Health insurance, medicals costs, medicine: 80 Euro
  • Telephone, Internet, radio/TV fees, postage: 31 Euro
  • Recreation, culture and sports: 61 Euro

Source: DSW/DZHW 21. Social Survey 

Small mishaps in everyday life can have serious financial consequences because in Germany, everyone who causes harm to others is legally required to pay compensation for damages. To avoid the risk of turning a bicycle accident or a lost key to the student residence into a financial disaster for you, you should get private liability insurance for the duration of your stay in Germany. It costs about 50 to 60 Euro a year and compensates others for possible damages you have caused them. 

For more information on liability insurance please ask your International Office.

In some cases, further formalities may be necessary, which can incur additional fees:

  • Applying for a Residence Permit 
    If you are not a citizen of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you will have to apply for a residence permit after your arrival in Lower Saxony. The first application costs 100 Euro, the fee for an extension request is also approximately 100 Euro. For the exact costs, please contact the Foreigners' Registration Office at your place of residence in Lower Saxony.

  • Converting your Driving Licence 
    If you wish to drive a car while you are in Germany, and if you are not from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway, you will need a German driving licence. As a rule, the driving licence issued in your home country will not be recognized for more than six months.
    After this period, you will have to get your foreign driving licence converted into a German licence. Please contact the driving licence authority of your place of residence in Germany for more details. They will also tell you the exact costs. In any case, you should expect a fee of 35 to 50 Euro. Additional costs may possibly arise, e. g. for the translation of your old driving licence, a clearance certificate, medical reports, or driving tests.

Last updated: August 2018