Financing studies: part-time job or parents? As a research assistant or through reserves? How do German students finance themselves and how much money do they have to get by with each month?? Information on the topic, tips and alternative financing can be found here.
The "lazy student" is a prejudice that unfortunately still lingers in some people's minds, although it should have been a thing of the past long ago. The numbers, which speak against this picture, begin with the over 60% of all students, who pursue a work beside the study and end with the 40% of all students, who do not have nevertheless enough money at the end of the month still remaining. A compensation, which increasingly more students use is that they apply for a loan.
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research regularly publishes a report on the economic situation of students, from which we have compiled the most interesting facts here.
The cost factors of the study financing
A big problem in financing studies is that the biggest cost factor in the vast majority of university cities is always growing: rent. About 40% of the money has to be paid for rent every month, with Munich being the most expensive student city in Germany with an average rent of 600€.
Working part-time prolongs your studies
In addition, the work beside the studies is of course an additional burden besides studying for exams and attending seminars. As a result, a significant difference in study time develops between students who have to work while studying and those who don't.
Just because today more than ever a young entrance into the occupation world is demanded and the study should be locked if possible in regular study time, an unfair imbalance develops here. Some students seek an alternative, for example, by applying for a loan. Thus, either the additional earnings can be completely replaced by a part-time job, or at least fewer hours of work per week are necessary.
Tips for saving during your studies
Apart from many problems in the study, which concerns money, students have naturally also many advantages. Who knows how to use the student status, can save in very many places and thus try to fight the budget gap at the end of the month.
1. Student discounts
In no situation in life, except perhaps during retirement, do you get special offers and discounts in as many places as you do as a student. Especially the cost factor leisure and culture can often be drastically reduced here. Whether you go to the cinema, the theater or the open-air swimming pool, your student ID should always be with you to take advantage of the sometimes steep discounts.
2. Cheaper board
While cooking for yourself is always the cheapest and in most cases the healthiest way, you can also get away very cheaply in most university canteens.
3. Travel expenses
Travel costs actually make up a relatively large part of the costs of financing studies on average. That's why you should use the semester ticket in your studies as wisely as possible. Let's take Dusseldorf as an example: here you get the NRW ticket during your studies. If you then want to go to Berlin, for example, you can probably save some of the travel costs if you first travel for free with the NRW ticket to Bielefeld and only pay for the rest of the trip from there.
Debt-ridden entry into professional life
After 3, 5 or more years, the study is finally completed. Months in the library, before term papers or pages of formulas, pure stress before oral exams and hundreds of lectures and seminars. In most cases, a part-time job, and still just enough money to live on. But it was all worth it. Finally, the job search can begin, hopefully with good chances due to the studies.
And with 44% of all students with debts that run into the thousands. Sad but true, one of the "rewards" of studying in many cases is that you are first allowed to pay off a mountain of debt, either through BAfoG or some other form of student loan.
In most cases, however, loans for student financing have relatively tolerant conditions as far as the repayment of the loan is concerned. So you don't have to pay it all back immediately after graduation, but you can take your time and pay off the loan when you're in the workforce and earning money.
Conclusion on student financing
Financing studies in Germany is much easier than in the U.S., but even here many students have to take out a loan or work part-time. As a prospective student, the main question to ask yourself is whether you're willing to put your studies on the back burner in part to get a job, or whether you'd rather pay off a loan at the end of your studies.
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