You already know that public universities in Germany are tuition-free. But what about the other costs? And how much do they difference is there from place to place? These are important questions to ask when you're considering a college, because rents in Germany can vary dramatically depending on where you decide to move.
Bigger means pricier in Germany
The first thing that you'll learn in Germany is that, as a general rule, the bigger the city, the more costly the rent. Four of the top five most expensive cities by rent also rank in the top five for population, with Cologne and Munich battling it out for the top spot.
Go east, young man
A close examination of the average rents across Germany also yields another interesting fact - the seven least expensive cities for rent are all located in the former East Germany, with three in the same eastern state of Saxony. Despite the costs, many students still decide to study in the big expensive cities of the West, leaving lots of affordable real estate available to the budget-minded among us.
Within each city, rent varies dramatically. In the popular Berlin boroughs of Mitte, Friedrichshain, and Kreuzberg, rents have skyrocketed over the past few years, with average rents close to 1000 euros/month in Mitte. As a result, many students now live in the outer districts like Gesundbrunnen now. When you're thinking about where you want to study, be sure to take this into account; even though a city may seem ideal, if you can't find anywhere affordable to live (or anywhere at all), then it kind of defeats the purpose.