Student dormitories in Germany
Student dormitories (or Studentenwohnheim in German) are the cheapest accommodation option in Germany, and therefore, the one of the high-demand. That is why if you decide to apply for a room in a Studentenwohnheim (let`s learn some new words today :)) you’ll probably be on the waiting list for 3-6 months before even getting a chance to get a room.
(Spoiler: I was lucky to get the room in the dormitory almost immediately, so I moved into a dorm immediately after coming to Germany).
Before coming to Germany, I had no idea about the existence of such websites as https://www.wg-gesucht.de/ or https://www.immowelt.de, where you can find a room or an apartment for rent. Therefore, first, I was considering the dormitories offered by my university – it seemed to be the most obvious solution.
I contacted my Uni and they gave me the contact details of students who were looking for new neighbors in dormitories.
Therefore, I had to get in contact with those students on my own and discuss with them the possibility to move in. To be honest, I did not expect that I still had to go through so-called «interviews» with other students and that I had to be «approved» by them.
I had couple of Skype-interviews with several students, but unfortunately, they did not choose me. But finally, I got an approval! I was very happy that I managed to find something 🙂
Obviously, there are different types of dorms in Germany, meaning different kinds of accommodation. I used to live in a so-called WG («Wohngemeinschaft» or shared flat) where 2–4 people live together, share a kitchen and bathroom, but each have their own private room.
I had my own room, so I could have privacy anytime I wanted it. My 3 roommates (2 Germans and 1 Turkish guy) never had any issue with my friends coming over and sitting in the common area. I never really hung out with my roommates as we all really kept to ourselves but I never had any problems with them. There were also those roommates in some WGs who hung out all the time – it depends.
Some important notes about student dorms in Germany:
- The dorms are generally mixed (for example, I lived with 3 guys during my time in the dorm).
- Room sizes range from 9–18 square meters.
- Normally, student dormitories are fully furnished (bed, desk, chair, wardrobe). But you should always make sure and ask coordinator about it.
- Many of the dorms have special areas to organize parties that are usually a great place to meet new people. In my dorm, it was a bar area “Glückspils” where every Tuesday night we had a party (sometimes thematic ones: Halloween, Christmas, Karaoke, Oktoberfest, etc.)
- Washing machines are in the basement and used by everyone in the building (normally, you have to pay for each laundry, approximately 2 euros).
- When you move out, you need to leave the room in the same state you got it, otherwise they won’t return your security deposit. So firstly, when moving in, check if there are any defects, and if there are, report about them immediately! Secondly, if you decided to brighten up your room by changing the color of the walls, you need to paint them white again before moving out.
Summing up, living in a student dorm in Germany is a great experience, so if you have a chance to stay in such a dormitory, you can be sure that you will enjoy your time there!