Short & Sweet

Every university town or city in Germany has dormitories and private lodgings, but it can still be hard to find accommodation.

Before leaving for Germany, you should already be looking online for places to rent – and organise somewhere to sleep for your first few nights in the country.

Beware of scams though: It is not common to pay rent before arriving or seeing the flat.

Unlike in some other countries you won’t automatically be given accommodation when you register at your university or college. Depending on where you’re planning on moving to and how much money you have available, it’s not always easy to find a place to live. You should start looking as soon as you can, ideally before you arrive in Germany. You can get help on how to find a place from your university’s International Office (‘Akademisches Auslandsamt’).

Student dormitories and student halls

Many university and college towns have dormitories, and a room there is often the most affordable accommodation. But it’s not always easy to get a dormitory room at all university cities. Your chances will be better if you start taking care of this early. Ideally you should begin immediately after you are accepted to your course of study.

Looking for a room?

To obtain a room in a dormitory, you have to apply to your college or university’s student union (‘’). The ‘Find Student Hall’ function can be of practical help. You only need to make a few mouse clicks to get to the online application form. You will also find information about dormitories in your chosen city.

Student residence
Student residence© DAAD/contentküche

The International Office

At some universities and colleges, the International Office (‘Akademisches Auslandsamt’) allocates rooms in dormitories. Simply ask there!

Private accommodation

As is the case everywhere, private accommodation varies dramatically. From an empty room to a fully furnished flat, the private market offers pretty much everything. There are many online portals where you can look for a flat or a room. Rooms, for example, in a shared flat, are usually less expensive.

Studierende in WG
Studierende in WG© DAAD/Jan Zappner

Prepare your search

In a shared flat (‘Wohngemeinschaft’ or ‘WG’ in German) multiple people live together in an apartment, each having their own bedroom, but sharing the kitchen, the bathroom, sometimes a living room and occasionally the costs of telephone and internet connections. This form of accommodation is very popular among students. Living together with others also has the advantage of allowing you to make contacts quickly and improve your language skills.

The first few nights

If you don’t have accommodation when you arrive in Germany, you should figure out before you leave your home country where you can stay for the first few nights. There are many different possibilities, and the International Office can offer information and advice.

Staying in a Jugendherberge – Youth Hostel

In some college and university towns, student unions and religious groups offer affordable accommodation for students’ first few days. You can also get a room in a private Pension (small hotel), a full hotel or hostel (‘’).

Short & Sweet

Every form of accommodation has advantages and disadvantages.

You need more time to arrange for a room in a student dormitory, and for private accommodation you often need to be in the right place at the right time.

So decide early on how you want to live and prepare yourself.