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Studying abroad is not always inexpensive. The good news is that those who decide to study in Dresden can enjoy an unforgettable study stay even on a small budget - especially compared to other German cities such as Munich or Frankfurt. We have compiled the most important information on the individual accommodation options as well as an overview of the costs to be expected.
For a study stay in Dresden, international university students and our course participants have various accommodation options in different price categories at their disposal. Whether a dormitory, shared room, or hostel: Together we will find the right accommodation for you - and your budget.
The Studentenwerk Dresden offers around 6,700 dormitory places, with rent varying between 107 and 370 euros per month. However, with around 40,000 students in the city, the coveted places are often taken quickly, which is why an application should be submitted as early as possible. Students who are admitted to a university assigned to the Studentenwerk or who are already enrolled and have not yet completed their studies are eligible to apply. Further information on the topic of residence halls can also be found on the website of the Studentenwerk Dresden.
The majority of students in Dresden live in a shared apartment, known as a "Wohnungsgemeinschaft" or WG for short. Living in a shared flat not only has the advantage that rent, utilities, internet, and electricity costs are shared by the number of residents, but also offers international students in particular the opportunity to make new friends and experience the true students' life in Germany. We recommend the platform www.wg-gesucht.de, with which many of our course participants have already had good experiences.
As a tourist stronghold, Dresden offers a large selection of hotels and hostels in a wide range of price categories for shorter stays - for example, as part of our spring and summer courses. A relatively inexpensive alternative to the classic hotel is the Student Hotel on Prager Straße - in the middle of Dresden's Old Town. Another accommodation option in the center of Dresden is offered by both the hotel and the associated hostel of the Cityherberge. The a&o hostel at Dresden's main train station is a particularly inexpensive alternative, with prices starting at 9 euros per night. Student applicants who like things more sociable should take a look at Saxony's largest youth hostel: with 480 beds in a central city center location, the Youth Hostel Dresden makes a good option. An overview of other hostels in Dresden can be found here.
Those looking for a quieter place to stay might find what they are looking for in a guesthouse. The 310 rooms of the international guest house of the Dresden Student Union, for example, can be booked for up to three months. The facility is located on the TU Dresden campus - just a few minutes' walk from the main train station and Dresden's city center - and offers a variety of living options, from one-room apartments with their own kitchen and bathroom to single rooms in a shared apartment. The guesthouse "Am Weberplatz" near the Great Garden also offers 60 cozy rooms, which are less touristy than the hotels in Dresden. For longer stays we recommend the guest house "Einsteinstraße" with its eleven accommodation units (optionally with kitchen) and an in-house garden. Pets are also allowed here upon request.
Unlike in the U.S. or the U.K., public universities in Germany have not had tuition fees since 2014. Despite the fact that there are no tuition fees, the basic cost of living should be considered when planning to study abroad in Germany - especially in Dresden. For example, in addition to the semester fee*, rent, and mandatory health insurance of about 80 euros per month, there are also costs for food, telephone/internet, or transfer services.
At an average of 332 euros per month**, rent (including utilities) is usually the biggest cost. The monthly cost of food in Germany averages 154 euros per person**. While restaurant visits or takeaways are relatively inexpensive in many countries, that depends on your tastes. For example, the price of a pizza from a delivery service or a main course in a "simple" restaurant is around ten euros; a dish with noodles, rice, potatoes or vegetables can be conjured up at home for considerably less money.
Incidentally, the cost of living in Dresden is lower than the national average by around 17 percent, so the monthly costs for students are comparatively low. To cover the most important costs, students in Dresden need an average of 680 euros per month.
The average cost for a mobile phone for students is around 32 euros per month*. The cost of a home internet connection starts at 19.95 euros per month - depending on the mobile provider. Many providers now offer student discounts, which can reduce the monthly charges. The costs for the setup and the router are usually not included in the price and must be added accordingly. As a rule, you can expect a one-time charge of between 39.99 and 49.99 euros here. If you conclude your mobile phone contract with the same provider, you can possibly benefit from discounted combination offers. We recommend that you seek advice on this in a specialist store or online.
Since cell phone contracts usually have a term of 24 months, it makes sense to use the smartphone via a prepaid card for shorter stays in Germany. Unlike the mobile phone contracts described above, there is no monthly basic fee here, but only the credit available on the card. The advantages of prepaid cards are that they are relatively inexpensive to purchase (starting at about 12 euros) and that you can keep track of your costs. Another plus point is that it is now possible to purchase a prepaid card and top up the credit not only in the stores of the various network operators, but also in supermarkets and discount stores, for example.
Important: In addition to the costs for telephone and internet, the broadcast media fees of EUR 17.50 per month per household must also be taken into account, depending on the individual case.
Similar to most German universities and universities of applied sciences, the semester fees of the TU Dresden of 289.10 EUR* already include a ticket for public transport. With the so-called semester ticket, students can use the connections in the entire bus and train network of the city of Dresden all semester long. Those who do not have a semester ticket must expect to pay an average of EUR 2.50 for a single trip. Three Dresden S-Bahn lines connect Dresden with surrounding cities and larger communities in the Upper Elbe Valley. Due to the proximity to many other major cities, inexpensive trips can also be made by long-distance bus or by Deutsche Bahn. With Flixbus, for example, a visit to the Czech capital Prague is possible in less than two hours for as little as 15 euros. There are also various offers for trips to popular European cities via Deutsche Bahn starting at just 19 euros.
If you prefer to move around outdoors within the city but can't afford your own bike, you can rent a city bike quickly and easily. The city bikes are available everywhere and at any time in various parts of the city and can be easily returned to the respective drop-off points after use. Depending on the provider, the first 30 minutes cost around one euro, while the daily rate is around 9 euros per city bike.
* The semester fee is independent of the general tuition fees and includes, in addition to the ticket for public transport (Semesterticket), a student body contribution for the student council/the student body as well as a student union contribution. The exact composition of the TU Dresden semester fee can be found here.
** Source: Updated calculation based on the 21st Social Survey of the German Student Union, 2019.
You can reach us at 0049 351 / 40 470 - 102