Austauschstudierende Living in Hamburg

Stefan Malzkorn

Beautiful Hamburg

The city of Hamburg has some 1,8 Mio people, more than 100,000 students are registered to one of more than 20 universities. 

The lively city has lots of green spaces, water and places to be. Most students live near the centre and commute by bicycle, subway, fast train or bus to HSBA.

Living Expenses

Obviously your living expenses will depend very much on your expectations. The following is a rule of thumb:

  • rent: very much depends on your demands. You should calculate around EUR 400-650 per month (bills included)
  • health insurance: EUR 110.00
  • public transport: EUR 40.00 - EUR 75.00
  • telephone, internet, radio and television: EUR 50.00
  • food and drink: EUR 170.00
  • clothes: EUR 60.00

You may also want to have a look at the German Academic Exchange Service's website for more information.

Students who present their student ID cards frequently get discounts on railcards and tickets for the cinema, museum or theatre. Asking for student discounts is definitely worthwhile.  


Please make sure that you start looking for a place to live as early as possible. In a popular university city such as Hamburg, affordable rooms and flats are quickly snapped up.

The internet is a great way to find a room in a shared flat, known in Germany as a Wohngemeinschaft – or WG for short. Several people live together in a flat they have rented privately. Usually everyone has their own room, while the kitchen and bathroom are shared. The rent and the bills for telephone, internet, electricity, gas and water are shared. This makes living in a shared flat cheaper than living alone. You can find WG rooms and private student housing options online at:

Please also check Facebook Groups for expats in Hamburg and the International Student Guide ("Downloads" on the right hand side).

Health Insurance

To study in Germany, you must have health insurance. Most students in Germany are insured with a statutory health insurance carrier. The contributions for students under the age of 30 can currently amount to as much as EUR 80.00 per month.  

Nationals of EU and EEA countries may, under certain circumstances, remain insured via the health insurance in their country of origin. Before coming to Germany, please check with your insurance company which papers/documents you have to present in Germany and which costs they will cover. 

Bank Accounts

It is advisable to open a current bank account (Girokonto) once you have arrived in Germany, as payments such as rent, telephone bills etc. are carried out via bank transfers, direct debits or standing orders. Many banks in Germany offer current accounts free of charge for students. To get such an account, you have to present your passport, your student ID card and your HSBA Letter of Enrollment.

Near HSBA you will find branches of Deutsche Bank, Hamburger Sparkasse, and Commerzbank.