10 tips for finding accommodation in Germany

If you want to spend one or more years in Germany as a student from abroad, suitable accommodation is one of the most important aspects of your move. Your student flat in Germany should not be too expensive. It should also be as close as possible to your university and the city’s main facilities and ideally be equipped with everything you need to live in Germany as a student.

We give you 10 tips for finding a flat in Germany. Here you can find out what options you have if you want to find a flat in Germany as a student and what you should look out for when searching for accommodation in Germany.

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1) Think about what features your flat in Germany should have

Finding accommodation in Germany doesn’t sound like a particularly difficult task. However, if your budget as a student is limited and you don’t yet know your way around Germany well, looking for a flat may not be that easy. In order to find a place to live in Germany that suits your needs and that you feel comfortable in, it is important to think about a few crucial aspects first. What is your budget? Do you prefer to live alone or with other people? Where should your flat be located? Do you prefer to live on campus or in the city?

2) The most popular flat portals in Germany

If you are a student and want to find a flat in Germany, you have a good choice of the best-known flat portals. On Immobilienscout24, Immowelt or Immonet you can find furnished studios, one-room or multi-room flats. It’s always worth a browse. However, since most flats are offered here without furnishings, you should use filters when looking for accommodation on these portals that only show you furnished flats. These portals often offer long-term rentals and are worthwhile if you plan to stay in Germany for at least a year.

3) Find a flatshare in Germany

If you are sociable and like to live with other people, a shared flat, or “WG” (short for Wohngemeinschaft”), could be the ideal accommodation for you. Internet portals such as WG-Gesucht specialise in placing advertisements and requests for shared rooms in Germany. A shared flat is not only a practical way to save money and still live attractively, but also to make friends in a new city and meet new people. You will often find notices on notice boards at your university from other students who are looking for flatmates for a shared flat.

4) Interim rent and temporary living in Germany

In addition to rooms in shared flats, you can often find furnished rooms or flats for temporary rent on portals such as WG-Gesucht for students who are looking for a flat in Germany. This way, you can rent a temporary flat for a few weeks or months while you get to know the city and look for other housing alternatives.

5) Student halls of residence at German universities

Student halls of residence are also a good option if you are looking for a flat in Germany, would like to live with other students if possible and don’t have a lot of money to spend. It’s also practical that student halls of residence are located directly on campus or at least close by so that your commute to the university is short. Your university can usually help you find a room in a student hall of residence.

6) Living for help – housing partnerships between young and old

As a student, your monthly budget for rent is probably limited. Therefore, you may also be able to find low-cost or free housing alternatives. For example, in the Wohnen für Hilfe (Living for Help) project, which was launched by the German Student Union, you live with older people free of charge and in return help them with everyday activities such as shopping, gardening or cooking.

7) Sharing a flat with older people

Even independently of projects like Living for Help, there are many older people who rent out rooms to students, as they feel more comfortable having someone close by to ask for help in an emergency. Since older people are often old-fashioned, you will often find such requests in newspapers or on notice boards in public places in the city. But you can also sometimes find rooms or self-contained flats that pensioners sublet to students on housing portals.

8) Living with a host family

Living with a host family can be particularly attractive for students from abroad, as it can help you to build up an initial social environment and find your way around in your new surroundings. In your guest family, you are immediately immersed in German everyday culture and can also improve your language skills every day.

Find your guest family with Fintiba

Finding accommodation in Germany can be a big challenge. That’s why we want to make your first time in Germany easier by partnering with Hestia. Together, we offer you the opportunity to live with a German host family until you find a suitable place of your own.

9) Search for accommodation in Facebook groups

The tips mentioned so far haven’t helped you find a flat in Germany? Then take a look at Facebook! There are often groups specifically for foreign students in Germany where you can get together with other students to look for a flat, start a flatshare or share valuable tips. You can also find flat-hunting groups in your city on Facebook, which will help you find a room in a shared flat or a flat in Germany.

10) Ask the Studentenwerk or your student association

If you are having trouble finding a flat in Germany, the German Student Union may be able to help you. Almost every university has a student association that looks after its students and helps them find a place to stay if they are still looking for a flat. As a student, you can get tips from the Studentenwerk on where you can find a flat in Germany, where a flat may have just become available or which flat-sharing community is still looking for flatmates.

Summary

Finding a flat in Germany does not have to be difficult. Especially for students, there are many alternatives in Germany that make finding a flat easier. It is important that you are clear about what you expect from your flat and which criteria are important to you when looking for a place to live.

Especially as a student in a new city, you will benefit from shared flats, student halls of residence, host families and other forms of shared accommodation, which not only offer you a roof over your head but also the opportunity to make new friends.

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Last update: March 22, 2021

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