What is a student residence

Student dormitory - is this for me?

Which problem is most popular with students? Right, the money problem. We have already described how you can best finance yourself during your studies in many other blog posts. So what's the best way to deal with the money once you've found your funding sources? Your monthly expenses vary significantly depending on the amount of your living expenses. With cheap accommodation you can minimize these costs.

How about, for example, a room in a student dormitory?

The student union advertises with comparatively cheap offers for student dormitories. Rooms or entire apartments with bathroom and kitchen can be rented in the dormitory. Such prices can only be found on the normal housing market with a lot of luck and an extra portion of magic dust.

Why to the dormitory?


Rooms in student dormitories start at 9 square meters, but in single apartments they can also be over 20 square meters. The price then fluctuates depending on the size and location of the room.

A room in a shared apartment in a Berlin student residence can start at around € 150. A single apartment costs around € 300. The prices are all-inclusive. No additional payments (e.g. for electricity) are due at the end of the year.

For comparison: On the usual housing market in Berlin, you can get a 1-room apartment in a rather unpopular part of the city for no less than € 350 plus ancillary costs.

In Munich, too, single apartments in student dormitories cost between € 300 and € 400 on average. Usually you won't get anything under 500 € warm.

Housing forms

There are many different types of housing in the student dormitories and the price varies accordingly.

There are for example:

  • Typical flat shares as you know them. In some student residences, for example, you can also apply for such shared apartments with friends.
  • Single apartments where, for example, the kitchen has to be shared or the bathroom.

You can find out exactly what the types of housing look like on the respective website of your student union. If necessary, you can also specify a request when applying.

Advantages of student dormitories

In addition to being managed by the Studentenwerk, many student residences also have student self-administration. This regulates, among other things, life together in the student dormitory. Some apartments do not have enough space for a washing machine, which is why there are usually rooms with washing machines that can be used for a fee.

What is particularly pleasant for first-year students, among other things, are the common rooms. The residents can meet there for various leisure activities. Some dormitories also have fitness, party or music rooms.

How intensively such rooms are used depends of course on the dormitories and the students who live there.

Most student residences are conveniently located not far from a university. The local student union is usually responsible for allocating places. When applying for an apartment, you can express your wish for a specific student residence. However, whether there will be a free space there and then you can come in is another question.

How are the places in the student dormitory allocated?

The award criteria are different depending on the location. The dormitory places can, for example, be allocated according to a lottery procedure or chronologically after receipt of the application. In addition, applicants' special needs are taken into account. There are also special housing units for students with children and barrier-free apartments for wheelchair users in student residences. Physically handicapped or chronically ill students are preferred when allocating places.

Some student unions in Germany offer foreign students a place in student dormitories as part of a service package. In Berlin, for example, exchange students have to contact their scholarship provider and cannot apply directly.

How long will it take to get a place in the student dormitory?

That clearly depends on the place of study and the popularity of the dormitory. Dormitories nearby in the city center are usually much more popular than those on the outskirts of the city.

What I didn't know before, at least that's how it is here in Berlin: The shared apartments are allowed to choose their roommates themselves and, accordingly, are allowed to advertise a free room themselves. So just take a look, for example, on a shared flat or a similar website. At least, if you are satisfied with a room in a shared apartment, you have the option of avoiding the waiting time at the Studentenwerk.

When can and should I apply?

Best as early as possible! As a first-year student, however, you can only apply if you are already enrolled. So you must have already paid your semester fee. Unfortunately, this means that you cannot apply alongside your Abitur.

How long can I stay in the student dormitory?

Since April 2015 there has been a new regulation that gives Berlin students a residence period of 5 years. That should be enough for studying within the standard period of study.

Is a room in the dormitory recommended?

In my opinion absolutely! You make a lot of new friends and are actually never alone if you don't want to. Games, film or cooking evenings with others are always great fun and there are always one or two cool parties in our student residence. In summer there is no sunny day that is not used in the garden for barbecue & chill.

As in normal shared apartments or residential units, there are always problems with the volume or cleanliness, but that is definitely something I can accept.

All in all, I wouldn't want to miss such an experience.

Sofia Gummert
Balancing studies, job, family and other obligations is not easy, but also not impossible. We have made it our goal to support you as best we can. Be it financial tips, help with applying for BAföG, learning methods or just a strong kick in the buttocks if your self-motivation lets you down. Studying is so much more than just passing and ticking off exams. When you hold your degree in your hands, you won't be the same person who applied. You will change and grow in yourself. And we accompany you on this exciting journey.
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More general tips for your education and training

BAföG hotline 0800-223 63 41

The official hotline of the German Student Union can be reached

from Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (free of charge).

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