Living in Germany

Living Expenses

Lower Saxony is a fairly inexpensive place for students to live compared with many other places in Germany. Depending on your lifestyle you will probably require a minimum of 800 Euro per month (including rent) as given in the following example:

Rent 250 €
Food 200 €
Clothing 70 €
Insurances 75 €
Books and computer equipment 70 €
Telephone and Internet 60 €
Leisure time and sports 75 €
Total (approx.) 800 €

Detailed information on finance and the cost of living in Braunschweig can be found on the following Web page: Living Expenses (Link). The cost of living in the other ITIS cities may vary slightly.

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Semester Contribution

Before the entrolment can be completed, you are required to pay the semester contribution (Semesterbeitrag). Fees can be paid through bank transaction. Banks usually charge a processing fee of 6 € for cash payment. The semester contribution (Semesterbeitrag) serves to support the student services (Studentenwerk) and other activities within the university’s academic and social life. Additionally, it covers a semester ticket which allows you to use public transport (except in Clausthal). The actual amount of fees depends on your ITIS university (between 179,00 € in Clausthal and 368,85 € in Hannover).

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Enrolment (Immatrikulation)

To enroll at your ITIS university, please bring, to the university enrolment office (Immatrikulationsamt), your completed enrolment documents (English or German), the receipt of the bank transaction proving the payment of the semester contribution and your health insurance documents. On submission of all necessary documents, you will receive your preliminary student ID. The actual student ID will be sent to you by mail or can be collected from the enrolment office (Immatrikulationsamt) later before your preliminary ID expires.

For the enrolment contact directly the enrolment office of the university you got the acceptance letter from:

Braunschweig TU Braunschweig Mühlenpfordtstr. 4/5 38106 Braunschweig Phone +49 (0)531 / 391-43 21
Göttingen Office of Student Affairs Wilhelmsplatz 4 37073 Göttingen Phone +49 (0)551 / 39-113
Hannover Leibniz Universität Hannover Immatrikulationsamt Welfengarten 1 30167 Hannover Phone +49 (0)511 762 - 2020 Fax +49 (0)511.762 - 3145

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Bank Account

As soon as you are enrolled at your ITIS university and have received your student ID, you should open a bank account, e.g. at one of the local banks. In order to set up your first German bank account, you will need

  • Your ID card or passport
  • Your residents’ registration certificate (Meldebescheiningung)
  • Your letter of acceptance or your (preliminary) student ID

Most banks offer special student accounts which are free of charge, and you will receive a customer card which allows you to draw money from the cash machines/ATM.

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Despite the fact that all ITIS courses are conducted in English, your knowledge of the German language has significant impact on how easily you will adjust to life in Germany. If you feel that that you need more intensive language training before starting your studies, the language centers of the ITIS universities offer summer courses on intermediate and advanced levels. There are also German courses on different levels available at the university you are enroled.

Göttingen Language Centre German as a Foreign Language Käte-Hamburger-Weg 6 37073 Göttingen room number 0.105 Tel.: +49 (0)551-39-6641 Fax: +49 (0)551/39-22350 Office hours: Monday - Friday 9 - 12 h

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Climate and Clothing

Germany has moderate but changeable climate. In the summer the average temperature is about 20°C, although the thermometer often clambers above the 30°C mark. In the winter we often have snow and temperatures distinctly below zero. You should think about bringing enough warm clothing.

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Shopping hours vary considerably, depending on the type of shop. Bakeries usually open at 6:30 h in the morning, supermarkets between 7:00 and 9:00 h whereas department stores and clothing shops are not open until 10:00 h. In the evening most smaller shops close at around 18:00 h. Supermarkets and shops in the city centers remain open until 19:00 – 22:00 h from Mondays to Saturdays. On Sundays and public holidays shops are closed but you will find durable items such as long-life milk, cold drinks, and sometimes even fresh products at gas stations and kiosks. Banks, doctors surgeries, and some smaller shops remain closed on Wednesday afternoons.

The choice of food is vast. In the last few decades, foreign residents have contributed significantly to enhancing the German food market and you will find all kinds of international food shops and restaurants. Food shops vary considerably in terms of price and quality. Delicacies are obviously the most expensive, whereas specialist shops (bakers, butchers, international food shops, etc.) are not necessarily more expensive than supermarkets. Shops offering discount are reasonable in price but the scope variety is limited. Highly recommendable are the popular weekly farmers markets where you can buy fresh regional products.

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Public Transport

Along with your student ID, you will receive a "Semester-Ticket", for the local public transport network (except TU Clausthal). It entitles you to use the local trains in the state of Lower Saxony. Thus, you can make weekend trips up to Bremen, Hamburg, to the North Sea without having to buy an additional ticket, as long as you only use local trains.

Braunschweig In Braunschweig you can use the trams and the busses with the "Semester-Ticket" for free. For the connections you can use the following information (german).
Clausthal There is currently no "Semester-Ticket" for Clausthal. However, for this reason the tuition fee is lower than in the other universities.
Göttingen In Göttingen there are no trams, but you can take busses (see additional information).
Hannover In Hannover you can use the trams, the underground and the busses with your "Semester-Ticket" for free. For the connections you can use the following planner

If you want to use a faster train connection or travel to other parts in Germany you need to buy a regular train ticket. Information on tickets, prices, and connections are available at main stations, in most travel agencies, and on the Internet ( Apart from the regular tickets, the German Railway (Deutsche Bahn – DB) has a lot of special offers. With certain offers you can save 50% and more, so it is well worth inquiring about them. Tickets are usually cheaper and more readily available the earlier ahead you book (up to 3 mths). If you plan to do a lot of train travel over the year, it is worthwhile to consider getting a bahncard.

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Traveling by Bicycle

The best means of transport for short and medium distances in the cities is by bicycle. Braunschweig, Clausthal, Göttingen, and Hannover are mainly flat cities with only few steep slopes and most of the larger streets have cycle tracks. It is advisable to always lock your bike properly as unlocked bikes are often stolen, no matter of what state the bike is in. Second-hand bicycles are available in flea-markets and the information regarding the same can also be obtained from the notice boards in the university campus.

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Please see the information in Moving to Germany.

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