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Study in Russia and in Germany: How Much Does It Cost?

Study in Russia and in Germany: How Much Does It Cost?
© Higher School of Economics

We compared the cost of studying in these countries.


In Russia: foreigners can study for free, just like Russians if they enroll in government-funded courses or programmes. Every year, the Government of Russia allocates 15,000 government-funded places in Russian universities for foreigners. 

In Germany: foreigners can study for free at state universities; however, there are several mandatory payment obligations involved. 

Maintenance allowance

In Russia: all students enrolled in tuition-free government-funded spots are entitled to a monthly stipend (on average – €17 per month).

In Germany: the government pays stipends to a small number of talented students. For example, Russian students studying in BA and MA programs in Germany last year received about 40 stipends (€750 per month each). 


In Russia: you need an invitation from the university to apply for a student visa.

In Germany: initially, everyone gets a 3-month visa and in order to extend it for the remaining period of your study, you need to have €8,040 in your bank account in a German bank – this money serves as a guarantee of your paying capacity. You will also need to pay €50 to open the bank account, €20 to notarize documents and a banking fee for money transfer (1-1.5% of the amount of the deposit). This will be a blocked account, meaning that you will only be able to withdraw a maximum of €670 per month from it. 



In Russia: most universities have dormitories where students can live. The cost of a lease depends on the city and university and varies from €2 to €65 per month. Some universities provide their students with discounts if they pay their lease in advance. 

In Germany: there are student dorms, but they don’t belong to a specific university. To get a room, you need to apply to the student union and get in line. However, the number of places is limited, so no one can guarantee that you will get a room/bed. If you manage to find a place in the dorm, the lease payment will be at least €180 per month; in addition, you will have to pay the TV and radio tax (even if you don’t have either in your room) – €19 per month. You will also have to a pay a security deposit before you move in – another €180. 

Leased accommodation

In Russia: you can rent a room in Moscow for €100-150 per month; a one-bedroom flat – at €250-400 per month. In other cities prices are much lower, for example, in Nizhny Novgorod the asking price for a one-bedroom flat is about €80 per month. 

In Germany: the price of rented accommodation also depends on the city. For example, in Berlin you can rent a room at €400 per month, and a flat – at €600 per month. 

Medical insurance

In Russia: Russian insurance companies offer medical policies for students from €70 to €115 per year. 

In Germany: Student medical insurance costs €960 per year. 

Internet and telephone 

In Russia: you will have to pay about €3 per month for your mobile phone; unlimited Internet access at home will cost you from €5 per month.

In Germany: mobiles will cost you approximately €20 per month, limited Internet at home – at least €30 per month. 


In Russia: all students get cheap student passes. For example, in Moscow a student metro card costs €4.5 per month (while the same metro pass at full price would be €26 per month). 

In Germany: you must be a member of the student union and pay a mandatory membership fee every semester. It entitles you to free public transport and various discounts. The amount of the membership fee depends on the region, for example, in Berlin – it’s €300 per semester.

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