In this article, we will briefly introduce you to some types of accommodation in Germany and how to find them as well.

University dormitory

Every university city has several student dormitories. A room in a dormitory is often the cheapest accommodation you can find. However, rooms in student dormitories are in high demand in some universities. So we would like to suggest you start with your room application, as soon as you receive your admission confirmation from your German university. The requests are handled by the Studentenwerk (Student Services Organization), which operates accommodation and room assignments.

On the Studentenwerk website, you can find all the information about dorm location, types, prices, etc.:

  • You can google the combination of Studentenwerk and the city name to go to the Studentenwerk website in your city.
  • Since the Studentenwerk is responsible for many things other than accommodation, you should check out Wohnen, which means “living”. It’s better to use filters to shortlist the accommodation that would be best for you. You can also use criteria such as which parts of the city you want to live in. For more information about the area and its condition, you can check out using google map.
  • It usually takes up to 2 - 6 weeks for your application to be processed, so the sooner you apply, the better. Starting with the search as soon as you get your admission letter would do you good.

The International Office is also responsible for allocating rooms in student dormitories in some universities. If that is the case, ask the International Office how you can get a room there.

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Private accommodation

Sometimes it’s hard to live in a dormitory due to a huge number of international students. In this case, private accommodation will come to your rescue. There are two housing options in this category. One is a shared flat (Wohngemeinschaft/WG). The other is a one-room apartment (1 Zimmer-Apartment).

Shared flat (Wohngemeinschaft/WG) means several individuals stay together in one flat. Each individual has her/his own bedroom but shares the kitchen, the bathroom, possibly the living room, also electricity, heating, telephone, cable TV, and internet costs. Shared flats are very common among students.

For one-room apartments, it’s like a 30m2 studio apartment where you have a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, etc. all in one. Prices vary greatly depending on which cities you live in. You can check out at this website for more information.

When looking for accommodation, you can go to real estate companies or individual landlords.

  • For the company, you can search the keyword “Genossenschaft + the city name” on the Internet to look for available apartments in your city. But those rooms which you rent at the real estate companies are usually unfurnished so you will need to buy everything by yourself.
  • For individual landlords, you can reach out to them by various means, like going to facebook and searching for groups by typing “Wohnung + city name”.

Usually, you can only sign a room or apartment lease agreement in person. In other words, until you arrive in Germany and meet the landlord, you will probably not be able to rent a private room.

In terms of contracts, you either sign a lease agreement (Hauptmietervertrag) or a sublease agreement (Untermietervertrag). While the former refers to the contract between the rental property’s legal owner and a tenant, the latter concerns the contact between the original tenant, also called sublandlord, and another tenant, also called subtenant. To put it simply, if you sign the first type of contract, you work directly with the property owner. But if you sign the second one, your landlord does not own the property but rent it just like you. Pay attention to which type of contract you will be signing, since the conditions can vary greatly and you can also negotiate in different ways.

The first nights

For the first few nights when you just arrive in Germany, you may have nowhere to stay. Here we have some suggestions for you to help you out till you find your own accommodation.

  • Hotels - This option is quite expensive but it’s convenient and if it doesn’t take long till you have your own accommodation, it would be a good choice for you.
  • Hostels - You can opt for this cheaper solution. And you can live there together with others and make some new friends.
  • Airbnb - Airbnb is one good choice for a short stay. If you stay with your host, then maybe he/she can help you out a little bit to get an overview of the area you would like to live in.
  • Studentenwerk/International offices - Some universities offer places to stay for a short time, so contact yours for more information. In some cases, you can go directly to Studentenwerk to ask for help.


Above are some quick notes you should consider before starting looking for accommodation in Germany. After you have found one, you may also be interested in stuff like having access to the internet

buying sim-card

etc. If that’s the case, then sign up for an account to be the first to read our other articles on those topics! And don’t hesitate to contact EDUBAO if you have a question of any kind!