When you begin planning your international studies program, you have a thousand questions running through you head. Have a look:

  • Does this city have a good enough/well-recognized university?
  • Is there a language barrier?
  • How well does it facilitate international students?
  • What about cheap transport, cheap food and cheap residencies?
  • How are the people there?
  • How much does the tuition cost?

All of these must sound like familiar concerns if you have ever thought about going for a study abroad program. Now what if you were told that ONE city does exceptionally well on all these counts? Doesn’t sound likely, does it?

Well, it is. And that one city is Berlin.

So if you are searching for study abroad Berlin programs, you are going in the right direction. Here is proof of why this city is everything you need in a study abroad destination:

The Amazingly Cheap Cost of Living

For a European capital, Berlin will truly amaze you with its cheap overall cost of living. You can actually afford to go out a lot more than you would in other countries. In addition to that, you can get much better rates on monthly rent, grocery expenditure, transport and even the beer.

Residence in Berlin: For the first few weeks you are in town, you will be spending time looking for a place to live. The process might take a while, so do not get frustrated.

  • Student Dormitories: These are provided by the City of Berlin through “Studentenwerk”, which is a student welfare organization administering nearly 10,500 student residences in 35 halls throughout the city. The type of rooms differs, ranging from rooms with shared kitchens and bathrooms to double private rooms. The average rent for a student dormitory accommodation is between €160 and €365 per month. Keep in mind that these tend to be slightly outside the city center.
  • House of Nations: This is an alternative to the above. It is another company that has a few student residencies in Berlin. You can choose the length of the contract, however, bear in mind that it will be more costly if you choose a contract period of less than 6 months.
  • Private Housing: Living in a shared apartment is potentially the best option for a student. You get a nice place to live and people who can give you good company with split costs.

Eating in Berlin: Even though the cost of this would mostly depend on your eating habits, you might be able to manage pretty well on €300 per month on average. For people who can save and manage money well, this might even go down to €200 per month. Eating out in cafes and restaurants is also possible within nearly every budget. That’s the beauty of Berlin; it has restaurants for every pocket size.

Note: Don’t forget to try the delicious Doner Kebabs of Berlin!

Transport in Berlin: Transportation services in Berlin are provided by the BVG – it runs the U-Bahn (subway) trains, trams and buses. S-Bahn (interurban) trains also operate throughout the city and to the suburbs. Students can get the ‘semester tickets’ issued in conjunction with their student IDs. It will need to be renewed every semester, with the fees included in the registration fee.

Berlin is also quite bicycle friendly, with street lanes specified for cyclists. This would not only be a cheap option but also a healthy activity to keep you in shape.

For travelling outside of Berlin, you can use air travel or trains. Some inexpensive airlines in the city include AirBerlin, EasyJet, RyanAir and GermanWings. Rail travel from Berlin within Germany and to other cities in Europe is also very common.

Top Notch Universities in Berlin

Berlin is classified among some of the most international student-friendly places in the world. Overseas students pay the same tuition fee as the local students, and many universities don’t charge tuition fees at all. In addition to that, there is a lot of course variety here, with a large number of courses taught in English.

  • Frele University of Berlin: Home to a large number of international students, Frele University is particularly strong in the fields of arts, humanities and social sciences.
  • Humbolt University of Berlin: Over 10% of the pupils at this university are international students. Humbolt University is known for its research and renowned faculty, especially in the departments of history of science, quantitative economics and sustainability research.
  • Technical University of Berlin: The University has a high ranking engineering program, ideal for students who are interested in hardcore sciences.
  • Free University of Berlin: FU Berlin was founded in 1948 and its name is a reference to West Berlin’s status as a part of the “free world”.  It is among the 11 institutions in the German Universities Excellence Initiative.
  • Berlin University of the Arts: This is considered the largest art school in Europe, with four colleges, specializing in fine arts, architecture, design, media, music and performing arts.

Minimal Language Barrier

Coming in from the US to study abroad in Berlin, you might be worried about strong language barriers. You would be surprised to know that English is more common here than you initially thought. A lot of the universities have numerous courses taught entirely in English. In addition to that, nearly every other person you come across would speak or understand English pretty well.

The Buzzing Nightlife

All the stories you have heard about the ‘after-hours’ parties in Berlin are true. The city has a great nightlife, which is fairly inexpensive.  With no official closing times of bars, the parties continue well throughout the night. Get ready to experience frequent hangovers – because you will be partying a lot!

Berlin has a Great Start-Up Culture

Whether you are looking for an internship in the middle of your program or looking to gather some work experience after you are done with your degree, Berlin would have plenty of opportunities. It is considered the third biggest web and e-commerce start-up location, after the Silicon Valley and London.

With such high quality and low costs, Berlin is certainly a good choice for international students. So whether you are looking for an exchange program or an entire degree, head on over to this lively and energetic city for an experience you won’t forget.

Soon you’ll be saying "Ich bin ein Berliner" too.


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