How do I find a place to live? Tips on finding accommodation in Germany
The thing with living in Germany is that a lot of people do it - so it is probably going to take some serious effort to find a (good) place to live.
Nevertheless, do not be deterred - if you`ve made it this far you`re already doing great!
First ask yourself - where do I want to live? And - what is my budget?
Students most commonly live
In shared accommodation, referred to as WG (Wohngemeinschaft) in Germany
In student lodgings/dorms
In private apartments
In most major German cities the WG solution is usually cheapest - you can check different shared housing sites like wg-gesucht.de and WG-related Facebook groups for adverts and to post your own and definitely ask around amongst your friends. A lot of flats look for new flatmates based on someone's personal recommendation.
Please remember it often takes weeks, if not months, to find a wg room in Germany. Especially if you're in bigger cities with lots of other students. Start looking as soon as possible and give yourself time by booking a hostel room or staying with a friend until you find your own place.
A lot of foreign students choose to live in student dorms, because they are easier to come across than apartments or wg-s. They also are a way to meet other students in your area.
Student dorms are usually more expensive than wg-rooms or shared apartments and often have different rules you need to follow (for example rules about having overnight guests etc).
Having your own personal space is amazing, so you might think of just renting your own place. A thing to remember is that this is the most expensive way of living for a student, and comes with a few strings attached.
Usually when renting an apartment in Germany you are asked to present quite a lot of paperwork - proof that you have stable income, that you do not have debts and are able to make rent payments etc. It is usually easier to live in shared flats or student dorms for a couple of years to make sure you have all this paperwork and experience with life in Germany, before renting your own place. But if you already have it all figured out, and can make your higher rent payments, then - congratulations, you are officially a superstar!
Do NOT go over your budget - you will regret it later. Set a reasonable limit you KNOW you can manage, and look for things under that limit. You really don't want to go hungry or have problems with your flatmates, because you are falling behind with rent. Life is difficult as is, so set your budget limits wisely.