When considering a university abroad, one important aspect is identifying the cost of living in the university’s city. Frankfurt School’s advantages are immense, but you can’t ignore the high living costs in Frankfurt. In this blog post, I will share some insights into what to plan from the perspective of an international student coming to Frankfurt to study one of the pre-experience Master programmes.
Let us first start with finding accommodation. Unfortunately, FS does not currently provide dorms since they are being built and are scheduled to be available by the end of 2023. However, alternative options are available in Frankfurt, such as WGs (flatshare), student dorms, and studio apartments. Some of the well-known student dormitories are Alvarium (Bockenheimer Warte), Urbanum (Gallus Warte), Neon Wood (Riedberg), You5 (near Frankfurt School), The Flag (two campuses right next to Frankfurt School, and one campus at Bockenheimer Warte). Monthly warm rent can range from €450 to €1,000 (including utilities) depending on the size and type of apartment. One can also find flats/shared accommodations, known as a WG in Germany, at websites such as wg-gesucht.de and immobilienscout24.de.
I, personally, first booked a studio apartment, sharing it with a fellow student from FS. Generally, shared accommodations, such as a WG, or shared dorms, are cheaper than private studios or flats. In my opinion, if you are moving to Germany for the first time, and you have to share an apartment, I would suggest finding a known partner. It makes life easier and less unpredictable. I then shifted to a shared student residence. From my experience, I found student residences to be a much more happening place. You become part of an extended community. Cooking in a shared kitchen is also an experience that hones communication and brings you closer to different nationalities. I would strongly suggest finding accommodation near FS so that you can save a lot of time on the commute. All the areas near FS are safe, well-connected to public transport, and offer a variety of accommodations.
Frankfurt, being a very international city, offers an enhanced taste in cuisine. You can get everything from on-the-go to dine-in with sumptuous portions. The Casino on campus functions during lunchtime. However, restaurant food in Frankfurt can be expensive compared to other German cities. You can imagine that a modest meal may cost you anywhere between €5 and €10. It is advisable to cook at home as groceries are affordable and fresh, especially if you can get them at farmer’s markets organised at various locations across the city.
Public transportation in Germany is well connected. You can reach almost anywhere with public transport. Your student ID card grants you free travel across the Rhine-Main area through the RMV transport vehicles, including the city bus, trams, U-Bahn, and the S-Bahn. With your Student ID card, you can visit anywhere in Frankfurt and nearby towns and cities, like Wiesbaden and Darmstadt. You will need to purchase a ticket if you intend to visit farther places or cities in the other states in Germany. Most students find shared travel through platforms such as BlaBlaCar, Flixbus, Flixtrain, etc., which are economically attractive.
Frankfurt is a modern city that offers every form of recreation you would need. In the North of Frankfurt, you can find the Taunus mountain range. It is a popular gateway for hiking enthusiasts and outdoor lovers. Several swimming pools are available across the city where you can book a slot with a student discount of €5. If you are interested in outdoor sports, you can contact the FS initiative for that respective sport for details. Germany loves nature, and so you would find German cities quite green. There are huge parks everywhere, and it is not a bad idea to visit them for a peaceful evening walk.
Other expenses are mobile and data charges around €10-15, mandatory radio tax of €18.36/month, and health insurance – public (TK) costs €110/month, but other private health insurance may cost less; however, you must check their offerings in detail.