Financial Pressure on International Students Increases


A survey conducted on international students in 2016 reveals increasing burdens from student jobs and rising rental costs.

The 2016 results of surveying foreign students in the framework of the 21st Social Survey conducted by Deutsches Studentenwerk have now been published. The report made it clear that international students face increasing challenges in order to finance their studies. The report states: "On average, foreign students have 140 EUR less than students from Germany. About half of the foreign students work while studying."

A distinction is made between high-income and low-income countries of origin. Students from high-income countries of origin state more frequently than students from other groups that they have income from scholarships, savings, from relatives and acquaintances, in the form of BAföG and from other sources. In contrast, students from low-income countries of origin make more frequent use of bank loans.

The time that has to be spent on student jobs is also considerable in some cases. One fifth of all foreign students in employment work at least five days per week. Another third work at least three days a week and about two-fifths work one or two days a week. In addition, 45 percent of working students say they would like to work less in order to invest more time in their studies. But this is rarely possible because many students depend on their income. Most international students, three quarters of those surveyed, earn money in addition to their studies because it is absolutely necessary for them. For students originating from Germany, the figure is 59 percent by comparison. Another complicating factor is that about one seventh of foreign students say they are employed because they have to co-finance their partners, children and other relatives.

Increasing rents are placing a heavy financial burden on international students. Almost half of them report major or very major difficulties. Rental costs across Germany rose by 15 percent between 2012 and 2016. Monthly revenues increased by only 3.6 percent in the same period. Sutdent halls are still the cheapest accommodation and therefore also the most popular housing form among international students.