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First time living alone - own apartment or shared flat?

For many of you, this will be the first time living on your own, far away from home and the comforts of your family’s home. Looking for a place to stay, the three most common options in Germany are a shared apartment, student housing or a rental apartment where you live on your own. Your choice depends on your preferences, your personality and most of all on your budget.

Student housing

A shared flat (WG)

 

This is an option that is quite common among students and even working people all over Germany, especially in bigger cities. A shared apartment or house, the so-called WG (abbreviation for Wohngemeinschaft – housing community), offers quite a number of significant advantages compared to a place you rent for yourself. Starting with the fact that it is much more convenient to share a bigger and better located living space, it is also cheaper, and you are not the one who actually signs the rental contract or has to deal with insurances and other paperwork. You basically join an existing community and move into a place where the common rooms are usually furnished and equipped. You might have to furnish your own room though. You will live with people who are usually very open, tolerant and helpful towards the “new person”. So if you are the more social type, who does not have a problem sharing a kitchen, the bathroom and the living room with a few others, the WG can be a very good option. You will meet interesting people, some of whom might turn into friends for life. There is always someone around to talk to, hang out with and to profit from their experience, which is a big plus especially for internationals who are just starting to get to know Germany. In a WG, you not only share the good times, but also the problem solving, repairs and other issues that might come up over time. Most housing communities do entrance interviews in order to get to know the applicant before accepting anyone into their place. It is recommendable to be open and honest, that way you can avoid potential conflicts or ending up in a WG that simply is not right for you.

Naturally, living in a WG with many other people might be challenging. As people are different, so are their concepts of living, noise, cleanliness and so forth. It might be advisable to agree upon a household and cleaning plan for the apartment to avoid conflict. The same goes for money, if you do a lot of cooking together. You might want to agree on a monthly share per person for grocery shopping, so that not one person will be left paying for foodstuff all the time. However, a big advantage of living in a shared place is the fact that you are much more flexible, if you want to move out or switch apartments. If you move out, your flat mates will most probably ask you to arrange for another person to take over you room and arrange the entrance interviews. You may find a WG room for example at: https://www.wg-gesucht.de or https://schwarzesbrett.bremen.de 

 

Student housing /dormitories

Renting a room in a student housing in Bremen is very popular among students, as it is a quite cheap living option and easy to get to know people. Student housing is offered by different providers: you may choose from private student housing or student housing offered by the University’s Studierendenwerk.  If you choose a room by a private student housing provider it will be more costly, but well equipped with everything you need and will offer you a bit of luxury (e.g. you might have your own tv in your room, linen service etc.). The apartments by the University’s Studierendenwerk Bremen are by far the cheapest, but you may not expect much luxury. The rooms are simple, equipped with necessary furniture. Within the different student housing complexes in Bremen you will also have the choice between living in an one-room apartment with your own little kitchen as well as own bathroom or you could choose a shared apartment, similar to a WG. In the latter, you will share your bathroom and kitchen with other students. However, this gives you much opportunity to meet many other students and develop friendships easily. Many student housing complexes are located close to campus so you may reach your classes only after a short foot walk or bicycle ride. Another advantage is that they are always furnished, so you will not need to buy any furniture once you move in. In a student housing the rooms are assigned by Studierendenwerk Bremen or the private housing company and you will not be able to choose the people who live next door to you. However, if you want to move out, you will not have to find a person that will take over your room, like in a normal WG. Student housing is usually a place where there is always something going on. You will have a lot of student parties, BBQs and many options of meeting people. In order to find student housing, please refer to the blackboards and the Studierendenwerk at your university. The rooms at student housing are usually assigned by the principle “first come, first serve”, so it is advisable to apply to a room as early as possible. You can check this site for more information https://www.stw-bremen.de/en/accommodation


Your own apartment

A rental apartment for yourself is nice because you get to enjoy your privacy, but it is also the most expensive of the options mentioned above and it might become lonely at times. Your own place gives you the opportunity for peace and quiet, your own concept of cleanliness and a nice living environment as well as the luxury of not having to deal with others, if you do not want to. You are the only one using your things, you have quiet study time whenever you need, the Wi-Fi is only yours, and you can invite people or a date as often as you like.

Considering the relatively high rent for a central location in Bremen, the place you end up getting might be small and located further away from the center or the university. The liberties you get to enjoy in a place you rent also come with more responsibilities. But that does not have to be a disadvantage because those responsibilities help you grow up, learn about real life and become more experienced. You will be in charge of everything, i.e. bills, repairs, cooking, cleaning, legal matters etc. You are bound and less flexible by signing the rental contract, taking care of insurances, furniture and everything else you need in your place, which means higher starting costs for you. The place you get for a reasonable rent might become quite crowded when you host a party, but in the end this has never stopped any students from having a good time, right? After all, it is up to you whether the higher costs are worth spending in order to have a nice place for yourself. You may find apartments for rent for example at: https://schwarzesbrett.bremen.de/ or websites of any of the real estate companies in Bremen.