Finding housing in Hamburg can be one of the biggest stresses to starting out as a student here. The least you can know is that all the students that have come before you on the Mundus Journalism programme share a certain amount of ‘house hunting blues’ solidarity. But, the good news is that most people end up pretty satisfied with their accomodation – and there are a lot of different options.
To start you off, here’s a link to Hamburg Universität’s general guide for Erasmus Mundus Master students trying to find housing. There are a few other things that might be useful to know.
Prices: It’s reasonably cheap to live in Hamburg. Rent prices seem to average between 300-500 EUR per month at the high and low ends of the scale. What you pay depends on location, furnishings, etc. A good price would be 400 EUR per month including expenses, for something close to university.
Student dorms: Student dorms are cheaper than flatting, that’s for sure. Most dorms range between 200-300 EUR per month, all expenses included. The quality and location of dorms varies widely, as does the sense of community. Whether or not you opt for this kind of accommodation and enjoy it
Flatting: An easy option for flatting is to look for sub-lets. That way the room or entire apartment is furnished. If you take on the lease of a flat, chances are you will have to completely furnish it yourself from scratch – down to the light fittings. While this can be fun, it’s often an additional cost. Generally, sub-lets are also all inclusive of expenses. Good suburbs to look for a room or apartment in include Eimsbüttel, Altona, Sternschanze, Rothenbaum, Eppendorf, Winterhude, Borgweg, Barmbek, St Pauli, St Georg.
Age: Unfortunately (and to the collective frustration of all students) there is a certain amount of age discrimination within the wider Hamburg University system when it comes to allocation student dorms. If you are older than 30 you will more than likely not be eligible for residence in a student dorm. Please be aware of this, we know it’s completely unfair and it has been taken up with the Mundus Journalism board already, although as it is a state level issue in Hamburg there is as such, nothing that can be done. The best option is for student above this age to look for flats independent of the university system.
Websites: The best sites for looking for housing are
Beyond this, here are a few other helpful tips about securing a house, compiled by former Mundusian Ann Mabel Sanyu and based on her experience looking for accommodation:
TIPS TO FINDING HOUSING IN HAMBURG
- Make sure to book early in the semester for a dorm. By early, I mean as early as May, decide which dorm is suitable for you and fill the application form online immediately. Also make sure to stay in touch with the house master or dorm contact, constantly inquiring about the state of your application.
- If you are interested in shared housing the only way to find one is to get yourself to Hamburg. Most of the shared housing requires one to go for interviews, some of which can be annoying! More over people only accept to have you as a room-mate only after they have met you..it is highly unlikely that they would offer a room to a person they have not yet met. It is also an advantage on your side to meet the people you will be sharing a house with.
- Be careful with adverts that ask you to send money through Western Union or the bank before you view a place. There is stiff competition for housing in Hamburg as there are many students, most of whom are desperate……in such a situation there are people who are willing to take advantage of your situation.BE WARE!!
- Related to the above , go to websites that have been recommended to your by a friend. make sure to visit a place before you decide to pay for it and most importantly you MUST get the keys to the place.
- Finding a room or place to stay in hamburg requires immense PATIENCE. If this is not a virtue to describe you, you might want to go for some coaching as you will need plenty of it…I have personally had to deal with endless interviews, most of which were more to please the people who interviewed me as I was exhausted and just wanted a place to live…..
- There also websites where you can always advertise that you are looking to rent a room..or better still you can write something and post it on the different notice boards around the university. The more avenues you use, and the more aggressive you are the better your chances at finding a place.
- Talk to the student adviser…in the Mundus programme in Hamburg, this is Sabine Hoffkamp. She is always ready to assist and has some good contacts incase the worst comes to the worst.