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Shared Apartments vs Studio Apartments: Which One is Right for International Students?

As an international student heading to Berlin, one of the first and most crucial decisions you’ll face is finding the right accommodation. The vibrant city of Berlin offers a plethora of housing options, but two popular choices stand out: shared apartments and studio flats. This blog delves into the pros and cons of each, focusing on how they cater to the unique needs of international students.

Understanding Your Options

Shared Apartments in Berlin

Shared apartments, or ‘Wohngemeinschaften’ (WG) as they are known in Germany, are an integral part of student life in Berlin. These living arrangements involve sharing an apartment with other tenants, where each person typically has a private bedroom, while the kitchen, living room, and bathroom are common areas.


  1. Cost-Effective: Shared apartments significantly reduce living expenses, as rent and utility bills are split among roommates.
  2. Social Opportunities: Living with flatmates can provide a built-in social network, which is invaluable for international students looking to make new friends and ease the transition to a new country.
  3. Cultural Exchange: Shared living offers a unique opportunity for cultural exchange, allowing students to learn from the diverse backgrounds of their flatmates.


  1. Less Privacy: The communal nature of shared apartments means less personal space and privacy.
  2. Potential for Conflict: Differences in lifestyle and habits can lead to conflicts among roommates.
  3. Shared Responsibility: Maintaining cleanliness and order in common areas requires cooperation, which can sometimes be a challenge.

Berlin Studio Flats

Studio flats, on the other hand, offer a more private living arrangement. These are typically single-room apartments with a combined living and sleeping area, a small kitchenette, and a private bathroom.


  1. Privacy: Studios provide complete privacy, allowing students to create their personal retreat.
  2. Simplicity: With only one person to cater to, studios are easier to maintain and keep organized.
  3. Independence: Living alone fosters independence, requiring students to manage all aspects of their household.


  1. Cost: Studio flats are generally more expensive than a room in a shared apartment, especially in popular areas of Berlin.
  2. Limited Social Interaction: Without flatmates, it might be more challenging to meet new people and make friends.
  3. Space Constraints: Studios can be quite small, offering limited space for living and storage.

Making the Right Choice

When deciding between a shared apartment and a studio flat in Berlin, international students should consider several factors:


Your budget is perhaps the most critical factor. Shared apartments in Berlin offer a more affordable route, reducing living costs significantly. Studio flats, while offering more privacy, come with a higher price tag, which might not be feasible for all students.

Lifestyle and Personality

Your lifestyle and personality play a crucial role in this decision. If you value privacy, enjoy your own company, and prefer a quiet environment for studying, a studio flat might be more suitable. On the other hand, if you’re social, enjoy living with others, and are looking for a more dynamic home environment, a shared apartment could be the better choice.

Duration of Stay

The length of your stay in Berlin might also influence your decision. For short-term stays, a shared apartment might be more practical, as it often requires less commitment and is easier to find. For those planning to stay longer, investing in a studio flat might make more sense, providing a stable and personal space.


The location of your accommodation in relation to your university and other amenities is also essential. Shared apartments might offer more flexibility in choosing a convenient location within your budget. Studio flats, especially in central areas, can be quite expensive, potentially pushing you further away from your desired location.


Choosing between a shared apartment and a studio flat in Berlin is a personal decision that hinges on various factors including budget, lifestyle, and the length of your stay. Shared apartments offer a cost-effective, social living environment, making them ideal for those looking to immerse themselves in a communal experience. Studio flats in Berlin, while pricier, provide privacy and independence, suited for those who prefer a quieter, more solitary living situation. As an international student, it’s important to weigh these factors carefully. Consider what you value most in your living situation and how your choice will impact your overall experience in Berlin. Remember, the right accommodation will not only provide a roof over your head but also play a pivotal role in your journey as an international student in one of Europe’s most dynamic cities.

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