Out of the numerous elements that draw so many international students to Germany, the most important ones are: the wide offer of study options, affordable costs, funding opportunities and the high living standard. Once you’re officially a student at a German university, you can consider yourself a lucky winner. But what is the real experience of being a foreign student in Germany like?
Here are a few details that will help you realise and prepare for the student life in Germany.
1. What are German people like?
Within universities, the staff is friendly and trying their best to help foreign students accommodate, especially since most of them count a large number of internationals every year. For instance, many universities have a special service for newcomers (usually called International Office), which provides you with a tutor, or help you out with any formalities.
Outside classes, you shouldn’t expect quite the opposite, even though German people are usually not particularly considered the friendliest. However, if you ask someone on the street for direction or anything else, they will answer your questions and help you out. Don’t worry if you don’t see a smile on their faces; that it’s just because they are typically serious and reserved people.
See which are the most international universities in Germany.
2. What is it like to study in a German university or college?
As already mentioned, German universities have a high multicultural atmosphere, so among your classmates you will meet several nationalities, like Turkish, Lithuanians, Portuguese, French, etc.
In terms of lectures and teaching style…well, it’s pretty much the same as the German mentality: pretty strict and rigorous. Being late in class is frowned upon or sometimes, not allowed, and assessments are meticulous and require serious and hard work. However, the reward will be great since you will achieve to develop valuable and practical skills and knowledge. After all, you’re studying in one of the most distinguished and high standard education systems in the world.
More tips and tricks about German universities.
3. Should you expect a significant language barrier?
Whether you applied to a German or English-taught degree, professors and staff will speak English and they have an advanced proficiency, so no worries there.
As far as the English level of German people in general, there is no simple answer. In big cities, like Berlin, Munich, or Cologne, most people speak very good English so you shouldn’t have any problem with your social activities. In smaller German cities, things are a little different, meaning that you will have to address people using the German language, at least on a conversational level.
Take this as a bonus: you will learn a new language, and inevitably understand German culture a little better.
Check these popular study options in Germany:
- Civil Engineering Masters in Germany
- Health Sciences Masters in Germany
- Computer Science Masters in Germany
- Mechanical Engineering Masters in Germany
- Sociology Masters in Germany
4. What is the average cost of living in Germany for students?
Although most German universities provide student accommodation, the number of available rooms is always limited. Around 40 % of international students in Germany choose to live in student residences, due to low costs – around 300 EUR/month.
Out of all the monthly expenses, students in Germany spend the most part on housing, so finding good accommodation options is essential. As a tip, in cities like Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt and Hamburg it is the most difficult to find student housing. What you can do is contact the student union on the university campus to book a room as soon as possible.
Living costs in Germany amount to an average of 850 – 1300 EUR/month that includes accommodation costs, food, public transportation and social activities. Living in more expensive cities in Germany, like Munchen, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt or Heidelberg will cost around 1000 - 1500 EUR/month.
5. How is social life in German cities?
Particularly, big cities in Germany abound with bars, clubs, restaurants, museums and plenty of festivals and social events. So there is always something to do and there is no chance of getting bored. You can enjoy the famous beer fests, carnivals, film festivals, Halloween parties and so on.
Universities also organise plenty of student events so you can join various clubs, engage in sports, and attend student parties.
If you’re more interested in getting to know the German country and history, there are plenty museums, castles and beautiful natural spots you can go to. From the famous landmarks of Berlin like the Berlin Wall, Reichstag, Jewish Museum, to BMW museum, Lake Constance or Heidelberg Castle.
Check out student life in these German cities:
Join the international student community in “The Land of Ideas”
To sum up, studying abroad in Germany definitely, has numerous advantages so there is literally no reason for you not to at least consider the study options provided by German universities. Have a detailed look at Bachelor and Master programmes, carefully check the entry requirements and start applying! Once you’re successfully admitted, a lovely new chapter of your life will begin! You’ll get to mix world-class education with thriving social and cultural activities.
Now that you have an overview of the German student life, you can start applying to universities. While you do that don't forget to also check German student visa requirements if you are from outside the EU/EEA :